THE wishes of the Scottish people to make our own decisions about how we in Scotland should live our lives are being increasingly well aired. The conclusion that we should be independent is a product of two circumstances: (a) the history of Scotland since 1707, and (b) an assessment of our future after December 12 2019. The first of these cannot be altered but is germane to the second.

Regarding our social and economic life there is no denial that 1707 brought some improvement – whether inevitable or resultant cannot being undetermined. Our universities flourished, our health prospects gradually improved, generally our housing conditions showed upgrading, our requirement for all levels and types of employment steadily grew, and the reputation worldwide of our countrymen in education, innovation, adaptability and intrinsic skills – not to mention the respect in which our armed servicemen were held – grew apace.

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If one turns even a few pages, however, it is inescapable that as a “nation, an equal partner” with England, one finds matters which we regret and others for which England’s institutions must take responsibility. These will include wholesale deportations post-1745, Highland Clearances, slum conditions resulting from exploitation and the industrial revolution, naked profligacy in use of our soldiery, apparent unrestricted appropriation of our land by foreign interests, population growth a mere fraction of that of England, subordination of the teaching of Scottish history, steadily diminishing political influence. The fact is that Scotland has “grown up” and is perfectly capable of independent thought and action to provide for itself a future better than that which is on offer from the Union.

The “Brexit” election will determine the ultimate outcome of 2016. We in Scotland will have the opportunity to show, thanks to the obsession with Scottish independence afflicting the Unionist fraternity, how we judge our future in their hands rather than in our own. That decision will in Scotland take account of factors (a) and (b) already noted.

J Hamilton

LET’S wind the clock forward, and see what the future brings.

The electorate has spoken. We have a Prime Minister of these islands. Scotland’s First Minister is enjoying the success of yet another General Election. The SNP has increased the number of MPs again. The other parties in Scotland have suffered yet another humiliation with a substantial loss of support.

The First Minister drafts a letter to Westminster asking for a Section 30 order to get permission to hold an independence referendum. Having waited and received no reply, another request is sent. This time a junior government minister replies with an emphatic NO!!

The utter contempt for democracy is clear ... but wait, why are we surprised and shocked with such a dismissive response? It’s the same attitude displayed to Scotland as before. NOTHING CHANGES!!

Since the Union Of Parliaments Treaty of 1707, we have been absorbed into England as a subordinate northern region – just get into your box and stay there!!

What are we going to do about this? They have called our bluff, and now they are daring us to do something about it.

We have been told NO!! Do we still play Mr Nice Guy and say “that’s no fair!”

OK, that is just a possibility some time soon. It’s just fantasy, isn’t it? They will honour Scotland’s wishes? They wouldn’t dare remove some powers of our parliament, or worse still, dissolve it!!!

Answers on a postcard please!!