Well said, Hugh Andrew (May 11). It is irresponsible for the LibDems not to be prepared to negotiate a contribution to coalition government when the overlap of manifesto commitments between them and the SNP is far greater than it was with Labour.

Why this churlishness? Apparently because we are Unionists. But am I the only LibDem member to be offended now to be told that I am a member of a "Unionist party"? The party I joined in 1978 was neither Unionist nor pro-independence. Its commitment to home rule was rooted in the principles of federalism and subsidiarity. Government should be conducted at the most local possible feasible level. The citizen is encouraged to develop multiple identities and loyalties.

There is nothing illiberal about Scottish independence. My own commitment to independence is linked to mounting failure to understand what the British state is actually appropriately for, and a corresponding fading of any identification with it. I am a Scot and a European.

It is certainly possible to be both a Liberal and a Unionist, and most LibDem members are probably both. But they cannot tell me that I am not a Liberal Democrat, and it is for them to produce arguments, within a federal understanding, of what the advantages any longer are to Scotland of participation in the British state. No such arguments were produced in this recent election. Meanwhile, I recall that the last time there was a liberal Unionist faction in British politics, it didn't take long for it to become an indistinguishable component of the Tory party.

Scottish liberal democracy proclaims the sovereignty of the Scottish people. This election represents evidence of the tectonic shift of the Scottish people towards seeking to exercise that sovereignty by asserting at least a stronger home rule, and very probably future complete independence from "UKania". Many Liberal Democrats may be uncomfortable to give leadership to that shift, but they should accept expressions of the popular will, referenda included, and offer their services to contribute to the development of a liberal society in Scotland.

Meanwhile, my membership card has developed a distinctly semi-detached feel. And I haven't even mentioned Trident.

Danus Skene, 98 Monart Road, Perth. Liberal Democrat Christopher Mason sounds like Annabel Goldie, who declares that the Tories would defend the Union "till their last breath". Such an extreme expression of sentiment about an institution which is not exactly the talk of the steamie among the people of Scotland prompted me to wonder what date they had fixed for their last breath.

I suggest that both parties should ask their supporters whether they agree. Voters don't necessarily follow every nuance of their favoured party's policies. I guess that many Liberal Democrat voters look forward to progressive expansion of the powers of the Scottish Parliament, not excluding independence. And, if the Tories promote independence for individuals, restoration of powers to local councils and smaller government generally, why should Tory voters not favour eliminating the Westminster level from our over-governed country?

As Gordon Brown sets about enthusing the Labour Party about the Union, he should remember how many Labour voters are like the elderly couple of lifelong Labour voters who volunteered to me their desire for an independent, socialist Scottish republic.

Robin MacCormick, 82 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh.