THE Independence for Scotland Party will be contesting the Rutherglen/Hamilton West by-election, with leader Colette Walker standing on an abstentionist ticket.

What is the point of standing and then not taking the seat?

Well, first of all, Scotland should not be sending representatives to the parliament of a foreign nation, particularly one which at best ignores and at worst mocks or belittles our representatives. Scotland will never make any impression at Westminster. We are just swept aside. We have no veto on anti-Scottish measures. The huge contingent of SNP MPs has made no difference to Scotland. All they do is point out the obvious injustices and breaches of the Treaty of Union and ask for crumbs from Westminster.

In the 1970s, the SNP had a snappy slogan “It’s Scotland’s Oil”. But they did not realise how literally true it was. Oil and gas grabbed in the name of the (English) Crown, which has no right to the land or seabed of Scotland, financed everything from Thatcher’s destruction of heavy industry and shipbuilding (and the resulting spike in social security demands) to illegal wars and the refiguring of the UK from an industrial landscape to a financial and service hub, with mostly low-skilled jobs.

It is time for Scotland to wake up, not to another referendum, but to the knowledge that was always there, that Scotland’s people are sovereign and the Treaty of Union has been breached multiple times. It is not just Scotland’s law, education and church which were to remain in perpetuity, but also the sovereignty of its people. Anything taken from Scotland’s territory had to first be approved by the people. It wasn’t.

Now is the time to claim back the government of Scotland. We must bring our representatives back from Westminster, refuse to play along with the Westminster charade or perpetuate their lies. For the theft goes on. It is now our renewable energy powering England while Scottish families freeze. Thanks to Brexit, our diminished trade with Europe makes us poorer. And the Internal Market Act has not even got going.

Abstentionism means if we win the seat we will not take that seat. We will not take the oath to the sovereign of England, so will not be able to sit at Westminster, but will work for our constituents.

In 2015, the SNP won 56 out of 59 seats, and hopes were high it would make a difference. But since 2015 the SNP has achieved NOTHING for Scotland by being at Westminster. It is time for them to step aside.

The ISP will always stand on the basis of abstentionism in elections to Westminster. If you vote for us in this and every future Westminster election, eventually all our MPs will be back in Scotland and we can do what Norway did. After an uneasy and unequal relationship with Sweden, Norway assumed full national powers after one too many snubs and left their union. They don’t seem to have ever regretted it.

Julia Pannell
via email

I WELCOME Alister Jack’s statement to the Conservative Party conference that the era of “devolve and forget” is “dead”.

Not for one moment do I believe that Scotland will never again be neglected by the Westminster government in favour of our bigger neighbour to the south where there are more votes to be had. However, I regard this statement by the man who is in effect Scotland’s colonial governor as an admission that previously it has been the case that we have suffered unequitable distribution of resources, wealth and power within this toxic union.

Rather than place any further hope in yet another round of false promises from the south it is time we all woke up and got out of the Westminster game of swings and roundabouts, as we know at every turn we will always end up the losers.

Ni Holmes
St Andrews