I UNDERSTAND that many of your contributors are massively frustrated by the glacial pace of the movement towards independence, but the constant chatter about ways of seceding from the Union and declaring some sort of UDI continues to ignore the fact that it would be necessary to persuade a significant majority of the population to support such a move before it would be remotely realistic.

In view of the fact that the recent election delivered a slim majority in parliament with a manifesto commitment to seeking a referendum once the pandemic is over clearly does not provide a mandate to walk away from the UK. Such talk doesn’t just put the cart before the horse, it completely ignores the need for a horse to propel the cart.

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The people need to be convinced of the advantages of independence before there is any realistic possibility of it taking place, through a referendum or otherwise. Any party campaigning on the basis of dissolving the Union before educating the public on its benefits is on a hiding to nothing.

Lets get real. Around half the population says it’s in favour of another referendum at some indeterminate point in the future. That’s not remotely good enough.

The electorate needs to understand what independence can deliver before it will provide the democratic permission to move forward. There aren’t any shortcuts in that process. Once the majority is solidly behind it, it will happen, but that depends on all of the disparate parts of the independence movement singing from roughly the same hymn sheet and getting the leadership of the SNP into the choir.

Cameron Crawford

THE proposed indy day of action being organised by Believe in Scotland in conjunction with The National is clearly a good idea whose time has come. This seems the ideal time to revive and update the practice of publishing lists of well-known supporters to demonstrate once again that independence is not just a priority for the three main indy-supporting political parties.

Given that the day of action won’t happen immediately, it should be possible to collate a list of around 200 well-kent faces from the worlds of performing arts, music, sport, media, business, literature, politics, No to Yes, Scots abroad etc.

One of my own particular interests is Scottish folk and traditional music, so here’s my top ten folkies who, over the years, have expressed their support for the principle of independence. Obviously, this is not a complete list – but it is a start and other National readers can of course make their own suggestions.

So (in no particular order!) here they are: Eddi Reader, Dougie MacLean, Julie Fowlis, Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart, Aly Bain, Karen Matheson, Iona Fyfe, Mary Ann Kennedy and Sheena Wellington.

Only 190 to go to hit the 200 mark!

Dave Bowman

I FIND Abbi Garton’s report, “Gaelic removed from Holyrood logo by Tory MSP” (May 28) disturbing insofar as it exposes the duplicity of Stephen Kerr, Tory list MSP.

The fact is that he sent a letter Dominic Rabb, the UK Government’s First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary, on what can only be described as fake letter-headed notepaper. He has not only insulted the Gaelic-speaking members of our society but has also betrayed the values espoused by the Scottish Parliament and no doubt is an embarrassment to his party.

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I would suggest that, as he is a Tory list MSP, in order to remedy the situation the Tory party should remove him and replace him with the next Tory on their list. No by-election would be required, the balance of MSPs would not change and the Tory party would demonstrate that their MSPs have a responsibility to the Scottish Parliament and cannot act like loose cannons.

Thomas L Inglis

IF Stephen Kerr regards it as his responsibility as an MSP to look after the interests of the people of Scotland, then he should not be wasting his time writing to Dominic Raab to complain about the actions of the Scottish Government. His time would be better spent writing to Raab’s Cabinet colleague, Liz Truss, who has recently been trumpeting the success of the UK-Australia trade deal that is likely to have dire effects on farming In Scotland.

Mr Kerr could point Ms Truss in the direction of the Dunlop Review, which was set up by the Conservative government to look at the machinery of government and inter-government relations. The report was widely praised by Michael Gove when it was eventually published, by which time the government was already supposedly implementing some of its recommendations.

Page 35 of the report includes: “The UK Government is responsible for conducting trading negotiations with foreign states. However, given this will often interact with areas of devolved competence, the UK Government will be best served by regular engagement with the devolved administrations [sic] in the build-up to, process of, and conclusions of new trade arrangements.” As ever, the Conservatives say one thing and do another and pay no regard to Scottish interests.

Gavin Brown

I AM surprised at the news that the Prime Minister has just been married in the Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral. I am aware of deeply religious couples, both Catholics and Protestants, who were refused church weddings because they have been divorced. Perhaps the Church could apologise or at least give a reason why their doctrine wasn’t followed in this case – or is this another example of the powerful getting their way regardless of the rules?

Pete Rowberry