BILL Brown (Letters, June 30) criticises David Roche (Letters, June 29) for urging Scottish Labour voters to lend the SNP their vote in all elections and referenda. Mr Roche believes that would soon lead to a Labour government in a self-governing Scotland, a belief that Mr Brown describes as illogical.

I side with Mr Roche. I’ve argued for years that, come independence, the SNP would fracture and many of its supporters would revert to the parties where their political sympathies naturally lie. I write this as someone who was a Labour Party activist, and indeed candidate, but who recognised that the Parliament at Westminster will never deliver the sort of Scotland I’d like my grandkids to grow up in.

Mr Brown says that Jeremy Corbyn made the Labour Party unelectable. Actually, it started rather earlier: remember Ed Miliband and his Ed Stone? It’s too early to tell whether Sir Keir Starmer will save Labour, but he’s very much a metropolitan elite archetype, so I don’t have much hope of him delivering for Scotland. Mr Brown believes that Sir Keir’s rise will be helped by Boris Johnson’s decline. He clearly doesn’t recognise the Conservative Party’s ruthlessness when it comes to holding onto power. If they think their leader hinders them, they act fast, as Mrs Thatcher found out.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.

AT long last Bill Brown has come out of the long grass and nailed his colours to the mast. It now appears that he had lent his vote in December 2019 to Jo Swinson, hoping to keep the SNP out of East Dunbartonshire. His intemperate reaction in these pages to her defeat tagged SNP voters, myself included, with an incredible list of uncomplimentary adjectives. Now he warns us that an independent Scotland would be a one-party state, that party presumably being the SNP.

He must rate the intelligence of Herald readers as no better than that of SNP voters if he expects such a ridiculous prediction to be taken seriously. His vision of a Labour landslide in the next UK General Election might well be a credible possibility, but Labour's chances of winning in an independent Scotland are just as real, if not better. The glue which binds SNP voters would lose its grip after independence and the party would quickly disintegrate or wither away, in stark contrast to Mr Brown's one-party state.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

MARK Smith ("The three groups of voters who are still resistant to Yes", The Herald, June 29)) opines on three groups of voters he identifies as resistant to voting Yes in the next independence referendum. He is convinced an unholy alliance of Labour unionists, free market Brexiters and the middle classes will combine to thwart Scotland achieving independence.

That sounds like an interesting construct for Better Together 2.0. The rump of Scottish Labour knows any repeat of its disastrous association with the Tories in 2014 cannot happen, no matter what Sir Keir Starmer thinks. Similarly, middle class Scottish Tories are overwhelmingly pro-EU and, having lost their leader and more than half their MP’s while “Get Brexit Done” resonated in Westminster, they will be lukewarm at least to joining any referendum campaign predicated on a pro-Brexit message.

I fear Mr Smith has picked up the wrong end of the stick. It would perhaps have been more pertinent to have addressed why there is now a sustained movement to majority support for independence. The six years since the first referendum have been a cumulative series of missteps by unionists – from David Cameron’s pronouncements in Downing Street the morning after the vote to the folly of Brexit and the deceit of the Johnson/Cummings administration.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating throughout the UK. However, it has given Scottish voters a unique opportunity to compare the performance of the Scottish and Westminster governments in dealing with the same existential threat. By any measure, whether leadership, communication, or virus suppression, Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government have convincingly outperformed Boris Johnson and his cohorts.

This has not gone unnoticed by Mr Smith’s middle-class voters who have drawn their own conclusions about the competence of the two governments. Faced with a choice of a Brexit UK under the direction of Mr Johnson or an independent Scotland within the EU they are increasingly receptive to the latter proposition.

Iain Gunn, Elgin.

WITH all the talk of closing the border with the rest of the UK, I was wondering: is it just English people that the SNP wants to keep out, or would the extra billions of pounds that it is begging for from the UK Government also be turned back at Berwick?

Alex Gallagher, Labour Councillor, North Ayrshire Council, Largs.

REBECCA McQuillan (“A return to austerity after this crisis would be unthinkable”, The Herald, June 26) writes that the UK Government is “irresponsibly pushing ahead with Brexit”. Would it not be more irresponsible to ignore the 17 million-plus voters who wished to free us from the sclerotic, undemocratic Behemoth that the EU has become?

Norman Brown, Barassie.

Read more: Letters: Be glad that Scotland hasn’t followed the PM’s Covid approach