IN his column on Monday, Neale Hanvey suggests his and Alba’s blueprint to achieve independence within 18 months at the next UK General Election is setting up a brand new organisation (Scotland United) from amongst the SNP, Greens, Alba, Scottish Socialist Party and others, including independence supporters with no political party affiliation (We CAN all work together for indy – and we must, Jul 10).

They would agree a common perspective and agree a candidate for each constituency, build a united campaigning organisation and gain recognition and support for more than 50% of voters in Scotland at a UK General Election. All within 18 months!

How about being realistic rather than proposing fantasy solutions that have no chance of working within the available timeframe?

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The idea of Scotland United sounds appealing and constructive in theory. In practice, it is more likely to destroy the campaign for independence or at least set it back several years.

Within the context of a UK General Election within 18 months, the only chance of winning a majority of independence-supporting MPs is for all independence supporters to vote SNP.

Of course, the political landscape is different at a Scottish election and probably at future UK General Elections.

David Howie

I FEAR this next General Election could be pivotal for the goal of independence for a generation whether we like it or not.

If, by some unpredictable events between now and then, the Tories manage to cling onto power in Westminster, I suspect they will ramp up their efforts to diminish our parliament, strengthen Westminster government control and diminish Scotland’s separate identity at every opportunity.

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The likelihood, however, is that it will be a Labour victory, and it clear Starmer has decided wrapping himself and Labour tightly in a Union Jack and adopting the Tory approach will enhance his appeal to much of the English electorate.

If this is compounded by a huge loss of SNP seats, whether it’s to the Tories or Labour, either will use that as a mandate and have no hesitation in enforcing Britishness and Westminster rules wherever they can.

For anyone who believes in independence, I struggle therefore to see any option but to get behind the SNP for the next General Election, campaign and vote for them, whether you have particular policy or leadership reservations or not. Change these from within.

John MacNeill

THIS idea is so left-field, if you look over to the right you may catch a glimpse of it coming the other way.

And this is capable of creating such a diplomatic stooshie that it may not be feasible, but maybe it’s worth putting out there.

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Could the Scottish Government sell or lease a suitable building to the Portuguese, who would claim it as Portuguese territory in order to allow access on a daily basis to Scottish medical personnel and drug users for safe, supervised injection and hopefully treatment regimes without the risk of criminalisation?

The well-off and well-connected can ignore the drug rules (how many Tory MPs have admitted to hard drug use without repercussions?) but they want the addicts to be punished because they’re addicted. No second chances or real help for the plebs. And the drug deaths makes the Scottish Government look bad, so that’s OK then.

Andy Pearson

ALL the King’s horses and all the King’s men canny get Ben Wallace the Secretary Generalship of Nato . The USA simply won’t countenance a post-Brexit Brit in the job. Heretofore the CV of a Nato General Secretary must include EU membership.

Bill Ramsay
via email

NORMAN Robertson (Letters, Jul 11) makes the bizarre claim that the massive cost overrun of the Port Glasgow ferries is somehow due to the fact that “are unique dual-fuel designs”. However, the cost of this feature was built into the original £97 million budget costs. The overspend, which may end up in the region of £300 million, was not.

The Isle of Man’s new purpose-built and larger ferry Manxman cost only £78m, took only two years to build and is powered by what the Guinness Book of World Records describe as the “world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engines”. In addition, the ship will use a hybrid powertrain. The Finish company Wartsila supplied the engines for both Manxman and the Port Glasgow ferries.

In November 2022, Scotland’s Auditor General revealed that the Port Glasgow shipyard could not even confirm where a large chunk of their taxpayer-funded cash (£128.25m to be exact) had been spent. This massive sum was, of course, also not factored into the original £97m budget.

John Baird