GREGOR Gall (“Independence first” or is radical the way to go?, Aug 1) raises a timely and important debate that should be had now by all those seeking independence.

I believe that debate is vital to the success of our cause.

It is our responsibility, we who seek independence, to offer a vision of what, in specific detail, it would mean.

The audience is the voter in the street, particularly those who feel left behind and disenfranchised.

In 2014, the campaign was very successful in motivating many who, previously, had never believed that politics made any difference to their lives.

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It was that mass mobilisation from the housing schemes that scared the British elite out of their wits, leading to the infamous “Vow”.

Late in that campaign, the vested interests realised that a previously unmotivated “silent majority” were heading to the polls and it could be the end of the good ship “Britannia”.

We have to re-create that engagement – that excitement for change – call it radical if you like, but we need to offer hope, and it has to be framed in the context of an independent country.

References to fairer, more equal, and happier are fine as far as they go but they fall way too short of stimulating mass participation and support.

To win, we need a vision, and an ambition.

There needs to be a suite of “benefits” promised and committed to in the manifesto

for independence.

To some, these ideas may appear to be radical as they will challenge and change the status quo, however, as Gregor outlines in his feature, it would be wrong

to assume that the Scottish professional and middle class would not support such change.

There is still, I believe, across Scotland a belief in fairness and compassion – and in society as a whole, not in individualism.

Excluding those with private wealth, I would bet that, irrespective of class, the majority of would-be independence voters support the re-nationalisation and taking into public ownership of all energy production and distribution – as they’ve already supported it with the rail services.

With the unprecedented and scandalous increases there is no better time to state our objective.

Let’s add a commitment to land reform. We could add compulsory purchase on behalf of the state, of land for windfarms ending the ridiculous payments, for private benefit, being made to landowners across Scotland.

What about pensions, with almost a million state pensioners in Scotland, getting the worst pensions in the EU, why not commit to doubling it within the next five years?

A written constitution could be core to the campaign as it will clearly define the rights and responsibilities of the state and its citizens.

Scottish voters are very savvy and we should not shy away from even the most complex aspects of establishing our country, post-independence.

Let’s include, in that Constitution, a right to food, shelter, warmth and employment for every citizen.

On Europe, a clear commitment to holding a referendum, after independence, on re-entry as a full member, or member of EFTA, and or EEA.

There should be no assumption by the SNP leadership on Scotland joining as a full member as part of the independence vote.

They are two distinct issues.

Finally, let’s get the currency issue sorted out. It lost us the campaign in 2014.

We can deliver all the above, only with our own currency.

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Indeed, real independence is only possible with our own currency. Scotland, with our great resources, will have a strong currency, there is nothing to fear from making that commitment.

What needs to be made clear is: “Yes we will have our own Scottish pound, it will enable us to deliver on all the commitments we have made, and it will be issued within three years of us gaining independence”.

We need to go beyond the current and create a new positive vision and ambition.

Is this a radical proposition? I don’t think so – it’s what I believe the majority of Scottish voters would wish to see. Time to get off the fence and commit. Let’s hear it in the campaign to come.

Ian Stewart

Uig, Isle of Skye