IAN W Thomson is to be congratulated for his quotation of Sir Walter Scott in defence of a balanced relationship between nations and regions in the United Kingdom – as is usually the case, straightforward reality is the stuff of prose, while the Big-Rock-Candy-Mountain fantasy of a perfect post-independence Scotland lends itself much better to insubstantial flights of fancy (Letters, January 3).

Mr Thomson is also correct to point out the political promiscuity of the SNP and the misleading description of its politics as "social democratic". In fact, it is extremely difficult to see how a party that wins Tory votes and seats in Tayside and Argyll as well as far left support in Glasgow and Dundee can have any single political identity, if that is to be defined by the normal political parameters of economic or social relationships. In fact, the SNP has two unifying dogmas, neither of which is of much use to the people of Scotland: blind faith in independence and – above all – opposition to the wellspring of all genuine social democratic progress in the UK– the Labour Party.

Peter A Russell,

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87 Munro Road,



I DON'T envisage the SNP continuing into an independent Scotland or willingly disbanding in advance ("SNP denies it has plans to disband after Yes vote", The Herald, December 31).

A messy disintegration would seem the most likely outcome during the inevitable period of several years between any successful Yes vote and an independent Scotland becoming a constitutional reality.

The SNP is at heart a one-issue party with MSPs and party supporters occupying a wide political spectrum. With the recent principled resignation of MSPs Jean Urquhart and John Finnie over the issue of Nato membership, we have potentially already seen the start of this process of change, which would influence the other existing political parties at Holyrood. The 2015 UK General Election can also be expected to muddy the waters.

While currently undecided on how to vote in the referendum, if Scotland becomes an independent country I look forward, after several decades of no political affiliation, to becoming a member of an invigorated left-of-centre party, as likely to be led by Nicola Sturgeon as Johann Lamont.

Floris H Greenlaw,



I MUST thank Gill Anderson for informing us about the Song for Scotland written by Ken Morton (Letters, January 1). It was refreshing to read the lyrics which describe our beautiful country rather than the same old English-bashing themes of previous years. Well done Mr Morton, and I wish you every success in securing the sponsorship required to take the song forward in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Robert Paterson,

24 Bute Crescent,