It’s not true that we have continually begged for Section 30


I AM confused by those who imagine that as we sit at the top of the polls, with support for independence at its highest ever level, somehow we need a new party. The actuality is that our opponents need a new independence party to split the independence vote. I assume Colette Walker has left the SNP.

We all could have done so at various points and I always regret seeing able people doing so. We can’t afford this.

A lot of the cry for a new party or new tactics is based on the fallacy that we have continually asked for (or “begged for”) and been refused a Section 30. The Scottish Government has not as yet formally asked for a Section 30. Let me repeat that. Not once. It enquired of Mrs May about a possible negotiation on such and was told “now is not the time”. Various other figures have suggested we are “not getting one”. That is all.

READ MORE: Fears of ‘splitting the vote’ demonstrate a lack of understanding

So what was sensibly being put in place by the Scottish Government before this coronavirus crisis was the legal case that would make it impossible for the Westminster Government to refuse a Section 30. I am astounded by the naivety of a lot of our support.

Several of us a couple of years ago knocked about the difficulties the present list system presented and fired off to various organs the idea of an “independence coalition” to contest on the list.

This was certainly not the formation of another political party. This was an idea that various honest elements which contested on the list and had previously split the list independence vote could, without leaving their own parties, get together and form an alliance under the independence banner. Thus the Greens, SSP, Solidarity, some prominent unaligned independence supporters and even some members of the SNP could get together and negotiate positions on the list as the Independence Coalition – on the list, which the SNP would not contest. That the SNP would agree not to contest on the list was critical.

READ MORE: I’m critical of the SNP strategy, but can’t see how new parties help

Another independence party contesting against the SNP on the list would be disastrous for the SNP and the independence vote (and probably the Greens).

Let’s bury this dangerous “new party” diversion right now and concentrate on insisting the SNP understands that running a devolved government and campaigning for independence are not mutually exclusive activities and that we need a continuous campaign for independence.

David McEwan HillSandbank, Argyll

IT is heartening that out of all the negatives that have arisen because of the coronavirus pandemic, so many independence supporters have turned the lockdown period into a platform for positive thinking regarding the new political normal that will appear in Scotland post-crisis.

The performance of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her team has truly demonstrated that Scotland has the ability to take its place amongst the other nations of the world.

Arising out of this prolonged period of reflection has been the emergence of another pro-independence political party with an agenda and a proposal that merits serious consideration.

READ MORE: What difference will it make if we have even more pro-indy MSPs?

As an independence campaigner since 1974 and as loyal member of the SNP I now must seriously consider sharing my vote, for the first time ever, with another party. I have to ask myself if the number of seats held by my party would diminish if I voted for the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP) with my second vote.

Have the ISP uncovered the route to the second referendum? The system devised by the Unionist parties to thwart the democratic will of the Scottish people could actually be the means by which a second referendum is delivered. If the ISP and the SNP stand on a platform that is similar, the Unionist response will be identical to the last referendum and effectively create a de facto referendum the result of which will be impossible to ignore.

I note that opposition to the new party has come from the admirable SNP MP Pete Wishart. Are the electorate that you worry about offending not the same electorate that has never voted for us and never will?

John Hunter-PatersonDundonald

IN his letter in Friday’s National, David Simpson of Falkirk stated: “the temptation to game the system by giving the list vote to another pro independence party is strong, although I do acknowledge is questionable.”

I don’t find it questionable at all as this is what I have done in most Scottish elections. I don’t support any party’s policies 100% but vote for the one closest to what I would like to see happen.

I have supported Scottish independence since the 60s and although I do not support every policy of the SNP, I do go out leafleting for them before and between elections and I always give them my Westminster vote.

They are, in my view, the only probable route to the country I want to see.

I like some of the Greens’ policies, again not 100%, so they get my regional list vote.

In this way I feel as if I am being honest with myself and hopefully we can get more pro-indy MSPs.

John VosperPort Glasgow

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