SO “now is not the time” for divisive actions which are designed to tear the country apart at a point when the whole nation is pulling together to get the best deal from Brexit.

But apparently now is the time because there are factions which aren’t playing ball with Theresa May’s ideas of what the values of the country should be. That, in addition to not having any plans whatsoever for Brexit.

What has changed over the last few weeks to make this drastic course of action necessary – pressure from the SNP and indyref2, almost certainty that Labour are in no position to govern, or just the Tories idea of their own self-importance and their drive to a right-wing agenda?

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We cannot continue to be governed, and I use the term loosely, by such short-sighted and egotistic right-wing Tories.

This General Election is heading towards being a one-issue election (Brexit) but there are no plans, no details, no agreements ... haven’t we been here before? It’s time for Scotland to decide its own future.
Graham Stewart

THERESA May has just said that she has too much on her hands with Brexit to cope with a Scottish referendum, but has now got plenty of time for a disruptive and divisive General Election.

Even if she gets the overwhelming majority that is expected from the opinion polls she will not last long as Prime Minister, as the new intake will soon discover that she is the weak link who was elected from the survivors of the pre-Brexit Tory Cabinet, most of whom should have been put out to grass long ago.

The new Tory MPs will probably have strong Ukip leanings, resulting in an dictatorial extreme right-wing government capable of bulldozing through anti-human rights legislation and anti-trade union and anti-social security legislation on a scale never seen before.

Scots need to think long and hard about casting their votes for any party that does not support Scottish independence, otherwise we will continue to be treated as second class citizens, as we have been ever since the Union of the Parliaments in 1707.

Scotland’s voice needs to be heard loud and clear in the new parliament, which may well be filled with establishment Tories believing in their divine right to rule.
Maggie Jamieson
West Lothian

I LEARNED of this General Election while on holiday and must admit to being surprised and then, as rational thought took over, a realisation that I should have expected nothing less from an opportunist party with an opportunist leader.

I would have thought that with all Theresa May has to deal with in the impending disaster that is Brexit, she would be better spending her time planning how to extricate herself from that.

On reflection, that may be exactly what she is doing. If she obtains a large majority in Westminster she will be safe for another five years no matter what happens.

I can only hope that the people see through the charade of this being called to bring unity and strength and vote accordingly.

As far as Scotland is concerned, I think she is taking a massive gamble, hoping that she can forestall a second referendum on independence. It is, I think, a gamble she is going to regret.

Scotland will have an opportunity to send her a message. I sincerely hope we do that in no uncertain terms and that a second referendum on our independence follows quickly thereafter.
William St Clair

I THINK we can all agree this is a surprising announcement and reversal of Theresa May’s previously held position.

We are told the rationale is for a Westminster mandate, although there is no evidence this was at any time in danger. So why?

Mrs May has never been forthcoming on detail so we will probably never know. Safe to say if the people of Scotland want the kind of society that is repeatedly voted for then independence is the only option.

David Smyth VERY cunning! I reckon she’s banking on a huge Tory landslide in England and SNP losing seats in Scotland and we’ll all have Tory rule for the rest of eternity! I think I’ll move to Ireland.

Sheila Humphries THIS is pure politicking. The Tories are ahead in the polls, there is no effective opposition, and the impact of Brexit has not begun to sink in.

This is the best chance the Tories will have of staying in government for the foreseeable future.

It has nothing at all to do with the wellbeing of the country or the vast majority of its population. It is about the Tories staying in power, keeping the donations from their corporate backers coming in and ensuring comfortable sinecures with said corporate backers for ministers once they leave office.
Michael Housman

A SNAP general election in June will be a good opportunity for the Scottish independence movement.

The Scottish Parliament has already agreed to hold another independence referendum, and it is expected that Westminster will refuse to grant the Section 30 order. The Scottish Tories are threatening to boycott Holyrood if the Scottish Government proceeds with a referendum without Westminster’s “permission”.

If the SNP build into their manifesto a request from the Scottish people for their permission to go ahead with an independence referendum whenever the Scottish Government thinks it is wise to do so, with or without Westminster’s “permission”, this would provide an irrefutable mandate to proceed.
Dennis White

WILL all the SNP MPs stand again? Quite a thought as they don’t like their surroundings or the ethos of the place, they dislike the hours and ridiculous voting methods and traditions, they have not been seduced by Westminster as the countless Scottish Labour MPs have been over the years, and they don’t believe it should exist anyway!

I think Theresa May underestimates the Corbyn factor with the electorate down south and this may throw up a few surprises. Ukip are stumbling and falling apart, which could add to the Labour vote in England. The rape clause is still fresh in the minds – and that Trump handshake!

Not even listening to Scotland with Brexit issues and saying no to preparations for a future referendum riled many Scots of every belief.

Let’s hope May falls on her sword and the SNP group can have more say and power!
Dawn Corbett

THIS is the final chance for the people of Scotland to stand up for themselves once and for all.

The aim must be to ensure that all 59 MPs sent to Westminster after the election are SNP MPs with no Unionist MPs left in Scotland. This is the only definitive way to send the clearest of messages to whichever Westminster Government is elected.

I’m afraid that if we end up with fewer SNP MPs in Westminster than we currently have, it will sound the beginning of the death knell of the hopes for independence – especially if the Conservatives gain a large majority at the General Election.
Robert R Snedden

LET us use the election as a mandate to start independence negotiations. The SNP and Greens will make clear that a vote for those parties is consent given to take independence forward and that no referendum is thus needed. It will avoid the veto of Westminster and spare Scotland another divisive campaign.
Andrew Reid Wildman

VERY worried. All the values that Britain has held so dear are going to be swept away by this Prime Minister, and her cohort of extreme right wingers.

Let’s face it, Labour can’t win against the Conservatives. It’s time for all the peoples of all Scotland choose our own path, and distance ourselves in a free, compassionate country, away from the ideology-driven agenda of Westminster and Scottish Conservatives, that only provide and care for a privileged few in our society.

It’s time Scotland was free politically from Westminster and a nation of which generations to come can be proud.
John Mccann

I FEEL genuinely sorry for the Labour Party, not just in this country but in England also. I once knew, and campaigned alongside, folk from the Labour Party, in a different city, in 1997, during the referendum that won us our Parliament.

One of those I knew then is a Labour MSP and former government minister. For goodness sake, guys, see the future. None of us want the Labour Party to go down, we just want you to join us on the historic journey on which our country is embarked. Please don’t get stuck on the rhetoric of an era that is over.

Your old boat is leaky and sinking. There’s a new ship still waiting in the harbour for you, the ship of a Labour Party that’s on our side, a ship that will join the fleet in the next indyref. Do not condemn us to Tory rule forever.

Trans-ship now, before your old leaky boat goes down. Maggie May’s election could be the end of you if you don’t.
Norman Easton

THERESA May has gambled on a poor showing by the Labour Party. Going by the recent polls this may well give her a greater majority in England. We must hope that the SNP increases its constituency count to 59.
Jim Morris

I BELIEVE this dramatic U-turn has been brought about by intelligence coming to May that no matter what the EU says publicly, nevertheless it is their intention to hammer the best deal for the EU and to emphasise that the UK can’t have all the benefits without paying the fees. Just try playing a round of golf having refused to pay your subs!

As for this election (assuming that May gets her two-thirds majority) then, having been snubbed by May over the democratic wishes of the Scottish Parliament to hold a second independence referendum, maybe we should fight this quite simply on the basis that if the SNP gain a majority of Scottish MPs then our new MPs simply walk out of Wastemonster declaring UDI. So no need for another referendum.

Notwithstanding this, let’s just ensure that Fluffy is given his P45 and get back to a Tory-free Scotland.
Charlie Gallagher

CALLING a General Election is just the latest move in a game the Tory Party are playing.

May’s insistence that Article 50 would be triggered at the end of March 2017 was based on a timescale of two years to “negotiate a deal” and one year to sell it to the British public before the next election in May/June 2020.

It has become apparent to all that this will probably not be settled before 2020, with a very high chance of a terrible result for everyone in the UK. The Tories now think that their best chance of prolonging their hold on power is to go for an election.

Cynicism and ruthlessness combine in their determination to hold on to every scrap of power.
Diane Fotheringham

THE only serious question to come out of this snap election decision is will Mundell, Murray or Carmichael still have jobs on June 9?

The SNP getting 59 out of 59 seats would send the strongest anti-Tory message possible to Westminster.
Steven Mitchell

I WOULD like to be sure that the people of Scotland create their own agenda and don’t let mainstream media decide it for them.

Certainly Brexit and indyref2 matter to us but many of us are dealing with unprecedented poverty and housing crises thanks to the Tories.

The NHS is teetering on the brink of financial collapse engineered by the same people who bring us austerity. The world has never been so close to WW3 with the UK heading up the howling for war in the UN.

If they get their way, the rest of the election debate will be immaterial anyway.
Helen Slimmond

THIS is political opportunism of the most rank kind, but is normal for this Prime Minister.

The Tories want to finish off Labour in England and at the same time see if they can do a behind-the-scenes deal with the EU on trade, where their Great British delusions are being met with hard reality.

This election will be about Brexit in England and independence in Scotland, which is not what a General Election should be.

Ted Heath found out in 1974 that single-issue snap elections can destroy you. I hope it all similarly blows up in Theresa May’s face, but whatever happens I feel it makes Scottish independence closer.

We, the people, should have a proper debate about ALL the issues that affect us and if we do that then I am convinced that a majority will vote for candidates who can bring about the better and socially just future we want for Scotland.

Whatever powers Holyrood has at the moment, or will get in the future, the naked truth is we are powerless. We can change that.
George Gunn

WHY did we have an unnecessary referendum on Europe? The Tories wanted it. Why are we having an unnecessary General Election? The Tories want it. How much longer must we dance to the Tory tune?

This election should be about a mandate for independence, which we should then declare unilaterally. Why are we even bothering with this nasty joke of a Westminster Government?
ME Herdman

THIS election will be the last nail in the coffin for traditional Labour and LibDem voters who want to escape the clutches of a right-wing Tory administration.

After this election the choice will polarise between a hard-right Little England with a Scottish colony or an independent nation.

Unfortunately in the time it takes for the inevitable to happen, pensioners will suffer from the abandonment of the triple lock and the attack on defined benefit pensions, otherwise abled people will suffer from the attack on their benefits, the poor will suffer as their wages stagnate, our children will suffer as their opportunities close.

Scotland will suffer as it is taxed to pay for the south-east’s infrastructure and oncoming oil streams will be appropriated to pay for the consequences of Brexit.

We will see a political realignment behind the Tories of those elements who will stay part of Britain under any circumstances.

What could have been an amicable and logical separation of two nation states in harmony will be turned by the Tories into an acrimonious division which will reft Britain apart. It makes independence inevitable but the cost enormous.
Ian Richmond
Dumfries and Galloway

THERE are a few good reasons for the Tories to call this snap election, most of which are obvious and already mentioned.

However, the one I have not yet seen is lurking in the background and is connected to the timing.

Less than two months? Take other recent headlines regarding major businesses relocating across the Channel, taking jobs and billions of pounds of turnover and tax revenues with them.

Also inflation, presently under control, is expected to rise significantly during the next one to two years.

We are in a honeymoon period after the Brexit vote where there has been little to concern us in financial terms – this is predicted to change soon, honeymoon over.

It is suggested our living standards will then take a significant dip, as will the popularity of the government who got us into this mess in the first place. Quick election therefore, Mrs May, before the populous realise what is happening.
Willie Robinson

IT’S a win-win for Mrs May and the Tories. If they win they have a mandate for the inevitable “hard Brexit”; if they lose, the mess becomes the responsibility of someone else and whatever government is left to pick up the pieces.
Moira Harries

A DEEPLY disturbing move by the Tories. They are attempting to brush aside any constitutional opposition to their plans – in Scotland – as well as the rest of the UK.

They are choosing to try to build a much greater majority in the House of Commons so that they can push through whatever legislation they feel is right for them.

That could spell disaster for the devolved administrations. The Tories have shown their hand time and again during the life of the current Parliament – so they will feel they have carte blanche if they achieve the majority they hope for.

However, there is another opportunity for Scotland: make the 56 MPs 59! That will send an even clearer message to London. Make Scotland a Tory-free zone and help the country on its path to independence. This is an opportunity this country cannot afford to miss.
Bob Holmes

THE Tory dash for a General Election on June 8 places in our hands a formidable weapon with which to achieve independence.

In the normal course, having gone down the route of a referendum in 2014, and having lost it, the only proper way to reverse that decision would be through a fresh referendum. But that option has been closed off by London, on an autocratic whim and in the face of the Scottish Government’s clear democratic mandate and the express will of Holyrood.

In these circumstances, the position reverts to what has always been regarded, both here and abroad, as a normal and legitimate way for a country to become independent, a method endorsed by Thatcher herself, namely to elect a majority of Scottish MPs with a mandate to declare independence, and to secede. The SNP should fight the General Election on that manifesto.

We would energise the whole independence movement for a blazing campaign. We would put London on the back foot, fighting as they will be on two other fronts (the nature of Brexit, and anti-Labour). We would concentrate minds in Scotland on the increased contempt with which this nation has been treated by London since the No vote, and on the prospect of a Tory government without end. We would set up our own measure of success, instead of chasing targets imposed by Unionists. The constellation of circumstances which has swum into sight will not come together again. Let us just do it – now!
Alan Crocket