THE Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has, with characteristic arrogance, refused Scotland “permission” to reconsider our place in this alleged Union. In so doing he has slapped down an ancient nation as though it were some conquered province – a mere English possession. It seems that we Scots may enjoy the luxury of democracy only as, when and how Westminster decides.

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In the face of this calculated insult I have already heard calls for civil disobedience (whatever that might mean and wherever it might lead) and a unilateral declaration of independence. I would respectfully suggest that this is a time for cool heads. A time for staying within the bounds of conventional legal political activity. This is, indeed, a dangerous constitutional crisis which our democratically elected Scottish Parliament must address.

In particular, this is a very difficult situation for our First Minister. It may well be that she will decide to raise the matter with the European Union or the United Nations, for Westminster must surely stand condemned in the court of world opinion. Nicola Sturgeon needs our patience and our loyal support as she champions Scotland’s right to choose our own destiny. Let’s make sure she gets just that.

Billy Scobie

ALL throughout the 1980s and 90s the Tories had no democratic mandate in Scotland. Yet despite this they laid waste to Scottish industry and used Scotland as a guinea pig for such things as the poll tax and PFI on the Skye bridge.

The feeble 50 Labour MPs continually moaned about the Tories having no mandate to pursue these policies and argued for a referendum on devolution. These pleas fell on deaf ears. The Tories denied democracy in Scotland for 18 years. They continuously refused to devolve power or hold any referendum.

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Why then Nicola Sturgeon would think that her requests for a Section 30 from the PM would be treated any differently than those of Labour in the 1980s is something of a puzzle.

Sturgeon has wasted the last four years on a pointless exercise in trying to stop Brexit. By ruling out any other course of action Sturgeon has now bound the SNP government in a Union Jack-coloured straitjacket. There was a Plan B, but this was rejected at the SNP conference.

This strategy has worked out well for the coitre of SNP MPs, MSPs and their well-paid staff. Independence will never be achieved by cautious gradualist centrism. Sturgeon should step aside, as she is now an obstacle to independence.

Alan Hinnrichs

I DO not recall the American colonies or India or Kenya or any of the other former colonies asking permission from their colonial masters to go for independence. Tell Boris to stick his Section 30 bit of paper and let’s get on with it.

Pete Mearns

ANENT the recent pronouncements from the likes of Alister Jack, Jackson Carlaw et al regarding their opposition to indyref2 taking place during the next 50 years, Nicola Sturgeon’s lifetime, or before the worst hell of hells in all Helldom freezes over. Here we see the Scottish Conservatives in their huge-majority (in UK terms) habitat doing what comes most naturally to them – positively flaunting their anti-democratic credentials. Because they’re now making it abundantly clear that, far from holding Nicola Sturgeon to some putative “promise” (and we all know what a load of tripe that tired old trope is), it is THEY who don’t want indyref2 in any of our lifetimes, such is their pure feartiness of the outcome. The recent General Election result in Scotland has obviously put a right Scottish wind up them!

Someone should remind them that the definition of “democracy” is “of the people” and it is the Scottish people who are sovereign. By definition, democracy cannot be suspended for a “generation” following one referendum result, especially not one secured with a litany of lies and false promises – because democracy is not an event in itself, it is the ongoing response of the people to events. To paraphrase the late Canon Kenyon Wright – we are the people, and we decide.

Mo Maclean

MORE Tories are crawling out of the woodwork obviously having been threatened with the sack by Dominic Cummings if they don’t repeat “once in a generation” at least ten times a day. The latest is Douglas Ross, Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, who even goes one better and stretches a generation from the traditional 30 years to 50. He also goes further to state that anything Scottish people say to the contrary should be ignored. Translated that means: Scotland can vote any way it wants but the result is to be considered meaningless by the Tory party. How is that for a “Union of equals”!

Mike Underwood

SO we are now going to have COP26, the UN climate change conference in Glasgow. Like with G8 at Gleneagles the policing commitment will be enormous and indeed even more expensive. Add to that the usual “protesters” who will cause havoc to the normal everyday life of Glaswegians and it just gets totally silly.

I constantly fail to understand the thinking behind these meetings of world leaders in various locations. Surely the solution is obvious. Hire a cruise liner, get them all on board along with the media and immediately you have a huge reduction in security issues. Deploy a couple of Naval ships and a few hundred military personnel and sail it well out into whatever given ocean is chosen for the summit. The end result would be a cost of a few of million, while the rest of us can get on with our normal day-to-day life and they can swan around making promises most of them will never fulfil in any case.

Ian Heggie