I DON’T need an opinion poll to tell me “it would be unacceptable for any government in Westminster to block Scotland’s democratic right to choose” (Blackford hails ‘significant’ new polls showing indyref2 support, September 16). This is not a matter of opinion. It is an incontrovertible fact that nobody has the legitimate authority to deny Scotland’s right of self-determination; least of all the entity from which Scotland is “seceding”.

I know I quibble about the language used by SNP politicians such as Ian Blackford and John Swinney. But language is important. Issues are perceived as being defined by the language politicians use. Particularly when operating in a hostile media environment, politicians have to be constantly aware of which narrative they are following. They must be on their guard against slipping into the pervasive narrative of that hostile media. They need to be ever mindful of the language they use.

Of course it would be “unacceptable” for the British government to “block Scotland’s democratic right to choose”! But it would be more than that. It would be wrong! In every sense of the word, it would be wrong! Even to attempt to deny the fundamental democratic right of self-determination is wrong. It cannot be right. It cannot rightfully be done.

Every word spoken by Scotland’s elected representatives should be informed by an unshakeable belief in Scotland’s cause.

Every utterance must be couched in the language of an independent nation. There can never be the slightest suggestion of concessions which could be seen as compromising the sovereignty of Scotland’s people.

If Scotland’s right of self-determination is not subject to the approval of the British political elite, how much less might it be affected by the vagaries of opinion polls? Only the parliament elected by the people of Scotland has the legitimate authority to determine whether there is sufficient demand to warrant a constitutional referendum in Scotland. Our Parliament has already made that determination. Opinion polls are irrelevant.

The notion that the opinions of people furth of Scotland might have some bearing on the matter of a new independence referendum is beyond ridiculous. It is a matter for the Scottish people alone.

So why the hell is Ian Blackford hailing this poll as “significant”? Why is he not challenging the narrative which imbues it with significance? Why is he using such inappropriate language?

Peter A Bell
via thenational.scot

A SHORT response to Peter A Bell’s reaction (Website Comments, September 13) to my letter of September 12. I fully understand and appreciate the points that Peter makes.

The opinion I expressed was a purely hypothetical one. Had I given all of the hypothetical circumstances in such a scenario, my letter would have been exceedingly long.

Of course I understand that self-determination is a right of the Scottish people and is not a gift of any Westminster Prime Minister. Would that be a reason to refuse it were it offered?

For 50,000 years, I have been active in trade unionism, community and general politics. Throughout that time, never have I witnessed politics events happening like those of the past number of years.

I have arrived at the film conclusion now that nothing can be dismissed or excluded from making judgments or assessments (not something that was ever a weakness of mine anyway) as to what might happen in politics.

Bobby Brennan