I HESITATE to write this reply to Douglas Turner (October 15), who seems to have a particular problem with me.

I hesitate as I do not want to validate his comments, which are unfounded, but feel if I say nothing, I validate him.

I am an SNP member, campaigner and activist, and there is always a good chance you will see me on the AUOB marches. For five years I have taken The National into my work (suffice to say public domain and very conservative) and only in the last few months have I seen any softening towards independence. I also speak as coherently as I can to refute Unionist arguments/lies, although I wait to be asked before doing so. If that is not enough to prove I support independence, I don’t know what else I can do apart from shut up.

READ MORE: Yessers pushing for UDI should be careful what they wish for

I repeat, it is not undermining independence to argue for a Plan B. From conference on Tuesday, Plan B seems to be ask for a Section 30 order, then challenge the Unionist parties as to what right they have to withhold it. Hardly setting the heather on fire, is it?

I do not regard my other suggestions (Claim of Right and majority of MPs or even MSPs) as any form of UDI. They are about the only legal alternatives we have when the inevitable happens. We have seen what happened in Catalonia in what was an illegal referendum by the unrealistic terms of the Spanish constitution, so I am absolutely not advocating UDI.

It cannot be undermining the independence movement to ask what the plans are. Dissent has been a part of SNP history; otherwise our policies on the EU and Nato would never have moved.

Sooner or later we need a road map that does not depend on anyone else giving permission we do not need. At the moment, it feels like we are on a journey and only the SNP hierarchy have the road map. We are just supposed to follow.

Are we going to try to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to “grant” us the right to a Section 30 in return for support, when he does not believe the same thing from one day to the next, so might promise it and then fail to deliver?

Unionists are already deploying much the same arguments as before and we are not calling them out. They ask what we are going to do about the deficit in order to rejoin the EU, and we point them to the Growth Commission, instead of rejecting the GERS figures as rubbish and refuting the existence of debt or deficit (as we legally cannot have incurred any debt and we would write our own budget pre-independence).

We allow them to harp on about the “once-in-a-generation/lifetime” comment and we don’t call it out for what it was – an offhand comment trying to cajole Scotland to seize the moment.

Julia Pannell

WHILE we are all rightly offended and horrified by the abuse heaped on our footballers during the match in Bulgaria, we need to remind ourselves that the problem is not confined to either Eastern Europe or to football.

While political leaders make comments which border on racism, those who exhibit more overtly racist behaviour, such as Nazi salutes and monkey chanting, may believe that their extremism is acceptable. We have a Prime Minister who has said Muslim women wearing burkas “look like letter boxes” or “bank robbers” and “this electric car may be the hottest thing to come out of Bangalore which doesn’t come with poppadoms”. These comments may be mildly funny to the white majority, but are clearly offensive to those they attack.

Following these comments there was a 375% increase in Islamophobic incidents. While we continue to tolerate discrimination and abuse at home and while our immigration system actually enshrines such discrimination is law, we cannot be self-righteous about racist abuse in football.

Pete Rowberry

YESTERDAY I took my kids to the Scotland Street School Museum in Glasgow. Kids loved it. I however had different feelings.

Everywhere there were stories of kids time at the school. Many were heart-warming, fond even. I enjoyed getting my picture taken wearing the dunce’s cap and looking at all the lovely Rennie Mackintosh design of the place. But where were the tawse?

I eventually found a belt in a glass case hidden away in an out of sight area, and the word tawse was not even mentioned. Why is this?

My mother was a Dux medal winner at school, she enjoyed her time at school, but my experience was different. I struggled in class and failed to conform. I was given three of the best regularly.

Once I found an unlit match on the school bus. Thinking I was doing the safe thing, I struck it and immediately blew it out. For this I was given three of the belt. One instance among many.

If I’d designed a school museum the tawse would be there as you walked in the door.

Mark Harper