FRUSTRATED I am. I want Scotland to be independent, like perhaps Denmark, Norway or even Iceland, however Scotland is not at the moment. It will come, as independence is normal and inevitable. Being independent is not without risk and issues. My frustration should not get in the way of independence.

Other commentators have stated that Scotland missed its chance in 2015 when Yes-supporting parties took 51% of the vote. Maybe so, but that was then and now is now. Spilt milk doesn’t mean you blame and sack the milkman. Crying isn’t going to get us independence, is it?

Have the circumstances changed? Yes, they are worse due to the 2016 Brexit, and the 2018 Internal Market Act (IMA).

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In the last several years Yessers have matured the arguments for independence using data and examples to explain and debunk the myths purveyed by Unionist propagandists and those with a vested interest in the status quo. Unionism has exhausted any and all arguments, resorting to the blocking tactics of the IMA, which is Westminster Government-centric. With no veto on IMA, the Union is no longer voluntary.

Additionally, the UK media continually sell the story that Scotland and its government are incompetent, repeating issues ad nauseum, even reframing issues to imply the Scottish Government

is to blame. These attacks are levelled at the very confidence of the people of Scotland, attacking our headspace as well as our infrastructure and expectations.

It’s called psychological operations, or psyops for short.

Protecting and building our people’s realistic confidence in themselves is the start of this process and we Yessers/SNP/Greens/Alba/ISP and many others have made significant progress since 1999 and before. All of this great work must not be wasted on ego trips by anyone person or group. Together we win and divided we fail.

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Stand back for a moment and ask what an external group would seek to see in Scotland to demonstrate a desire to become independent?

My view is that a overwhelming portion of the population would need to show that it is “for” independence. What does overwhelming mean? I think greater than 60% of the turnout, ideally more than 66% would be more acceptable.

Would that mean the UK Government would roll over and provide a Section 30 for a referendum? Probably not, but do we need a referendum?

Without having a large portion of the base voting and the high percentage voting Yes, it will hamper any appeal for external groups for support, be it US/EU/Efta/EEA/UN or the international courts, should we need to take that route.

So, let’s start getting our voters energised and out to vote. Postal voting helps, and use the incompetence, intransigence and downright arrogance of Unionism as levers to our cause.

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

TO my dismay and after several letters to The National, I must stress the importance of independence supporters not referring to themselves as “nationalists”. From recent letters, it would appear that “nationalist” as a form of self-identification is a generational thing. They suggest terms used at the dawn of the movement in 1926!

Times and terms change. We are NOT nationalists. We are SOCIAL DEMOCRATS who believe that our ideals and goals can only be achieved by independence. If you refer to yourself as a nationalist you are falling into a trap set by our imperial masters. Connotations.

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If you want to find out about nationalism in the Scottish context, you need look no further than the story of John White, ex-moderator of the Kirk, and his article “If I Was Dictator of Edinburgh”. White was booted out of the Church of Scotland circa 1930. His ambition was to reunite the Kirk and the Free Church of Scotland, which separated at the Disruption.

What do nationalists do to achieve difficult goals? You guessed it! They appoint a scapegoat! In this case, the immigrant Irish living here. There were a series of protests outside Roman Catholic churches and interruptions to the Mass and Rosary. The classic nationalist tactic was deployed. If your country has problems it is always someone else’s fault, in this case the immigrant Irish.

White was successful in reuniting factions of the Kirk and his story is little known here and demonstrates why we should be very wary of the nationalist moniker.

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I would encourage readers to source Richard Holloway (the former Bishop of Edinburgh) and his book The Sword and the Cross. Other examples of the history of nationalists in Scotland is Siol nan Gaidheal (The Seed of the Gael/Only the Gael), which argued that all the top jobs in Scotland were taken by those of Anglo-Saxon origin. There was even some suggestion that a eugenics programme be introduced to avoid the pollution of Scottish stock!

Last, and by no means least, who remembers the Tartan Terrorists? They had a letter-bomb campaign against selected individuals to further the cause of independence. The campaign operated through the1970s and nationalist activists were jailed. Interesting but grim reading!

Now, who is still referring to themselves as nationalists?

WJ Graham
East Kilbride

IN response to your reader’s letter (June 7) that independence should come first before other issues. The issue of Trident and other nuclear weapons in Scotland and the grave danger they pose – especially at the present time with the threat from Russia – means there needs to be a concerted campaign by the independence parties including the SNP, Alba and the Greens to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons as an absolute priority.

Colin Beattie
via email