I NOTE with interest your report on speculation about the future of the SNP ("SNP denies it has plans to disband after Yes vote", The Herald, December 31) and your editorial ("Another twist in the Yes campaign", The Herald, December 31), which makes reference to the SNP as a social democratic party.

However, the essential politics of the party have always been something of a mystery beyond the aspiration of achieving independence. That lack of clarity is not altogether a surprise given that the party has been the political home for a disparate number of personalities, including John MacCormick, R B Cunninghame Graham, Professor Douglas Young, Dr Robert McIntyre, William Wolfe, Winnie Ewing, Margo Macdonald, Jim Sillars, Roseanna Cunningham and Alex Salmond. It has had the activities of the 79 Group to contend with, and it has accepted substantial donations from Brian Souter of Stagecoach.

There is much speculation about the future of the SNP should there be a Yes vote in 2014. As your leader referred to above points out, the question also arises in the light of a No vote. It is my belief, given the results of various recent opinion polls, that the argument about what will happen to the SNP after a Yes result is really an exercise in fairly sterile debate because it is increasingly unlikely to require much consideration.

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There are those who invite the Scots to vote with their emotions and ask them not to be like Ross speaking to Malcolm in Macbeth: "Alas, poor country – almost afraid to know itself".

The Scots are a practical nation, given on the whole to the application of common sense and as a result they will heed the call of another renowned writer about matters Scottish, Malachi Malagrowther (a pseudonym of Sir Walter Scott) who wrote that we should remain united with the English and the Irish (I assume he did not intend to exclude the Welsh) :

"With something like the impress of our several countries upon each!

Let us love and cherish each other's virtues, bear with each other's failings , be tender to each other's prejudices, be scrupulously regardful of each other's rights".

In other words, better together.

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road,