Another dose of turmoil in Sturgeon’s new independence debate promise

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OUR First Minister once again reveals her true intent in the opening exchanges of the new year with a couple of all-important lines about a renewed debate on indep­endence and how she is ­confident of getting majority support over the next few years (6 January).

Most of what she had to say reflected warm words of progressive-sounding intentions, and was clearly aimed at keeping on side her newer left-­leaning supporters who might not be so comfortable at the prospect of more years of divisiveness arguing about breaking away from the UK.

It seems that once she secures her predicted majority in May’s elections, Nicola Sturgeon will happily put us all through the turmoil [of a referendum] once again, no matter the cost to Scotland in terms of economic or social disruption.

Keith Howell

West Linton, Peeblesshire

I am deeply disappointed that Nicola Sturgeon has gone back on her word and brought the prospect of another referendum back into the debate for the Holyrood elections.

She is right that there is a good chance of achieving a majority if another referendum were held in the near future – not because the case for leaving the UK rejected in 2014 has suddenly become ­valid, but because the SNP have used all their efforts into maintaining the sense of grievance amongst their­ ­supporters when then should have been running the ­country.

I fear it is also likely that the broad anti-independence lobby will struggle to summon the energy required to cope with the hatred and ignorance directed at them for a second time with a few years.

The “majority” Ms Sturgeon refers to, however, is never likely to be much more than 50 per cent and one vote – there is no evidence of a swing in favour of independence which will even reverse the margin of defeat in 2014.

I fail to see how a new country can successfully be built when half the population are not engaged with the project.

Perhaps this is just a bluff from the First Minister. She said she wanted to be judged on her record in government –maybe she has realised this is a bad idea and needs to distract her fans with another chance to wave flags and spout nonsense in the streets.

Dr SJ Clark

Easter Road, Edinburgh

My heart sank when I read on your front page “First Minister announces fresh independence debate before election” (6 January). I found the 2014 debate so divisive, with citizens’ honest concerns being so scornfully dismissed, that I came away with a negative opinion of nationalism.

I remember the oft-repeated allegation that if one is not a Scottish nationalist, one must be a British nationalist. Absolute nonsense! Many have a far wider concept of our place within humanity not limited by the location in which we were born or chose to live.

John Milne

Ardgowan Drive, Uddingston

Your report that Nicola Sturgeon “will lead a renewed debate for independence ahead of this year’s Scottish elections” confirms the worst-kept secret of 2015.

Will Ms Sturgeon therefore commit unequivocally in her manifesto to a second referendum during the next parliament? Not a chance.

And this will be to keep on board – at least until the elections are over – those who oppose independence but who may vote SNP because of its policies such as the council tax freeze and free university tuition.

Ms Sturgeon’s spell seems to be working on her own MSPs – in the same edition of The Scotsman we have Shona Robison responding to the fact that one in ten operations were cancelled in a month by hailing a “consistent picture of improvement” in the health service and we also find the Aberdeenshire West MSP Dennis Robertson proclaiming that the oil industry in the North Sea, far from being in crisis, is “booming”!

Have they been brainwashed or are they simply delusional? Either way they and the flag-waving acolytes are in serious need of a reality check.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue, Edinburgh