I AGREE with Peter A Russell (Letters, April 19) that “referendums do not settle issues ‘once and for all’”. A referendum seems to me to be a semi-generational poorly-informed opinion statistic which maintains the illusion of democracy and explains why our present party political system of deciding national issues is generally much better if left unfettered by such specific public polls. In a General Election we can vote into power a new party based on its manifesto and it can overturn anything decided by the ousted party.

Many people, myself included, saw the result of the EU referendum as more to do with issues of socio-economic demography than mature enlightened democracy. I believe the whole concept of a referendum on anything should be re-considered in the future simply because there is now an established mindset that only another referendum can overturn a previous one.

Nevertheless, I also believe, having spurned the idea of a second referendum, that the extra time granted to the UK in leaving the EU to reconsider what is rather flippantly referred to as a deal, should have an imperative addendum. The so-called deal should have provision regarding the terms incorporated in it to facilitate the UK easily rejoining the EU within a certain political timeframe. It should include reference to the existing designated parameters to avoid any future terms to our possible detriment, more especially that we would continue on re-joining to retain the pound sterling.

Democracy, as such, will have been seen to be done on leaving the EU and we should move on. I consider that given the self-inflicted state which the Labour Party is in, it could only be elected to government if seeking to rejoin the EU, without a referendum, was their main manifesto agenda. The same goes at the moment for the Liberal Democrats who should realise there is now only one road out of sleepy hollow.

Bill Brown,

46 Breadie Drive, Milngavie.

IT is interesting that Peter A Russell should suggest that at the next independence referendum “all or a majority of the regions and islands groups of Scotland should be required to vote for a Yes majority” in order to achieve independence. I’m sure Mr Russell doesn’t need me to remind him that at the EU referendum Scotland voted 62 per cent to remain, and every local authority area in Scotland voted to remain, yet that vote is not being honoured.

Unionists will no doubt point out that in 2014 Scotland voted to stay within the UK, and that the EU referendum was a UK-wide vote, with Scotland just a region on the side, but one of their main arguments in 2014 was that the only way we could secure our place in Europe was by voting No. I don’t believe that anyone voted to silence Scotland’s voice or that our opinions shouldn’t count, but that is what happens when you don’t take decisions about your own future into your own hands.

Martin Redfern (Letters, April 19) flags up Project Fear’s argument for staying within the UK, suggesting that the present chaos over Brexit will be a “walk in the park” compared to Scotland leaving the UK; but Theresa May and the European Research Group won’t be in charge of negotiations, and there won’t be Irish sensitivities to consider. In any case, nobody wants to sever years of social and cultural relationships with the rest of the UK, and even if it is not a walk in the park, the goal is to achieve a level playing field where all the nations of these islands can meet as equals.

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road, Stirling.

MARTIN Redfern equates the Brexit process with the eventual Scottish independence negotiations as if they were equivalent. They’re not, the Brexit negotiations have come to grief on the very reasonable assumption that Britain leaving the single market could lead to renewed civil strife in Ireland. That situation does not exist between Scotland and England.

John Jamieson,

60 Craigie Road, Ayr.

I REFER to my letter of April 17. I am Informed that the SNP’s Constitution stated the two-thirds majority condition for change in January 2018 (Clause 27) but this appears to have been taken down. Res ipsa loquitur.

Furthermore the identities of the members of the SNP’s various ruling committees are not publicly available, unlike the Labour Party’s for example. Perhaps the First Minister tolerates only one tall poppy.

William Durward.

20 South Erskine Park, Bearsden

WELL over four years ago, the Queen gatecrashed the Scottish Referendum causing disbelief and turmoil. Commentators now acknowledge that she urged the electorate to vote for the Union. The media endlessly repeated the actual royal words and it became auto-suggestion. No constitutional expert intervened. Many voters believed that the Queen had acted spontaneously, which is not the case.

Alan Cochrane’s Diaries, Alex Salmond: My Part In His Downfall (Biteback Publishing) refute that possibility. The diary entries for September 14 include the following sentence: “It was also a bit of a triumph for Chris Evans who began a ‘Queen should speak’ campaign a couple of weeks ago.” Mr Cochrane also says: “This was a completely deliberate and put-up job by the Palace”. He even goes further: “But it was also a bit of a coup for the Palace and the Queen herself. There is absolutely no doubt that she did it deliberately; and knew exactly what the effect would be – it was the splash everywhere. Fantastic.”

The plot became a reality at Crathie when the press, invited by the police “could get over to where they could hear what was going on and that’s how the Queen’s remarks got out”. The Queen actually said words to the effect that the electorate should think very carefully about the future. Was this scripted? Reports of the time said that a young couple were also kept in reserve on a promise of meeting the Queen. Was that a back-up?

Presuming that she was familiar with the press reports from Crathie and thereafter, the Returning Officer would have been aware of the significant outside pressure which unduly influenced the entire election. This was not a fair contest as the Yes campaign could not match the leverage of the Crown. In simple terms, at Crathie, voters had been urged to review their preferences in the forthcoming Independence referendum. If democracy matters, the Returning Officer should have declared the process invalid.

Any fair-minded person would realise that the First Minister of Scotland does not have to plead with anyone to hold a second referendum. A replacement referendum is justified on the grounds of natural justice. Justice is the concept of truth in action.

James Walker,

33 Donmouth Crescent, Aberdeen.