TODAY (September 18) marks five years since the referendum on Scottish independence. And has Scotland moved on from this event?

The foot soldiers of All Under One Banner and other separatist organisations still proclaim victory in a vote that was fairly decided in 2014. Nationalist sentiments, long forgotten in formally sensible and stoic Scotland have resurfaced, enabled by the fertile political and cultural atmosphere, synthesised with the ability to connect with "imagined communities" on social media.

The rest of the UK may complain about Brexit. However, in Scotland we have had half a decade of uncertainty over a hypothetical "Scexit", as anything, from a change in the wind, a harmless jibe in Parliament, to the GERS report gets Nicola Sturgeon talking about triggering another independence referendum, always by some vague date just to add to the uncertainty.

Any other government would have been held to account for its sheer failures in Scotland, but the Unionist opposition seems unbalanced and ineffectual despite the open goals the SNP has left.

The only solution is a return to more balanced political, cultural and civic spaces. A scenario that seems unlikely in SNP-dominated Scotland in its obsession with centralising, controlling and separatism.

David Bone, Girvan.

MICHAEL Russell is reported as saying that the petition submitted by Scotland Matters to the Scottish parliament advocating a two-thirds majority threshold for any future referendum “is a clear sign of how rattled the opponents of independence now are”. The cross-party group is indeed “rattled” but not in the way he thinks. What we are concerned about is that the SNP, under cover of Brexit turmoil, is preparing legislation that will extend or replace a decade of Brexit uncertainty with "Scexit" turmoil. They themselves demonstrate that narrow margins will only result in division and resentment and are not accepted by the losing side.

The requirement for a super-majority will help ensure that anyone proposing a referendum will need a clear indication in the polls that any result will be decisive – before subjecting both Scotland and UK parliaments and population to another decade of distraction from dealing with climate change, education, healthcare and all the other issues that concern all citizens alike. Is the SNP capable of learning from experience or will it just keep doing the same thing repeatedly?

Mark Openshaw, Scotland Matters, Aberdeen AB15.

FOLLOWING Alasdair Galloway's excellent letter (September 17) regarding those who would try to justify moving the constitutional goalposts to redefine what represents a mandate for Scottish independence, it was no surprise to note that the Scotland Matters group has launched its own campaign to try to do just that (“Petition launched to require two-thirds majority for independence”, The Herald, September 17). Using the Brexit referendum as a poor example of a powerful mandate, the group advocates that constitutional change must be backed by a two-thirds majority of voters in the case of Scottish independence to deliver a widely-accepted mandate.

Would it be equitable to suggest that their petition be signed by two- thirds of Scottish voters for this to be considered?

Owen Kelly, Stirling.

THERE is much noise at the moment regarding the size of the majority that should be needed to legitimise any Referendum result.

It seems to me that if we must be saddled with this very unsatisfactory and divisive mechanism to ascertain the answer to a particular problem or fundamental change then the majority to change the status quo, under out present voting terms, should be 60/40 as a minimum.

However if true democracy ever materialises whereby voting is compulsory and the electorate must either visit a polling station or utilise the postal vote, spoiling your vote would be allowed, then a simple majority would be acceptable.

James Martin, Bearsden.

THE Liberals were signatories to the Claim of Right which acknowledges the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, though you wouldn’t know it.

Just as you report significant and growing public support (60 per cent) across the UK for holding a second referendum on Scottish independence, Scottish Liberals Jo Swinson and Willie Rennie batten down the hatches and declare outright opposition to this in all circumstances.

This brings to mind the view formed by the great RB Cunninghame Graham that “the enemies of Scottish nationalism are not the English, for they were ever a great and generous folk, quick to respond when justice calls. Our real enemies are among us, born without ambition”.

Cunninghame Graham was of course elected as a Liberal MP in 1886, and he championed liberal causes throughout his life. He also believed passionately in Scotland’s right to self-determination, and went on to found with Keir Hardie the Scottish Labour Party and later the National Party of Scotland.

He was the first MP to be suspended from Westminster for swearing (he used the word “damn”). One can only speculate as to the words he would use today in condemning Liberals who seek to deny Scots the opportunity to vote on their country’s future. Doubtless he would call the stance of Ms Swinson and Mr Rennie as unprincipled, illiberal and undemocratic.

DB Williamson, Dunbar.

THE one redeeming aspect of Boris Johnson was that he was up front and visible: just like the Hulk. No longer. His disappearing act in Luxembourg embarrassed the whole UK ("EU serves up menu of mockery as Johnson flees jeering crowd", The Herald, September 17). The one redeeming aspect of Boris Johnson was that he was up front and visible: just like the Hulk. No longer. His disappearing act in Luxembourg embarrassed the whole UK.

It was equally disappointing that the BBC then offered cover by conducting a cosy extended interview with him, allowing his typical bluster to overwhelm questions. The BBC seems to have become a creature of No10 since the time of David Cameron and his threats to shut it down. Some serious questions should be asked about this broadcaster, not least because its funding is a direct tax on the public. Scots have another gripe about the BBC licence fee after decades of underfunding for Scottish broadcasting, and the dreadfully low standards of its programmes, and lack of ambition/autonomy evident within BBC/Radio Scotland.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

WATCHING the bemused Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel pointing at the empty podium, I was reminded of the William Hughes Mearns poem:

Yesterday, upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn't there!

He wasn't there again today,

Oh how I wish he'd go away!

John Boyle, Ardrossan.

STRANGE that Boris Johnson, yet again, managed to escape a probably embarrassing Q & A in Luxembourg. Call me an old cynic, but am I the only one who smells the whiff of a rent-a-mob posing as Remainers?

David Dearing, Castle Douglas.

MANY of us were taught that British democracy was the gold standard to which all other democracies aspire: our politics being governed by consent, dialogue, negotiation, fairness and the rule of law. Recent events in Britain and America have certainly questioned our understanding and another nail has been hammered into our already bruised reputation if we are to believe the assertions in Andy Maciver's article (“Dominic Cummings is a winner and he'll make Johnson one too,” The Herald, September 14).

We are told, and Mr Maciver seems to agree, that the Cummings mission is to ensure that Boris Johnson wins the next General Election by any means possible, completely unconcerned by any collateral damage be it political, economic or social – even to the extent of challenging or breaking the law. The fact that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have bought into this vision is damning and inexcusable. These are the tactics used by ruthless dictatorships which we continually condemn around the world.

The closest example to this right-wing political dictatorship in Britain was created after the English Civil War when Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell led the Commonwealth of England and, eventually Scotland and Ireland. (Even in those days the pesky Scots and Irish were causing trouble.) Similar to our Government today he wasn't beyond a bit of purging of enemies or proroguing of Parliament: admittedly a bit more extreme since King Charles I was executed and Parliament prorogued for about five years.

However, after Cromwell's death, anarchy reigned and the restoration of the constitutional monarchy brought the country back from the brink.

We may still have some cause for hope.

Hugh Phillips, Bothwell.

THE UK Supreme Court is now sitting and hearing the proroguing of Parliament case with a full bench of 11 justices from the different UK jurisdictions. It is unlikely that the verdict will be unanimous.

How the various justices vote will be of great interest.

In the case of the Supreme Court's Scottish judges there is surely an added dimension. Scotland's highest court, the Court of Session, has ruled the proroguing of Parliament to be unlawful and that is now the settled constitutional position in Scotland. It would be strange indeed if these Scottish Supreme Court judges were then to decide that their own Scottish "supreme" court got it wrong and sided with a decision to overrule that court. They surely could not take the position that the Court of Session's decisions can be easily overturned by a court in London with a majority of English judges, and that some different legal reasoning can be applied now that they are in England.

I am fairly confident however that the UK Supreme Court will recognise that we are in "strange times". These strange times require that it takes a hard look at the some of the previous unwritten constitutional norms that are being followed , applies a degree of modern honesty to their judgement, and agrees with the Court of Session's well-argued decision.

Nick Dekker, Cumbernauld.

Read more: Why the F word is no way to win the argument over the future of the UK