We are just into the new year and already the latest salvos in the war of words between the separatist and pro-UK contributors to this page has been launched. Letters fired from the keyboards of Messrs Petrie, McCormick and Campbell will no doubt draw return fire from the likes of Grattan, Lakin and Sutherland and this will intensify the closer we get to a general election. They are representative of the estimated 30% of the electorate strongly in favour of separation and approximately the same percentage strongly opposed. They are extremely unlikely to change each others’ opinions but seek to influence the remaining 40%, who may have opinions on the issue but could be influenced one way or the other. If you are one of the 40% “persuadables; but have neither the time nor the inclination to study the issue in detail, then here’s an approach you might consider. Think about the volume of serious and complex issues facing our country and the world, ranging from wars and global warming effects, through to cost of living and the NHS and artificial intelligence (to name but a few). Now consider the capabilities of our current crop of politicians – whether in government or in opposition – who are already struggling to come up with effective policies to address these issues in the unpredictability of the modern world. Finally, ask yourself whether adding the cost, uncertainty and distraction of an independence referendum to the mix will help or hinder them in finding solutions. A useful reference point would be Brexit and the fact that whether you were in the Remain or Leave camp to begin with, few would deny that eight years after the referendum was announced it has taken up a huge amount of money, political time and effort with many of the pre-existing issues as yet unresolved. Mark Openshaw, Cults, Aberdeen.