Readers' Letters: It’s time Independence was read Last Rites
Independence should be read the Last Rites and be given a decent burial. Referendums which result in major constitutional and financial upheavals are basically flawed in that once people discover there can be serious adverse consequences, they change their minds. This has been clearly demonstrated with Brexit – current polling figures show that a majority across the UK now consider that our departure from the EU, and especially the single market, has been a mistake.
The Scots had the good sense to say “No” to separation in 2014 and again to Brexit in 2016. Independence and its outcome is too uncertain a step to justify making a great leap into the dark.
Barry Hughes, Edinburgh
So the Supreme Court rules against the devolved SNP administration on whether it’s legally possible for Nicola Sturgeon to stage Indyref2, essentially because the constitution is a reserved matter and not delegated to Holyrood.
Like everyone didn't know this already? How much not only Scottish but British taxpayer cash has been wasted on this nonsense by Sturgeon and her fellow separatists?
Martin Redfern, Melrose, Roxburghshire
The so-called Supreme Court ruling that Holyrood cannot have an independence referendum is an abomination. It has rightly been met with contempt and anger by millions of Scots. It is a shameful landmark in the destruction of democratic rights. It leaves the United Kingdom as a legal, moral and politically bankrupt entity. This disastrous decision will stand alongside the Dred Scott case in its infamy. This was when the US Supreme Court ruled that even freed descendants of slaves had no rights the white man was required to respect. Nor could they be citizens.
There is no doubt that Scotland now is a colony. Democracy exists here in name only. To pretend otherwise is a filthy lie. The ruling should be the end of the "constitutional” approach pursued by the SNP. This had been a disaster. Reasserting Scotland's ancient right to independence will require a head-on collision with the Westminster cesspit.
SNP MPs should disrupt the illegitimate proceedings at Westminster. The other course of action is that Holyrood is collapsed, a fresh election called on a single issue of independence. Then independence should be declared unilaterally.
The right of nations to secede is enshrined in international law. This trumps domestic law. This was the position of the UK when Kosovo left Serbia. The same applies to Scotland. This will not happen with the current SNP leadership in place.
Alan Hinnrichs, Dundee
So they got their day in the Supreme Court, and the verdict went against them. That is what the justice system is all about. The SNP, since its inception, has never been able to see anyone else's point of view. As a result of this their policies do not bode well for Scotland's future politically, economically or structurally. What's next then? Just more protests, woad/tartan-strewn rallies and on-going anti-British propaganda.
Under the current minority SNP administration at Holyrood most Governmental functions and public services have deteriorated markedly. Holyrood has become an overpriced, unsuccessful political pantomime. Quite sad really, when one considers the aspirations of its Labour/Liberal founders.
When can we, the electorate, expect to see major changes in the way devolved matters are handled? Improvements are unlikely to materialise under the present SNP/Green administration. So where lies the answer to the impasse into which the political scene in Scotland has reached? Surely only the electorate can decide.
Robert I G Scott, Ceres, Fife
It will be interesting to see whether Nicola Sturgeon does fight the next General Election as a de facto referendum – based on votes, as she said in the summer, and not seats. At the 2019 general election the SNP got 1.24 million votes from 4.3m Scottish registered voters – 29 per cent, and 45 per cent of the 2.75m votes cast. That equates to 2.7 per cent of 47.5m British registered voters being in favour of splitting up the UK – 4 per cent of the 31.8m votes cast in 2019.
Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire
Look in mirror
Nicola Sturgeon has a nerve saying Scottish democracy will not be denied when she and her SNP minions have always refused to accept the result of the fully democratic first Referendum. You couldn't make it up, but then again, Sturgeon and co always can.
Steve Hayes, Leven, Fife
Well, the bluff has not worked and the case has been lost, to no-one’s great surprise. The exercise to determine whether Holyrood can hold another referendum or not has just been a waste of time and (our) money for all involved. I took two things from the judgement. Firstly, it has been made clear that a referendum result would strengthen or weaken the Union, depending on the result. From this it is quite clear, therefore, that the 2014 result strengthens the Union, because that vote resulted from a legal process in which the majority of the population voted No.
The second issue that should be obvious to all watching is that the Scottish Government/ SNP case was thrown together by their spin doctors, with little legal input, and so the case they presented was rejected much sooner than expected. We should be clear on this point. The verdict was unanimous – no ambiguity.
Interestingly, journalists afterwards were very quick to say that this does not end the matter, but then, these are the people who are intrigued by the twists and turns of the debate, and who would like to keep that going.
We should now be hearing a different argument. Democracy in this country requires checks and balances, and the most important of those checks and balances is the law. No political party should be able to put something in its manifesto which it knows to be illegal or outwith its realm of competence. And this is the argument that we must all now remember. It is the people of Scotland who have agreed what the Scottish Parliament can and cannot do. We agreed to a parliament with tax varying powers in 1997. We rejected independence in 2014. Later that year, our representatives in the Scottish Parliament, all of them, agreed an enhanced set of devolution powers that were then enacted in full. We are therefore unanimously agreed on the powers that we do have, and we have rejected any other alternative.
The law gives people protection from the government it elects, which is fundamentally important when that government is elected by a minority of the population.
Victor Clements, Aberfeldy, Perthshire
Make the case
I suspect the Supreme Court judgement will have been met with sighs of relief all round at SNP HQ. There is no need to show their incompetence – again – in having to organise a referendum next year.
Of course, the First Minister trotted out the pre-prepared statement that the ruling merely strengthens the case for independence and the sheep will trot this out ad nauseum over the next few weeks as they try to keep everyone on board. The sad fact is that Scotland will suffer as its government will focus on the issue that “transcends everything” while the SNHS, education, jobs, policing, rail travel and everything that really matters to the people of Scotland is ignored. Can they not try to win support by showing they can actually do something positive, or is that beyond them?
Ken Currie, Edinburgh
I am very impressed by the SNP’s latest independence brochure entitled “A good global citizen”. Not only will an independent Scotland be a land of milk and honey for us Scots, it will also protect people around the world!
The SNP would set up an “atrocity unit” to monitor the conditions of citizens in conflict around the world to see if intervention on their behalf is necessary. The promising aspect of this new initiative is that it could be piloted here at home in advance of independence. Given that the NHS, for example, is akin to a war zone the atrocity unit could determine how we might assist our citizens languishing for hours or even days in Accident & Emergency units or those on years-long waiting lists for orthopaedic surgery – not to mention the staff toiling heroically in what must seem to them combat conditions. Or perhaps the “Scottish Defence Unit” could look at how it might come to the aid of teachers on the frontline in our classrooms. There is ample scope in the Scotland of today to trial this venture.
No doubt it is very noble of SNP ministers to devote their time to global altruistic causes on the supposition that Scotland might one day become independent. In the here and now, however, some of our own citizens might ponder that charity begins at home.
Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh
Wilko Johnson was told in 2012 he had eight months to live. Instead he lived another ten years – during which his legacy as one of Britain's most influential guitarists (pub rock, punk and the revived appreciation of old school rhythm and blues) with the legendary Dr Feelgood, Ian Dury and the Blockheads was secured with a Top 3 album with Roger Daltrey.His legacy as an inspiration against adversity will hopefully last as well.
Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire
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