THERE could be a case for Scotland remaining in the UK. If there is, then those parties who advocate it seem reluctant or incapable of advancing it.

The response to the First Minister’s essay published in the Sunday National last week is depressing, if entirely predictable. It appears to surprise the Scottish Conservatives, Labour party and Liberal Democrats that the leader of the party which was founded to obtain independence for Scotland is prepared to pursue that aim. Moreover, they wholly discount the fact that, over a period of 15 years of electoral success, the SNP have the right to do so.

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Admittedly, these parties may be struggling with the concept of political consistency, as they have all rather lost their political bearings. The Conservatives are in thrall to Johnson and Brexit-supporting media and ideologues; who now remembers them as the self-proclaimed party of “sound money, the family and law and order”? The Labour party are betraying their heritage as they enter deals with the Conservatives in local government; if any Labour MSP wants to reflect on the notion that insanity is dong the same thing and expecting a different result, he might care to look at the trajectory of the party’s representation in the Commons from 2010 onwards. As for the Liberal Democrats, they appear totally to have forgotten that for decades their unique selling point was strong support for the EU.

Instead of a reasoned case for the Union, assuming there is one, we are treated to repetition of slogans: divisive referendum, you had your referendum in 2014, self-serving obsession with constitution, and the like. This equivalent of playground name-calling belongs to the playground, not to political discourse.

The attempt to block out debate, rather than engage in it, is simply an attempt to delegitimise the issue of independence. We shall not let it succeed; we are not going away.

Gavin Brown

WHEN Scotland regains its independence it is imperative that we continue to have a well-paid governing class firmly embedded in the fabric of Scottish political life.

It would be absurd to imagine a Scotland governed by individuals who are there merely because they are committed to public service and wish only a modest stipend in return.

We need career individuals, special people, who really know what they are talking about. The constant fear of losing their jobs focuses them in ways that a two-term limited incumbency would not.

Don Ferguson

DEVOLUTION has proved disastrous to the cause of Scottish independence. The SNP has moved into Holyrood like a queen bee, but it is a hive full of drones without productive workers. Under natural conditions such a mutation would self-destruct, but it survives on two quite separate and distinct forms of life support.

First there are the hundred-odd thousand ordinary members of the SNP who permit these people to control their conference. Yet under the party constitution it is the members in conference who have the exclusive authority to decide policy. Secondly, there is the apparently endless forbearance of roughly half of the Scottish electorate who have faith that somehow the SNP will sort itself out.

A well-organised conference could decree that the SNP manifesto for the next election revert to the pre-Section 30 understanding that the election of a majority of MPs on a clear pro-independence ticket shall constitute Scotland’s right to independence.

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Once that is achieved, the SNP will have done the job for which it was created and there will be no shortage of smart and canny Scots to stand for the new parliament. Moreover, they should be elected on the basis of a clear and detailed constitution drawn up and voted upon by the people of Scotland.

That document is already taking shape in the public domain and when complete and confirmed by a formal constitutional convention will spell out to the Scots, their government and the rest of the world just what kind of country Scotland will be.

RF Morrison

AFTER getting many mandates, when is the SNP going to act? We are meant to be in an equal union on a voluntary basis, so why can’t the SNP just get on with a referendum, and if Yes wins start proceedings to leave the Union? The people of Scotland are suffering when they do not need to, and the longer we leave it the more we will suffer.

T Barbour
via email

IN all the talk about helping people to cope with increased energy and food prices, the government should remember that the first round of quantitative easing in 2009 – a staggering £375 billion – was the equivalent of £5600 per UK person. Man, woman and child.

So why not simply repeat this, but direct it to the most needy? Our benefits agency could administer the process, as it should be kept away from the banks and their rich friends, who would just keep it.

Malcolm Parkin

DR Iain Evens (Letters, May 20) speculates on the possibility of a minority Starmer administration offering an indyref2 in return for SNP support. This has two difficulties. First, the SNP vote has to be very solidly behind a real belief in independence before the SNP group can feel strong enough to convincingly threaten to bring down a UK minority Labour government if a referendum were not to be agreed. A long educational campaign on the case for independence is possibly required in Scotland to solidify that SNP vote. Secondly, it is probably electoral suicide in England for UK Labour to offer any indyref2.

Tom Johnston