ON a daily basis we read and hear from those urging our First Minister to drop the softly, softly approach and take the bull by the horns on the indyref 2 issue.

Street marches are enjoyable events for those participating and presumably for those watching rom window, pavement or balcony. Thousands on a united mission can be an awesome sight of colour and noise, but who beyond is paying heed and changing their mind?

Such sights can be seen every day as sports fans fill stadiums with colour and noise, but how many viewers are converted to support one team or the other by the spectacle of the fans?

A notable feature on December 12 last year was the enthusiasm of the younger generations as they proudly marched to the polls. There appears to be a clear realisation that their future is at stake in all this current political melee.

At one point close to September 18, 2014, support for independence leapt to over 50%. A significant reaction followed and the independence vote duly failed.

Remind those youngsters of September 19, 2014, then ask them if they think an opinion poll of 52% is sufficient on which to stake their future. Might I suggest the wise among them would rather get out there and speak to their contemporaries and all who will listen until opinion polls are considerably more convincing before indyref 2 should be called.

Tom Gray

I HAVE to agree with Pete Rowberry’s letter concerning the Scottish Labour party (February 10). This is my tenth year as a resident of Scotland and almost as many as an active SNP member.

Born and bred in England, I followed my family model and voted for the Labour party as soon as I could. In later years, I eventually got a career job in a higher education college which eventually became a university.

I grew my career with the job, joined the local trade union and worked my way up that ladder as a secondary workplace career. At the same time I eventually joined the Labour party as a part of my trade union activities. When I eventually moved to Scotland with my partner (who is now my wife), I retained my Labour party membership. But not for long. I soon realised that the Scottish version was worse than the one I had left behind in England. It had no direction, no policies, but plenty of nitpicking at the SNP government. Having done my research into this unknown political party, I soon realised its policies were what I had always stood for in my early days as a party member and as an active trade union member. I resigned from the Labour party and joined the SNP.

Eventually, understanding the independence aspect, ie casting one vote and gaining two totally separate governments, I soon came to terms with the independence factor and what I had become a member of. This quickly reignited my old political activities. Even my first march back in 2014 reminded me of my student activist days.

I now just hope I live long enough to enjoy my life as a new Scot living in a free and independent country.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

THE Scottish Government have to be commended for sticking with their socially just policy of progressive taxation as announced in last week’s Budget. But the Budget had lots of positives, especially on one of the most serious issues for us all: climate change. First we heard of an increase of 8.5% to the “environment, climate change and land reform” budget. This was followed by an increase of 15% to the spend which addresses fuel poverty, in an attempt to increase efficiency – a major issue if we are to address and tackle climate change. Another spend in an effort to tackle climate change was a whopping 27% increase on rail services in an effort to upgrade stock to more environmentally friendly systems and make train journeys more user-friendly. All this was announced while the Scottish Government was yet to be informed of the settlement from Westminster in the UK’s delayed Budget on March 11. This delayed Budget gave no consideration as to the impact of the delays for local government and public services in Scotland. The Scottish Budget last week was yet again more of the Scottish Government getting on with the day job.

Catriona C Clark
Banknock, Falkirk

GEORGE Kerevan’s excellent article (This is grassroots indy model that Scotland should be looking at, February 10) was spot on. We desperately need such a group, independent of politicians, to take a lead in driving independence.

His brief explanation of how the Catalan National Assembly works was illuminating, particularly not allowing politicians to take up leadership positions. Also his views on why there is no appropriate organisation in Scotland were interesting. How could this be taken forward? Ideas, George?

James Macintyre

WHILST I may agree with Brian Cox’s idea of altering the name of the SNP, why not approach the question from a slightly different angle?

The Unionists love adding the suffix “-ist”, so why not let them continue, but also add a pre-fix – “inter“, and so become the Scottish Internationalist Party? Thus we would be projecting our ambitions beyond independence and at the same time encapsulating the sentiments of Burns, when he wrote of the brotherhood of nations in “A man’s a man...”. We could also demonstrate our commitment to that ideal by taking that song as our national anthem.

All it would need would be to circularise the branches with the proposal for consideration and then vote it through at conference. I can’t see it failing. Historically, we have changed the name before, better to suit the times, and there would be a certain irony in turning to our advantage the suffix the Unionists add to denigrate us.

L McGregor