MAY I, through your letters page, explore two issues regarding Scottish independence.

The first of these is the Unionist mantra, repeated over and over again, that the 2014 independence referendum was presented as “a once in a generation” occurrence. Unionists have credited this to Nicola Sturgeon and just about everyone else in the SNP. My memory is that the statement was made by one Alex Salmond on the eve of the vote itself. I know this as I watched it as it was broadcast live from Bute House. For the record, this statement is absent from the Edinburgh Agreement, contrary to the claims of chameleon queen Ruth Davidson.

EP Thompson, the Marxist historian, used a particular methodology when examining history to establish facts. This was simply that in looking retrospectively at history, we had to look at the matter in the context of the times being examined. What I believe Mr Salmond was saying was that in his judgment, if the Yes side lost the referendum the SNP would be wiped out, both at Edinburgh and Westminster. In his eyes, if this happened it would indeed be a generation at least before the SNP regained power.

This, I agree, would have been a reasonable assumption at the time. In reality, however, the SNP defied the odds and gained 56 seats at Westminster on the back of a defeat. This is the context in which the statement should be taken. It was a personal opinion rather than party policy.

On another matter, while being an admirer of Nicola Sturgeon, I am mystified as to why she insists on basing a further independence referendum on permission from the UK Government. This is not absolutely necessary, but rather a formality which seeks to please both sides. Is it not obvious that no UK prime minister is going to grant permission for this? Momentum will be lost if a vote is not held soon and the polls, at the moment, are in our favour.

I find it astonishing that recent suggestions on alternatives to the Section 30 order were dismissed by the party. Did we not criticise the Tories for not listening to us about Brexit? Now we are doing the same to our own members!

For the record, alternative routes to independence are a manifesto commitment that a pro-independence majority at Holyrood and/or Westminster acts as a mandate for independence, or that old chestnut, a unilateral declaration of independence. While not without dangers, the latter option gives us another weapon in our limited arsenal.

Sometime ago I made a statement to pro-indy friends and was ridiculed. Now, however, I am prepared to state the unthinkable rather more publicly.

Is it possible Sturgeon has no intention of calling indyref2 during her reign? Would she rather cling on to power until the bitter end, passing responsibility to her successor, who may not be of the SNP?

WJ Graham
East Kilbride

I’VE just watched Boris the buffoon being elected and all I can say is if we in Scotland don’t vote for independence now, we never will! It’s not just the shambles of Brexit he threatens, or his derisive attitude to Scotland but it’s the prospect of being ruled by his dodgy friends at home and, notably in the case of Trump, abroad.

This also should be a wake up call to the SNP to step up the campaign for independence and not to accept that we need Johnson’s permission for a referendum. We should make it clear that if the SNP wins the next general election in Scotland and a majority for independence in the next Scottish Parliament then we will declare independence as most of the 200 countries in the UN have done in the past.

Hugh Kerr, MEP 1994-1999