WHAT an excellent essay by Simon Brooke (Politics as usual will not determine our future, The National, January 16). Apart from listing the losses “to the UK (England – my parenthesis) of Scotland’s independence” he goes on to say, and it bears repeating, “what history teaches is that the UK state is and always has been ruthless and self-interested ...therefore, any strategy for independence which expects goodwill or fair-minded generosity from (rUK) will fail”. Examples of this abound from Ireland, the Indian sub-continent, Malaya, numerous African countries etc. So, as part of the ultimate colonial group, we can expect similar treatment. The question then becomes, once we have exhausted the constitutional route what do we do?

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For a start, through the constitutional route we must have an inspirational message for all of Scotland. Such a message must come from the SNP, the Yes movement, the Scottish Independence Convention, a Constitutional Convention and yes the people non-violently in the streets to create a festival of independence.

But the question remains, how do we energise all those who so far have avoided the positive choice of independence. Such a way exists, but it requires statesmanship, pragmatism and open-mindedness by all organisations and political parties to inspire and educate the people of Scotland to the benefits.

Whilst some have tried this it has failed to break through to a massive majority for Yes. With a Westminster Tory majority likely for at least 10 years and Scotland being forced to follow Brexit England, now is the time to change tack. Starting with the main engine of independence, the SNP.

Without the SNP, carrying the banner through the lean years, the cause would not be so far ahead now (I should know, having joined the party in 1974 on my return from abroad, foot-slogged for many years, served on councils, before resigning in 1996). So we are forever grateful to them, but they have to remember that there are many independence supporters in other political parties who will never give, or loan, their vote to the SNP. So, how do we attract them to the cause?

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Why not start by describing the Scotland that we would become, with the dignity of running our country, by taking our place amongst the nations of the world, sitting in the UN, sharing in the world’s problems, sending our forces, not to war, but as peacemakers for the UN, just like Eire. (As an aside, on the day that the UK PM got his variation on May’s exit bill agreed by the EU, the Eire PM Leo Varadkar was interviewed on leaving the negotiations and the SNP could use his responses as a party political broadcast for independence!

Why not acknowledge that 38% of Scots voted to leave the EU and promote a referendum on the EU within, say, six months of independence.

Starting with Simon Brooke’s suggestion (frequently expounded by Lesley Riddoch) that the SNP could propose a change to a more local government arrangement for Scotland, doing away with the present over centralised arrangements and dismantling the Tory 1996 set-up, eg, Highland Council area, bigger than Belgium and East Renfrewshire gerrymandered to produce a Tory seat (ha ha), enjoying the benefits of Glasgow without contributing.

This would banish the idea of an Edinburgh-Glasgow hold on the country. As part of that they could agree to adopt Andy Wightman’s land tax to finance the new set-up and help the country’s finances (and its wildlife by making the shooting estates pay their way).

They could make it very clear that they do not expect to be the only party of government on independence by agreeing to a general election to be held within, say, six months of that happy day.

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They could make it obvious that they expect other parties to be an integral part of the new Scotland, with genuine Scottish Labour, Liberal and Tory parties, etc. (I have omitted Greens, Socialists and Workers parties as they are already genuinely Scottish).

They should accept and promote the outline constitution, prepared by the constitutional group to be implemented (provisionally) on the day of independence (and thereafter finalised by a citizens constitutional group), so that all Scots will know from that day forth they have citizens’ rights in law and no longer be subject to the whims of an English PM with a perpetual majority – and the farce that is the other chamber of hangers-on.

They should promote an elected upper chamber (of specialists, a Senate, which specifically excludes former politicians) of, say, 60 who can check legislation and return it to Parliament for revision.

By including all independence groups and parties within the cause, or subsuming themselves within the Yes cause, the SNP would be seen as a truly broad church, exhibiting the generosity and fair-mindedness that we wouldn’t be receiving from rUK and so, with a massive majority for independence, would perhaps retain government of Scotland for many years.

They are already accomplished at “the day job”, so why not continue that and behave as if the future job is now?

Paul Gillon