I HAVE some sympathy for Pete Wishart’s warning to be wary (Wishart warns SNP backing for People’s Vote is a bad idea, October 31). I’m undecided on a second EU

vote but I am very weary of every move to regain Scotland’s independence being analysed before it is even made. Deference to potential Unionist reaction held us back last time and will again next time. It is not our business and makes us look weak.

READ MORE: Pete Wishart: This is why backing a People’s Vote is a bad idea

Of course they’ll whine “you were all for a second confirmatory vote on the EU but not on one for independence”, so let’s knock that right on the head. Of course we are in support of a second confirmatory vote on Scottish independence. It’s called indyref2 and justification for having it is exactly the same as it is for a second EU one. Both previous campaigns were based on lies, threats, fear and personal interests of politicians. Politically we need to get off the back foot and be strong and assertive with a clear but brief message on what kind of country we can be. If we don’t our people will see us as the whiners ... just as the Unionists and their press parrots want them to. And exactly who is Vince Cable anyway?
Noirin Blackie

PETE Wishart makes a very powerful argument against unqualified support for a “People’s Vote”.

Think what you will of the DUP, and I think very little of them, they have successfully used their bargaining power to further their aims. The Scottish Government should do no less. By all means support the democratic imperative of a second vote, but only with cast-iron guarantees that Scotland’s interests are served, however that is defined.

As Wishart notes, “Scotland is irrelevant” to the Unionist backers of this campaign, much like Labour and Conservative and Liberal voters in Scotland are irrelevant to their Westminster party leaders other than as lobby fodder, as they always will be while Scotland commands fewer votes than the boroughs of London, let alone England. Have we not seen enough broken promises and underhand activity to have learned our lesson by now?

On his other point re: creating a precedent, here too he has the right end of the stick, although this is less obvious and needs to be nuanced. You could equally argue against his point by saying that a second independence referendum would be caught in the same argument. While precedent serves in a court of law, and on the Westminster benches it can be a moral card to play, it will never work to Scotland’s advantage. If it supports a Unionist view it will be trotted out as a supporting argument, if it does not, it will be ignored as irrelevant to this particular situation. Either way, backing this “People’s Vote” campaign without condition is like taking the road back from Derby to Culloden Moor.

I laugh when I hear politicians say that a second vote would not be democratic because it would overturn the “People’s Vote”. This is an argument for a dictatorship – you could equally argue that once a government is elected it should never be voted out. But we do have second and third and fourth etc. elections and there is no logical argument to refute the fact that people change their minds (and should change their minds if presented with new facts). At first sight, if you believe Scotland is better inside the EU than out, or at least in a customs union, or if the injustice of all the lies told during the first vote still burns, you can rationalise support for this referendum. It would certainly be better for Scotland if England remained in the same trade bloc as Scotland, however that is constructed.

But unqualified backing of a “People’s Vote” would unquestionably leave Scotland with the worst of all worlds.
David Cairns