THE latest comments from Richard Leonard reveal that the Labour Party no longer believe in democracy. A public vote where there is an SNP or pro-idependence majority won’t be enough to trigger a referendum according to Mr Leonard. Apparently there has to be some form of demonstrable public support! Again Mr Leonard doesn’t say what this is. Could it be the thousands who turn up for the various independence rallies across Scotland?

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The SNP already have three mandates to call for a referendum. Maybe we should simply skip the referendum part and go straight to independence – why waste time arguing with anti-democrats like Leonard? If the SNP/ Independence movement get a majority in any election then we should move to negotiations for independence.

Of course, showing the typical hypocrisy of a BritNat politician, Mr Leonard thinks we had an independence referendum five years ago so no one is allowed to change their mind – even though none of the promises of the vow have been fulfilled. However, when it comes to Brexit – where we had a vote only three years ago, Mr Leonard wants another referendum – this time he’s supporting Remain. So apparently it’s alright for Mr Leonard and co to change their minds but not the Scottish electorate! It’s no wonder the Labour party is in such a mess and can’t even beat bumbling Boris’s party in the polls.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren

THE process used in the 2014 independence referendum was that a mandate was achieved, a Section 30 order agreed, then the vote held. That remains the gold-standard option. However, it seems likely that a Section 30 will continue to be refused, no matter the size of mandate that is gained.

If we examine the purpose and effect of the Edinburgh Agreement (Section 30 order), we see it agrees that both sides respect the result. What that would mean would be that the newly independent Scotland would be recognised as valid by rUK.

Holding an independence referendum without that agreement give no guarantees of recognition of Scotland being independent. Not agreeing the Section 30 order seems to guarantee our membership of the Union, even though as a signatory we need no permission to leave.

Having a plebiscite is not a problem – after all, every election is one. The nub of the problem is recognition of the independence of Scotland.

If no Section 30 is forthcoming, my proposition is that we make a similar agreement with an independent country. That they will recognise the process of mandate, Section 30 request (refused), single-issue plebiscite on a binary issue, and a positive vote, as being a valid route and that in those circumstances they would recognise us as an independent country. Should that country be a member of the EU, so much the better.

Brian Kelly

THE Electoral Commission approved a Yes and No question for the 2014 Scottish indyref but changed to a Leave vs Remain question for the 2016 EU referendum. There is an argument that Yes allows for some bias in the question, and they have now said they would re-examine the question for any future indyref. This would take time and might mean the campaigns having to change all their branding.

The Electoral Commission is wrong. Leave vs Remain is not a fair question without bias, it is an unanswered unspecified position. This is what has led us into the position we are in now, where the UK voted (through a restricted franchise, with lies and cheating and criminal behaviour) to change the status quo but with no indication of what to change it to. This is what the Electoral Commission should worry about – what do you want rather than what don’t you want.

A more fair question for the EU referendum would have been “Do you want to Remain, join EFTA, be like Turkey, or have no deal?”

I can’t think of a better question for a Scottish independence question. The proposal for how to do it was published in a long book by the Scottish Government, which is summarised by being an independent country. Questions such as “Do you want to leave the UK?” are invalid because the UK isn’t a membership organisation and because it could mean any other situation instead, such as uniting with Norway or having separate city states or whatever.

The Electoral Commission let us down badly with the conduct of the EU referendum. They should learn that a question for change needs to indicate what is being changed to, not what is being changed away. The 2014 question should remain the same for a Scottish indyref.

Jonathan Riddell

I HAVE just listened to John McDonnell’s speech at the Labour party conference. My immediate reaction was that this was akin to a LibDem speech as he was promising the earth to the voters because he knows that he will never be in a position to deliver. Free personal care, and he couldn’t even acknowledge the Scottish Government’s lead. He was supposed to promise free prescriptions, but that must have stuck in his throat.

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I really pity the poor mugs in Brighton who fall for these pie-in-the-sky promises, because the rest of us know that should Labour ever return to power, the excuses will start from day one as to why they must renege on all the pledges that they made.

A £10 minimum wage, and a 32-hour working week within a decade. That would have to assume that the Labour party would automatically win the next TWO elections.

The best part for me was the look on Jeremy Corbyn’s face. He honestly looked as if he was hearing all this for the first time. Maybe he was!

Jim McGregor