I’M no lawyer, but could Scotland not have a non-binding advisory referendum? After all, we’d only be asking a question and seeking a reply. We’d not be declaring UDI, nor advocating revolution.The next step, presuming a majority said yes to wanting independence, would rest firmly with Westminster: acknowledge or deny.

Beyond manifesto pledges and statements, outwith the polarisation of voting in both general and local elections based on political parties, would such a process provide additional democratic clout?

I believe Scotland will continue to elect a majority pro-indy government to Holyrood and see the aspirations of the people reflected via more pro-indy councils. Better not ignore the potential that tactical voting will disabuse democracy. Think Cole-Hamilton cosying up to Anas Sarwar. Think even longer servitude to Westminster!

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We’ve seen then how indy majorities at Holyrood don’t lead to the desired politically-led outcome: a legally sanctioned referendum. As we are denied the follow thru, very few on the world stage know or care about the dismantling of our democracy. Is it time to introduce new tactics?

If we were to evidence the actuality of our position, how would rUK feel being shown up on the world stage as “democracy deniers”?

Starting with the attempt to prorogue the Westminster Parliament, Scotland can evidence the Internal Market Bill passed by Westminster against our democratic will. We can demonstrate how Scotland’s NHS is threatened, our vital industries such as agriculture and fisheries are under attack, and worst of all that Westminster can continue to weaken our parliament’s powers, overriding it directly whenever it feels so inclined.

We can show how London ministers, with their powers, can unilaterally, without our consent, override our government, our parliament, thus disregarding the democratic votes of the majority of Scottish voters. Democracy denied in plain sight.

It might not go down too well as Westminster – having decided to enable a democratic vote to stay or leave a union – now denies Scotland the same right.

Selma Rahman

THERE’S one throwaway sentence in Joanna Cherry’s article, “We have to bring Westminster to the table for talks on independence” (Oct 8). She makes it clear that, due to to Supreme Court’s recent decision, there is NO “purely legal route to independence.” But there is!

So, what exactly does she mean by “purely legal”? A legal contract has legal standing, can be amended or dissolved in law, of that there is absolutely no doubt. But Joanna, a QC, for whom I have a high regard, has failed to answer these questions over many years.

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Surely it is well known that Holyrood may not do what Westminster expressly excluded from its remit. Whether or not they remembered to exclude the power to hold referenda remains to be seen, however, and here is the point Joanna continuously avoids answering.

The body politic, elected to Westminster from Scotland, are not inhibited in this way. Our MPs can and should leave Westminster.

They should meet in Scotland to debate the single issue facing us and either call a referendum, or – and I prefer this route – take the appalling behaviour and performance of the collective Westminster governments as enough and due cause for the treaty to be set aside. And this to be done in the international courts.

Governance of one’s country by the people in it is considered the natural way by the UN and others. At no point do they suggest, hint or promote the requirement for a country to prove it deserves that right, by votes, referenda or any other means. For more than a decade, Scots have elected a political party whose soul aim is to deliver Scotland’s independence. That is a weighty argument.

It has now become apparent that Westminster has tabled frames of reference for Holyrood that will not allow it to escape the Union.

No such strictures apply to our MPs. Joanna needs to address these issues.

Christopher Bruce

I READ in yesterday’s National that the police have again released CCTV images of a man they believe may be able to assist them into an inquiry into a serious assault. How often will we see these images before we begin to understand that CCTV is not an effective means of preventing crime?

If it was, there would be none of the footage of crimes being committed or about to be committed that populates a proliferation of TV shows based on this kind of material.

In one of the most filmed societies in the world, CCTV is clearly not an effective deterrent and at best is only of use reactively after crime has occurred, leaving victims in its wake.

Surely it is time to abandon unsound expectations of CCTV in favour of proactive crime prevention measures and possible a return to more traditional approaches.

Ni Holmes
St Andrews