SCOTLAND needs independence now. Westminster parties showed their contempt for Scotland when they transferred thousands of square miles of Scottish waters to England on the eve of devolution by means of a statutory order.

In the following years, Labour at Westminster took us into a new era of wars, sold off our gold reserves, wrecked company pension schemes, kept capital spending off the books and let the international bankers in the City spend our savings on second rate US mortgages that their local branch managers would have laughed out the door.

In Scotland Labour and the LibDems bought hospitals and schools (but no council houses) on the never-never while billions of pounds lay unused in Scotland’s account at Westminster.

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When the SNP took over as the Scottish Government, for the first few years they had to pour money into education, health and housing to try and make up for the previous shortfalls.

At Westminster, the Tories took over on the back of the bank crash and introduced austerity on a scale and duration not seen in recent years. The SNP have been the Scottish Government throughout this period and on the whole have managed to make headway in the areas over which it has devolved powers.

Westminster agreed to Holyrood’s request to hold an independence referendum; the day after the referendum it was announced that Westminster would double up as the English Parliament.

The UK Government’s knee-jerk reaction to a surge in support for Ukip was the promise of an EU referendum in the hope of heading off mass desertion by MPs and voters. The threat from Ukip faded away, unfortunately the promised referendum initiated the UK’s exit from the EU.

Since then at Westminster, the government and official opposition have been in a state bordering on chaos. Time that should have been spent on governing and Brexit spent on infighting and electioneering.

The Westminster Government and opposition appear to lack any idea of how the country should be heading towards Brexit and where to take it after Brexit. The one certainty is that Scotland will again face a period where Holyrood can be overruled by ministerial statutory orders.

Yesterday, we heard that Westminster forgot to tell the Scottish Government what was in the latest Brexit White Papers or when they would be published.

Scotland needs to take control over its own affairs before devolution is reeled back by Westminster.
John Jamieson
West Lothian

IN his thoughtful analysis of the confusion afflicting many supporters regarding the inactivity on the referendum, George Kerevan articulates what many are feeling (Use it or lose it: We need to hold indyref2 before the next Holyrood election, The National, October 9). We have been stood to attention and then stood down and left to wonder what happened to the Growth Commission and National Survey. He is also right in saying that we must have an opportunity to determine our own future before we have finally Brexited.

He suggests this must take place once the Brexit outcome is clear (early 2019?) To do that we will, in all likelihood, have to proceed without Section 30 and I certainly have no problem with that. But there should be just one question, ie: “In the light of/disregardless of the Brexit settlement should Scotland become an Independent country?” An alternative tactic would be to make independence for Scotland our platform for the Holyrood 2021 elections or a General Election, ideally, if one comes along before that. A big risk – but a huge prize!
JF Davidson