KEVIN McKenna senses paralysis in the SNP’s approach to seeking independence (The SNP leadership is paralysed on independence at just the wrong time, July 17) . Worse, he suggests that they are distracted by the attractive incentives and rewards available to a nation’s top politicians. He can relax – they are not being bought and sold by English or anyone else’s gold.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: SNP paralysed on indyref2 at just the wrong time

Nicola Sturgeon confidently fired the starting gun on indyref2 following the trigger of the Brexit referendum in 2016 and had to postpone because of disappointing General Election results in June 2017 when we Scots, in our infinite wisdom, decided to send 21 Unionists south including a baker’s dozen of Tory numpties.

If Kevin wants a good example of politicians directing snouts with infallible accuracy towards troughs, he need look no further than that ignoble Tory bunch. Their leader, David “I will resign, maybe not” Mundell is now well on the way to achieving his lifetime ambition of ennoblement. To hell with principle.

Yes, Sturgeon is cautious and even her coalition partners, the Greens, are getting impatient, but her current strategy is clever. Lay the legal framework for indyref2, push it though our parliament within the next couple of months at a time when the polls are favourable and defy the Unionist government of the day (who knows who that will be) to then rule out our democratic right to self-determination. The legal and democratic case for indyref2 will be stronger by far then, and it may be that Westminster will concede as Cameron did in October 2012 for the 2014 indyref1.

Under those circumstances, nationalists must hope that the surge towards independence will be an irresistible force under which Westminster will bend. If not, we should at that point consider a consultative referendum rather than the disallowed binding one. Don’t throw in the constitutional towel now, as some seem to want.

The key to success in all this? Clever tactics of one side or the other? Not at all, it’s us, it’s the Scots. If we want it enough we’ll get it. The people of Quebec went through two referendums and narrowly failed to secede. In the near quarter-century since their second failure, the Québécois movement for self-determination has faltered and we really don’t want that here. But I sense that two tries will be enough for us. And Sturgeon knows, as we all do, that we are presented with a golden opportunity due to the disastrous performance of Westminster over Brexit.

Like a general, like a chess master, indeed like a master politician, Nicola Sturgeon must delay and pounce. We must extend trust a little further before patience finally runs out. We are all desperate to campaign with a known indyref date in mind but, for a short time longer, campaigning must be relentless in winning over the undecided minds from within our families and our acquaintances. It’s the Scots after all that will choose, not the politicians.

A long time ago that we established that we, not our leaders, are sovereign. Westminster might disagree, but we can consign that lot to history. Mundell can then live out his final years in the Lords as one of the dying breed of Scottish Lords. The last Irish Lord died in the 1960s, some 40 years after Ireland departed the UK. A dinosaur from a lost world.

David Crines

KEVIN McKenna writes that the SNP is anxious not to frighten the horses. In the letter page Mrs G Ross provides the answer:“if it means referendum after referendum then so be it”. The referendum should become the preferred political tool to enable us to get on with modernising our country. It is much better than conventions, conferences, opinion polls and focus groups, useful as these may be.

At the moment we are puppets dancing to Westminster’s tune which is all about delay, obfuscation and a false sense of activity and progress and has been for three years, when we need decisive action.

Now is the time to act, when the Tories are at their most vulnerable.

Iain WD Forde