CONTRARY to the assertion of David Coull (Letters, April 18), I did not mention a mythical body but proposed the creation of a real one before the next independence referendum.

There is no reason why the Scottish Government shouldn’t convene such a body or conference and invite people from other countries. My suggestion of a Scandinavian chairman was made because the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden is the only strictly comparable historical event, and Scandinavians would be in a position to discuss the matter from experience. The possibility of asking an Australian arose because the Spycatcher trial was conducted by an Australian lawyer who showed no deference to the English establishment and confounded the Thatcher government’s attempt to bend the truth.

While it is true that historians and lawyers have discussed the Union for many years, their failure to agree merely reflects their various partisan approaches. What is required is not a consensus but an exposure of the financial and constitutional facts. Opponents of Scottish independence have no hesitation in producing and circulating arguments based on dubious foundations and long-established myths.

The lack of clarity is well illustrated by the recent revelation that the leader of a major political party was unaware that Scotland had its own legal system. Such ignorance could be challenged publicly by a new organisation.

PM Dryburgh

PRESS freedom is essential, even if, as is so often the case in Scotland – and, indeed, the rest of the UK – it is right-wing and steeped in Unionism (David Pratt: Press freedom is under threat – and it’s getting worse in the West, April 19). Even The Telegraph gets it right sometimes and publishes a piece that blows the lid off a well-kept secret.

Yes, newspapers are constrained by those who own them, but, occasionally, the truth – or, rather, a truth – seeps through.

As for foreign correspondents, they are the ones who risk death every day of the week, but that is extending now to domestic journalists as well. The problem with trying to limit or constrain any journalism is that it can end up in being the journalism you like, and that appears to support your particular cause or viewpoint that is limited and constrained.

What can never be negotiable is the right of journalists to report what they see, even if they report it through the lens of their own, often unacknowledged, or even unrecognised partisanship. The “proof of the pudding”, as the saying goes, “is in the eating”. Bad journalism and bad journalists will almost certainly be found out eventually and, thereafter, treated with suspicion, and they will enter the list of “propagandists”, whose pieces are to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Even partisanship, per se, is not necessarily a very bad thing, because, no matter how diligent in following a certain line, most journalists let the truth, or a version of it, leak out inadvertently or deliberately.

Lorna Campbell

I WOULD like to suggest a campaign to help improve the Scottish environment. There are two parts to this.

1. Let people know how to go about organising their own “clean-up squads” by involving the local council who will provide bags etc and local councillors who can help raise publicity. Get people to send in pictures of their clean-up activity. As well as being “a good thing to do” it will start getting The National’s name known for an unrelated issue to independence, but still connected to “making Scotland better”.

2. Tobermory is a beautiful village – I’m sure you’ll agree. But why are there not more painted villages in Scotland? We’re just back from Lewis and Harris. Whilst the scenery is wonderful the houses are uniformly grey and insipid. Something that is common in Scotland.

So how about a campaign, perhaps in conjunction with the Scottish Government, or perhaps a petition to the Scottish Government where towns are encouraged to paint their main streets? This not only makes Scotland more beautiful but also provides employment for painters and decorators.

Ed McCabe

LET’S face it, Green party members in Scotland are likeliest to vote green in any EU elections, despite Alison Johnstone’s article (This is a chance to reject hateful ideology of Brexit, April 19).

As Alison knows, there’s no Single Transferable Vote here. SNP members and supporters MUST vote SNP to return three MEPs out of six, instead of the current two. And of course Labour also returned two, back in 2014. But maybe the Greens could displace the current Tory, who sits in the antiquated House of Lords, in support of entrapped Mrs May.

Jack Newbigging