WHERE is Ash Regan getting the idea that she is the only hope for Scottish independence? The basis of her plan is no different from anyone else’s; the SNP not only tries to achieve a majority of votes and seats at every election but grow the numbers at each subsequent election.

Any Westminster government that will not agree to a Section 30 referendum will not agree that an election result is grounds for bypassing that stage to open negotiations on Scottish independence.

READ MORE: Ash Regan: What happens if Westminster says no to my indy plan?

Keeping in mind that unlike the previous 65 countries that have won their independence from the UK, HMRC collects 95% of the Scottish Government’s taxes and Scotland’s oil, gas, water and wind assets are plumbed or wired directly to England, the seat of the UK Government.

That leaves two questions that Regan has yet to answer:

Where does her positive route to independence go from that point?

How would she then lead Scotland to independence through the United Nations?

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I HAVE a “back to the future” feeling about the views of Ben Macpherson and Pete Wishart on the need to delay transition to independence, possibly for decades, in order to make the necessary institutional changes. This is about 40 years out of date.

Having been through the independence-nothing-less/devolution debates of the 70s and 80s, I can speak as someone who argued in that period that achieving a democratically elected legislature and embedding it in Scottish society was, if not essential, at least a key aid in facilitating independence, and we almost got there in 2014.

READ MORE: Ben Macpherson argues for gradual independence approach

But to go back to that debate now is not a sign of realism but a sign of the failure of the SNP leadership to do that serious core work on transition to an independent state. Many groups and individuals have done serious work on the key transition areas in recent years. The response of the SNP has ranged from disinterest to hostility.

We are well past the stage when a few more devolved powers will give Scotland the essential levers to enable us to make the changes Scotland needs. We need full powers on monetary, fiscal and international affairs.There should have been a focus on the detailed planning for this, not platitudes. We are not short of expertise.

It is the failure to convince soft No voters that we have these serious plans in place that has left support for independence static.

A change of direction is needed, and it is not reverse gear.

Isobel Lindsay

LIKE Graeme McCormick (Letters, 12 March), I am deeply puzzled, and frustrated, that our SNP government have not addressed the land tax issue in any meaningful way. Since gaining power in 2007, the SNP have governed competently, and have moved independence support up the scale, but not to an invincible level, which I believe a land tax would help to do.

In the absence of an explanation I have had to apply guesswork as to why our government is so frightened by a land tax, especially when it would be so beneficial to our economy, and help people struggling to make ends meet. Is it because they do not want to upset the big landowners? If so I have to ask why, as this demographic will never vote for either the SNP or independence.

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Is it because it would be difficult to introduce? I doubt it could be more difficult than was the imposition of the community charge (poll tax), which quickly bit the dust and saw off a hated Prime Minister.

On a more cynical note, is it because the SNP know that the bounty a land tax would bring would improve the financial situation of people and possibly dampen the desire for independence? If so, I think the opposite would happen – voters would realise that if this one tax made such a difference, then why don’t we take charge of all the other taxes: VAT, corporation, duties on fuel and whisky, plus the bonanza from North Sea oil which, in spite of rightly aiming for zero emissions, will still be needed for a few years yet. I do hope our new First Minister will make the introduction of land tax a priority.

Richard Walthew

EVER since I read that Gary Lineker was mocked in the dressing room, early in his career, for reading The Guardian, I have had a sneaking admiration for him, while loathing the grotesque amount of attention, and cash, given to the English Premier League. (Incidentally, did we not used to have a Scottish Premier League while England had the clumsier “Premiership”? Who decided we should use the latter while England pinched the former, just as they pinched sky blue and white for their strip?)

However, the amount of fuss and attention given to Lineker’s “controversial” but spot-on condemnation of the UK Government’s odious immigration policies is preposterous. The Scottish media and particularly BBC Scotland have shamed themselves. Again.

David Roche

MY thanks to Richard Walker for his analysis of the STV open debate on Tuesday night. I think Forbes’s problem is her narrow corridor of experience, which allows her to publicly attack her colleague and not recognise the consequences to the general public’s view of her party. She needs to understand the need for respect and civility but it’s probably too late for her to recover support lost.

I sincerely hope Humza Yousaf wins. His humanity shines out from his eyes.

Catriona Grigg