I FIND myself in agreement with much of what Walter Hamilton has to say (Letters, October 6). It does seem at times that independence has become a word that frightens the SNP great and good. I fear that he will not get his “unambiguous guarantee” from the SNP conference of a referendum at the end of the Brexit negotiations.

Pro-independence supporters will then lose heart and may indeed desert the party in some numbers. The SNP has become too used and comfortable with the workings of parliament and has settled into a complacent existence, too ready to play by their rules. It has lost its radical edge, its passion and energy and is in desperate need of re-motivation.

Like him, it angers me enormously every time I hear those in the movement saying “but Theresa May will say now is not the time”. It is quite concerning that this view is also at times expressed on social media. To my mind, even stating that argument is to accept that she, or Unionism in general, has any right to deny us. This is not Spain versus Catalonia: there is no formal written British constitution, no competent courts. Our “Constitution” is based on precedent and past practice. Well, if it is people and what they do that builds precedence, for the sake of Scotland let us make our own precedence through a bit of direct action.

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There is no point in worrying about the Scotland Act or Section 30 Orders because Westminster will be taking note of the EU’s failure to take action against Spain, and conclude that they can also refuse Scotland its referendum. We must take our justification and authority from the UN Charter which guarantees nations the right to self-determination. Remember we have a triple-validated mandate to hold our referendum, and should just do it without any further faffing about.

I note what Walter Hamilton has to say about SNP MPs resigning and forcing by-elections, but to have been really effective that should have been done when the SNP had 56/59 MPs and, for the life of me, I still do not understand why it was not.

We are where we are, and I suspect that the logistics for arranging a referendum will take us into post-Brexit/transition. Any further prevarication, however, from Westminster should provide sufficient reason for all parties supporting independence to campaign in the Holyrood 2021 election and/or the next General Election on the clear and explicit basis that voting for them is a demand for the Dissolution of Crowns and Parliaments and is de facto our declaration of independence. QED! “Wha daur meddle wi me!”

JF Davidson, Bonnyrigg

THE nonsense from the usual suspects of British nationalists and the mainstream media decrying the SNP’s mandate to call an independence referendum completely overlooks that the party stood in 2016 asking for such a mandate and won that election. Then when the Tories and their Labour pals tried to make every election since then a referendum on whether the Scottish Government could call a second independence referendum they were all soundly beaten, with the SNP winning more councillors and more MPs than the Unionist parties.

So after three clear examples of the SNP winning elections to prove they have the popular mandate to call an election, it is bizarre that David Mundell and others still claim no one wants it. Well I do, as do many other people in Scotland, all of whom supported and campaigned in these past few elections. The mandate is in place and hopefully sooner rather than later the Scottish Government will bring forward not just the date of the next referendum but also a positive campaign advocating the advantages of Scotland becoming an independent nation.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren, ​Paisley

YOU’RE supposed to ungird your loins after battle, not before it. Is the SNP about to loosen its kilt and draw the plastic dirk of prevarication across its floppy underbelly in an act of hara-kiri, piling its pale, warm entrails on the cardboard targe of capitulation to the Union ogre?

It might as well, if it abandons a fresh referendum in the current Holyrood parliament.

And the reason is very simple. A party which gives up on its self-styled “triple-locked” mandate might never be taken seriously if it seeks, or claims to have won, a mandate in future. Even if it wins power again in 2021, which is by no means certain, having sought a fresh mandate, all Downing Street would have to say is “On yer bike. You claimed to have won a solid mandate in 2016, but your own inaction showed that claim to be worthless. Why should we regard you as genuine this time?”

I fear a very large number of people would think that the PM was quite right. Integrity, once lost, is never quite recovered.

Alan Crocket, Motherwell

BEFORE it was strong and stable leadership and a majority was lost. Now it is merely calm leadership, whatever that means.

Given the open factionalism in the Cabinet and beyond it seems more like “becalmed” leadership from Theresa May – a leader in paralysis. The inane phrases have returned like Brexit means Brexit algorithmically rejigged to give breathing space in the hope of a fresh breeze. The May government is like an old windjammer in calm waters, sails flapping awaiting a southerly wind to blow while the crew mutinies!

Yet, the most pressing policy on exiting the EU has beached itself and awaits a high tide to float off and reset the compass unsure of its new direction. What will be the next nostrum from Theresa May, one wonders? MayDay, lost at sea!

John Edgar, Stewarton