FOLLOWING First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s inspirational speech at the SNP spring conference, (poorly reported by the media), the independence debate and the all-party-inclusive Yes campaign takes centre stage. Since it took a second referendum, late last century, to secure a devolved Scottish Parliament, it is inevitable that indyref2 will take place. This is not only because of the deepening madness of Brexit but also as obscene billions are spent on renewing Trident and on building new nuclear power stations in England, while Scotland is left to produce environmentally friendly offshore wind, wave and tidal power as UK subsidies are withdrawn.

Sadly, as still part of the UK, Scotland is complicit in keeping post-imperial debt-ridden GB at the world’s top table, supporting the USA in fateful military adventures in Syria and elsewhere.

Finally, Holyrood remains under threat from a Tory government, held together by extremists Scotland did not vote for and by an EU referendum result it voted massively against. As the late, great Margo MacDonald once said: “Self-government for Scotland means self-respect for Scotland”.

Grant Frazer

WHAT an amazing conference speech by Nicola Sturgeon. What struck me was the compassionate, caring and progressive thrust of the speech. Supporting the poorest, workers, students, young people, addressing inequality and injustice. Giving children the very best start in life. Praising the contribution migrants make to Scotland. Could there be starker contrast?

It was business-friendly, with a new Scottish National Investment Bank to invest in businesses to help stimulate growth. Great stuff. The SNP Scottish Government is going to bring Carer’s Allowance on par with JSA (it’s 25% less now) – fantastic. Scotland will also give an immediate pay rise to NHS staff above what the Tories are giving in England. Meanwhile, in Wales, the Labour government are the only government in the UK to keep the pay cap. Get it yet?

B Griffiths
Denbigh, Wales

EARLIER this week saw release of a survey on Scottish “national identity” conducted by John Curtice and reported by the BBC. It stated: “Only 59% of people in Scotland say they feel strongly British”, and while that ratio seems disproportionally high compared to other surveys I have seen, I can but wonder why any professional survey would include a word like “only” or whether it’s a BBC embellishment signifying disappointment. It then goes on to say that more than 80% say they feel strongly Scottish.

I would doubt the use of the above numbers as indicators of voting intentions, but they do give a strong impression that the writing does seem to be on the wall for the current British state.

Scotland is currently run by a de facto English Parliament ruled by an arrogant Tory party where unfortunately cupidity allied to stupidity is leading to a disastrous Brexit. The eventual failure of the Great Britain experiment and the re-establishment of an independent Scotland and a perpetually diminished England are now verging on the highly probable and more than likely.

Bruce Moglia
Bridge of Weir

FOR an avid independence supporter like myself, there is a lot to like about the Growth Commission report, and a few things (currency for example) that don’t sit comfortably with me. But perhaps that is exactly the strength of Wilson’s report?

The next independence referendum will not be won by the large margin by which Scotland decided to support continued EU membership. So once Scotland is independent, we will still have a 40%+ part of the population who had voted No in indyref2. Can we really afford to re-start our history as an independent country by disenfranchising a large part of its citizenship? In my opinion it would be a terrible mistake to adopt an economic and social plan that satisfies all the ambitions of the Yes side (own currency, large public investment programmes driven by increased borrowing, citizens income) but alienates the other half of the population. This would be the “to the winner go the spoils” attitude of the Hard Brexiteers, which can only lead to reactionary moves on the No side for generations to come. I welcome the Growth Commission report for exactly this reason. We cannot “have it all” after independence, we need a plan for Scotland’s citizens to unite behind.

Regarding currency: we will still have friendly, good-neighbourly relationships with the rest of the (post-Brexit) UK after independence. With Scotland’s oil revenues and our willingness to serve historic debts, both stabilising the pound, would the rUK really want to take any steps that would risk this good neighbourly help?

Ulrich Fischer

AUSTERITY? What austerity? Certainly none in evidence on Saturday morning in London. No expense spared, nothing but the best for Lizzie and her extensive brood! All dressed up in their uniforms complete with a cheerful of medals! Around 1700 police deployed to enable this dysfunctional family to accept cheers and forelock tugging from their from their ever deluded subjects. Austerity? What austerity?

Billy Kerr
Galston, Ayrshire

I WAS interested to see a couple of readers had written about Ross Thomson’s complaint to the head of the civil service about an independence message cunningly concealed as slang in a government video on immigration (Letters, June 11). In another letter, Peter Ker quotes Bertrand Russell saying: “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt”. Enough said.

Douglas Turner