MHAIRI Black said in Saturday’s article that ”if we want something done then we are best to do it ourselves” (Disrespect of Scottish policies isn’t a one-off – it’s a trend, Jun 11). How right she is.

One need only read Lesley Riddoch’s latest book Thrive (which I strongly recommend to all readers of The National and beyond) to see the truth of this statement. And what are we doing for ourselves so far? Well, within the devolution settlement much has already been done, too much to list here, but will it get longer? Not without independence.

As Mhairi Black says, while devolution "allows us to at least blanket some of the blows that come from Westminster policies", what we are seeing is a desire by the Tories to take this opportunity away and return to direct rule as “Westminster knows best!” So what we need is independence – NOW.

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We need to act as if we are already independent, but what has the SNP government done?

Apart from reducing child poverty, which is desirable and necessary, they are not hamstrung by the devolution settlement in many other fields, and yet they have made no progress. No land tax with the resulting land re-distribution which we need, and which is within the existing settlement. No council tax revision, which is within the existing settlement (what about annual ground, floor and roof rent?). Oh, these would affect the rich, exclaim the SNP. Let me tell the Scottish Government a home truth: the rich will NEVER vote for independence. Being Tories, they will even “endure” a Labour government for a single term or two, to see a return to Tory rule, which WILL happen.

So why wait? Get on with it and see the results. A return to a “balanced” democratic country, where decisions by our parliament are applied and upheld. The government can go ahead with their DRS (something I witnessed successfully applied in Berlin in 2016!).

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Heck, even the call for a Universal Basic Income by the Scottish Government is now to be piloted in three areas by the English government in 2026, ie after the next election! But I divert.

With electricity generation within their powers, they would be able to form a Scottish generating company (as they promised) and put an end to heat deprivation in our energy-rich country. They could even get a decent return on the electricity which is “sent”, “stolen”, “acquired” by England. At present it is only 39%, but we ain’t seen nothing yet, in a few years it will be massive, in order for “Britain” to achieve net zero. Remember Scottish oil in the 1970s, the oil that was only going to last 15 years! (I had geologist friends who scoffed at the very idea at the time).  The oil that subsidised British unemployment while Thatcher sold off the family silver to enable London to make itself “the financial capital of the world”. And where is it now? Following Brexit it is now fighting off Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt to keep that title.

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If we keep sleeping we will see the same happen to all our wind energy, and next in line will be our water. As the world warms and more droughts occur farther north, just watch what will happen to our water. This will be piped south to irrigate the fields of “the garden of England” and we won’t even be thanked as it is “British” water for British fields and British people. Why oh why can the Scots not see that they and their country’s assets are used merely to subsidise England’s lifestyle, and maintain appearances (and nuclear missiles)? Appearances which are fast disappearing following Brexit.

So waken up, Scots and the Scottish Government, start now and behave as if we are a normal independent country and to hell with the consequences.

Or there is no logic to Mhairi Black’s article.

Paul Gillon