I’M writing In response to Kenny McLaren’s letter on the proposal by James Kelly to introduce a 50% turnout on any future indy referendum.

Yes, we know that a minimum was used previously during the vote in the 70s. However, when you think about it in the cool light of day, it’s not a bad thing. The actual percentage level may need further debate, but the principle is good.

If similar criteria had been applied by the amateurs Cameron and Osbourne, we would not be in the total mess that descended upon politics of all parties over the past three years.

READ MORE: Labour’s 50% turnout plan for Indyref2020 rejected by committee

Referendum votes are full of injustice. Australia had a Constitutional Referendum in 1999 – the criteria they applied was 50% +1 nationally and 50% in every state. Voting is mandatory in Australia.

In the more advanced countries, generally a threshold is applied thus results are only binding on a true voter preference.

Personally, I’d hate to be in an independent Scotland that could be the result of a single vote on a low turnout of the electorate. How could the country then boast about being progressive, inclusive and an example to others? This scenario is no better than the continued injustice towards Scotland from Westminster.

Independence will be won – it’s all about when. 10 years will show a very different appetite for our destiny.

No, I’m not for the Brexit style of retribution that has openly, and without shame or fear, changed politics in the UK for ever.

These same protests, campaigns and intimidation may well be be replicated here if a close referendum without thresholds is held.

It’s far too important for such a change in governance and sovereignty to take place on potentially a single vote.

The consequences may be dire.

Independence will be won – however the indy parties have to create the right conditions together with the support of the electorate, at the right time, and have to sustain that desire continuously.

If we get it wrong and don’t win then we are looking at 50 years more of Westminster rule.

Dougie Gray

I READ the letter from Cllr Kenny MacLaren. My thoughts are that maybe MSP James Kelly should have to achieve 50% of the electorate vote for any labour MEP, MP or MSP before they are allowed to be elected. See how far down the road they get with that one. And maybe we should retrospectively apply the 50% rule to the “advisory referendum” on leaving the EU. Or does that one not count?

Douglas Penman
via email

THANKYE kindly fir Ishbel McFarlane’s scrieve (Does Scotland compare weil wi ither places fir wee bairns? November 21).

A’m the mither o eight bairns, ilk ane o them saw the licht o day under the care o the guid nurses, howdie wifes and doctors wha work fir NHS Scotland. A jalouse that in the history o weemenkind there has niver been a safer time nor place tae bring a bairn intae the warld than here and nou.

But we maun weil ask whit wey is our national daith rate sae high, and wir birth-rate sae low? Wir birth-rate is the lowest sinsyne 1855. And mair nor 13,000 abortions waur cairried out last year. A howp-fu country? A recipe fir extinction.

READ MORE: Does Scotland compare weil wi ither places fir wee bairnies?

A hae misgiens o the ween o 600 hours o free day care fir babies and bairnies. This nae dout is driven by the need fir young weemen tae wark at paid wark.

Back in the 1800s yin o the first women’s movements caaed on the government then tae pey thir men sic wages at the weemen could bide at hame and mind the bairns when they waur sick, and thir men fowk tae. The need wis fir wives and mithers no tae hae tae gang out tae wark. Whaur this wis achieved the health o the (British) nation improved.

Today the need tae wark fir monie lassies micht also be a cause fir sae monie abortions. Will a man’s daily darg no cover expenses nouadays? No verra likely. (Weil, it depends on the expenses!).

In America, whaur the States hae some measure o independence, the State o South Dakota brocht in a law that gied young weemen in the wey wi a bairn at cam fir an abortion, a guid offer o support gin they wanted tae keep the wean, or leastways wanted the wean’s survival. Thir abortion rate in South Dakota fell by 80%.

Is there no some lesson here fir us? Is there no some howp, as Ishbel McFarlane descrives it sae weil, fir “the auldest, newest things of aw.”?

Lesley J Findlay
Fort Augustus

IN your article about famous heists (November 26) you have one down as “theft of the crown jewels in 1671”. In fact it was the theft of the “English” crown jewels.

READ MORE: From Crown Jewels to Scotland's oil: Five of the world's most infamous heists

We have our own Scottish crown jewels, whom the reigning monarch is supposed to be crowned with as well. But Liz decided to come up and just give them a pat; It’s all just (expensive) symbolism anyway and perhaps it is symbolic maybe of their attitude to Scotland!!

Crìsdean Mac Fhearghais
Dùn Èideann