HOW disappointing to find myself disagreeing with Joanna Cherry’s latest column on so many levels (Devo-max has no place on indyref ballot but we do need fresh ideas. January 7).

Among the many concerns I have with her arguments therein, here are just three.

First, citizens assemblies are not a good idea; rather they are an undemocratic transfer of political leadership and initiative to an arbitrarily selected few (wide open to abuse and corruption) and a “marketing”-led abrogation of politicians’ function to lead by setting policies and gaining approval for them through the ballot box; the very job they’re handsomely paid to do.

Second, we understand that the First Minister’s preference is for a Section 30 order for a referendum, but we also know full well this is not forthcoming. So, what is the very necessary Plan B?

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Clearly, such an order was granted for the 2014 vote because the British establishment believed they would win the day given the poll predictions at the time and, as with Brexit, defeating the opposition through referendum failure would put the matter to bed forever. Well, we know what happened with both referendums. Does anyone now really believe another will ever be conceded, especially given red Tory Starmer’s recent interventions to promote the Union?

If independence is to be regained, doesn’t it look unlikely to be through a Section 30 agreement? So what are Ms Cherry and the SNP going to do about it? Isn’t placing one’s strategy on such a flawed premise just failure waiting to be confirmed? They’ve had enough time to work it out; why haven’t they?

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Thirdly, devo-max is not thinking outside the box, it’s a blatant insult to all Scots. In all of the 60 territories that gained independence from Britain, how many of them even considered such a preposterous proposition? So why should sovereign Scotland, supposedly in a “partnership” in the UK, even consider it? Why are we Scots not deemed fit and capable, now seemingly even also by our own “independence” party, of managing our own affairs, and why should we be forced to adopt defence and foreign policies and strategies that we consider have no place and serve no useful purpose in the modern and future global world we would wish to regain our rightful place in?

Our decisions, and ours alone. That’s our fundamental rights.

Joanna, if it’s right to think outside the box, then let’s recognise that the box is the UK Union, and what’s outside it is Scotland’s independence.

Jim Taylor

LET’S not waste any more energy on devo anything. As Michael Russell has already written, devo-max does not require a referendum. Westminster could give tomorrow and take back the day after. No guarantee will bind a successor Westminster government. Only INDEPENDENCE will do.

Jim Addison

WE hear that the UK Government’s Attorney General, Suella Braverman, is “considering” referring the Colston case verdict to the Court of Appeal (despite lawyers saying there are no grounds for doing so). Just over four years ago, the Conservative government were happy to enjoy headlines from their Brexit supporters in the media that called judges “Enemies of the People.” Now in the Colston case, the people, in the form of the jury, have given a verdict the Conservative government do not like. So they are considering asking judges to look again at it. Among all their many other collective shortcomings, this Conservative government have no sense of irony or self-awareness.

Gavin Brown