UNTIL now I have watched passively from the sidelines trying to make my own mind up about the best way for Scotland to regain our independence. Our politicians have emphasised the importance of being internationally recognised as an independent nation and I fully agree with this, yet international recognition won’t come unless we actually do something.

We have to ask ourselves, what is more likely to generate international interest? An intra-UK argument over a domestic agreement between Scotland and England, or a plebiscitary election in May where the people of Scotland vote to leave the UK? What is more likely to wear down Number 10? Continual barnstorming speeches in Westminster demanding they listen to us, or a decisive mandate by the Scottish people to leave the Union? What is of more diplomatic interest in Berlin, Paris and Washington? The denial of a Section 30, or the outright rejection of the result of a democratic election?

I have heard some politicians claim that the EU or other agencies might come to our aid if the UK Government continues to refuse a repeat of the Edinburgh Agreement. This is worryingly naive. Why would the EU or the UN intervene in what is a domestic matter? You can’t call the coastguard whilst refusing to leave the harbour!

I have listened to certain politicians smugly ask that if Westminster rejects a May election result, what then? Well, firstly, we know that a Section 30 would never have been granted anyway, and secondly, any subsequent Holyrood referendum, if we decided to have one, will also be rejected. In this case democracy in the UK has failed. When democracy can take us no further it comes down to the people. So the question becomes, what are we willing to do? That’s a question that will define our future.

This time next year we can be in one of two places. One where we are now, with a largely neutered Scottish Parliament and our Westminster MPs continuing their futile speeches to widespread ridicule; or another, with international eyes on a despot regime in Westminster which has ignored the population of Scotland in two legitimate ballots? You have to ask yourself, which puts us closer to independence?

Sooner or later we have to make our commitment to becoming an independent nation, but we have to also realise there is no easy way to achieving our goal. It should be obvious now that the UK establishment doesn’t listen to reason. Emotional pleas are lost on individuals who have their emotional intelligence extracted in their early years at Eton. The meek shall inherit little more than a jolly good beating.

A Section 30 isn’t happening. It is time to push ahead with an independence election in May. It may be tempting to rest on our laurels. Acts of apparent self-preservation today will have dire consequences tomorrow. Let’s do this.

Scott Egner


BORIS on Marr – couldn’t keep smirk off his face and says no to indy. That’s it. Ask for Section 30 right now and state that if there is no response by January 31, the May election is a plebiscite for independence. Get the EU on board to monitor and oversee elections, especially the postal votes. Don’t leave this to Ruthie and her “sampling”.

I’ve had it with these so-called Scots – Marr, Gove, Union Jack and Mundell who are too smitten with comedians and liars like Johnson and could not care less about Scotland. They don’t even pretend to have principals they stick to. They are all mouth and no trousers.

Get me out of here!

Winifred McCartney


MANY of our fellow The National readers are aware of the wisdom and benefits the Norwegians enjoy with their ownership of a (semi) public corporation reinvesting profits into the state pension fund. Naturally it makes sense for Scotland to emulate such things and take advantage of exploring such avenues. It tickles my curiosity if fellow supporters of independence knew of Canadian based state-owned enterprise Hydro-Quebec. Citizens of this province not only benefit from reasonable energy bills but are also reaping the rewards of more than 40% of Canada’s hydroelectric capacity when Hydro-Quebec pays its sole shareholder, the Government of Quebec, an annual dividend of over $2bn (CAD) that is promptly reinvested for the common weal.

Miguel Giovanni Canella Viegas


I WAS hugely impressed by John Carnochan’s article (Why 2021 will be a huge year for Scotland’s children, December 31). He encapsulates the excitement of the forthcoming incorporation into Scottish law of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In addition to the valuable children’s rights he mentions, there is one which says: “States Parties recognise the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.” Given the increasing realisation of the importance of playtime, as pioneered by Upstart Scotland and illustrated magnificently in a book recently published by the Centre for Confidence & Well-being called Play is the Way, this is very good news indeed.

However, there is a missing component which I have put to the Government for consideration. This has led to my suggestion that incorporated into the bill should be: “The right for children to connect with nature outdoors frequently.” The need to combat nature-deficit disorder nowadays has never been more urgent – not least because it affects brain development.

I would therefore be glad if your readers could be encouraged to support this proposal with a brief message to their MSPs.

David Ashford

Isleornsay, Isle of Skye