WELL, the bluff has not worked and the case has been lost, to no-one’s great surprise. The exercise to determine whether Holyrood can hold another referendum or not has just been a waste of time and (our) money for all involved.

I took two things from the judgement. First, it has been made clear that a referendum result would strengthen or weaken the Union, depending on the result. From this it is quite clear therefore that the 2014 result strengthens the Union, because that vote resulted from a legal process in which the majority of the population voted No.

The second issue that should be obvious to all watching was that the Scottish Government/SNP case was something thrown together by their spin doctors, with little legal input, and the result was that the case they presented was rejected much sooner than expected. We should be clear on this point. The verdict was unanimous. There was no ambiguity.

Interestingly, journalists afterwards were very quick to say that this does not end the matter, but then, these are the people who are intrigued by the twists and turns of the debate, and who would like to keep that going.

We should now be hearing a different argument. Democracy in this country requires checks and balances, and the most important of those checks and balances is the law. No political party should be able to put something in its manifesto which it knows to be illegal or outwith its realm of competence. And this is the argument that we must all now remember. It is the people of Scotland who have agreed what the Scottish Parliament can and cannot do. We agreed to a parliament with tax-varying powers in 1997. We rejected independence in 2014. Later that year, our representatives in the Scottish Parliament, all of them, agreed an enhanced set of devolution powers that were then enacted in full. We are therefore unanimously agreed on the powers that we do have, and we have rejected any other alternative.

The law gives people protection from the government it elects, which is fundamentally important when that government is elected by a minority of the population.
Victor Clements, Aberfeldy

Set Indyref for decade hence

IT was Prime Minister David Cameron who agreed to allow the 2014 independence referendum to take place, and both Nicola Sturgeon and her predecessor as First Minister, Alex Salmond, stated during the campaign, on several occasions, that the referendum would be a once in a generation decision. Now we know that the SNP, under the First Minister, has changed generation to mean approximately five years-plus, instead of what, presumably, should be 25 to 30 years; well, of course, this is par for the course of this sneaky party which is the SNP.

Surely the Government at Westminster, of whatever persuasion, could decide and announce that since the SNP still wishes to hold another referendum, then one can be set for 2034-2039 – a generation after 2014. This would allow the SNP to prepare for such an occasion, while allowing the Scottish Parliament, again of whatever persuasion that may be, to actually govern Scotland and get on with the day-to-day decisions which must be taken to try to get our country on a far more suitable and profitable, successful path.
Walter Paul, Glasgow

FM will surely be ousted

NICOLA Sturgeon has single-handedly destroyed the Scottish independence movement. Her rash attempt at challenging the law, even when her Lord Advocate gave her wise advice, has resulted in a total defeat at the Supreme Court. There is no viable way forward, despite desperate attempts at spin, without a Section 30 order. This is now abundantly clear. Ms Sturgeon cannot talk her way out of this by offering more of the same such as a "de-facto referendum" at the next General Election or similar obscure wheezes.

When Boris Johnson or Liz Truss made a mess of things in the Tory Party they were ousted. How can Nicola Sturgeon survive when her gaffe is on at least a similar level if not worse?
Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

Out of touch with reality

NOW that we have the widely-anticipated Supreme Court decision that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to hold an independence referendum without the agreement of the UK Government, there is another critical conclusion that can be drawn.

Once again, Nicola Sturgeon has chosen to go against clear legal advice, and at great public expense, has pursued a path that suits her personal political agenda. Scotland continues to pay for this First Minister’s obsessions, while the public services we so depend upon continue to struggle.

The health board executives had it right in their recently leaked meeting minutes ("Using the NHS will stay free, insists Sturgeon", The Herald, November 22): this Scottish Government has lost touch with reality, and it is clear that for the SNP leadership it is the promotion of independence and Nicola Sturgeon’s personal profile that transcend all else.
Keith Howell, West Linton

Tories and their local control

I AM not a Nationalist per se, however I am a nationalist.

We were led down the garden path by the Westminster Government and by Gordon Brown prior to the 2014 referendum: greater powers, stay within the EU etc, following which we were then taken out of the EU against our democratic vote in Scotland.

Having listened to the report of the Supreme Court judgement on the World at One on Radio 4, we then heard from Dame Maria Miller, Conservative MP for Basingstoke, in regard to the building of houses in the UK due to a serious shortage of housing. The Government’s long-awaited Levelling up & Regeneration Bill was due to be debated. The Government wants a centrally-led mandatory target but the bill has been shelved due to 50 Tory MPs signing an amendment wanting “local control” and Dame Miller agrees. That sounds very much like the Holyrood Government wanting local control and not being allowed it.
Steve Barnet, Gargunnock

Royal precedent

FASCINATING that Tommy Sheppard is complaining about the King and democracy (“Scotland doesn’t need King Charles”, The Herald, November 23). I look forward to him accepting the 2014 referendum result in that case.
Michael Watson, Glasgow


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