RECENTLY our First Minister declared that “the case for full self-governance ultimately transcends the issues of Brexit, of oil, of national wealth, and balance sheets and of passing political fads and trends”.

With that backdrop, what else can explicitly or impliedly dominate the day and daily political agenda in Scotland?

If pure political noise were the sole determinant, then the stridency of Nationalists would have won the day in 2014. But they didn’t. We, the mostly silent majority, made our voice heard.

Despite the SNP’s transcendence of self-governance, we who dare to stand up in Scotland as Unionists are harangued for talking about nothing other than independence and a second referendum. But in the recent General Election we, that mostly silent majority, again made our voice heard.

Ruth Marr (Letters, June 16), as ever, displays that blinkered mono-vision of the SNP. She correctly, but superficially, states that in number of seats the Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats lost to the SNP, which won 11 more seats that the rest combined.

But the voting stats tell a very different and the real story:

The SNP won 37 per cent of votes and 63 per cent were won by the Unionist parties collectively;

The SNP’s vote fell from 50 per cent in 2015 to 37 per cent in 2017;

The SNP won 35 seats, a loss of 21;

The Tories’ vote rose from 15 percent in 2015 to 29 per cent in 2017;

The Tories won 13 seats, a gain of 12;

Labour’s vote rose from 24 per cent in 2015 to 27 per cent in 2017;

Labour won seven seats, a gain of six.

I don’t dispute for a moment that the swings to the Tories and Labour may solely be a matter of Unionism – but that is what the First Minister made this and every other election in Scotland all about.

The SNP and its acolytes need to learn that democracy does not mean rule by the minority solely in the interests of the minority.

The rest of us, the 55 per cent in 2014 and now 63 per cent mostly silent majority, have a voice – Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP need to listen.

Alasdair Sampson,

The Pines,

7A Loudon Street, Stewarton.

AFTER the General Election result, politicians in Scotland have been given much to ponder and they will have to come to a decision as to how to respond to the message delivered by the electorate. Scotland's voters have clearly stepped back from any ambition to be citizens of an independent nation. Although historically termed as a union with England, over the centuries the relationship that developed can be seen to have been more akin to an amalgamation. It now seems that the Scottish public are content with this arrangement and attention must be given to aligning politics and government to this realty.

A first step should be the repatriation of a number of powers to Westminster, particularly those relating to fiscal matters, especially taxation. This would relieve MSPs of the burden and embarrassment of being granted powers that are too unpopular to use and would likely prove ineffective in practice. Holyrood would continue to function on a more realistic provincial level, although the use of the term "Parliament" would be cease to be applicable.

However, it is not only politicians who will have to make adjustments to their status. The multiplicity of organisations currently posturing as "National" will require to adopt titles more relevant to the political and social context in which they operate: The National Trust for Scotland would simply become the National Trust (Scottish region), the Scottish Regional Museum would replace the National Museum of Scotland and other similar institutions (the National Galleries, the National Theatre, the National Orchestra and so on) would redefine themselves as appropriate.

These adjustments, more honestly reflecting public opinion, need not affect Scotland's reputation abroad. For example, the food and drinks exports of Scottish salmon, venison and scotch whisky are highly regarded and can continue to bear and profit from the valued regional appellation.

In the sporting world, football fans will still have the opportunity to follow the Scottish team, which will exist for as long as the authorities are not under pressure to rectify the anomalous situation of its being allowed to compete internationally, despite not representing a nation. Paradoxically, the less successful the team is in winning matches against nations, the more likely it will be to avoid a challenge to its status.

So, after the political turmoil of recent events, the future of Scotland is assured: as a brand and as a supporters club.

Ian Hutcheson,

161 Beechwood Drive, Glasgow.

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