I AM accepting the invitation to respond to the article by Jonathon Shafi in Tuesday's paper (The Yes movement is back at square one and needs a complete renewal, Apr 16).

I found his observations and analysis of where the independence movement is at present sadly realistic. Approaching my mid-seventies, I have no personal expectation of witnessing Scotland becoming independent! My continuing motivation is for my descendants and my fellow Scots, old and new.

We are like a sports team, full of talent with all the resources we need to top the league but we remain in the relegation zone because of our very poor management. Our main party, the SNP , is far too concentrated on playing the games at Westminster and Holyrood.

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They continue to argue that despite being assured of being a small minority party, they can have an influence at Westminster. This continues even after the humiliation of being brushed aside when they threatened to upset the establishment over a ceasefire in Gaza. At Holyrood they are given enough rope to hang themselves but not enough to construct a ladder to freedom. Every Holyrood decision should come with a qualification that with independence we could do X,Y or Z to improve the outcome. When do we hear this?

I have been voting SNP all my adult life and my continued vote is assured as long as Joanna Cherry is my MP. My vote for her is in spite of her party, not because of it.

Jonathon outlined a few policy flaws, principally continuing to use sterling post-independence. May I add to his list not reforming the council tax as promised, and refusing to consider land or wealth taxes or form a national energy company. Transitioning our home energy use from gas to green electricity is left for you and me to mostly finance, as opposed to a much more efficient national-led plan. Worst of all, though, we have learned nothing about the exploitation of our energy resources. The era of coal has passed, oil is passing and renewables are developing. We are allowing our renewable energy resources to be owned and run by the same groups that have taken the bulk of the wealth from us during the oil boom. We will continue to pay high prices for this energy resourced from our territory. How much will the Norwegian fund be in another 40 years? I expect ours will remain at zero.

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Humza Yousaf seems to me to be a nice guy. I would love him as my next-door neighbour but his party are leading us nowhere. The alternative, Alba, will never gain traction with Alex Salmond as their leader after his confessions about his behaviour when in power.

We need a minimum of 60% in favour before a move to become independent would be assured. This number should be readily achievable if we can outline a clear pathway and a vision for a different, better, post-independent Scotland. When the opposition is considered, the Tories or Starmer’s Tory-lite Labour Party, we should be winning our games five-nil. All we need is a competent coach.

Campbell Anderson

I EXPECT to both march and attend the rally on Saturday along with others from Edinwfi. So in answer to the question posed by Jonathan Shafi, “when I hear about a pro-indy demo or event, I support them, but, what are they for?” For me? I’m doing it out of habit, and the belief there is an enduring bedrock desire for independence. I believe there’s a need to remind not just ourselves of that but the wider public here and abroad. But deep down, all that is despite the fact I’ve no idea what’s next, apart from another march, rally, monthly meetings, stalls, and potentially some hustings with a General Election looming. Deep down, I know that politically I’m directionless because neither my belief nor passion alone are sufficient for me to see Scotland regain her independence.

No matter if the SNP, Green and Alba were to have some common strap line on their manifestos for the forthcoming General Election asserting that the votes being cast for them are votes for independence, the first-past-the-post system, whether in the next General Election, or the next, or the next one after that, won’t deliver independence!

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The voter spread across the UK and Unionist ideology will continue as is. Here, though, if former Labour voters return to the fold, would that mean my faith in some bedrock desire for independence was nothing more than a whim, a political short-lived flirtation? After all, life hasn’t improved during Tory rule in the Union. If those Labour voters revert to voting for Labour, just why have they fallen out with the concept of independence? And equally, why haven’t we appealed to other Unionists to change their beliefs and vote for an independent Scotland?

Labour as a government in waiting “taking nothing for granted” are offering nothing more than saying (any) change is better than the status quo. But the status quo they will retain will be the very one that denies us the right to decide our political future. For those voters to lose faith in what independence could bring, and replace that with Labour, is surely an indication of our failure over the last ten years. It seems we’ve failed to sufficiently engage and demonstrate what independence would mean: benefits, challenges, warts and all. We’ve lost 2014’s urgency of why it must be independence and we’ve not established the how. Or at least we’ve not been able to communicate all that, across the civic and political spectrum.

I still believe in independence but I’m beginning to believe in the need for a longer-term approach involving a groundswell of involvement across society: a mass movement of people, debating the pros and cons, addressing fears, talking up the positives that independence will bring. Without such involvement over time, and not confined to jingoism at election times, I fear we’re stuck with the status quo.

Selma Rahman