IAN Roberts puts the matter succinctly in his fine letter yesterday (Westminster will ignore any mandate short of a 50%+ vote for Yes). The movement is going nowhere unless the next election is on an independence manifesto.

Otherwise, polls predict that support for the SNP will plummet, possibly to a loss of their majority of Scottish seats, without which Scotland would simply have no means of taking the step to independence in any event, whatever the result in a subsequent Holyrood election. That would kill independence for the foreseeable future.

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I hope Lesley Riddoch, a pure diamond for the movement, simply slipped up when she wrote that “there is no lawful route to independence for the moment”. We must not weaken our resolve. Whether deliberate or not, there is an insidious drive to water it down by propagating the false notion that Scotland has no way out without London’s co-operation.

The BBC news website on May 21, for example, stated that “the UK Government has previously dismissed the idea” of an electoral vote for independence. I can locate no such dismissal, finding from the UK Government only the occasional statement to the effect that the Union is voluntary and Scotland can leave when it wishes.

The same article also states that “the hope of those who advance that argument would be that this would quickly result in an actual referendum on independence itself”, which is nonsense. Those who advance the argument see no need for any follow-up referendum in the event of victory by a majority of votes. The position, perfectly lawful, announced by the then first minister in a statement to the Scottish Parliament on June 28 last year, was that “if the law says [a referendum] is not possible, the General Election will be a ‘de facto’ referendum”. Since then, page after page of verbiage has emanated from parts of the movement, backing away from that position in one form or another.

Nevertheless, it is the only position which will rescue the movement from its self-made impotence, and enable the true desire for independence of the majority of Scotland’s people, which we trust is the case, to come to reality.

Alan Crocket

WHAT kind of relationship does All Under One Banner (AUOB) have with the groups that take part in its events? Sending a letter containing a three-day ultimatum by recorded delivery is more like an order than an invitation.

If AUOB wants someone to represent the Scottish Government, they must approach the Scottish Government; an invitation from AUOB does not authorise anyone to represent a group at one of its events.

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There are many groups all under one banner but the SNP and Greens, the only groups that have had representatives elected to either of the current parliaments, appear to be the subject of most of the complaints about non-attendance.

Why did AUOB chose to express its disappointment publicly on Friday evening?

Why was it necessary to explain, within hours of reaching its imposed deadline, that it hadn’t heard from the Greens in spite of notification by recorded delivery of the letter inviting the co-leaders of the party to attend one of their events being held late in July?

It must be hoped that AUOB has better working relations with other groups than it appears to have with the Greens and that this is an isolated incident by someone acting without approval that will not be allowed to happen again.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I HAVE been a supporter of Scottish independence for a long time; for me it was a gradual transition and when the 2014 referendum was announced I set about learning more and started attending public meetings run by the Yes movement and others.

I ended up delivering pro-Yes leaflets in my local area in the run-up to the referendum and I’ve continued to support the movement since. Indeed I still have a large Yes sign on my property despite pressure to remove it from the local authorities under the influence of Unionist party councillors.

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Fast-forward to today and I find it very disappointing that the independence movement can be seen to be more involved in fighting each other that campaigning for the big prize. I am not a member of any political party but do vote SNP at elections. This is unlikely to change until after independence as I see them as the best route to an independent Scotland. After that, I’ll decide whose manifesto I like the best.

Meanwhile, I beg the various pro-independence parties and groups to sort themselves out and get on with the process of freeing us from this terrible Union.

Craig Evans
via email

I AM writing in response to Stuart Jackson’s letter in Saturday’s National. I write as one who served as a Scottish Sea Fisheries Officer for 34 years in various ranks from bottom to top. There is absolutely no way that Highly Protected Marine Area (HPMA) decisions should be led by local communities. Their advice, despite attempts by them to be objective, will inevitably contain a strong subjective element.

It is absolutely essential that the views and concerns of local litoral communities are listened to and given proper consideration but that is as far as it goes. It is also essential that the more ridiculous suggestions about activities within HPMAs do not get off the drawing board.

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Another correspondent seems to champion a return to the ban on trawling within the three-mile limit and I would agree with that suggestion and suggest it could be beefed up to protect some larger areas. The trawler lobby will scream blue murder, but the screams will be entirely subjective and to a large extent should be ignored.

Fish stocks are finite, improvements in catching methods appear infinite as technology expands, there is a crunch point. I think we all know what happened to the American buffalo.

Captain R Mill Irving
Gifford, East Lothian