WILLIAM Durward (Letters, November 1) doesn’t seem to understand that, having been taken out of the EU against our democratic wishes, the SNP policy is to demand a second referendum on Scotland’s future in which he will have a vote for or against independence.

Jeremy Corbyn claims this is a once-in-a-generation General Election, the Lib Dems’ Nick Clegg claimed that the 2016 EU referendum was “a once in a generation event” and the Tory Government has proposed that Northern Ireland voters should have the opportunity to determine their constitutional future every four years.

The false promises made by the No side in 2014 included Ruth Davidson saying the only way to guarantee EU membership was to vote No, Gordon Brown promising that a No vote would mean a near-federal Scotland when powers have been removed from our Scottish Parliament and Boris Johnson has even threatened to take control of Scotland’s NHS despite it performing much better than in Wales under Labour or the Tory run NHS in England which is facing increased privatisation.

As well as the SNP holding a triple democratic mandate for a second referendum, we should remember that Scotland rarely gets the government most of us vote for in any UK General Election and normal rules don’t apply when the SNP become the third largest grouping at Westminster as evidenced by TV companies failing to give the SNP their proper status in UK wide news coverage or on “national” political programmes or debates.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

NEIL Mackay discusses democracy in the UK regarding the EU membership result and states that another confirmatory vote/referendum should be held, now that the details and probable effects of the last one have surfaced (“The only way to fix politics is to rip it up and start again”, The Herald, October 31). Does he think that would be a fine example of democracy?

From the start the vote/referendum was not sufficiently clear on the implications of leaving as no prior discussions appear to have been held with EU member states. No details were given on any options we could have with trading within the EU and elsewhere worldwide, in effect a sort of fait accompli. No comments were made whatsoever over what must have been blindingly obvious regarding border controls, in particular the Northern Ireland/Eire one. That was the point when consultations with the ordinary people should have been made, before the vote and not now after the horse has bolted as Mr Mackay suggests.

We have already had a “once in a lifetime” vote regarding independence which the SNP is determined to hold again, so does he suggest we should follow suit with the Leave/Remain EU one and throw democracy out with the bath water?

I voted Remain but grudgingly accepted the decision as that was the majority’s wish. We now appear to be running the risk of those who feel denied their own wish to just re-run votes until they achieve their own desired result which, with such close results in both referendums, is a recipe for unrest. What should now be done is to discuss changes to the way we vote to give more meaningful results in future rather than the one vote either way first past the post system we currently have.

George Dale, Beith.

IF there is ever to be an Indyref2 the question to be asked must be fair, unbiased and easily understood ( “Blow for Sturgeon as MSPs tell her to rewrite legislation paving way for Indyref2”, The Herald November 1, and Letters, November 2) .

As evidenced by the question posed in the Brexit referendum, the opinion of the Electoral Commission is that a simple Yes/No question is unfair as it contains an inherent bias in favour of the positivity of Yes against the negativity of No. It is encouraging therefore that Holyrood’s cross-party finance and constitution committee has recognised this in calling for more scrutiny of the question to be asked in any Indyref2, instead of simply rubber-stamping the underhand attempt by the SNP to gain advantage by repeating the Yes/No question asked in 2014 .

In demanding Indyref2, it is clear that the objective of the SNP is to leave the UK union and join the EU, but there are concerns that a Leave/ Remain question might confuse some as it carries echoes of Brexit. One question which goes to the heart of the matter and adopts the style used in 2014 would be “Should Scotland be part of the UK or part of the EU? UK or EU”. There is no bias in the question and the choice could not be clearer.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

THE result of the election will be, in Scotland, a barometer of attitudes towards both Brexit and Scottish secession. It will be interesting to see how many of the SNP’s habitual voters who chose to leave the EU will remain SNP voters. A figure of around one-third of SNP voters represents Brexiters. Those seeking to support a Remain party have an easy choice: vote LibDem. Yet for those who oppose secession from the UK there really is only one choice: even if it means holding one’s nose, one must vote for the party best-placed to defeat the SNP candidate. That will normally be the candidate who came second in 2017, although in some cases, such as Ross, Cromarty and Skye – the constituency of Ian Blackford – it will not. That constituency has a strong Lib Dem heritage, and Remainers can vote Lib Dem happily.

Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that the issue in this election is Scotland’s place in the UK. This is allied to a false claim that a Scotland could remain in the EU. Pro-Union people need to vote, and to vote for the party best-placed to unseat an SNP MP or to prevent an SNP candidate from winning.

Jill Stephenson, EH14.

WHATEVER view we might hold about Brexit most people in Scotland must find it of great importance that we must defend our NHS. Our health service is under attack from two angles. First US health care companies want to get into health care contracts in the UK to make profits from that, and also the big drug companies in the US want to force the NHS to pay more for drugs, indeed as much as an additional £30 billion for starters to get us level with prices in the US.

So this is a time to look at our politicians now seeking our votes and make an important judgment. In a vote in the Westminster Parliament to protect the NHS the Tories predictably voted against, but the Liberals abstained. Now we know where the Tories stand on the NHS, they will sell it off if they get a deal they like with the US. So why did the Liberals not support the NHS, can Jo Swinson explain this to us when she is looking for Scottish votes?

Andy Anderson, Saltcoats.

IF I hear any more politicians telling me that at last we will be able to use our vote to determine what party will win and get on with Brexit, I will despair. We have already done that – in General Elections, in referenda, and in local elections and European elections – but to no avail. Our politicians don’t give a toss who we elect or what we want, and at the moment it would appear that it would be extremely possible that a government will be elected – probably another minority government and we will start 2020 in exactly the same situation where we find ourselves just now.

I mean, let’s look at our choices. A party led by a despotic, bully-boy private school pupil, who thinks he is still at school, and held to account not by his members or electorate, but by an evil unelected manipulator who lurks in the shadows. A party led by a devoted Marxist who at least admits to his beliefs (when it suits him), and leads another divided main party which was once a great party. A party led by an unelected and unopposed leader, anxious to talk about nothing but Brexit to avoid scrutiny over what has happened to all the country’s money when its services continue to fall and implode. A party led by a leader who resolutely refuses to live up to the word “democrat”, which is part of her party’s name, but which she and her party members have redefined as “democrat as long as you agree with us”. A party led by a leader determined to leave the European Community at whatever cost, and who seems to appear on television and radio more than any other politician, despite him not holding a seat.

You kindly printed a letter which I sent to you at the time of this year’s European elections, when for the first time in my life, I refused to vote for any candidate (“All a bunch of rotters!”), and asked sincerely: why we do not have a box in our ballot papers which allows us to vote, but at the same time express our opposition to the candidates and/or parties who wish our votes? Compulsory voting should be introduced to this country as soon as possible, so that we could become like all eligible Australian citizens, for example, who are required to register to vote, to actually vote in all of its elections, and are penalised if they do not vote. Were this system in place in the United Kingdom right now, we would perhaps discover that those of us who voted our disgust or protestations at politicians today attained 50 per cent/60 per cent/70 per cent of the vote, and maybe – just maybe – some of our politicians would waken up and take notice that our country is not all about them, but about all of us. I don’t think that would ever happen, though, do you?

Walter Paul, Glasgow G42.

WITH the election called for December 12 we have the problems of the dark days and nights; potential weather disruptions, cancelled ferries and flights, road closures from snow, flu bugs and other hazards for people living in rural Scotland in particular. However, a postal vote will solve many of the problems.

We have plenty of time to apply online or at our local council offices.

The postal votes do not need to be sent in right away so we have plenty of time to find out what the political party manifestos contain and check out the facts.

Young people in Scotland who got the vote at 16 cannot vote in UK elections until they are 18. Voting at 16 and 17 has worked with no problems in Scotland since 2016 and the public have been so impressed with thousands of young climate change protesters, led by Greta Thunberg. She has just announced that she will not accept any more awards for her campaigning as she and the children of the world do not need awards, they need urgent climate change action, now.

All of us, the young and old, need to make sure that we are registered for voting in December and that we get out and vote or send in a postal vote in this the most important election in my 78 years.

Max Cruickshank, Glasgow G12.