READING the letters and articles of The National recently, it is clear that an unpleasant future lies before Scotland if it does not become independent soon. Under the aegis of future Westminster Unionist governments (which will use their superiority in numbers

to outvote even a completely independence-supporting Scottish contingent in parliament and will have an economic slant towards the USA and China), there will be a progressive weakening of Scottish political control and strengthening of the exploitative practices of these larger countries.

Under these influences and the pressure of climate chaos with its associated mass migrations, uncontrolled plundering of Scotland’s wealth will go forward apace. Apart from fisheries, agriculture and forestry, which already export to England (and will be distorted to supply that market more effectively), there are still large reserves of oil and gas under our extensive share of of the Continental Shelf which will also be used to satisfy demand in the more populous part of the UK.

There is a clue to the future in the fact that a 50-year-supply of barytes has been found in Perthshire. This is now to be mined. Its main use is as a lubricant for oil wells. There are also still reserves of coal and shale oil below the central lowlands which will be extracted by destructive geo-engineering.

Other natural resources like fresh water, green storable electricity and quarried construction material will soon be flowing south, to ameliorate the effects of drought and flooding brought about by the very activities I have described. As the nuclear weapons in Scotland will be vital to protect all this, it will not be long before the setting up of nuclear power stations is a logical progression. There is plenty space to store the waste, after all.

This is anathema to a Green/independence supporter such as myself. All Scots will suffer from this, but ironically those that will lose the most are the Unionists who live in Scotland. These self-satisfied and well-off people would be the first to acknowledge that they benefit most from Scotland’s environmental pleasures, both urban and rural.

In the future Edinburgh will be hemmed in by fracking installations and Grangemouth will join up with Leith. The Hebrides will be pocked with quarries for rock armour to protect London. The Mearns will be producing nothing but bio-mass for fuel. The muirs and mosses will disappear below blankets of sitka spruce which will need constant chemical protection from pests.

The deeper irony is that these Scottish Unionists will be the first to respond with a shrill “Project Fear” when we seek to warn them.

Iain WD Forde

HEARTFELT thanks to Lesley Riddoch for opening up a debate about what Scotland wants to be when it becomes an independent state again (Why I said I might set up a new party to challenge SNP (only after indyref2), October 17).

I long for the day when normal politics is resumed without the constant bickering about indyref. The UK Brexit debate has driven the important “day job” off the Westminster parliamentary agenda. We are in danger of a similar paralysis in Holyrood.

But I disagree with Lesley that we must wait for independence. We should be preparing for it, not so much by marches (how many Unionist minds do they change?) but by putting our efforts into discussing what kind of country Scotland should become.

It too easy to accept the assumption that Scotland is inherently more “progressive” and socially democratic than the UK as a whole. Lesley has pointed out many shortcomings of the SNP government. A myth is not enough. The difference has to be demonstrated.

I add my voice to those who call for a Scottish constitution, a written and agreed constitution quite different from the ragbag of historical relics and bad habits which govern procedures in Westminster – which, as we now know, are open to interpretation according to viewpoint and open to challenge in law.

In her recent book Constitution Street, an account of discussions on the future of Scotland with her neighbours in Leith, Jemma Neville calls for “a written constitution in Scotland. With human dignity at its core, the process of negotiating and agreeing the constitution, street by street, will give us back our sense of common place and purpose”.

The Scottish Constitutional Convention could be a useful precedent. Without official support or interference, it worked out a blueprint for a Scottish Government before that government came into being. A Scottish constitution could give Scots a target for independence beyond that of restoring historic borders. It could define what we should be working towards, as if we really did live “in the early days of a better nation.”

Jim Johnson
Newton Stewart

JULIA Pannell (Letters, October 21) has a very unfortunate tendency, when contradicted in any way, of making sweeping statements about other contributors to The National, about whom she knows absolutely nothing at all.

I’m not really concerned to impress her, but if she had been paying attention, she would have noticed that I do not wish to stifle debate and have regularly dissented from SNP policies.

For example, prior to the full referendum, I took issue with the leadership over how easily we would get into the EU. I also do not think we should retain the monarchy and don’t think we should be a member of Nato.

These are all things that I’ve communicated my concerns about. The difference between me and Julia Pannell is that I try to do it in a measured way and don’t go at in an incoherent tirade like a dug at a bone. Each to their own, and I have my own opinion about which method is more effective.

Douglas Turner