LEAVING aside Neil Mackay's rather obsessive tirades against independence activists, his ultra-deferential treatment of Sir David Omand's self-serving autobiography is risible ("Yes movement needs to listen to UK’S ex-spy chief", The Herald, November 10). We are supposed to regard with due respect and trust the former head of the UK security services and take his views as some kind of objective truth and exceptional wisdom. This is despite the disastrous record of UK foreign policy, dodgy dossiers, complicity in torture and all, and a record on terrorism that seems no better than that in other equivalent countries. This is what Sir David was at the heart of.

The UK's "independent" nuclear weapons system isn't really independent. The missiles are rented from the US and sent back for servicing. Anyone who thinks the US does not keep control over targeting software is naive. It would be a failure of their national interests not to do so.

Trident for the UK is not about defence but about a desperate attempt to hold onto Great Power status. Of course they will use whatever bargaining power they can to keep their 200 nuclear bombs at Faslane. In 2012 with the prospects of an independence referendum there was an informal briefing given to the press by the Ministry of Defence which said they were completely confident that even if there was a Yes vote, they would keep Trident at Faslane because if the Scottish Government tried to insist it be removed, they had the ultimate weapon – they would veto Scotland's membership of the EU.

Of course Scotland can have its own Security and Intelligence Agency, but this should have our national police service at its core with input from other services. This would be more appropriate for the kind of threats relevant to Scotland's situation; protecting offshore energy installations and fishing, detecting smuggling, other serious organised crime and cyber threats. The only reason for a military attack on Scotland would be if we were a military threat to others – for example, if we had a major nuclear base on our territory. Is anyone lining up to invade Ireland, Austria, Sweden?

Many have not yet registered the significance of the new United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As soon as a state ratifies this, it has the support of the UN and international law in requiring the speedy removal of all nuclear weapons from its territory. The ratification of the TPNW is supported by the SNP, the Greens and some in Labour. Work on the detailed practical plans for their removal has been done. So stop the deference to a failing British establishment.

Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.

I AM not on Twitter nor Facebook. I am therefore not one of the hysterical Yes supporters Neil Mackay criticises for their response to his interview with Sir David Omand.

But I thought Mr Mackay’s interview and the front page headline on Sunday ("Indy Scotland free from Trident? Forget it", January 8) was a poor piece of unbalanced journalism. And so I just quietly fumed.

This was not a forensic critique of Scotland’s potential intelligence and security operations in an independent Scotland. This was Project Fear with afterburners.

Sir David made far-reaching, highly subjective and unsubstantiated statements.

To make it worse, Mr Mackay falls into Trumpian mode in saying that any “average, intelligent Yes voter” would share Sir David’s views. Well, people can make their own minds up as to my intelligence, but I would count myself an average Yes voter and I thought his conclusions were far from correct and were not a constructive catalyst to a critical debate.

Sharing these views? “That’s how normal people think,” according to Mr Mackay. In other words, if you don’t agree with Sir David, you’re not normal.

Neil Mackay has been studying Donald Trump for too long.

William Thomson, Denny.