THE confidence of a new year reawakens the belief that hope over fear will prevail. The National with its very talented array of contrasting columnists confirms this, and none more so than Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s piece last Thursday (Does the SNP need to make a glorious sacrifice for indyref2?, The National, January 4).

I heartily agree with his view that “independence is not a political policy” and that the SNP is “a broad church held together by the founding value of Scotland becoming a self-governing nation”.

I believe independence is a feeling that to be in control of one’s destiny, whether as an individual or as a nation, is a natural aspiration.

Since the SNP has a social democratic voice it can enfold the views of Mhairi Black and Fergus Ewing, who along with myself as a Liberal and friends who are Labour and Green, are all working within the SNP to lead the Yes convention to independence.

However, as the bourach of a bungled Brexit unfolds with its drastic economic and social implications for Scotland, which we cannot control, a date for indyref2 must be found.

Indeed, a hard Brexit will hasten the break-up of an increasingly divided and weak UK. Why we are abandoning one of the most successful free trade blocs in the world for something different is a mystery only a narrow nationalistic England can answer.

Although 2018 may be free of elections and referendums, I believe in 2019 we will have indyref2 along with possibly, God forbid, a Brexiref2!

Grant Frazer

MY thanks to the First Minister for speaking out on the sham and shame of Brexit (FM: Indy must be an option amid Brexit ‘horror show’, The National, January 8).

I believe economics are but a part of the many losses that Brexit seeks to impose on the Sottish nation, such as the loss of fundamental rights and freedoms; the loss of citizenship of a Union that for two-thirds of century has turned warring nations into a force for peace; and the loss of opportunities for Scotland’s young people such as those of the European Union’s tremendously successful Erasmus Programme.

As I also believe that Scotland’s wish to stay in the EU charges the Scottish Parliament and Government with the task to say “No to Brexit” at all levels, and to call for “indy” to turn that wish into reality.

Dirk Bolt

I’VE been a member of the SNP for many years, however it wasn’t until Sunday night that I realised how powerful this party is!

BBC Scotland News (January 7) has disclosed that, according to the Scottish Tories, the SNP are to blame for the current flu outbreak in Scotland! Apparently they didn’t round people up and force them to take a flu jab.

The scary thing is, some will actually believe this garbage!

Ian Heggie

I WISH to apologise to you and your readers for incorrect figures that I quoted in the letter I sent you and that you printed as “The Long Letter” last Friday.

I quoted £4.8 million in tax to Scotland and £3.2m in tax shared between Northern Ireland and Wales for estimated tax on the oil being extracted by Norway’s Statoil in the Moray Firth. Those figures are incorrect. (I don’t know what was wrong with my arithmetic that day – maybe I had other things on my mind.)

The figures should have been £480m (or £0.48bn) to Scotland; and £320m (or £0.32bn) to England and Wales.

However the point I was trying to make is still valid; namely that England receives almost ten times as much as Scotland does for oil extracted from Scottish waters.

Only Scottish independence can rectify that, although a simple letter of apology can rectify the incorrect figures I quoted.

CJ Kerr