THE Scotland Act 1998 was cunningly crafted, as current events reveal.

It does NOT allow us to ascertain the views of the Scottish people on independence, but DOES allow the UK Government to intervene on any devolved issue when and where it sees fit. Furthermore it introduced a voting system designed to ensure coalition government. That hasn’t quite worked, but the intention is clear – keep overall control at Westminster. The use of the Levelling Up agenda is just another example of this strategy.

The SNP’s Special Democracy Conference in March has much to think about. First and foremost is the need to realise that we are boxed in by the Scotland Act. Consider, for example, that as the UK Government can block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill devolved to the Scottish Parliament and passed by a two-thirds majority, including MSPs from all parties in the parliament. How then can we expect any future change in its default stance in denying the Scottish Parliament its right, won by a democratic majority, to hold a referendum on independence?

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I would suggest that the conference proposal to seek a de facto referendum at the next General Election will only, at best, confirm the status quo and doubtless will produce yet another denial from either the next Tory or Labour government. To propose to do the same thing again at the 2026 Scottish election would suggest that the 2024 attempt had been rebuffed. Why then drag this out to 2026 by doing the same thing again and expecting a positive outcome?

I am sure that I am not the only one wishing to see another way forward and therefore put my hope and trust in conference to explore every possibility beyond the constraints of the Scotland Act. It seems to me that a referendum, which I passionately wish will result in eventual independence, will first depend on the sovereignty and rights of the Scottish people being universally accepted. I therefore hope that that will be fundamental to the conference debate. Be bold and think again. From sovereignty all else will follow.

Peter Malcolmson

HERE we are, the UK Government (the King, Sunak, and Jack) interfering with Scottish law-making process, in breach of the Treaty of Union. What is being done to take this outrageous breach to the international courts, to have the breach recognised, and the treaty set aside, thus restoring Scotland’s status as an independent free country?

It’s time for the SNP to put up or shut up. They were elected by the people of Scotland to accomplish one task – restoring our independence.

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We should not countenance the UK breaking the law and should hold those doing so to account. If we don’t, we should accept our fate and stop wasting our time and energy on de facto referenda and the rights and wrongs of this new law. The fact is, we made it, and Westminster has no right to interfere.

Freedom from tyranny and self-determination for Scotland should be our ONLY consideration, not dancing to Westminster’s tune and stupidly accepting their view that they are the sovereign rulers, when in fact the people of Scotland are sovereign.

If our devolved government cannot or will not seize this opportunity, it should be disbanded along with the SNP, so we can stop living in false hope of doing better for ourselves and future generations of Scots.

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We can then just get on with our lives and stop talking about “gold standard” independence and all the other side issues involved. We can also dispense with all these writers telling us how badly Westminster treats Scotland.

Thousands of people are doing loads of work on what needs to be done to ensure the success of a future liberated Scotland but have been ignored by the Scottish Government.

Should we not just give up and accept our station in life as the goose that lays the golden eggs for England and be thankful they have not killed us off yet?

John Robson

WITH the Supreme Court’s ruling and the blocking of the Gender Recognition Reform Act, along with bypassing Holyrood with UK cash going directly to freeports and Levelling Up projects, chosen by Westminster, the UK is now systematically undermining the authority of the democratically elected Scottish Parliament. It seems Rishi Sunak’s government of integrity and accountability is falling apart as Westminster ignores devolved administrations.

For example the GRR Bill, after years of discussion and debate, was passed by 86 votes to 39 by MSPs from all parties at Holyrood. As a purely devolved matter this was a lawful Act. It is preposterous that the UK Government should now disregard the Scottish right to make Scottish laws for the people of Scotland.

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As the Tory and Unionist mantra has changed from “now is not the time” to “never” for indyref2; there is a growing realisation that the people of Scotland are trapped within a once mutually agreed Union. This certainly is not a “Union of Equals”, as only rampant English nationalism seems to function in an insular Brexit Britain.

Scotland exists in a near-bankrupt UK with food and fuel poverty and workers’ strikes in a cost-of-living crisis. Tory administrations fantasise as global Britain, ignoring Europe, with a Trident system they can’t afford, an aircraft carrier with no aircraft, and more admirals than ships. In truth, with the folly of Brexit, a deadly mismanaged pandemic and ruled by dysfunctional Tory governments Scotland did not vote for, a future of low wages, unemployment and insecurity awaits. This is not the UK that was promised to the people of Scotland in 2014.

Grant Frazer