YESTERDAY’S news about Scotland’s next independence referendum is very, very exciting.

As a life long nationalist and supporter of an independent Scotland this news is music to my ears.

Brexit has shown us how very different the nations on this island are. We can no longer allow Scotland to be rag-dolled along by our next-door neighbour.

Our First Minister has quite rightly drawn the lines as our country voted to remain in Europe.

As a frequent social media watcher I think the Scottish people have had a five-point plan since the first independence referendum in 2014.

Having already dusted off the Westminster and Holyrood elections by returning SNP MPs and MSPs, and voting by 62 per cent to Remain in Europe, we now only have two more things left to do.

After winning as many of our Scottish council seats across Scotland in the forthcoming council elections in May, we will then deliver a resounding Yes in the next Scottish referendum.

Scotland is a nation in its own right – the Scottish people are finally waking up to that reality.

Make no mistake about it, Scotland is on a journey, and that journey isn’t quite finished.

It’s such an exciting time to be alive in Scotland.

Jacqueline Mclaren
SNP Council Candidate for Canal Ward Glasgow

I AM thrilled to the core at the news of Independence Day coming soon to a country close to my heart. But therein lies a problem.

I’m one of the “old” ones. Will we live long enough to see our dreams and fervent hopes realised?

I certainly hope so but of this I’m certain: the Scottish Government needs to put in place a sizeable EU team to monitor both the run-up to the referendum and the voting of the referendum itself.

The Westminster rich are defending their right to continue robbing Scotland blind and have MI5, the police, the army and of course the Murdoch and other ex-pat tax-free billionaires controlling the media, to help them.

We will have to contend with proven liars, manipulators of the truth and a body politic that will not tolerate its authority being questioned coming at us from all directions.

The army, the police and all civil servants have sworn to obey Westminster implicitly and yet it is these groups that will be controlling and monitoring and returning the results of our future. Sadly, they are not to be trusted!

You wonder why the army is included? Wait and see! Magically, trouble will ensue that Westminster thinks the army best suited to stop.

The fiddling of postal ballots and the false manipulation of ballot boxes has to be prevented or at least reported loudly by international monitors.

There are two powerful positives to take from this.

Scottish independence of course and the less obvious one, English independence!

England is also riven and the Westminster principle has clearly had its day.

The English will not tolerate the Tories forever and will not allow the peely-wally Labour party to faff around either.

Their only choice is Ukip! That is a desperate choice but it rings the warning bells for change.

All good then! Roll on independence day.
Christopher Bruce

NICOLA Sturgeon’s action in calling a referendum at this juncture is courageous.

It reminds me of something John Graham Marquis of Montrose wrote to his wife: “He either fears his fate too much, Or his deserts are small, That puts it not unto the touch, To win or lose it all.”

Of course we Scots, as we tend to do with our great men, killed him.

They show the rest of us up for what we are and we find it embarrassing!

If we fail to take this opportunity to take our destiny into our own hands, rest assured the English governments will take it as a signal they may drop ordure on us whenever they feel like it. Shilpit, sumphs, nae harns, nae vir an nae smeddum, apply the bit tae the bahooky.
R Mill Irving

HURRAH! Well done Nicola, you well and truly caught the massed ranks of Unionism on their collective heals. The resounding “squawk” of faux outrage could be heard throughout the land and I think Fluffy Mundell’s apoplexy is almost now at bursting point. But let’s get serious now and let’s get ready for the tsunami of lies, fearmongering and disinformation which is about to be unleashed. We all know it’s been constantly flowing since the last referendum but I do believe that, in the immortal words of Bachmann Turner Overdrive, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”!

Westminster will stop at nothing to prevent us being independent. Remember this is a government run by people who were willing to tell any lie to achieve the Brexit they have engineered and who are willing to sacrifice the economic future of the whole of the UK to fulfill their “Empire 2.0” fantasy. We need to be resolute, determined and fearless in pursuit of our goal. The thought of not achieving it this time and being at the mercy of the xenophobic buffoons who are the government of UK is too frightening to contemplate.
John Murphy
West Lothian

MY analysis? An impressively well-timed and shrewd move from Sturgeon. The bawhair majority in favour of Leave didn’t create a mandate for the hard Brexit that appears to be the only option on the table. With such a narrow result, the politics of compromise, consensus-building and finding the middle ground must become important. Even as our unelected PM was on TV declaring “politics is not a game”, her MPs voted to keep the futures of three million EU Nationals as a bargaining chip for her to use in what will be a very long power play. Let’s not forget that the recent parliamentary debates and votes only took place after her hand was forced by the Supreme Court.

One outcome of yesterday’s announcement could be the forcing of Mrs May’s hand into a more sensible, softer (or at least less hard) Brexit with a genuine attempt to reach a special arrangement for Scotland, perhaps even in the framework of a federal UK. Sadly, I think that is highly unlikely.

Given the high quality of debate that characterised the last Scottish referendum, it is reasonable to assume that many canny Scots will wait to assess the situation and circumstances at the time of any #ScotRef: the details of Brexit Britain should be known as well as, if the new Yes campaign plays its cards right, a clear response to the economic concerns around independence.

By triggering Article 50 Theresa May’s government is poised to shoot the UK a massive blow in the foot; and she wants to do it with the absolute minimum consultation or influence beyond the dangerous team of Boris, Davis and Fox.

There may well be a further referendum on Scottish independence. But if there is not, Nicola Sturgeon’s speech yesterday might just be judged as the canary that prevented our country heading top speed into a bottomless pit.
Graeme Wallace

Prior to the last indyref, I was fooled by Facebook into believing it was finally going to happen. Why? Because Facebook responds to your “likes” by showing posts it thinks you’ll want to see. Most of my friends were pro-indy, so Facebook showed me their posts, and I saw very few against. This time round, I’m going to “like” the anti-indy posts as well, to get a better feel for the overall view. And perhaps it will help to make the No camp complacent. Because it’s now or never!
Bruce Hogg

THIS entire household is from the EU, so we are hugely relieved that another independence referendum is now planned. It’s been disconcerting that Westminster have refused to give the three million-plus EU citizens in the UK any kind of guarantee that they can stay after Brexit. This time around we shall concentrate our efforts to persuade fellow EU citizens to vote Yes – for all the right reasons.
Gilles and Luise Valentiner

OUR ancestor Andrew Murray from the Murray Clan fought alongside William Wallace to free Scotland from English rule. Many centuries later we would like to see their endeavours achieve victory and stand up once again in this era of Brexit and make Scotland a true entity, self-sufficient and self-directed in every way that matters on the global stage.
Liz Gibbs and the descendants of the Tullibardine Murrays in
Calgary, Canada

JUST a thought (which won’t necessarily go down too well in certain parts of the west, I know!) but a co-ordinated campaign with the boys and girls in Northern Ireland for us both to leave the Union simultaneously might have an interesting effect on the government’s tiny minds in Westminster?

Also interesting to note that Ireland got independence (effectively) in 1921, five years after the 1916 Uprising. Count the years since indyref1 in 2014... indyref2 in 2018, independence in 2019... now that would be a nice bit of celtic congruence ... even if a tad late on our part?
Kevin Murphy
Grantown on Spey

THANK goodness Nicola had got my interests at heart. I just don’t see any of the other party leaders in Holyrood or Westminster being in the same league as her.

Now that the independence referendum is a go now (whether or not Westminster approves), it is really important that we have soundbites to counter all the Unionist propaganda. Things like oil, The Vow, democratic deficit and currency need clear and loud statements, then we can repeat them ad infinitum to contradict the usual Unionist propaganda.

We also need to get smarter in dealing with the mainstream media. It is obvious that even with 50 per cent of the population supporting independence, 90 per cent of the mainstream media is establishment-supporting.

I am 69 years of age and my age group are rightly being criticised for being intransigent No voters. In my peer group I find that those that are computer literate are very firmly Yes supporters, non-computer-literate friends are getting their news only from the mainstream media and are quite firmly No supporters. This definitely needs to be addressed.
Charles Maitland

I AM delighted to hear that First Minister thinks Scotland should be afford another opportunity to determine our own future. The current direction of travel of the UK Government is at odds with almost everything Scotland holds dear, with Empire 2; Brexit; antipathy to foreigners, regardless of the skills they bring; diminishing and undermining the NHS; a skewed economic spend which favours the south-east of England; Trident; climate change; renewables, etc, etc, etc.

Westminster is an outmoded and broken form of government that shows no signs of reforming itself or indeed moving to a more inclusive model in terms of representing all four countries of the Union, minorities or women.

Enough is enough, time to take our courage in both hands to forge our own path in the world. Living “cap in hand” damages both our national psyche and the prospects of our young.
Anna Dickie

I AM delighted, ecstatic, that Nicola, has clearly stated the timescale for another referendum. I listened to her online, on tenterhooks; she is very good at measuring the pace, putting everything in its place before stating what I was dying to hear!

Her reasons were so precise, plus she was acknowledging all that everyone was saying: that contexts have changed since the last 2014 ref and in light of Brexit. People would require evidence and they would get it. It gave me confidence that this would be a well-managed campaign but I would also like to think she is doing it in conjunction with the Common Weal, who have and are working hard in regards to producing white papers.

I think it is amazing ... we have been waiting for this. We will now have a focus. I am a member of Women for Independence and the SNP and go to Common Weal meetings, so life will be busy and the passion will be flowing.
Valentine Scarlett

I WATCHED Nicola Sturgeon’s press conference with great interest. I was impressed with the clear case that the First Minister put for Scotland making its own democratic choice on its future. At a time when we are being dragged out of Europe against our will, and being governed at Westminster by a party that only has one MP in Scotland, independence is the only way Scotland can decide its own future.

What is also clear is that with Labour in disarray; the alternative to independence is another 10 or more years of Tory rule over Scotland. Faced with those choices I think that many people who voted No in 2014 will change their mind and vote Yes this time. Indeed the latest STV poll reflects this with a 50/50 split in voting intentions. I recall that two years before the last referendum the support for independence was running at 28 per cent. Beginning with a base of 50 per cent today before any campaigning has begun, I am confident a clear majority can be won for independence.

I am not uncritical of the SNP, indeed I resigned from the party over Nicola Sturgeon endorsing The Sun. However the Yes campaign is much bigger than the SNP and today I’m getting in touch with my local Yes campaign to offer my support.In the words of Alex Salmond, it’s “game on”!
Hugh Kerr

AGREE or disagree with Nicola, you have to admit she’s a great speaker and one of the few politicians who actually answers the questions lobbed at her. Feeling positive.
Sue Grant