WHEN we try to convert No voters to vote Yes, can we say with any certainty what an independent Scotland looks like? The “devil’s advocates” amongst my friends say that it’ll just be a smaller version of what we have now. I disagree, but where can I show them a vision of what an independent Scotland looks like?

Like Brexit, independence is a vehicle. It is not the end in itself. Rather than ask whether or not people want independence, we need to create a vision of what an independent Scotland should look like.

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For instance, I want to live in a nation that can provide employment for everyone; a good standard of pubic health and a great education; the right of a parent to stay at home and actually bring up kids without financial hardship; a state funded (and just) transition to a green economy; non-aggressive foreign policy; work towards energy and food security; eradication of poverty and hunger.

Is this achievable? Yes it is – IF we make the right choices.

Waiting around for events such as Brexit to take place hands the initiative to Westminster and risks stagnation in the independence movement, especially if the exit date is extended. And what does Brexit even look like? Many, for example, see a “Lexit” as an attractive prospect and a very different outcome to the one we face under the Tories.

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The Yes movement is a broad church but political parties should always strive to promote a set of values. For example, the SNP should be broadcasting a vision of what standard of living and care we should offer our citizens and how we deal with our climate emergency.

People are dying because of needless poverty, and we need massive action to avoid a climate catastrophe. We need to act NOW. This is why Scotland needs a Plan A AND and Plan B. But Plan A is not independence. Right now we are part of the UK, and therefore Plan A should demand a cast-iron commitment from the UK Government to provide the necessary finance to meet our climate objectives and our obligation to our citizens. As a currency-issuing government there is no monetary constraint on Westminster to meet these obligations. The real challenge will centre around the resources involved.

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Of course, such is the entrenchment of neoliberalism and indeed climate-change denial throughout Westminster it is likely that Plan A would be rejected. So Plan B must be a referendum for independence, not focused on Brexit but on a firm commitment to meet our obligations and implement our vision. Plan B must be bold. If we really believe we are in a climate emergency (and we are!) the only way we can effectively mobilise our resources is to start issuing our own currency.

Now is certainly not the time to draft carefully worded independence documents trying to appease the mainstream economic and media establishment. They are the reason we are in this mess. Brexit could be next month or two years away, but the material changes the SNP are looking out for have been happening since September 19 2014. Let’s start sharing a positive vision of our future and let the people of Scotland decide how we get there.

Scott Egner
via email

I WRITE to commend David White’s dissection (Letters, September 27) of Michael Fry’s piece on climate change of September 24. Like him I often bridle at the neoliberal rants of perhaps Scotland’s only publicly professed Tory for Independence.

However, I think his conclusion that “having such Thatcherite views may put off more moderate No voters” is misplaced.

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All too often those wearing the Yes colours are rightly accused of talking to each other inside our respective bubbles rather than talking across and beyond these bubbles. Surely The National’s continued publication of Michael’s provocative pieces demonstrates more than anything the width of the aisles in the Yes church. If moderate No voters can’t make that judgment, that is not a problem to preoccupy our efforts.

Iain Bruce