ROBBIE Mochrie’s article could be the shot of adrenaline needed to bring some new thinking to the debate (Here’s hoping that this shot of adrenaline re-awakens the Yes movement, Jan 8).

There is little doubt that Scots want more devolved powers, so it is possible to have the third option yet retain the clear binary choice between independence and no change in the referendum.

If Westminster genuinely believes in devo-max, it can legislate now and let Scots experience the new devolved powers before the referendum.

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At the moment the range of expected powers under devo-max lies between what the UK Government will promise in the lead-up to the referendum and what the SNP could get through Westminster, after after failing to obtain independence, that meets with the approval of a majority of Tory, Labour and LibDem MPs.

Devo-max now might be regarded as an act of good faith by Westminster and offset some of the memories that remain of The Vow and “near federalism” promised in the lead-up to the 2014 referendum.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I HAVE just read the Robbie Mochrie article in Saturday’s National. The bit I thought was the most perspicacious was where he said that “as we wait, there is a risk that we become fractious, bickering among ourselves.” Well, ain’t that the truth!

We have been doing that for centuries, and with the best will in the world that won’t change.

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I am completely for independence and I can’t easily grasp why any country would not want to be independent economically and politically. Socially, of course, we will always be close to England, Wales and Ireland whatever else happens, and that’s a good thing.

I have often said that I think England, for example, is a great country, historically and still. I just prefer not to be part of England, and would rather be a close friend and cousin.

Independence, however, is very unlikely to ever be achieved and the reason is as Robbie Mochrie says ... we will forever be bickering among ourselves! Dearie me.

George Archibald
West Linton

BOTH Chris Hanlon and Robbie Mochrie, in their presumed acceptance of devo-max, fail to make reference to the fact that it would disregard the removal of nuclear bombs and submarines from Scottish waters and any chance of rejoining the EU or any part of that membership.

Beside all the known benefits full independence would bring, these two issues are probably the two most fundamental considerations necessary when achieving independence. They are only possible with full independence, whereas devo-max doesn’t come anywhere close.

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Michael Russell makes a comprehensive list of what, in his view, devo-max would still deny Scotland and its people (The devo-max argument is nothing other than a sham, Jan 8). Not many would disagree, I would hasten to add.

I was thinking as I write, why are we even discussing devo-max? And yet here I am contributing my own views. (Where is Gordy Broon, I also wonder.) But my views are reference to the aforementioned issues not yet discussed in these ensuing media conversations.

So let’s stop this devo-max stuff-and-nonsense blether and start discussing what we want to see happening as an independent nation.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

I AGREE with Philippa Whitford that the SNP must represent Scotland within Westminster, if that is what they stood for. But SNP MPs always did that, even before the “stronger for Scotland” slogan replaced the traditional argument that a majority of MPs would count as a vote for independence. Ditching that policy has meant that we’re accepting the Westminster system, yet our MPs constantly remind the Commons that we’d be better off out of there – surely an anomaly.

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We cannot hide behind Covid forever in delaying indyref2. Covid will not go away and isn’t stopping the UK Government pursuing policies that are wrecking businesses and lives in Scotland. There has to be a red line and it should be the next General Election: if the indyref hasn’t been held and won by then, Whitford and her colleagues should declare for independence before the election. As the successors of the MPs that signed the Treaty of Union, they can revoke it if they have that mandate. A vote is a vote, whether it takes place in a referendum or an election. With so many MPs and many large majorities, is it really likely that this vote would fail and people would flock back to Labour or the Tories? I doubt it.

Robert Fraser

BEST description I have ever heard of Boris Johnson – on Politics Live on Thursday during a discussion on Covid figures and Boris’s gung-ho attitude to restrictions and his ignoring of the science. Polly Toynbee of The Guardian likened his approach to “a kid who runs across the M1 with their eyes closed and arrives at the other side alive – do you congratulate them, or do you say ‘you were out of your mind’?”

Tim Stanley of the Daily Telegraph came in a little later and said he liked Polly’s metaphor but that it wasn’t quite accurate, saying Johnson “didn’t run across, but was pushed”, and that he “wanted to be more cautious but he was compelled to take a slightly more liberal approach by a mixture of MP backbench rebellion, which was embarrassing, by Lord Frost’s resignation and by the Cabinet confronting him.”

These exchanges confirm for me that Boris Johnson is a chancer and a gambler – playing with the health of the nation and risking the health and welfare of everyone working in the NHS. He may yet get his wish for “herd immunity”, but at whose expense?

Winifred McCartney