WE’RE all likely at some time to make a statement which turns out, later, to have been a hostage to fortune. As one of the old-brigade, active since 1966, I’ve seen and heard a few of those. One such, I suggest, is that a referendum must be “legal” when, in fact, it should simply be well-organised, transparent, and have the support of the majority of the population.

What on earth is wrong with a government consulting its electorate? Are we supposed to be worried that UK Unionists might abstain? Can someone give us details of a referendum that was deemed illegal? Where, when, and by whom?

I agree with Jim Fairlie Jr in the National on Tuesday, in his assertion that we do not require permission from any outside authority to decide our constitutional future (There’s a straightforward way to regain control of our future, July 28).

READ MORE: There’s a straightforward way to regain control of our future

There can’t be anyone who would seriously argue that we need to ask permission of the people of England, or any English politician, to step away from the Treaty of Union. Surely we’re all aware that the only arguments now being put forward for us not becoming independent are that “you can’t afford it”, and “none of our friends will speak to you”, and the 2014 “once in a generation” promise that never was (and never could be). That’s all folks, as Bugs Bunny used to say.

I reckon we should not expect the SNP to deviate from the “vote SNP in both ballots” position for the 2021 election, if only because taking a different position would open a new discussion (another red herring) about which party, or parties, had the support of the SNP. That, however, should not prevent the development of a list-only campaign. If the three Unionist parties can rely on that route into the parliament without being accused of “gaming the system”, then so can anyone else. Politics is a serious game, which must be won.

Bill Craig

TOMÁS Ó Gallchóir (Letters, July 25) reflects on how the use of language affects how people view issues. May I point to his blithe “blending of nationalism, republicanism and socialism” as a case in point.

I am a strong supporter of Scottish independence, but I am none of the above. I support independence on historical, legal, political, democratic and moral grounds. However, my leaning politically is liberal, and constitutionally, monarchist.

An independent Scotland would be very foolish indeed to dispense with constitutional monarchy, which is our safeguard against power-heady presidents overruling parliament. Do I need to point out examples?

READ MORE: The use of language can be inspiring, and can also be challenging

Our democracy depends on an elected parliament, elected Prime/First Minister, and a government accountable to parliament and ultimately to the people. We don’t need another “superior” layer of government. Head of state in our country is a constitutional position, with no political power. Let’s keep it that way!

Returning to the effect of language on how people view any issue, just such a casual linking of “isms” as Mr Gallchóir’s can scare off undecided voters, recently surprised and gratified to find we have an educated, level-headed and professional leader in Nicola Sturgeon. I live in one of the predominantly No constituencies, and am aware that many 2014 independence marches were viewed by many voters (aided by the press) as loutish behaviour by a ranting mob, and feared that an independent Scotland would be under such mob rule. Their thinking has been changed by Nicola Sturgeon’s reassuring leadership through the current crisis.

Don’t frighten them away again! We need to win over conservative and Conservative voters, not scare them away with rash language or action. Independence is a constitutional issue, not a political one. We want a range of political parties and thinking in our new independent Scotland.

Name and address supplied

IN response to Ann Widdecombe’s suggestion that haters of mask wearers, like her, should have a “mask-free” shopping time allocated to them. Has she no respect for shop assistants, or does their health not matter to her?

Irene Stacey