I READ and liked Lesley Riddoch’s latest article on the issue of the form of independence vote which would suit our purposes best (McDonald’s miasma and how we choose our indyref2 strategy, Feb 9). My own preferred choice is a de facto referendum based on a Westminster General Election. That choice is currently available, and is the only form which the Unionist parties cannot annul, without annulling themselves.

There is no chance – no chance at all – that the Unionists (of any form) would willingly accept that any form of vote for Scottish independence would have adequate validity. To engineer their acceptance that it could be valid would require us to: 

(1) adopt alternative targets for our powers of persuasion – to shift it away from the current generation of Unionist Westminster politicians to a younger generation of the English electorate that would be a more fruitful target population because it is genuinely in their own interests that they should heed us.

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(2) convince that younger generation that their own elders plan only their own extended survival and have totally ignored the interests of their own children, grandchildren etc.

First, a few very obvious and apparent facts.

The overriding problem of our age, which will steadily grow in importance as the years roll past, is global climate change. It will also become increasingly irreversible. Many young people (members of Greta Thunberg’s generation) are aware of that. The older generation realise it too, but are too selfish and cynical to do much about it. Let us call them the “Tax Haven Generation” (or THG). They calculate that if they secure and preserve their own currently wealthy but dwindling condition, it will last until they are dead. I reckon the only hope we have of changing their minds is to target the younger generation on whom these developing circumstances are likely to bear down very unpleasantly within the not-very-distant future.

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From a purely financial point of view, the THG are totally dependent upon exploiting assets “procured” from other people – ie citizens of the Empire, but also the Scots, Irish, Welsh – who once themselves benefitted in that same selfish way, but who have now been relegated to become the exploited remnants of Empire citizenry from which additional and remaining assets can still be squeezed. Over many years the THG have progressively abandoned any prospect of making any form of financial gain by their own efforts. Instead they prefer to stand on one side and to make those gains indirectly and with no direct and tiresome soiling of their hands. They closed factories and opened hedge funds.

Global warming will happen a lot faster than the THG realise.

The only members of the electorate who were intended to benefit from Brexit were those who: (i) were already well off (and had every intention to make themselves – temporarily – even richer); (ii) also had the intention to place that wealth and the extra they could acquire by a Brexit-engineered fall in the value of the pound Sterling beyond the clutches of tax collectors.

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My proposal is that we should try to open a dialogue between the Scottish electorate and sections of the English electorate on the idea of both groupings joining EFTA. That, I anticipate, would be welcomed by existing members and would quickly re-establish trade relationships with the EU, the biggest free trade area in the world.

Should a vote in favour of rejoining the EU be achieved by the de facto referendum, that would be interpreted as a mandate to start negotiations with the EU to that effect, but it would not be assumed that EU membership would be approved until we held a normal referendum (without Westminster interference) in Scotland by itself. This would be held once the terms of a negotiated agreement had been established. That is how a democratically endorsed union can be brought into being. It would also establish a friendly relationship between Scots and English without rancour.

Hugh Noble