MR Pete Wishart MP may believe the SNP’s new route map to independence is the only way forward (Holyrood election is not a de facto vote on indyref2, February 17) but sadly the more predictable outcome is that no-one in Westminster will be quaking in their shoes with these microwaved proposals, which are more a dead end for the wider Yes movement than a solid road forward. Firstly, two key deficiencies are visible in both timescale and detail.

The SNP’s proposals talk about holding a referendum “once the pandemic is over”. Is that this year, next year or two years’ time? This is crucial because Scotland needs a full sovereign government now with full borrowing powers to rebuild the economy post-Covid 19 as soon as possible. And once the referendum is held there is no mention of giving Westminster a deadline by which failure to respond would lead to an international campaign, based on international law under the UN Charter, to recognise Scottish independence. This is fundamental in putting pressure on Westminster and the British establishment.

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Secondly, in regard to the detail it is extremely naive to promote the erroneous view that the English legal system is the supreme arbiter in deciding the extent of Scotland’s autonomy and democracy, rather than on defending the principle of the sovereignty of the Scottish people to decide in a democratic vote themselves. It is the height of political folly to believe that this will lead to a positive outcome for the Scottish people.

Even less credible is expecting a centralised and power-hungry EU to stand by Scotland’s side, and a quick phone call by Mr Wishart to Barcelona should quickly highlight the foolishness of that hope. Scottish sovereignty resides here not in Westminster or Brussels.

The wider Yes movement must establish an international unit, composed of serving and former parliamentarians, opinion formers from the trade union movement and business community, and public figures such as the actor Alan Cumming and the writer Val McDermid, who would be ideal to front such a unit up, to mount a media offensive to win over the international community. Going cap in hand to the UK Supreme Court is not the answer.

Cllr Andy Doig

Co-founder and nominating officer, Scotia Future

WE keep hearing that Labour, meaning English Labour, can only win against the English Conservatives in Westminster if there is a progressive alliance of parties and that nirvana will arrive with the federalist UK!

Are English Labour per se in any way progressive? Who can they ally with? Labour in Scotland are dead in the water, with one MP at the moment. Sir Keir whipped his MPs to vote for the Boris deal and is only intent on winning the red wall areas back. He supports the power grab and waffles on about federalism, which no-one wants in England as it is stuck in the past, dreaming of Empire 2, global England and nothing much else. The attitude down south is that the Westminster settlement is the pinnacle of progressivism and that the unwritten constitution is the desired model, with an overblown unelected upper chamber larger than the elected lower chamber!

Exceptionalism gone mad, anti-EU and stuck in a rut with a burgeoning deficit and a fading economy.

The Scots are moving towards independence and 40% of Labour voters in Scotland are for independence, as they are the clear-headed ones in the party who see that as a way to effect a final Tory clearance this century. The number of Tory MPs from Scotland halved at the last election under Boris’s leadership, so we are well on the road map to achieve that.

As Sir Keir lapses into a retro-British revival, he is bigging up Atlee and 1945 as the model for a new England rather than Britain, he is thrashing around looking for an English counterpoint to Johnson’s nationalistic bulldogism. He wraps himself in the flag and deludes himself that Englishism is benign!

The Tory strategy, hidden and camouflaged, is to aim for a point where it is advantageous for Scots to not come to Westminster. That cuts out at a stroke an opposition sector. The few Unionists left from Scotland in the Commons and Lords are expendable as they would no longer be lobby fodder, even the Tory ones!

All this smokescreen about the Union Unit and other measures are simply to keep up appearances for now.

READ MORE: Union Unit seeking new staff – but knowledge of Scotland is not required

There is nobody left for English Labour to ally with outwith England to form a government. The party’s own Scottish remnants are too paltry in number and competence. The LibDems are few. Its new Vow 2 is a sham, as it would be mauled during its passage through the antiquated English legislature system, and we know what happened to the Vow!

As the four nations of the Union diverge, Sir Keir Starmer must simply look to his English Labour party roots. The Scottish Labour voters are diverging too. England will need to look to its own future after independence creates Engxit from the UK.

John Edgar


IT comes as no surprise that the Queen has appealed the rates bill for her estates in Scotland. What is needed is a form of land tax that can bring in real value to the economy and improve stewardship of our land so that it can be more productive for all rather than being the preserve of the rich.

I would highly recommend Graeme McCormick’s book Annual Ground Floor And Roof Rent as a good starter for understanding how a land tax could be introduced – even to the extent of replacing all existing taxes. Graeme has been developing this idea for quite a while including various Zoom meetings as well as visiting SNP and Yes groups (when it was allowed) to promote it. It’s a shame that the party seems to ignore Graeme’s ideas but prefers to listen to the likes of Benny Higgins of the Buccleuch Estates – who obviously has a vested interest on this issue.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren