IT is striking to note that Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has ruled out a second referendum on independence even if the SNP win a majority at next year’s Holyrood election (‘Arrogant’ Jack: indyref2 won’t be in FM’s lifetime, January 13).

This is strange because a gentleman called Alister Jack, in the run-up to the General Election last month, conceded that an SNP majority would be sufficient to trigger a second referendum.

The SNP won a landslide victory in that election – winning 80% of the Scottish seats on a mandate for an independence referendum, while the Tories lost more than half of their Scottish MPs. This was on a platform of stopping Scotland’s right to choose.

READ MORE: Alister Jack: indyref2 won't happen in Nicola Sturgeon's lifetime

19th-century Irish nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell famously noted that “no man has the right to fix the boundary of a nation. No man has the right to say to his country, ‘Thus far shalt thou go and no further’.” How appropriate a statement that is in this context.

The Smith Agreement, following the 2014 independence referendum, also noted that “it is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.”

Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands, and it is not for Boris Johnson or his appartchiks to resist this.

Alex Orr

AFTER listening to more dismissive comments regarding independence from Alister Jack, our Tory/Brexit Secretary of State for Scotland, I must ask: “Why does he bother at all?” Is he trying to emulate his predecessor, David Mundell, who came out with similar shameless, inaccurate comments that incensed many a supporter of self-determination for Scotland?

The idea that a Scottish government should not be allowed to conduct “neverendums” is so flawed and undemocratic anyway, and the rhetoric behind such an impudent comment is breathtaking to be frank about it!

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The devolved government of Scotland formally approved a mandate to have such a second Scottish referendum, and others if necessary, and there have been enough election results to indicate that the Scottish people want that referendum. Therefore the power to conduct referendums in Scotland should be with the Scottish Government!

The process is a democratic one, and the consistent dismissive remarks from another wealthy apologist like Mr Jack really fall on deaf ears up here anyway.

The man is also a self-professed Brexit backer. So I’d remind him that I didn’t hear any senior EU officials ever dismiss the British/English government’s approach to holding an EU referendum in 2016. They expressed their disappointment to the then UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, regarding such an “act of folly”.

That scenario is no different from Scotland wanting to break away from a “fractured” UK, and the fact of the matter is that it does not suit Mr Jack’s biased position in forcing Brexit on the Scottish population as well as endorsing his stance on protecting his “precious Union”.

The man appears to be totally out of touch with the views of the Scottish electorate but in my opinion it is a disguise of his true purpose in projecting his perceived colonialist “little Englander” mentality on a Scottish population that predominantly does not share such undemocratic and biased sentiments.

Bernie Japs

ALISTER Jack has said that there will be no Scottish independence referendum in Nicola Sturgeon’s lifetime. Presumably this will mean introducing new legislation binding future governments to policies laid down by this Tory executive.

Boris Johnson said that his government would repeal the Fixed Term [Five Year] Parliament Act but so far has not made any proposals on the length of the new parliamentary term. Has Alister Jack given us an insight into Tory thinking on the matter ?

A much greater threat to the Scottish Parliament is the imminent activation of ministerial powers under the Brexit Act that will give Alister Jack and every other UK government minister the personal authority to amend or even repeal the Scotland Acts with the power of an act of the Westminster Parliament; this can happen whenever a minister sees fit to change any the law without debate in Cabinet, the Westminster Parliament or the Holyrood Parliament, by use of a Statutory Instrument.

John S Jamieson
South Queensferry

I AM surprise that Alan Taylor became so mixed up with England’s kings that he confused Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, with his son Edward II, Edward the Proud, mistaking one for the other in the song Flower of Scotland, in his piece on the front page of Seven Days in Sunday’s National (Power to the people, January 12). It was of course Edward the Proud who lost Bannockburn and was indeed sent homeward to think again!

Roddy Maclean
Annan, Dumfriesshire

I TAKE Dougie Harrison’s point about the importance of not exaggerating the numbers attending the AUOB marches (Letters, January 13). However, considering we left Kelvingrove at 11.30am and didn’t get to Glasgow Green until after 2.30pm, I’m not sure how the march could pass Charing Cross in under an hour and a half.

Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, I see The Scotsman published a letter from one of their rabid Unionists, who says only 15,000 attended the march.

Douglas Turner