I’VE just read Alyn Smith’s article and I get it, I really do, but I’m disturbed at his faith in the current system of government in the UK, a system that is now thoroughly discredited (We have indyref Plan A and that’s all we need, September 4).

I have spent my whole adult life pursuing this route, I have stood for the SNP in numerous elections and like many activists pummelled the streets and chapped on doors. For so many years it was more in hope than expectation; my era was one of opposition to government, not being it.

We have succeeded in government and after 12 years our vision still grows, but with it, now, so does the danger. This current crop of chancers would not bat an eye at closing down the Scottish Parliament, like swatting away a midge. What then of our referendum, our mandate.

Boris is not the real danger, he’s a cypher, the jovial face of sinister backers who have zero interest in democracy.

Ex-chancellor Hammond admitted that without income from Scotland, the post-Brexit UK would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle, and heaven forfend those chancers dig into their own pocket – after all, isn’t that what Brexit is really about?

The steady-as-you-go route has worked admirably to date, has won our First Minister international plaudits and our government respect. But that won’t count one jot if they are summarily dismissed.

I was heartened to read other day from Mike Russell on Twitter that if the Scottish Parliament was suspended they would refuse to go and would convene in a ditch if needs be. But I would feel happier if it was stated clearly and loudly that if our parliament is threatened it simply won’t fly.

The time now is for more grit and more plans. People have to know that our government won’t cave to Tory intransigence and prevarication.

We need the ability to take our destiny into our own hands and to be talking, now, to international friends and allies about what support, if any, Scotland will get if its democracy is attacked.

Time to start calling in some markers.

Kris Murray Browne

QUITE apart from the historic fact that most independent countries over the last century have achieved their national freedom via the election of pro-independence candidates to constituent national assemblies, the hypothesis of Alyn Smith MEP for the primacy of the referendum route is based on very precarious shifting sands indeed.

If the “progressive alliance” does not win the day in any forthcoming General Election, and Johnson returns as Prime Minister, what will his answer be to an SNP request for a Section 30 order? It will likely be a no, but could be Yes to a referendum which is merely advisory.

The ghost of 1979 regularly haunts my generation of nationalists who recall how Thatcher ignored the 51.6% for a Scottish Assembly in the advisory referendum of March that fateful year. Mr Smith and the rest of the SNP leadership would struggle to refuse such an offer of an advisory referendum, having rejected out of hand, very publicly and forcibly, the alternative of pro-independence candidates seeking a parliamentary mandate directly.

Being “measured” surely also means being pragmatic in terms of strategy and tactics to achieve agreed objectives, and it is this lack of pragmatism, which  earlier SNP leaders such as Gordon Wilson would have exercised, which is so worrying about the general direction of the SNP at present.

Cllr Andy Doig (Independent)
Renfrewshire Council

WELL one for democracy, nil to Johnson – great.

I watched Sky News coverage on the No Deal motion virtually all afternoon and evening – watching history in the making – but every time it came to the speaker calling on Ian Blackford to speak it went to either a break or back to the panel. This happens on Sky, BBC and even ITV. This is the leader a successful body of MPs elected and sent from Scotland to have a voice. Scotland has some of the most able and erudite politicians in parliament so come on the media, gies a break!

Frieda Burns
via email

I DO not share Jackson Carlaw’s politics but I too have inherited his skin colouring with its annoying propensity to flush extremely readily. I know therefore that he will have had a lifetime of fielding barbed comments and I can well appreciate that a similar one made by the First Minister would have struck a nerve.

Mr Carlaw has rightly apologised for his own crass remark, but Nicola Sturgeon has to realise that she was wrong to have made the initial personal remark (albeit in jest) and that she too needs to apologise.

David Brackenbury
Fair Isle

THE front page of yesterday’s National speaks volumes. Rees-Mogg lounging on the green benches in an attempt to affect an air of louche indifference, while his government is savaged.

As he has obvious delusions of old Victorian grandeur, I would like to put forward a few Victorian words to describe him. He is a bounder, a mountbank, and a thorough disreputable scoundrel. Let him stuff that in his top hat.

Terry Keegans
Beith, North Ayrshire

The National:

MOGG’S body language and debating style epitomised his Eton education, a combination of the languid with the occasional rapier thrust. I loved Tommy Sheppard’s speech, which he delivered with a broad sword.

Philip Maughan
via thenational.scot

READING the paper today, I see there is a rather unfortunate shadow on the face of Jacob Rees-Mogg on page three.

Colin Hume