IN iterating his excuse for delaying the independence referendum, doesn’t Ronnie Cowan betray his and his party’s timidity about getting indy done (Why we can’t risk firing the indyref2 starting gun at the wrong time, Oct 13)?

Doesn’t the inordinate shilly-shallying suggest that rather than de facto leading the campaign for democracy for Scotland, the SNP leadership appear to be waiting for others to make it happen, as if they could then step in and claim it as their victory? Where is its leadership here? How can prevarication and delay possibly be leadership?

Rather than telling us the time is not right for now, perhaps Mr Cowan could tell us precisely what the ideal circumstances would be so we can all understand them? And claiming an end to a pandemic that is already receding just isn’t good enough given that said pandemic didn’t prevent the poorly handled Brexit from being driven home anyway.

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For many of us, we already have the perfect storm. In 2014 Better Together lied to us – none of the promises they made were kept. We are not a partner-ship, and clearly never will be.

The Scottish Government was ignored about Brexit. Scotland has been removed from the EU against our will, with Northern Ireland enjoying a different situation, despite being told remaining in the UK union was the only way to ensure continued membership. Powers repatriated from the EU have been retained in Westminster contrary to the devolution settlement – a clear negation of Scots’ democratic rights even under said devolution.

We’ve now got energy prices going through the roof, falling exports, shortages in our broken supply chain in all sectors of the economy, key worker shortages in industry and farming caused by Brexit xenophobia about EU workers, and the crazy and demeaning hasty relaxation of visas – asking lorry drivers we have already shunned to return in the short term and we’ll dump them on Christmas Eve. How arrogant is this? Isn’t all this proof positive of how the Tories have trashed the UK and broken it?

Westminster is now intent on bypassing the Scottish Government and disbursing funds directly to Scottish councils, contrary to devolution.

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However, what makes this the perfect storm is that history has delivered to us the worst, most corrupt, shambolic Tory government ever, with the most ridiculous, bumbling, incompetent “joke” of a Prime Minister ever.

Meanwhile, we Scots can glimpse a more prosperous and equitable future, with brighter prospects for our natural resources, industrial and commercial concerns, and improved social policies to protect the weak and share the nation’s wealth; but only if we have the full powers of independence to make it happen.

Sorry, Mr Cowan, the time is right NOW! If the Tories see sense and replace Boris, then we may be back to a position of them appearing politically more palatable; the opportunity will have been missed.

We already have opinion polls which are higher than they were in 2014, before the debate in the campaign then persuaded an increase. Such debate now, given current circumstances, will increase the polls further well beyond the 50% in my view.

The argument is irrefutable now. It just has to be made, and that needs the formal campaign to begin to bring the focus we need. We can seek another Section 30 order, which we know will be rejected because Westminster needs Scotland and has no intention of losing us. However, our democratically elected Scottish Government has a fundamental right to test the opinion of its electorate (although successive elections have already provided many mandates), and once a democratic mandate is established yet again, with the next step clearly detailed, wouldn’t that be legally irresistible both domestically and internationally?

Late 2023 is a good timescale within which to hold the referendum. Let’s get indy done. Set the date!

Jim Taylor