I MOST certainly agree with Michael Russell’s assertions that the lynch pin of the Tories’ strategy is to continually dumb us down, dismiss us, deceive us and in true colonial style drain us of our spirit and finances (Some careers depend on the false ‘too poor’ claim, February 16). It worked in 2014 and it is still being pursued to this day. They don’t change – but maybe we should.

Confronting them with our mandate arguments (sound as they are) clearly isn’t working . Although they will never admit it, they clearly need us, otherwise they would have let us go years ago. We clearly contribute to the well-being of the UK more than we take away.

READ MORE: Michael Russell: 'Too poor, too wee, too stupid' claim resurfaces

Latest figures with regards salmon, whisky, oil and gas exports support this statement. But it’s clearly in their interest to maintain the mirage that’s otherwise. With their slick soundbites, repeated over and over again, many remain influenced. And I’ m sorry to say many Scots – whether it’s an inferiority complex inflicted by Westminster’s propaganda or it’s the “I’m alright Jack brigade” who can see no further than their own comfortable lives and are petrified to deviate from the status quo. So how can we end this impasse? As I said before, a change in tactics is well overdue.

We must try harder to understand the pro-Unionist’s perspective and understand their worries when Scotland gains independence. I’ve already mentioned our wealth generated by our worldwide exports. But what about our electricity and water? To me they are also key reasons why Boris and co are reluctant to let us go.

England, a net importer of electricity, has been receiving power from Scotland and continental Europe ,but since the UK has turned their back on Europe Scotland’s large and growing renewable energy schemes will surely have an increasing role in Boris’s mind to ensure England’s lights are kept on. With regards water, England (despite the seasonal floods) is expected to run out in 25 years. So again it’s no wonder he’ ll be looking to Scotland to bail them out. Loch Ness alone has more fresh water than England and Wales combined. Scotland has 100 times more water than it uses. And with predicted climate changes this can only increase. England needs Scotland. No question ... to me it’s unequivocal.

So as I said, let’s take a step back and try to understand Westminster’s fears. To change someone’s mind is difficult. We must try to assure them that we can have a solution for both parties. To be fair Nicola has always acted honourably. She is clearly a politician who has a track record of trust. So maybe if we can appeal to the Tories’ greed and selfishness and convince England that an independent Scotland, allowed to thrive, can also have knock-on benefits for them. Even better if we can make them think this was their idea. Who knows what might happen. Let’s also offer them an iron-clad guarantee we’ll keep their lights on and their water running. After all, that’s what good neighbours do. If we act honourably maybe they will too. Or am I just kidding myself on? Am I living in Airy Fairy Land?

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

THERE are some Unionist supporters who are wilfully ignorant of the consequences of UK governance. They may have wealth, may have certification to show that they are well educated, and be very personable, but still be wilfully ignorant of the effects of UK diktat.

A starting point for weaning them off such dependency might include making overt provision for reciprocal NHS Scotland EHIC (European Health Insure Card) health treatment, reciprocal Education Scotland Erasmus education, as well as Scotland/EU travel passes, Police Scotland/EU data sharing etc.

The easiest way for the UK Government to avoid going to court to stop such Scottish-voter-friendly benefits, which would incidentally also raise problems with any trade deal affirmations, would be to grant a Section 30.

The UK Government then has the default message that the only way to not have EHIC reciprocal health care, not have reciprocal Erasmus education, not have Scotland/EU travel passes, and not have Police Scotland/EU data sharing, is to vote No.

Would the EU leave a light on by also allowing the people of Scotland divisive access at EU airports etc via shorter EU lines, during the membership process? Then the only way to queue longer would be to vote No.

Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

I WAS amused to have amused Mr Cowan of Balmedie, in yesterday’s National (Letters, February 18). One might suppose he does know that Professor Adam Tomkins was one of the architects of both Better Together and EVEL, and, of course, neither of those has had any effect whatsoever on our independence bid?

The greatest enemy to independence, in my opinion, is a combination of complacency and foolishness. Underestimating the opposition is precisely how we come to be out of the EU, with a Tory government yet again, with Boris Johnson, a very dangerous populist, as the Prime Minister and with Dominic Cummings, his eminence grise, in the background. That is the thing about those who can really do you harm and, equally, those who have your best interests at heart: they are rarely in the foreground of the picture.

In either situation, for ill or for good, the homily “cometh the hour, cometh the man (or woman)” is eminently applicable. Those who fail to recognise that will always lose.

Lorna Campbell
via email

NO, Tom Pate (Letters, February 17), this indyref punk does not feel lucky. He feels confident, assured, untroubled and somewhat entertained by your charlatan hero Mr Johnson. Might I suggest a couple of weeks of self-isolation in a quiet darkened room for a little sober reflection?

Bob Harper