IT has always intrigued me that some political commentators in Scotland continue to insist that Scotland welcomed the political Union of 1707.

They usually go on to say that Scotland was not oppressed by her bigger neighbour and has no cause for complaints of bullying.

It is a view I held myself for much of my political life, although I was always haunted by oral tales among family and friends about Culloden and its aftermath of Clearances. Trips to the empty glens of the north with their uncultivated fields and broken-down cottages tell a visual tale of loss and abandonment.

I have just been reading Maggie Craig’s account of the women of the ‘45, Damn’ Rebel Bitches, which takes its narrative from letters, reports and many contemporary accounts. I feel ashamed that it

has taken me so long to find this book alongside the work of historians like Jim Hunter, who have produced their own fine accounts of these terrible times.

Many political leaders at Westminster continue to insist that Scotland has no right to work towards its political and economic independence. It makes me wonder if any of them has considered or studied Scotland’s historical journey. Many at Westminster acknowledge Ireland’s case for independence but refuse to accept that Scotland might also have a case – is this ignorance or political expediency?

I have always said to my daughters, nephews and nieces that it is absolutely necessary to educate yourself about our past, both at home and internationally. It is impossible to make sense of current world affairs if you have not studied how we arrived here.

Amid the chaos of Brexit created by the Conservative Party, it raises a question in my mind: would an independent Scotland be treated with more respect by the EU negotiators than it has been currently and historically by the Westminster Government?

Maggie Chetty

REGARDING Alan Hinnrichs letter in Friday’s edition, I agree with most of what he said. I think the chance of independence is slipping by unless the SNP take action now.

They are tying independence up with Brexit and talking about renegotiation if the May deal is cast down. There does not appear to be any will on the EU side of renegotiating and they appear to have moved on to other issues.

Like it or not, we are still part of the UK and will be treated as such by Westminster and the EU, as the latter can only deal with the UK Government.

By using a General Election as the vehicle for independence if a Section 30 is out of the question, we have at least chance of settling the issue for many years to come. If we delay there will be nothing left of our country’s wealth, culture or history other than that on a shortbread tin.

Hesitation will cost us dearly.

Bryan Auchterlonie

READ MORE: Letters, December 7

I AM getting a little tired of people who want to declare UDI, or who say that a majority of SNP MPs/MSPs should be enough of a mandate for independence. Keith Hamilton, in Wednesday’s National, produces quite an extreme version of that.

He says that in the manifesto “it should be explicitly stated that a vote for the SNP is a vote for independence; that in the event of a majority of SNP MPs they are mandated to demand that the UK Government has three months to commence meaningful independence negotiations, otherwise we will make a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, inaugurate a Constitutional Convention, and get on with it ourselves”.

May I point out, for what feels like the thousandth time, that we do not (yet) have a majority for independence; the Scottish people, not the Scottish Parliament (and certainly not Westminster), is sovereign. The majority of Scots still want to remain part of the UK and that is not an appropriate, safe, or democratic basis for UDI.

Yes, I too wish we had a majority and could just get on with it ourselves, but for the moment our job is to work to create that majority, not to imagine ourselves in a situation in which it already exists.

Max Marnau

READ MORE: Letters, December 5

WHY should Scotland ask Mrs May for permission to hold an independence referendum?

Did her Tory predecessor Mr Cameron ask the EU for permission to have the Brexit referendum? For that matter did the Westminster Tories bother to ask Scotland if we wanted to exit Europe?

Are they even bothered about asking us now?

I’m just asking...

Ian Johnston

KEVIN McKenna’s column which examined the British State’s history of clandestine skulduggery resonated with me (The Devil’s in the detail of the tricks and fixes conjured by the British elite, December 5).

I recall that on learning MI5 had an “insider” planted in the upper echelons of the NUM, even I was amazed – momentarily. British secret police – sorry, security services – also infiltrated environmental and other groups, which only came to light due to the government agents “going native” and cohabiting with female members of the groups.

This record of secretive spying leads me to speculate: can we assume the SNP may contain a UK Government mole or two? After all, the SNP is not a relatively ephemeral group of “tree huggers” , anti-capitalists or even a militant trade union but a non-establishment party committed to removing Scotland from the UK.

With recent events in Scotland placing the internal security of the UK under its greatest threat since 1745, is it so inconceivable that Special Branch snoopers and MI5 spooks will be stepping up their Scottish operations? All in the “national interest”, you understand.

Malcolm Cordell
Broughty Ferry, Dundee

READ MORE: Independence supporters should watch out for the tricks of the British establishment​