IN 2012 Tory hatchet-man George Osborne brought in a Budget that punished the poor and rewarded millionaires with tax cuts.

The SNP and Plaid Cymru introduced an amendment that would have reversed the tax cut. The British Unionist Labour Party abstained. The reason was given away by obscure Labour MP Willie Bain. British Unionist Labour PLP had a longstanding convention of not supporting any SNP motion under any circumstances. Hence the Bain Principle was revealed.

There is no reason to believe that the Bain Principle has ever been abandoned.

READ MORE: Jamie Hepburn: SNP should 'consider' multi-option independence referendum

Given this, it is inconceivable that so-called “independence minister” Jamie Hepburn thinks Keir Starmer will be more amenable to granting a Section 30 than the Tories.

He then raises the hideously grotesque option of “devo max”. This is a Unionist con that Gordon Brown “promised” but never delivered. It is a betrayal. Whilst giving credibility to “Scottish” Labour, Mr Hepburn rules out working with Alex Salmond, the only man who has actually moved the dial on independence in the last decade.

The SNP have been softening up the electorate for an abandonment of independence. Ben Macpherson called for a “slowing down”. Marco Biagi and Pete Wishart have both made similar noises.

For these hangers-on and careerists, independence is a grift, a carrot to keep them on the gravy train.

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The Pilgrimage of Grace was a rebellion against the rule of Henry VIII. The king encouraged the rebels to put down their weapons and he would listen to the grievances. They did, and Henry had them all executed.

The same ruthless mindset still exists with the British state. Westminster wants to keep its northern colony in perpetual bondage. They will deal mercilessly with those who threaten their rule, whether they are sincere or not.

The Yes movement needs to unite around a single strategy. Electing a Scottish Parliament with a mandate to withdraw from the Treaty of Union. After this, negotiations can then start for the practicalities. If the current incumbents of the SNP cannot do this, they need replaced by people who will.

Alan Hinnrichs

AFTER reading the comments he recently made in the press I think that Jamie Hepburn’s title should be changed to Minister for Mair Devolution not Independence. Apparently Jamie has said the SNP should consider the prospect of a multi-option referendum on Scotland’s future although he admitted it’s not “as good an option” compared with the full powers of independence. Well what a surprise!

I wonder would this ballot paper look like. Perhaps Option 1 – status quo, Option 2 devo max (whatever that means), Option 3 – independence. If we are simply asked to select one of the options, what would happen if the likely result was some combination – for example 40%/30%/30%? Would the status quo with only 40% of the vote be the “winner”?

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Maybe a form of proportionality could be employed and we could vote 1, 2, 3 for our favoured options, with the least popular option eliminated and its second-preference votes reallocated.

Of course, if you agree to a multi-option referendum don’t be very surprised if a fourth option appears on the ballot paper: Option 4 – dissolve the Scottish Parliament.

Be very careful what you wish for, Jamie.

Brian Lawson

MUCH of the talk lately, especially on social media, appears to be around a “one-off coalition” of independence parties and voters for the next election to “fix” an independence result.

Well, all’s fair in love and war, and more especially in politics, as we’ve seen with Tory- and Labour-run councils. Please tell me just what is wrong with trying to win. Do you honestly believe the Unionists will play by the rules?

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So, all sitting SNP and Alba MPs stand unopposed by any another independence party leaving the remaining seats, all held at present by a Unionist party, being divided among the indy parties ie SNP, Alba, Scottish Greens on a percentage basis. This way we maximise the independence representation at Westminster.

I should point out at this point I’m a solid SNP supporter and voter, but independence for me comes before party or personality.

This could be Scotland’s final opportunity for decades to take our independence back, and make no mistake – future generations of Scots won’t forgive us if we let self-indulgence and party politics get in the way.

A final plea to independence politicians: think about the country. The longer you wait, the more damage – some of which will be irreversible – that’s being done to Scotland. We’ve listened to you for years; perhaps it’s time you listened to us.

Bill Golden

REGARDING the Greens’ decision not to participate in Alba’s indy summit, I cannot say I blame them as Alba have heavily criticised them recently.

I personally believe their reasons for not attending are valid ones, but they will now face charges from some quarters of our movement of undermining unity.

Can I add one addition to what Mr Harvie said correctly about the inclusion of the Scottish Socialist Party in the Yes movement of 2014?

READ MORE: Greens rule out independence talks with Alex Salmond's Alba

Prevailing circumstances were somewhat different in that it was a referendum campaign and there was an overall unity which allowed individual tactics. I would add that the SSP did very valuable work in working-class communities. There was also an absence of acrimony within the movement and its campaign.

Alba at the moment are attempting to acquire political voice and credibility, although I am not criticising them for doing so.

Bobby Brennan