IT is gratifying that Nicola Sturgeon is perceived, throughout the UK, to have been “more than competent” in dealing with the Covid pandemic. She is, however, only rendering managerial competence to our incompetent London overlords!

Westminster remains determined to bypass Holyrood with the UK Internal Market Act and the infamous Nationality and Borders Bill, along with imposing British freeports and levelling-up schemes. Furthermore, Boris Johnson’s dysfunctional government is ready to suspend democracy by refusing any debate on independence, irrespective of political mandates or the growing majority wishes of the peoples of Scotland.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon talks Scottish independence with top US government official

A strong response, not platitudes, is now required from senior SNP figures as they consider a date, as promised, in 2023 for indyref 2. I firmly believe that independence and the breath of freedom gives meaning to life not only for an individual but also for a nation.

Grant Frazer

THE National boldly headed my letter of May 9 “Will Saturday’s March mark the launch of the indyref2 campaign?” It pointed out that late 2023 was not that far away and that deducting two periods of summer holidays and a Christmas and New Year period, it is just over a year to polling day.

That of course assumes that the SNP and Green leadership are even ready, willing and able to launch the campaign. Saturday’s All Under One Banner march in Glasgow could have been the first step in the indyref2 journey. Instead it was the latest stumble on a rocky road with a few thousand enthusiastic foot soldiers but no leaders in sight.

I certainly cannot see the road ahead and now genuinely fear there may be no referendum in the autumn of next year. If there is, we may well lose again due to our lack of preparation and poor early efforts.

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Surely the leaders of both parties, many MPs and MSPs could have joined us. I only spotted Martyn Day MP. The First Minister, who recently attended the charity Kiltwalk and only a few weeks ago a march in Glasgow to celebrate International Roma Day, could have led the march in her home city and announced the start of our campaign to freedom.

The obvious question now in my mind is when does the campaign start, or more to the point will it ever really start?

Glenda Burns

SATURDAY’S AUOB march was heartening because of the support for the NHS and the conviction that an independent Scotland is the only way to protect it and the other elements vital to the fair society that we want to create. There was also a general consensus that:

1. The Scottish Government needs to share more information about its plans for indyref 2 and, more importantly, to get on with making it happen.

2. Citizens’ Assemblies must play a critical role in shaping our country, and so more information is required here too.

3. Most urgently, the different factions of the indy movement need to settle their differences and unite against the real enemy. Country before party, everyone!

Jenne Gray

SURELY if Westminster can still e run without the participation of any Sinn Fein members, Stormont can be run without the DUP? Surely a vote on the Brexit agreement by all those elected to Stormont is the way ahead. The DUP are acting like children with their “it’s my ball so I’m playing and I’m the captain” attitude.

Steve Cunningham

GEORGE Kerevan’s article “The UK has now entered political antechamber to dictatorship” (May 16) hit the nail on the head – so right is so many ways. Boris Johnson’s visit to Northern Ireland will only serve to increase support for the nationalist movement in Northern Ireland, because you cannot ignore the democratic result of the Assembly elections.

Who put the protocol in place, who inflicted a hard Brexit on the people of Northern Ireland against their democratic wishes? That would be the same people who inflicted the same hard Brexit on Scotland against the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland.

The people of Ireland have spoken clearly and will not put up with the minority dictating against their wishes. Scotland has been in this position for some time now. How much longer can the Union of unequals continue to exist, ignoring the democratic wishes of the voters?

Catriona C Clark

ON reading George Kerevan’s rather scary, worrying article in the National on Monday along with comments on The Opening of Parliament, it occurred to me that l would like to have heard a very different Royal Address.

Such as: “In view of the fact that my subjects are being subjected to harsh and cruel treatment by a disgraceful Cabinet of liars, cheats etc, WE as the Head of State therefore take upon ourselves the power previous to the powers invested in parliament, as of this day dismiss all its members without exception and proceed to declare a General Election with all laws at present that may be detrimental to OUR subjects held in suspension or rescinded. No member of the present Cabinet will be allowed to stand for future office, as it would not be in the interest of MY people.”

Needless to say, I am not holding my breath!

James Ahern
East Kilbride

ANGUS Cochrane’s article “Thatcher statue egged hours after its unveiling” (May 16) begs the question – why waste good food, is there no secondhand dog food on the streets of Grantham?

John Jamieson
South Queensferry