PETER Bell (Sunday National, February 9) succinctly in one sentence defines where we are as a country within the United Kingdom when he states “Scotland to England is at the same time both essential and irrelevant”.

That is where the failure of 2014 has left us. There is no point going on about the lies of “the Vow” not being delivered. No-one outside the movement cares a jot, least of all the UK PM!

Likewise, Joanna Cherry or anyone else proposing holding a “consultative” referendum is a pure distraction and total waste of time. I am old enough to remember a “plebiscite”, a forerunner of a consultative referendum, as it was called when undertaken in the 1950s where more than a million Scots signed a petition for a Scottish parliament. It was ignored for more than “a generation”.

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Ian Blackford can huff and he can puff as much as he likes but he will never blow their house down, to borrow from the fairy tale, for it surely is a case of a fairy tale to think the PM will ever accede to transfer a Section 30 order to the Scottish Parliament. He doesn’t need to with a majority of more than 80 in the now UK dictatorship. Scotland – with the UK nuclear missile base on the Clyde and our oil, gas, whisky and food exports – is of critical, and I emphasise critical, importance to the UK Government, indeed “essential”.

By contrast Scotland’s interests and the SNP’s, are “irrelevant” to Westminster. So, let’s get real, or as we used to say in my former professional career “let’s run a reality check”. Such a test would reveal the unpalatable truth – that we are where we have always been since the Union of 1707, caught, and will never willingly be released by England because we are of immense strategic and economic benefit to them.

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What therefore has to be done?

To start with, being endlessly polite won’t get us very far – a bit of fire in the belly would be a good start. Beyond that I think the movement needs a total makeover. To start that makeover, Brian Cox makes a valid point that the SNP should consider renaming itself the Scottish Independence Party. Not radical in itself, but at least it tells the world what the movement is about.

If the SNP does not take this step then perhaps another more radical independence party with a broader base could emerge, an amalgamation perhaps of the Scottish Independence Convention, Yes movement and AUOB, or any of the aforementioned to take a tougher line with Westminster.

I believe this would be beneficial; it is indeed the norm to have more than one party championing our cause as its primary function, and certainly within the voting system and media representation at the Scottish Parliament, plurality would work to the advantage for the wider cause of independence. I am sick of seeing the one SNP MSP being interviewed followed by three versions of the Unionists parties all saying much of the same thing: “SNP bad”.

We cannot do nothing. The SNP leadership has, five years on, still no coherent policy on currency! Are they asleep? Time is of the essence. Our opportunity is rapidly approaching.

With the emergence of Sinn Fein in the Irish Republic, and their focus on an all-Ireland referendum on reunification, we should, and I mean all independence-supporting parties, prepare to have, with or without a Section 30 Order, a fully fledged Scottish independence referendum on the same day as our Irish cousins.

By doing so we make it clear that Scotland claims the same rights as our Northern Irish UK neighbours who have, thanks to the Good Friday Agreement, the internationally recognised right to have a referendum every seven years. As such, the result of the Scottish referendum will not be consultative but will be the authority to formally secede from the Union of the UK.

How could they deny us that in those circumstances?

John Drummond