ROBIN McAlpine writes (The National, November 2) that 2018 and 2019 “do not look feasible” for a referendum and that we should “be ready to fight an independence referendum from 2020.” Long before then the English regime will force through Castillian-style legislation on the strength of English votes (for everyone’s laws), alleging it illegal for Scotland alone to hold any referendum on constitutional issues.

At the present time we have the so-called Section 30 Order. This neither grants nor denies permission for a referendum, though the Yoons are under the impression it gives them a veto. It does not. It is a device whereby London and Edinburgh agree that any referendum will be binding and they will respect the outcome.

Currently the Scottish Government is legally entitled to hold a referendum on any issue. If it does so minus a Section 30 Order request, then the referendum is simply classified as a non-binding one. If we vote Yes, the English regime could say it doesn’t recognise it as binding. However, the EU vote was a non-binding referendum, which Scotland emphatically rejected, so we could equally say we don’t recognise it as binding on Scotland.

Remember, we are in a union with England on the basis of an internationally agreed treaty between two sovereign states, and may withdraw from that union just as the English have chosen to withdraw their country from the EU union. There is a window open now which will remain open into 2019, after which the English regime will move to subvert the Treaty of Union and defraud Scots of their constitutional and legal rights.

Linda Horsburgh


WE are used to surprises in politics but who would have expected Corbyn’s shadow defence Secretary, Mia Griffith, to be attacking the Tories for spending too little on defence and insisting that a Labour government would spend more, probably at least another billion pounds (BBC Sunday Politics, November 5). This from a Corbyn team which has not committed to reversing the Tory welfare cuts. So military hardware comes before the poor or the NHS.

It was of course known that caught between the vice of the GMB union and Unite in England (Scottish policy is different), Corbyn caved in on his life-long opposition to nuclear weapons and went along, not just with the existing Trident, but with the full and costly Trident renewal programme. There has been no evidence that he has been fighting to reverse that position. What change can we really expect from any future Corbyn government?

Congratulations to Sarah Smith for challenging Ms Griffith on whether Labour would sign the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty negotiated by 122 countries in July. Labour will not. This important international development has been ignored by most of the UK media and it is good to see the issue being raised.

Isobel Lindsay


WITH sex, power and money all wrapped up together, various sections and members of the establishment, groups and structures are coming apart.

When the country is still gripped by austerity, when some of us are about to launch a winter appeal for back-to-school clothing banks, what does it say when the head of a rich, powerful family – who receives grants from us but pays only “voluntary” income tax of her own determination – is outed as having invested her monthly payments in offshore tax havens?

Does it say “we” care about “our” subjects?

In a UK where billions will be spent long-term on Trident and fixing Westminster, where England has 86 per cent of the population, Scotland has 8.3 per cent but 24 per cent of the national deficit, how much longer will we be silent?

Isn’t it time we spoke out even more to show the Scotland we’re prepared to “fight for” – through the mobilisation of thought, debate, discussions and interactions with as many people and groups as possible?

We have to be demonstrate that politically and socially, we’re no longer controlled by parties and their ideologies, but that we’re prepared to contest the status quo.

Stay involved with the indy movement and become even more active as we prepare for the inevitability of a second indyref.

Ask others to join, host a meeting, or go to one. Attend training sessions to find out how to engage positively without antagonising others, or how to use social media. But let’s face it, face-to-face and personal experiences often prove more effective. We have to be ready, and this time, aye, we will (I pinched that from Lesley Riddoch, at Saturday’s SIC conference at the Usher Hall).

Selma Rahman


IT seems I’m not the only person to cite European laws in support of Catalonia (Catalan five report to police In Belgium, The National, November 6). You report Jan Jambon, Belgian vice premier, stating: “You have Spanish law but also international law, the European Human Rights Treaty and such things, and they come ahead of member state law. So I think the international community must keep a close watch”.

In respect of the extradition order issued by Spain, he reminds us – and, dare I suggest, the EU and international community – that it can be rejected if it “would violate the human rights of a suspect” and that discrimination on the grounds of the individual’s politics, religion or race is grounds for refusal along with fears the suspect would not get a fair trial, which is what Puigdemont has consistently claimed.

Lovina Roe