I CRIED out in joy (as in watching a goal or try for Scotland) on reading the Wee Ginger Dug’s column (The ‘soft Yeses’ must be politically engaged again for indyref2, The National, March 7). One of the smartest and hardest-working “indy-warriors” is the National’s Paul Kavanagh. Operating outwith the confines of the “kirk of the SNP”, he is able to reflect popular sentiments across the country and across publics. Like any good dug, with his nose to the grund, he sniffs out trends, opinions and movements often before the establishment SNP.

It is essential that the SNP, so busy “doing the day job”, appoint a Yes-liaison campaign leader from non-elected members (The National has a number of eligible candidates). Then this appointment (linking with other Yes movements) should embed the Yes campaign across constituencies and branches creating an army of Yes engagement folk. Why should the SNP tail other fringe Yes organisations?

The most significant political force ever seen in Scotland was the 2014 Yes campaign, both formal and fringe community groups. It is time to raise the Yes standard once again. It is the SNP’s patriotic political duty to make that “raising” happen.

Thom Cross

WELL done Lesley Riddoch! Your splendid article said much that needs to be said (Balance of power in rural Scotland is hopelessly skewed towards landlords, The National, March 8).

I have long regarded James Fintan Lalor (1807-49), as the true source of meaningful thought on the theme of agrarian “communism” with his emphatic statement: “I hold and maintain that the entire soil of a country belongs of right to the entire people of that country and is the rightful property, not of any one class, but of the nation at large, in full effective possession, to let to whom they will on whatever tenures, etc. they will; one condition, however, being unavoidable and essential ... full, true, and undivided allegiance to the nation, and the laws of the nation whose land he holds.”

At a later date came the epic work of Thomas Johnston in producing the classic indictment on landlordism, Our Scots Noble Families, of which there was a fine reprint in 1999, by Argyll Publishing, hopefully still available.

Norrie Paton

I SEE that Common Weal has decided to try its hand at black comedy. In its latest effort to postpone a second independence referendum until hell has frozen over, it suggests that what we need to do before calling the referendum is to have in place a fully fledged transition team.

Just in terms of the timing of this, I’m having a real struggle. Let’s assume that the 2021 General Election returns a clear independence majority, and that the Scottish Government decides to follow their route. It’s firstly going to spend 18 months recruiting this brains trust, then give it a year, maybe two years to draw up a white paper, and then wait a further 18 months before holding a referendum. What could possibly go wrong?

This is naive enough to make me wish that you’d get Michael Fry to put on his blue-tinted glasses and tell us again that all we need to do is trust in markets.

While I disagree with Mr Fry on many things, he has the virtue of a Tory thinker of understanding that life is always messy, that independence is not about making a rational choice, and that it will be won through developing a shared vision of what it means to be Scottish. And that it will come from below, rather than being bestowed on us by philosopher-kings.

Robbie Mochrie

THANK you to Lorna Campbell for once again encapsulating the matter so perfectly in her reflections on the “pro-indy” left and the irrelevance of their aims/ambitions for advancing the cause of independence here and now in Scotland (Letters, March 6).

I agree – let the English voters plough their own furrow as they choose, and we can get on with concentrating on our own journey to independence as we choose.

MC, Girvan
via text

THERE are political parties operating in Scotland that are not Scottish parties. Tories, Labour, LibDems for example. What do we do about their elected officials and their ability to stand for election when we win independence?

Obviously once we’re independent, only parties incorporated and funded in Scotland should have the right to elected office. How do we get there? And what do we do in the transition?

One solution would be to give all political parties a limited time after the Yes vote but before independence day to sort their affairs should they choose to operate in Scotland.

It will need to be sorted quickly if they want input into a future Scotland. I have no desire to see non-Scottish parties having a say in setting up a new Scotland.

Should we have elections to fill positions with people from Scottish parties for the places currently held by non-Scots parties? At least in the Scottish Parliament? Yes. I know we’ll have plenty to do, but this should be a high priority. I don’t want a full Scottish Parliament election immediately (too much chaos), but something has to be done quickly to remove what will be foreign political influence in setting up our new country.

I assume we’ll have full elections come independence day so this would be a stop-gap measure. But it will be a critical time in our country’s development.

Monica Worley