FIRST I was upset at Alyn Smith’s defence of the “both votes SNP” message, declaring as it did that the best way to secure a stonking majority for independence is to vote SNP on the list, wilfully ignoring that most of those votes will be lost (July 15). Then I was angered by his portrayal of the new parties as “one gathering of cranks” obsessed about transgender issues to “others of varying degrees of credibility”. So all the new parties are cranks? Not exactly stated, but heavily implied – and being cautious or even opposed to the Gender Recognition Act does not make you a crank.
Lastly, I saw in his diatribe one of the reasons why there are new parties. Does he not see that it is that blind obsession with “both votes SNP” and the denigrating of potential opponents that are two of the reasons why there is disquiet among some members of the SNP?
I cannot see what harm any of the new parties can do, and they may increase the number of pro-indy MSPs.
The SNP leadership should remember that new parties only emerged in the vacuum over independence created by the SNP leadership. Just telling us that it is all in hand, just trust us, is beginning to sound like propaganda, not information.
Julia PannellFriockheim, Tayside
OF course we should game the system!
Although politics is deadly serious, it is also a game. We already know that our Tory/Labour/LibDem opponents will combine against independence, sometimes openly and sometimes secretly. That’s “gaming the system”, ie doing what you need to do in order to win.
We have all witnessed the Johnson government claiming last year that it did not intend to suspend parliament, and then doing exactly that. Does anyone doubt that Johnson would have suspended parliament for a year or more if it had suited his purposes? That’s called “gaming the system”.
By the way (for the royalists among us), the monarch, Queen Elizabeth, said “OK, that’s fine, on you go.”
Bill Craigvia email
I AGREE with John Hutchison (Letters, July 15) that having an overarching organisation which encompassed the diversity of the independence movement would be a positive development.
However, to say, as he does, that “a common theme in The National’s letters is that leadership of the independence movement needs to be prised away from the SNP” is a gross overstatement. It encapsulates one of the recurring themes which appear in The National of some readers being anti-SNP. Another being that the SNP strategy is the one in play at the moment and with support for independence growing and the SNP projected to win an outright majority in Holyrood, it’s going pretty well.
READ MORE: We urgently need a new leadership body for the Yes movement
Prior to the last independence referendum, a separate organisation, Yes Scotland, was created under the leadership of Blair Jenkins and took support for independence from 29% to 45%.
I would support the formation of a similar organisation which was set up with the blessing and full participation of the SNP and which also benefited from support provided from the SNP’s formidable campaigning infrastructure.
However, talk of prising control from the SNP implies their partial or full exclusion. That sounds negative and would be destructive and counter-productive. Also it would never be countenanced by the 125,000 SNP members and it seems like, with plans framed in these terms, all the entreaties from National columnists and other readers about the avoidance of factionalism have fallen on deaf ears.
WITH the same breezy but baseless confidence with which she assured Scots in 2014 that rejecting independence would “guarantee” (sic) their EU membership, Baroness-in-waiting Ruth Davidson now claims (in her London evening Standard article) that the looming constitutional crisis over Brexit is nothing more than “the SNP grievance machine” belly-aching as the UK Government valiantly tries to ensure “a level playing field”, same as across the EU.
Except that it’s not just her nemesis “the SNP” who are up in arms about the UK Government’s blatant power grab; all three of the devolved parliaments, already totally sidelined in the Brexit negotiation process and decision-making, are deeply concerned that it’s just the thin end of the wedge.
READ MORE: Ruth Davidson is plumbing new depths by backing the Tory power grab
Ruth the Mooth knows that in the EU, rules are decided by all 27 nations, not just by a few cloth-eared zealots in London. Meanwhile Jess Sargeant of the Institute of Government is one of many neutrals who say that the UK Government, in pushing ahead with Brexit without the support of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish parliaments, is putting the Union in greater jeopardy than ever.
With typical cynicism, the Tories know that they can never win a majority in Scotland by democratic means, hence they are simply bypassing Holyrood via Brexit: a novel spin on the Prime Minister’s mendacious slogan about “taking back control”.
One year ago Ruth Davidson assured The Guardian that she would “refuse to back a No-Deal Brexit”. Now she’s enabling it.
No wonder the SNP, despite zero campaigning during lockdown, are on course for another big majority in 2021 – also the year, incidentally, when Ruth Davidson claimed that she’d become First Minister.
Robert ClarkBromley, Kent
SO half the English population surveyed want independence. Perhaps they should get a Section 30 order to give them their democratic right – and save us the bother.
DURING Wednesday’s PMQs, while answering questions on the goverenments response to the Covid19 pandemic,Boris Johnson managed to shoe horn in,a cringe worthy joke about briefs and Calvin Cline. Given the terrible death toll in Britain from this virus,the joke was in appalling bad taste.
However from a Scottish independence perspective this blundering idiot is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving.Jackson Carlaw and the Scottish Tory branch office know this and tremble.
Terry KeegansBeith, North Ayrshire