ANOTHER week saw the UK travel ever further down the road to becoming a fascist state, run by oligarchs for oligarchs.

The Westminster governance is now such a seething morass of corruption and incompetence that ordinary folk are washing their hands of it, giving in to what they see as the inevitable with cries of “What can we do? Nothing.”

This is how the UK as a democracy dies, ordinary people doing nothing to prevent this happening, as we fall into the abyss of a UK Parliament of modern-day “Rotten Burghs”, with “triangulation”, “focus groups” and total disassociation from the reality of peoples’ lived lives.

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We see the party of Scottish independence falling into the same malaise, somehow thinking that by doing the same thing differently, things will change and next time the man with the ill-fitting trousers will say “Yes!”

Banging your head against a brick wall comes to mind on this issue. How can you uphold the need to stay within the “law” versus a party of UK Government to whom the “law” is a movable feast? Like with Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty, we are faced with an antagonist who claims words mean just what they say they mean no matter how tortured and twisted they become.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel given the agenda and current discussion papers for the “Special Conference” in March? I do not see one; just more gum bumping, round in circles with “hopes and wishes” that the UK Government will cease blocking the “democratic will of the people of Scotland” the next time, the next election.

To which I say: “Aye richt; follow the money from Scotland’s resources into the oligarchs’ pockets, it is not happening.” The English Empire does not let its cash cows go easily, it always digs its heels in to the point of excessive violence and repression. This is the truth of English Empire history.

Scotland will be no different.

Peter Thomson

I HAVE always considered Michael Russell to be an educated, thoughtful and intelligent man. I was therefore disappointed by his article on Saturday (The Disruption of 2023 – the power of right over the might of Section 23) in which he appears to conclude that the plebiscite election on Scottish independence must be delayed until the next Westminster election, despite the delay, limited franchise and the media focus on whether Labour or the Tories will be in control at Westminster.

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In his analysis Mr Russell outlines supposed difficulties in having a Holyrood election in 2023 but fails to mention the straightforward route that has been outlined several times in The National and elsewhere over the past week. As a very experienced former MSP, he could have explained if he knows of any reasons why this plan would not work. He also makes the assertion that having an election in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis would be difficult, ignoring that the full powers of an independent country are needed for Scotland to prosper. He also makes the ridiculous and unsubstantiated claim that somehow Douglas Ross would become FM if an election were to be held in 2023, despite all opinion polls showing large leads for the SNP.

In citing the Disruption, Mr Russell notes that many of the Kirk’s ministers gave up their homes and incomes for a principled belief in democracy. Although the presidency of the SNP is a non-executive position, perhaps Mr Russell can suggest to the SNP party leader that she should seriously consider her position if she fails to deliver the promised referendum in October 2023 using the available mechanism of a plebiscite Holyrood election.

Mike Baldry

THERE is a lot of frustration at an apparent lack of action by the SNP in regards to arranging independence. This frustration spills over into understandable demands for ACTION. Everybody is frustrated, yes, but this has to be countered by reality. What sort of action do people want? What sort of legal action is available? Considering that independence is the rationale behind the SNP, being the largest single party in any position to deliver it, what else can be done?

To deliver independence a majority of voters must agree, so the popular movement must be a combined effort of those in favour, not just the SNP. Ultimately, as a formal political party and administration the SNP is obliged to act within the law. Actions outwith the law can have significant detrimental consequences and it is not inconceivable that direct rule could still be imposed by Westminster. While that would not necessarily garner any form of popular support, we would be excluded from decision-making and control and would no longer have the direct means to try to improve our circumstances, or have a widespread voice.

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While in power at Holyrood the SNP has, despite the inevitable hiccups along the way, demonstrated that we as a nation are fully capable of managing our own affairs. All those demanding action should be prepared to debate what is available, the strategy and tactics, and the forthcoming conference will be part of that. It is all very well reacting to emotion, but that will not deliver what we all want. The most important thing to consider is “what is legally achievable”? We still have the valid Scotland’s Future tome, the various Business for Scotland and other publications. The case and opportunities are well laid out and documented and while they cannot predict exactly what will happen post-independence, they set out the range of options based on a series of what-ifs.

So while we need to decide what action we can take, definitive answers to questions on pensions, currency and so on are just not possible in advance.

Fundamentally, until there is a clear, unequivocal mass demand for independence beyond the current wavering 45%-55% polls, it is easy for the Westminster Unionist parties to just ignore what we want. And let us not forget that without devolution we would merely be a minority rump faction on the sidelines at Westminster, as the Liberals have been since 1912.

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire