GEORGE Kerevan’s article brings into sharp relief the conundrum of independence as it is currently framed: a desire for independence but no willingness to act without the permission of our imperial masters (Tory c*ck-ups could force Boris to back indyref2 but we have to be wary, August 17).

We are told the Tory government might now be prepared to “allow” Scotland to have a referendum. How gracious of them. But wait! If they graciously allow a referendum, might it be possible that they will wish to dictate the terms of the referendum? You betcha!

George listed some of the possibilities of a “multi-option” referendum. They will come with nationwide coverage of Gordon Brown droning about a spurious timetable and spurious powers.

READ MORE: Tory c*ck-ups could force Boris to back indyref2 but we have to be wary

Don’t like these choices? Suspect they are designed to confuse Scots and split the independence vote? Too bad, these are the conditions for your Section 30. Not forgetting the supermajority. Cue the SNP making a five-year march through the courts, only to be told: take it or leave it. You can just imagine Dominic Cummings chuckling as he sketches the scenario to Boris. George noted “we must prepare for such tactics – now rather than later.” But in reality you cannot prepare for tactics used by an opponent when the opponent makes the rules.

Until the last ten days of the 2014 campaign, the British establishment had no inkling that they might lose. They have now. There will be no dream ticket, “gold standard” re-run of 2014. And if we allow them to toy with us, that is exactly what they will do.

The Section 30 route has been tested and has failed. Any more time spent on it will only lead to more cheating and bullying. The SNP must base their push for independence on the democratic will of the people. They must declare in their manifesto that given the failure of the Section 30 process, the Holyrood election in May 2021 will be a plebiscite on independence. If more than 50% of the vote is cast for independence parties, the matter is settled. The Scottish Parliament should convene and announce: “We, the democratically elected leaders of our people, hereby declare Scotland to be an independent and sovereign state.” If Westminster oppose this, it is their stance that will be illegal in international law.

Jim Daly

IF Boris continues to say “No”, will it backfire?

Historians and constitutional experts talk of the 1707 treaty as creating an incorporating Union. England and Scotland were both incorporated into the new state of Great Britain. Why the treaty was agreed by the Scots is still open to debate. There’s no doubt that after 300 years of the Wars of Independence followed by 100 years of being ruled at a distance by kings who were nominally Scots but who held their court in London and made a rare visit to Scotland, the Scots parliament accepted the treaty for the economic benefit it promised.

It was bound to fail, from a Scottish viewpoint, based on the numbers alone. The treaty gave Scotland 45 seats in “the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain” out of 558, and 16 seats in the Lords. Just as today, Scots votes would always be outnumbered.

By contrast, the EU is a democratic, modern creation of sovereign member states where members voluntarily delegate some decision-making powers to the institutions they’ve created.

Unlike the UK, this is not an incorporating union. Members are free to leave. Unlike the UK it’s a modern institution based on the rule of law. There’s no equivalent of the Henry VIII “rules” conjured up by Westminster. The objectives of the EU, rules of its institutions, how decisions are made and the relationship of the EU and its member states are there for anyone to see in the treaties by which they were agreed.

The EU demonstrates how small countries can make their voice heard by its treatment of Ireland.

We have all the ammunition we need to show how we can create a fairer, more ambitious society in an independent state by leaving an institution which makes up the rules as it goes along. A written constitution will show our vision and the rules we’ll abide by to bring that vision to reality.

We’re big enough, adult enough to govern ourselves. We have enough physical resources and human talent. Hopefully we’ll see the sense of doing this within the membership of the EU.

The only loser will be rUK, not Scotland.

Catriona Grigg

I FOUND the report by The Jouker that Unionists called to burn The National chilling (Unionists plan to ‘burn The National’, August 19).

Despite The Majority (the Unionists who authored the tweet) following it up with an attempt to explain away their “mission” with a mealy-mouthed “no need to start fires”, alarms should be ringing all over Scotland and beyond.

This is Unionism at its worst. This is fascism. This is the call to close down free speech. This follows in the steps of book burning of the 20th century.

READ MORE: Unionist group plans to 'burn The National' in bizarre tweet

But then, Islamic State proudly circulated a video that surely shocked us all, showing the destruction of the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra, Syria. Am I exaggerating? I don’t think so. What of earlier in China and the Red Guards – authorised by Chairman Mao himself and the Four Olds campaign – seeking to destroy old culture, habits, costumes and ideas? Too far-fetched a comparison?

But it wouldn’t be the first time that someone came along and told Scots what they couldn’t and couldn’t wear, what language they could but shouldn’t speak, for Gaelic then to almost almost die out, as it was demeaned and demoted to become regarded as backward and outdated.

Destroy the written word, remove tangible historical culture that has become part of our everyday lives, and you are left with memories that fade, spoken words that are distorted over generations and mythologised to the point of disbelief or awarded the status of children’s fairy tales.

How consoling then that I have “met” virtually with Ruth Wishart and Ian Rankin and plan to “meet” Val McDermid, Jackie Kay, Nicola Sturgeon at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

That tweet for me was no joke, but early shots from those tanks.

Selma Rahman