I’M afraid your correspondent Charlie Bent (Debates on many topics can wait until after independence, August 3) is guilty of some rather irrational arguments. While many of the topics he lists can indeed be postponed, there is one that cannot be evaded – Trident.

The essence of independence is control over the life-and-death question of war and peace. If you don’t have that, you do not have independence.

On the morning of independence, defence is entirely in the hands of the Scottish Government, and none other. Does it permit Trident to go on patrol as usual (trusting that it will not actually be used) or does it insist that Trident remain berthed and inoperable pending its removal – however long that may take? There is no third option.

READ MORE: Debates on many topics can wait until after independence

There are many reasons for supporting independence and I need not rehearse them here. But one takes precedence over all others, as it is of not merely national, but global importance. Independence means that we stop being complicit in an ongoing war crime, viz. the deployment of criminal and illegal weapons of mass destruction.

Trident is not merely a matter of personal preference, but a moral issue that dwarfs all others. We should not try to body-swerve it, nor should we want to.

It is terrible to think that we are still talking about this 75 years after the atrocities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Before such evil, humanity can have only one cry – never again!

Brian Quail

CHARLIE Bent’s long letter is spot on. Worthy though UBI, monarchy v republic, Trident removal, transgender issues etc may be, they are not immediate vote-winners when the SNP needs every vote we can get, across a broad spectrum of opinion, to win a convincing majority in Holyrood. That and nothing else is what will secure independence.

Once that is won, we will have the time and powers we need to tackle these other challenging issues. Meanwhile, let us focus all our energies on winning that majority on a mandate of independence.

Roy Pedersen

A HUGE store of explosive material on the water’s edge and close to a large population has erupted, causing much death and destruction. How could any responsible authority or government allow such a dangerous situation to exist? Do these conditions exist in Scotland? Does this ring a bell, anyone?

Douglas Stanley

IN his column today Alyn Smith MP complains of disunity, an admission in a public forum that disunity exists (Displays of disunity deflect focus from important work, August 5). The question he should be asking is why is there disunity and what can be done about it?

I venture to suggest there is disunity because a lot of people who support independence want it at the top of the list in everything the SNP do, and especially at a time when the portents have never looked more favourable.

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: SNP's opponents will use signs of apparent division against us

The work of the Social Justice and Fairness Commission (SJFC) may well be a worthwhile endeavour, but it will take time which we do not have and is a longer-term aspiration to be delivered once independence is achieved.

For the rank and file of the SNP it is not enough, and the SJFC is a meaningless forum to previous No voters whom we now want to vote Yes. What they want to hear is how an independent Scotland will operate and if the people vote Yes, what is the process of getting there?

Many vital questions on key issues remain completely unanswered from the 2014 referendum and that is what undecided voters want information on, as do committed independence supporters.

I suggest to Mr Smith that more focus on these issues will address the disunity problem.

Alan M Morris

COULD someone please kindly explain to me why swimming pools remain closed and yet pubs and restaurants are allowed to open? I am not aware of the long list of health benefits conferred by drinking alcohol but I am aware of the many positive health benefits conferred by physical exercise, and swimming in particular.

When we see the dangers of the virus spreading in crowded pubs, a high-risk environment, what is the thinking that allows these opportunities for virus transmission but denies access to swimming pools, a low-risk environment? It is particularly ironic that chlorine destroys the virus (cf Dr Ignaz Semmelweis and his work on chlorine hand-washing) and yet the pools remain closed.

Simple restrictions such as one person to a lane would suffice to allow swimming pools to operate safely. It is also incorrect to link swimming pools with gyms as they are incomparable environments in terms of transmission risk, the former low-risk and the latter medium- to high-risk.

Solomon Steinbett