I LIKE Neil Mackay's comparison of today's politics with the 17th century (""England in a state of civil war, and it's killed the Union", The Herald, September 5), though with Remainers and Leavers being compared to Cavaliers and Roundheads I am not sure that I like being compared to a Cavalier (don't like long hair) or a Roundhead (don't like Puritanism). However the introverted, narrow-minded politics of 1640s is definitely a picture of today's mess.

What is really objectionable about today's conflict is how easily they ignore Europe and Ireland, except when we want to stigmatise them as being nasty and uncaring about Britain's future. Yet Europe has massive problems – economy, climate change, immigration and the rise of populism. These are problems that will not go away if Brexit is completed and the Brits run away from responsibility and hide under America's coat-tails. Britain should be at the centre of Europe leading the campaign for reform of the EU. Scotland, although smaller, could if she wins independence have an influence in Europe far beyond her size as the first sign of the UK leaving behind the old conflicts. Scotland, Wales and England can form a new social union respecting each other's independence but each developing a distinctive approach of its own.

I think that it was Andrew Fletcher who said: "Show me a nationalist and I will show you an internationalist who respects the rights of all nations but who will defend the rights of his own". The neo-liberal populist movements of today are sometimes called nationalist but they are not. They are what is left of the old tectonic plates of Europe's empires – Germany, Britain, France, Russia and Turkey – who suppressed nationalism, and when they rubbed against each other they erupted in futile and vicious wars Europe has halted these conflicts but more needs to be done.

To start we must become independent. We must co-operate with an independent England and Wales to form a social union like Scandinavia in our small part of Europe. Independence must never be a selfish, introverted ideology. It must be outward-looking and internationalist always seeking to create a platform for a better world.

George Leslie, Fenwick.

I REALLY am at a loss to understand why the Scottish Government continues to press for a second independence referendum when it is as clear as it can be that, even if successful, the Establishment would never actually allow it to happen? "No deal" Scottish independence would quite simply not be acceptable. The only "deal" on the table would, of course, be handing all geopolitical and economic control back to the UK Parliament. Ms Sturgeon could hardly complain, as she has set exactly such a precedent with the EU referendum and her support of the shenanigans of the Brexit remainers.

I am even further at a loss to understand why the SNP’s Westminster MPs do not simply use the current legal and conventional framework of our representative democracy, together with the first past-the-post system of our current UK enfranchisement, to make a unilateral declaration of independence? Perhaps because it might bring a swift end to both a cosy Westminster lifestyle and a very comfortable permanency in the Edinburgh Parliament?

DH Telford, Fairlie.

IN S Campbell’s letter (September 6) we are told what we all know, the UK is the member state of the EU and includes Scotland and I am certain that Ruth Marr’s intellect acknowledges this. The Scottish independence referendum of 2014 occurred five years ago and has been given effect and the status quo prevails and it is over, the Unionists won – no dispute. This is unlike the EU referendum where the final decision has yet to be made and given effect but whatever the outcome, it should be possible to consider reversing the decision in the years ahead should there be demand to do so. The SNP and the Scottish Government continue to operate completely in accordance with the rules of the United Kingdom as any responsible government should, so let us dispense with any nonsense that it is otherwise, but that does not debar the SNP or the Yes movement from trying again, unless of course we are heading for dictatorship.

The background to the 2014 campaign cannot be ignored and Scotland would now be a sovereign country had 191,969 people voted Yes instead of No. Remaining an EU member was very important to the people of Scotland in 2014, as it is now, and realising this, the official Better Together campaign supported by the British Establishment pushed the message that Scotland would be out of the EU if we voted Yes. Their slogan was “What is the process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting Yes”. The possibility of a UK referendum on EU membership was kept well-hidden and how many more of those voting in 2014 would have voted Yes had they known what lay ahead? This in itself justifies a re-run of 2014 should there be demand.

On Ruth Davidson, the rose-tinted views of Alexander McKay (Letters, September 6) bemuses me. Ruth Davidson, a leader so worryingly obsessed with independence to the exclusion of having any policies whatsoever, who fears naming her own party in election material but chooses to name Nicola Sturgeon countless times and leading a party likely to haemorrhage substantial votes at the next general and Scottish elections – little wonder she has chosen to stand down as leader at this critical time for her party.

Alan M Morris, Blanefield.