WE have yet to see what repercussions the trial of Alex Salmond will bring for the SNP (“The trial is over but the backlash is yet to come”, The Herald, March 24). Many predict civil war in the party – some say it has already begun. What is clear is that the internal enmities that were kept under a tight lid for so long, but have been bubbling to the surface recently, are now in the open.

The row between MPs over gender reassignment was one indication of this. There has also been frustration with the leadership’s cautious policy over another referendum. Now, there is talk of a conspiracy within the party to prevent Mr Salmond from returning to front-line politics, which appears to be his aim.

Pro-Union people can stand back and wonder at all of this: the whole package adds up to a series of self-inflicted wounds to and by the SNP. Pro-Union people have not had to move a muscle to achieve dissent and, among some, bitter hatred within the SNP. And that is all before the coronavirus and its effects demonstrate the virtues of Scotland remaining in the UK. This is some compensation for being locked down.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh EH14.

WERE it not for the coronavirus crisis, and following on from the Alex Salmond trial, open civil war would have been declared by the main factions in the SNP.

As it is, the bloodbath has been merely postponed. No-one wants to be seen acting in a selfish manner in the midst of a worldwide pandemic; not even the zealots of the SNP.

Either way, it will be pleasing for those of us who wish to see the UK remain intact observing the ferrets in a sack. Scottish nationalism is dead.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh EH6.

I HAVE always supported devolution as a step to independence. That belief was imparted to me in October 1974 by the Father Of Devolution, John P Mackintosh MP.

On his death in 1978, no Scottish Labour politician had the courage to pick up the devolution baton. Hence it was defeated, in the 1979 referendum, by the political intervention of Robin Cook and his partner in crime George Cunninghame.

I lost faith in the ability of Labour to deliver Scottish independence. When Jim Sillars and Alex Salmond gave a sense of direction to the Scottish National Party I found their social democratic views were identical to that of the late Mr Mackintosh and myself. I had felt like a political boat without a rudder, a fish without a tail. It was not easy to leave the Labour Party after 54 years of affinity. But I did.

Thus, in the leadership of Mr Salmond, I began to see my dream as being realisable. Which is simply this. We Scots have the brains to run our own country,

When Mr Salmond was charged I knew only disbelief. My plan "A" was in jeopardy. I prepared a plan "B" in which I sought his acquittal. So, I prayed to my Higher Power that he would be deemed to be innocent.

Last night an octogenarian shed a tear of joy.

Arthur Greenan, East Linton.

Read more: Claims of state and SNP conspiracy against Alex Salmond after acquittal