REGARDING independence, isn’t procrastination political weakness? We expect our SNP leaders to be proactive and decisive.

Like many of your readers I’m frustrated by the glacial pace towards indyref2. I’m sure, at least I hope, that plans and negotiations are proceeding in the background, but we simple souls are being kept in the dark. It is not a wise position because a pressure cooker can only take so much.

Take currency. It seems one of most acceptable options would be to rename our coinage the Pound Scots, initially in parity with Pound Sterling, and backed by a National Bank of Scotland. The change would not be daunting as there would be no new coinage to learn, as there was with decimalisation. An early decision on currency is essential.

Pensions. This seems fertile ground for the SNP to mine, as UK pensions are among the lowest in the developed world. Pensioners who were lied to in 2014 must be reassured that payments are safe, as they are to UK pensioners living in any foreign country. They must also be promised that pensions will quickly rise incrementally to EU levels after independence, guaranteed by the National Bank. An early decision will reassure pensioners.

What about the border? You can be sure the Unionists will play on people’s fears about visiting relatives and watching EastEnders! People need to know that citizens of the independent Irish Republic can visit the UK without hindrance, or indeed passports. They can even vote in UK elections, and this hasn’t changed with Brexit.

Would it not be a very vindictive English government to impose harsher restrictions on Scotland? I know that the border issue is not all under Holyrood’s control, but an early announcement about SNP border plans would be helpful.

I look forward to some definite decisions from the SNP. I expect the first of those decisions will be to announce the date of indyref2.

Richard Walthew


THE frustration over lack of progress is palpable, and understandable. But all those who think the SNP are no longer focused on independence are completely mistaken. While we all want to win a referendum this week, month, year or whenever, any and all plans have to take account of pragmatic reality. That is what Nicola and her colleagues are navigating through.

Plans have to be achievable, realistic and sustainable. Just because those who are already convinced demand a referendum and think independence is a done deal, this does not make it so. While the country is more or less evenly split the outcome is completely uncertain, and we must still convince enough undecideds of our case. And in the face of Westminster’s stance against a referendum we have to tread legally carefully. So there is no quick fix or win, regardless of understandable emotion. Internal squabbling and demands for instant referendums do not convince those we must convince.

The lesson from 2014 is that the case is winnable, but to do that we must avoid foot-in-mouth comments and provide factual answers to woolly questions such as currency. Internal divisions and public spats over when is the right time are counterproductive. The time is only right when all the pieces are in place. While the SNP are the ones in a position to deliver a referendum, undermining the necessary strategy based on the current constitutional, pandemic and Brexit situation is unhelpful and counter-productive.

But ultimately, engaging with and convincing the wider public is largely up to the wider Yes movement, not just the SNP. Those arguing for a referendum now should think how they are going to achieve one and at the same time convince the doubters.

Nick Cole

Meigle, Perthshire

THE questions to which those aspiring to come to Scotland to live have to supply answers make for depressing reading (Do you know the answers to these practice questions on UK life?, June 9).

I would like to see all the Members of Parliament for English constituencies plus the English members of the House of Lords rounded up without prior warning, shut in an examination room, and given 45 minutes to answer the relevant questions. That would include all government ministers, who after all, are responsible for this shambles.

I would hazard a guess that at the end of the time allowed fewer than half of them would have made the 75% pass mark.

George M Mitchell


WELL done to Natalie Don MSP – the newly elected SNP MSP for Renfrewshire North and West – on her maiden speech in the Scottish Parliament. Her speech focusing on poverty was excellent, highlighting the impact it has on individuals, families and communities, contrasting the imposition of poverty on so many people in Scotland in contrast the billions of pounds squandered by the UK Government on items such as nuclear weapons.

But more importantly, Natalie highlighted that no matter what the Scottish Government may do to try

to offset the worst excesses of successive Tory governments, we can’t abolish poverty in Scotland until we have the real powers of an independent nation.

Devolution is only a stepping stone – we need independence to tackle the scourge of poverty and to escape the immoral policies of the Tories.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren


IT seems strange that Tory poltroon Liam Kerr would attack the Greens for supporting a phased shutdown of the North Sea oil and gas sector. Him and his Tory buddies have been saying it’s about to run out for the last 40 years.

Alan Hinnrichs