SATURDAY’S front page warns of Home Office plans to intrude on Holyrood powers. Just how many “alerts” do we require in relation to the Tory party and Unionists, as they move to curb and downgrade our parliament prior to abolishing it, as is their end game?

The coming election in Scotland is now beyond individual “issues”: finance, currency, our parliament, corruption, sleaze. The reaction from Westminster and their allies to the ongoing rise in favour of independence is totally predictable. But we’ve been predicting that since the morning after the night before.

Remember, when Cameron declared English Votes English Laws (EVEL)? That set the scene, as they attempted to disguise the never-ending Project Fear under the cloak of “once in a lifetime”, then Brexit and the lure of financial gain, the Internal Market Act and now, resurrecting banks and jobs deserting Scotland come independence.

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Taking nothing for granted, it is highly unlikely – virtually impossible – that come the election results Scotland will see triumphant Unionists here.

England and Wales and their elections, however, are another story. It is obvious that Johnson and the Tory party are banking on the success of the vaccination programme south of the Border to ensure they retain their status of being “in power”. And with that Johnson is secure, complete with his “no” to Scotland.

Who would attempt to remove a leader bringing yet another election success? They’re hoping that this single issue will trump the sleaze and corruption: rules bent, broken, ignored; VIP tenders fast-tracked for cronies, test and trace both a financial and implementation fiasco. Northern Ireland has been sidelined! Nothing to see or hear there. Well not until the elections are over, the DUP has a new leader, and there could be a few headlines.

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Why the majority of voters will fall for this is difficult to understand. Over-simplification on my part might just be them staring into the abyss that beckons and a lack of any plausible alternative. That’s when people begin to find small comfort in the status quo and where they see personal benefits. “We’ve been vaccinated”, “look at France and mainland Europe”, or worse “see what’s happening in India”. We’ll just keep going since the Tories have managed the “crisis” well enough. No they haven’t. They’ve managed the spin, headlines, state broadcaster and Tory press. And sadly too many will believe that spin and vote Tory.

So, what’s our abyss in Scotland? Having yet another majority pro-indy parliament that appears to be toothless, no matter the size of the majority? Will this lead to Scotland snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as we squabble amongst ourselves as to what route we should take? No-one in their right mind would advocate UDI, so we we have to trust those we elect. We have to batten down the hatches again, get the vote out and then be prepared to go back out campaigning for independence in whatever ways possible. It’s up to us in the grass roots, Edinwfi, Pensioners for Indy, the Yes movement, to make sure rUK, Tories and their allies, know the end game isn’t shutting down Holyrood but it’s full independence. We’ve got to be public, visible, loud, and in their face, starting again on Thursday.

Selma Rahman

I WAS taken back in an instant to the heady days of the 2014 independence referendum when I saw it announced that the Royal Bank of Scotland would be set to move its registered office to London in the event of Scottish independence.

The fact that the brass plaque could be moved from Edinburgh to London has been well-known for some time now and is really not news. It of course does not mean that operations will be moved out of the country and as Alison Rose, chief executive of the parent NatWest Group, made clear, such a move would not impact on the bank’s commitment to Scotland. Let’s hope any forthcoming independence referendum is not simply a refresh of what have become rather tired old scare stories.

Alex Orr