Herald letter. (Beat the paywall)

IT appears that DS Blackwood and his SNP friends had an enjoyable post-referendum day out talking to each other in Lochgilp­head (Letters, October 7).

It sounds as if they mustered about the same number of people who go to the shinty – good for them. However, they might have spent their time a lot more profitably if item one on their agenda had not been “the evils of the media and how they hoodwinked the electorate”, but “how our politics can best serve the people of Scotland in the post-referendum era”.

The new reality of that era is that there is one option off the table: independence, which has been rejected decisively by the people of Scotland. If the SNP’s contribution to the Smith Commission is to be in any way credible, it is essential that it accepts this reality: that the continuation of the Union is the settled will of the Scottish people for the foreseeable future.

In this light, it would be irrational and disrespectful to measure the success of the Smith Commission against the now-obsolete objective of independence. Instead, the main yardstick must be how extra devolution can strengthen Holyrood and the UK at the same time, and above all what is practical and workable. What Gordon Brown suggests is (as set out in his letter to his constituents) that “currency and macro-economy including fiscal and banking policy, pensions and the welfare state and foreign and security affairs would all remain at a UK level”. Certainly, the Smith Commission will reject any proposals which would weaken the Union.

The political parties which are committed to the democratic process, including the SNP, must acknowledge that their world has changed. Indeed, it is very disappointing that so far neither Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister in waiting, nor the candidates for the post of Deputy First Manager, have acknowledged that, unlike their predecessors, they accept that Scotland has made its mind up that its future remains within the UK.

Peter A Russell,

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