WELL, Sunak’s speech was completely away with the fairies on every level and rounding it off with “if you want change, the Tories are the party to deliver it”, this is of course after an absolutely disastrous 13 years of abject misery for the electorate. You couldn’t make this absolute mince up.

With the main political parties down south being in complete and utter disarray on every level, is this not the time for the Scottish Government to do some things that genuinely make people sit and wake up and let them realise there’s a far better alternative and future available right in front of their eyes?

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The SNP could start by leasing or buying up the dozens of the recently closed banks across Scotland’s islands and towns and launch the National Bank of Scotland.

This would be an audacious and hugely bold statement and would without doubt make people start to think again and that there genuinely is an alternative to the current, truly awful status quo.

Our local bank in Dunoon, Bank of Scotland, has disgracefully announced it is closing, despite it being constantly busy – and I mean constantly busy.

Over course, as ever, it’s Scottish only in name as yet again we find it is run by a company down south which has zero interest or emotional attachment to our land.

There really, genuinely can be a far, far better future so here’s to some adults entering the room from all the indy parties up here and working together for us, the people who put them in their positions, as an independent Scotland is far from a pipe dream, but in our grasp if only the parties work together. Especially the SNP, who you’d think would be falling over themselves to apologise for nine years of complete and utter neglect when it comes to putting down building blocks and enhancing the case for independence.

I have said it before and I will say it again, nice guy that he is, Humza should be nowhere near the job of FM. The sooner Kate Forbes is appointed and has the best available talent around her the better – and not just the usual “Yes Sir, No Sirs” in her own party but from the very best talents from all the Yes parties and organisations the length and breadth of our land, as the SNP certainly do not have all the best talents in their ranks, in fact, far from it.

This multi-party discussion group could meet monthly or quarterly to discuss new strategies and ideas which have been discussed in all their various parties and organisations since their last meeting.

Is this really so hard to arrange if their parties and organisations actually want independence?

Come on, it’s quite simply the time.

Iain K Dunoon IN 2014, Scotland knew from the ballot paper exactly what the proposition was, and from the Edinburgh Agreement what the outcome would be after a Yes victory. The SNP can give Scotland another chance at the next General Election if – but only if – their manifesto sets out clearly but succinctly both the proposition and the outcome of a majority of votes for it.

That can be done by making it clear that votes for the party will be taken to be votes for Scotland to become an independent country, and that on a majority of such votes, within a stated period, Scotland will leave the Union, with or without London’s cooperation.

Anything short of that will not be a proper plebiscite. The resolution proposed by Yousaf and Flynn does not cut it. It contemplates a mere win on seats, followed by the utter pipe dream of London then sitting down to independence negotiations. By issuing a manifesto in such terms, the SNP will lose votes and seats, perhaps disastrously. (What, for instance, would be the ramifications of losing a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster?) With a true plebiscite manifesto, however, the party will get the benefit of votes from the pretty solid 50% or so of the Scottish public who support independence, plus others who may come over during the campaign (as in 2014).

Even SNP loyalists lukewarm on actually trying for independence should see that it is the only realistic way of saving the party’s skin, as support for them as a party, enmeshed in one self-made problem after another, dwindles.

There are other considerations, such as the advisability of agreement with the other indy parties to avoid splitting the vote, or the precise timetable and scenario for leaving the Union if the vote is successful. But the pressing question is perfectly simple: Is the next General Election to be a true “de facto” referendum – or a sham?
Crocket Motherwell