IN their article in Bella Caledonia on Saturday, David Jamieson and Jonathan Shafi say: “For a genuinely radical approach to independence, we must forge alliances with the burgeoning left in England. Again, for many these words will be viewed with disdain” (Independent Futures, March 3). Indeed, though disdain is putting it mildly. They later say: “This means forming alliances with social movements across the UK.”

My reaction after reading and re-reading the article is that the authors do not in fact want Scotland to be independent. By what stretch of the imagination can it be believed that Momentum and other socialist movements in England would want to support Scottish independence? Jeremy Corbyn certainly wouldn’t.

To me it is clear that what they desire is a socialist government in England/UK, at which point socialists will declare that there is no need for independence at all as all their aims can be achieved together in the UK.

The EU which they dislike is merely a pretext for their political campaign. For me this is just a continuance of RISE tactics during the 2015 Holyrood election campaign. Though professing support for independence, RISE, with no chance of winning seats, seemed to see the SNP as their main opponents while they pushed their socialist agenda. This was regardless of whether they might be reducing the chances of the SNP, as the main pro-independence party, of obtaining enough seats to ensure another independence referendum would be possible. Beware of false friends.

Tom Crozier

WHAT a bizarre opinion piece Independent Futures is! I can only surmise that Jamieson and Shafi are not on Twitter – or if they are, they only follow select accounts – if they believe they are the only people to “raise some of the biggest, yet little discussed, challenges”?! Just the briefest glance at many pro-indy tweeters shows them regularly engaging with all manner of thorny issues regarding independence.

Jamieson and Shafi also claim that the movement “is at an impasse”. As one who has never ceased attending various Yes groups, meetings, marches, rallies, etc since 2014, I can’t disagree more! Many within the pro-indy movement have remained active, busy, vocal and highly visible for the last three-and-a-half years.

Jamieson and Shafi then complain that “instead of one relatively coherent path to a referendum, there are vying strategies” – rather contradicting themselves and proving my point of continuous activity. The overarching path is the shared disillusion with Westminster and the ardent desire to be free of its unjust and economically and socially damaging control.

Jamieson and Shafi claim “there is not overwhelming confidence” of a pro-indy majority after the next Holyrood elections. That claim does great disservice to the growing support for the pro-indy Scottish Greens. It also assumes we will still be in the same configuration post-2021 – and ignores what may happen before then!

Jamieson and Shafi state the 2014 result was “never absorbed ... as a strategic defeat”. Well, that’s because not everyone saw it that way! It was obviously a setback and disappointment, but it galvanised and strengthened the movement in a way not otherwise achievable.

Jamieson and Shafi believe that Westminster sanction is required for another referendum. Aye – strictly speaking, if we keep playing by Westminster “rules”, which Westminster sees fit to chop and change as it likes. The Scottish Government is starting to make its own rules instead of slavishly following Westminster’s, as evidenced by Holyrood’s emergency Brexit legislation.

Jamieson and Shafi sadly fall into Theresa May’s trap when they state that “she ruled out another referendum”. She did not: “Now is not the time” does not equal ruling out, but rather a temporary delay.

Jamieson and Shafi further seem to hold establishment views and approaches, falling back on a kind of “project fear” in their description of the EU seeking a future re-entry of the UK over accepting an indy Scotland as a member. This scenario is only relevant if the UK retains its current configuration, which is looking increasingly unlikely. Further, the authors claim middle-class Scotland will “likely be driven in a more conservative direction”. What a gross and unjustifiable insult to a significant portion of the Scottish electorate (smacks of “project fear” as well).

I fear the nub of Jamieson and Shafi’s argument lies toward the end of their piece where they suddenly sing the praises of UK Labour and Corbyn, as some revolutionary (?!) who “has discredited the more doctrinaire pronouncements on the inability of the UK political sphere to become an arena of serious dissent.” And the evidence of Corbyn’s successful dissent is ...?

Further, the authors call on the Scottish indy movement to forge “alliances with the burgeoning left in England”. Give me peace! Scotland is not here to once again serve England’s needs! The English left has indeed got a fight, and a worthy one which I would support from a distance, to win in its own right.

I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but the final line of the piece echoes one of Theresa May’s pathetic pleas that her stubborn hard-Brexiteers must begin “facing up to difficult realities”. No kidding?! The Scottish indy movement is way past just “facing up to” difficult realities and is actively seeking to resolve them!

Dr A Grosjean
Tayport, Fife