THE letter by Julia Pannell (Letters, April 14) is the crux of the question about the timing of indyref2. Nicola Sturgeon is in an unenviable position as if she calls a second independence referendum soon and loses, her position as leader of the SNP could well become untenable.

On the other hand, if she delays and waits until the UK leaves the EU and the Brexit position becomes clearer, it might well be beyond the next Holyrood elections – at which the present SNP administration might well lose the small majority, with the support of the Greens, we presently hold.

For her and the present Scottish Government, it is not inconceivable that the three Unionist parties might be able to cobble together some sort of coalition, which is evidenced by the way they are ganging up together at local council level to oust SNP administrations and replace them with Labour/Tory ones. Should this case arise then again her position might well become untenable.

It’s a bit of a “damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t” scenario.

Figures suggest that the position of the respective sides haven’t changed much since the last independence referendum, with support for independence at somewhere between 43 per cent and 48 percent, which is a great deal higher than the starting position at the beginning of the last referendum campaign. There is one school of thought that support for independence could jump by around 10 per cent or 11 per cent during the campaign, which, depending on which figures are used, could push support for independence up to around 53 per cent to 59 per cent, which would bring about the positive result we indy supporters want.

The question for Nicola Sturgeon is: “are the figures believable?”

Graham Smith

I HAVE read some interesting comments over the last few days concerning the fact that the SNP government is not yet ready for a second independence referendum. They are waiting, by all accounts, for our First Minister to say when the time is right, not withstanding Peter Wishart’s wishes.

I take the view that a lot of the Yes campaigners are also of the same mind. There is a difference, however, being that we also feel the need for an official campaign to be happening right now. We talk a lot about what issues need to be discussed but in a more publicised manner. The National and online media is presumably read by the converted only. So there is a definite need for an indyref2 campaign in order to get the facts, as distinct from the 2014 lies, out to the general population of Scotland.

Yes, we can march the streets of our cities. Yes, we can demonstrate outside Parliament. Yes, we can motor around Scotland in convoys with flags waving from our vehicles. What is needed is a wider distribution of information about currency, banking, and pensions. These being the main concerns of the No voters and those unsure people who also voted No. Then a second distribution about our national security, health and education. These are just a few of the concerns necessary to convince people that an independent Scotland is far better than a Scotland still tied to the whims of a Westminster government, whatever its political persuasion.

There will quite possibly be other sources of information with regard to national and international trade and business, not forgetting our own fishing and farming problems either. Whatever is necessary, leaflets and posters need to be made available within the next few weeks/months ready for the Yes army to deliver to their neighbours around every village, town and city. Leaflets with easy-to-read information outlining all of the above.

I have purposely left out reference to the EU as indyref2 is about just that, independence. Some 2014 Yes voters also voted to leave Europe. Let us not ignore them. We still need their votes.

All three candidates for the deputy SNP leader position have expressed their views for an indyref2 from different standpoints. All will need to formulate a plan for the necessary campaign. Let’s get the ball rolling. Let’s inform and educate all that “Scotland is the Brand!”

Alan Magnus-Bennett

SURELY all this talk about having the next referendum sooner rather than later is muddying the waters, taking our attention of what is important. Let’s get on with bringing all the various strands of the independence movement together, going in the same direction and persuading the doubters that this is the best move forward for our country.

We can’t afford to lose the next one. I would suggest that that would put us back years.

If I recall correctly, Nicola said years ago (if David Torrance’s biography of her is to be believed) that we should only seek another referendum when we have 60 per cent, at least, of the people supporting the idea, over a period of time. Anything less would, I would opine, continue to create divisions in our society.

George McKnight
West Calder

BENEFIT sanctions are a misery for many, so it is very welcome to learn that the Work and Pension Select Committee at Westminster is to look into the system of sanctions, especially sanction to disabled claimants benefits.

But is there any room for improvements to the system considering the continuation of austerity and the slashing of the welfare budget yet again in this new tax year?

I am sure a contributing factor to benefit sanctions is the Westminster government’s closure of 13 job centres in Scotland (58 in UK), making visits for claimants more difficult and expensive to access and in many cases resulting in sanctions for non-attendance.

Living with a disability has its own challenges, and for the government to add to those challenges by imposing sanctions really makes the case for full welfare powers to be devolved to Scotland.

Catriona C Clark