I HAVE been involved in the campaign for Scottish independence since I was three years old, sitting on ma Mammy’s knee in a loud-speaker van in Falkirk in 1948, and as I approach my 75th birthday suffering from a life-limiting condition, I would like nothing better than to watch joyously as Nicola Sturgeon tells Boris Johnson to get his unattractive personality back across the Border and keep it there because Scotland has just seceded from the Treaty of Union.

Sadly, it would not make me die a happy man, because the reasons for my current desire for independence would not have been fulfilled.

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Independence, as a concept, is very simple. This is Scotland. We are not governed by anybody other than the Scots. Easy? No!

I have had innumerable arguments with gung-ho get-out-of-here enthusiasts for months, maybe years, now. I have read and listened to all sorts of promulgations of UN charters, international laws and simple fact and I am growing tired of the seeming inability of many of my fellow Scots to grasp simple reality.

Let me try analogy. It may be the case that you would like to be a member of an exclusive country club. You might then decide to call yourself a member. You might convince a few friends that you are a member, but, unless the club accepts and admits you, what you call yourself will not get you across the door.

Independence, if the rest of the world says “we don’t recognise you”, becomes isolation and leaves us in the same place as Johnson and his cohorts are taking the UK, at the mercy of the Trumps of this world when it comes to trade, defence and international exchange. A request to open an embassy in Beijing would be met with “who are you?”

We must exhaust all the avenues open to us, whether we agree with their validity or not, in order to convince the world that we are reasonable people who accept convention and are prepared to work within its limits and can, therefore, be relied upon to uphold trade agreements, treaties and tax regulations.

When we have exhausted this process we can say to the world: “We have done everything we reasonably could and have now told Boris to b****r off!” with an expectation that we will be accepted and recognised.

As to plans B, C, D ad infinitum. I would be extremely surprised if these do not already exist, but no sane person would sit at the poker table and ask their opponents what they should do with their full house.

Nobody’s impatience for independence is greater than mine, but age has changed my reasoning.

I used to want it for myself and my country. Now I want it for my grandchildren and am not about to go to my grave clutching my Scottish passport, knowing that I have left them in the international wilderness.

Patience is clearly becoming scarcer. But in the long run, it is the virtue which will achieve our ends.

Les Hunter

ON Sunday my wife Christine, when shopping in our local supermarket, caught a well-heeled gentleman covering our fantastic Sunday National with a pile of Unionist rags.

On asking the reason why, the red-faced, posh-voiced culprit replied that it was not a real paper but a political publication. “Maybe you should read it then,” said the missus.

When leaving the store later, she observed he had proceeded to do it again. Christine uncovered them again, laughing and thinking "what a sad, feart Unionist".

George Robertson