THE article by Benjamin Wray in Monday’s National is first-class (How Tories could help ordinary folk – but won't, Jun 13). It combines clear, understandable economics with a useful analysis of the UK economy the last time it faced “stagnation” with a clear way forward in dealing with the cost-of-living crisis in Scotland today.

This approach acknowledges the difficulties which the Scottish Government would have without the full powers of independence and its own central bank, but it nevertheless points to ways forward for the Scottish Government to get round some of the restrictions caused by certain areas being “reserved” to the Westminster government.

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There is no doubt that the period ahead – with high inflation and an incompetent Westminster government with a lame-duck Prime Minister – is a time when the Scottish Government will be forced to act decisively. It will not be able to just blame Westminster and claim that it can’t do anything because of “reserved” powers. The SNP government will need to act effectively and decisively and if it does so then it will win over the great majority of the Scottish people for independence, because it will demonstrate the value of having a government in Scotland which can address the issues that are affecting them.

Benjamin has done a great service in writing this article – now we need the SNP leadership to seriously address these issues. Now is not the time for caution and hesitation, it is a time for bold decisive action.

Andy Anderson
Saltcoats

IN response to the announcement of the Scottish Government’s launch of a campaign for a referendum on independence, the Prime Minister has suggested that the result of the 2014 referendum “should be respected”. Put in the context of his government’s determination to reject the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol that he himself negotiated, this would seem to be another example of the current Westminster regime’s motto of “do as I say, not as I do!” It is Boris and his acolytes, so perhaps we should expect hypocrisy.

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Further to the Northern Ireland situation, it appears that the Boris government is being directed by one political group, who are prepared to prevent the formation of an a government there to force their will on both governments. Perhaps there is a lesson here for the SNP and Scottish Greens!

T J Dowds
Cumbernauld

HOW can Boris Johnson have the cheek to say there will be no indyref2? Surely he can’t have forgotten the speech he made in Poland last month saying he won’t accept a world in which a powerful neighbour can bully or attack their neighbours and he believes all people have a right to live safely and choose who governs them. Scotland is only in a union and should be able to leave that union without permission from another country, so if Scotland is denied a Section 30 order that will just be confirming the UK is not a union of equals but a DICTATORSHIP.

Mary Lindsay
Glasgow

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BORIS Johnson thinks that we should respect the result of the 2014 referendum. The Tories failed to deliver the promises made, such as 13 Navy ships. If the Tories are so good at respecting votes, why did Theresa May disrespect the 2015 General Election vote to hold another in 2017? Then Boris disrespected the 2017 vote by holding the 2019 General Election, both against the agreed five-year rule. D Ross says he will not take part in an “illegal” indyref. Well one less vote against freedom, and if anyone can find his dummy please return to Westminster, not Holyrood, as he his more at home in the former.

M Ross
Aviemore

HAS anyone ever seen anything as pathetic as Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar and Alex Cole-Hamilton responding in Holyrood to Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum announcement?

A majority of the MSPs in the Scottish Parliament now agree that it is time for Scotland to become self-governing and take its place in the UN, Nato and other international organisations. If the leaders of the Scottish branches of the London-based parties believe that a Scottish Parliament is really incapable of managing its own country’s economy, international relations, defence and all other reserved matters in the interests of the people of Scotland better than another parliament then they should say so and put forward a case for remaining in the Union on that basis.

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“Independence in a Modern World” clearly shows that countries similar in size to Scotland perform better in many ways than Scotland in the UK. If an independent Scotland lacked experience or expertise in any area then experts could be recruited from countries that have the best record in these particular areas; the UK Government has recently brought in the head of the Bank of England from Canada, a board member from the US and an expert on negotiating international trade deals from Australia.

Taking into consideration the relative position of the UK and that of smaller independent countries, the people of Scotland deserve more than a litany of Scottish Government “failures” from the leaders of the opposition parties in Holyrood during the debate leading up to the referendum in 2023.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I WAS a little bit amused by the caption in Monday’s National, referring to Malta being “smaller and less oil-rich than Scotland”. Does your caption writer not know that the independent Mediterranean island of Malta is the same size as the island of Arran, which is one of the larger of our 900 islands? Sometimes, as you’ll be aware, factual information can be misleading. That word “smaller” just doesn’t cut it.

Bill Craig
Glasgow