I THINK perhaps that Wee Ginger Dug will speak for many, if not most, of us in the independence movement when he questions the notion that the 2021 Holyrood election should be fought on the basis of seeking a renewed mandate for a referendum (I voted SNP because they promised me indyref2 ... they must deliver it BEFORE 2021, The National, September 30).

He explains clearly and logically that we already have that mandate, triple validated, and that there is no need to seek another. It is not the mandate for a referendum that is questionable, it is the timidity of the SNP government and their failure to take the bold and confident action necessary to implement it. They have shown weakness by allowing the Unionist forces and parties to dictate the agenda and timescale; buckled under the pressure and meekly conceded defeat.

He goes on to ask the very telling rhetorical question: why should independence supporters back the SNP in the 2021 Holyrood election for a new referendum mandate when the SNP have failed to follow through on the one they already have?

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We have to believe in our cause and have confidence in our convictions. Wee Ginger Dug believes we must hold the already mandated referendum before the next Holyrood election but I wonder if there is an alternative approach, one that is more realistic in terms of timescales.

Why not make the 2021 Holyrood election itself the independence referendum? Get serious and cut out all the bullshit. We must have a clear and explicit statement of intent. All pro-indy parties should campaign on a manifesto that states unequivocally that a majority of pro-indy MSPs and/or votes is a declaration that Scotland demands the right to independence and self-determination, that all Scottish MPs be discharged and that negotiations with Westminster should commence on the dissolution of Crowns and Parliament. Such an outcome would surely be unchallengeable and be one which would not allow the British state to treat Scotland as the Catalans and Kurds are being treated by their respective governments.

It is not going to be easy but it has to be done, and I would certainly like to be around when it happens. For me this is a bucket list item, just as Hibs winning the Scottish Cup again was!
J F Davidson

WEE Ginger Dug is quite correct in why the SNP received his, mine, and many others’ vote over the past 20-plus years.

I was brought up in a working-class home. My grandfather was a lifelong communist. I was taught from an early age what life was like before the welfare state. Both my parents worked, but my mum would tell me when she or one of her nine other siblings were ill the doctor wouldn’t attend unless you had 10/- to pay him. If your pay was £3 or even £4 per week that was a considerable amount, plus prescription charges etc.

So it was natural for me to vote Labour. I did right up till after Tony Blair became PM of the UK. It rapidly became clear that he was actually a Tory in his political philosophy.

The New Labour (Red Tory) premise that Tories would vote for a slightly watered-down version of the Conservative Party always baffled me. So why do I vote SNP? Well being an independence-supporting socialist, SLAB are not a socialist party (they can certainly try and claim to be, but they certainly don’t appear to be for the workers and peasants). In simple terms, the SNP are a vehicle. I am on board this vehicle to arrive at a specific destination. That destination is full independence for Scotland.

When we reach it I will disembark the vehicle and see what other political party is offering the policies that meet my and my children’s aspirations for a more inclusive society.

If the SNP are that party then they will again receive my vote, but the Unionist parties that keep claiming that the SNP are a cult? Only in so far as all other religions and political parties have their share of rabid fundamentalists? The Unionist should be well aware of this certain phenomenon!

If the Scottish Government have disappointed me, then to put it all in context I just imagine what Scotland would be like under “The Colonel” and that ilk! It’s enough to steel my mettle, and carry on forward with the job of breaking the Union of unequal governance!
Sandy Allan
Newburgh Ellon

IT is good to see that mainstream commentators like the Wee Ginger Dug are eventually catching up and seeing the efforts of the SNP for what they are and that is quite simply abysmal.

The thing is that they have been in this comatose state since the last independence referendum and I have blogged and posted constantly regarding this comatose state and a distinct lack of a road map to independence since days after the referendum.

I spoke to an SNP MP last night and was most concerned that they are in a state of self-denial and, believe it or not, they still do not realise that their present state is down to their neglect of independence. They actually believe what the media and Unionist parties have been constantly feeding the public, and that is that they have been speaking too much about independence.

They believe that what Pete Wishart finally realised last week – that his and others’ fall in popularity was due to the lack of commitment for independence – is not the case. Words fail me.
Bob Costello
via thenational.scot