IT looks like we’re in for the second performance of Alex Salmond and his Monstrous Ego. His first appearance resulted in a massive own goal and made a dent in the cause he’s supposed to have believed in all his life. His second coming runs the big risk that he’ll sink it for the foreseeable future (“Salmond launch ‘risks independence cause’", The Herald, March 27).

Not content with scoring an own goal, he’s handing his political opponents as many free kicks as they want and then standing on his own goal line ready to prod the ball home just in case they haven’t the gumption to do it themselves.

With the hard right in charge down south, all the omens have indicated that this time we’ll ignore the unionists' dirty tricks and honeyed words and restore Scotland’s future into our own hands. Splitting the vote and ruining this will result in the legacy of the leading man being trashed and his name forever remembered in the same breath as Judas Iscariot.

Do the decent thing Mr Salmond, sorry, two decent things. First, show yourself a red card, as the time for challenging the movement you helped to set up isn’t now, it’s after an independent Scotland becomes a reality. The second one’s a lot easier. Show a little compassion and offer an apology for your past inappropriate behaviour.

Bill Hendry, Milngavie.

* IF the word chutzpah didn’t already exist, they would require to have invented it for Alex Salmond characterisation purposes.

Alistair Patrick, Paisley.

* SOME of us are old enough to remember when Alex Salmond set up organisations like the Scottish Socialist Society and the Linlithgow Scottish Independence Property Trust at a time in the early 1980s when he was out of the SNP and needed vehicles for his own ego.

The “elephants” among us will also recall what happened to these entities once they had served Mr Salmond’s purpose.

Murdoch Kennedy, Linlithgow.


WHILE Alex Salmond's new Alba party could create division in the independence movement, a different vision of what kind of independence would surely help clarify Scottish minds on the prospect of independence offered in any referendum.

There's an unlimited range of visions of an independent Scotland.

Before only one vision is presented by the Scottish Government in a referendum, there needs to be a serious debate in the country about what the people of Scotland want from independence, more than just independence itself.

Will Alba rise to the challenge?

Will the SNP just see any different ideas from Alba as critique to be rebutted?

If Brexit has taught us anything, it is that leaving the details until later in order to maintain unity in the movement, leaves the country divided, when it needs to be united to bear the cost of the transition to the future

Has Scotland's polity yet matured enough to have serious, policy-driven debate about the future of Scotland, beyond the referendum?

Jim Cuthbert, Surbiton.


I HAVE at least three basic initial views on the bizarre launch of the Alba Party by Alex Salmond.

Superficially, and given very recent events in his life, it seems to be no more than a feeble symbol of how piqued Mr Salmond feels against the SNP in the way he considers it treated him in public over the accusations of sexual misconduct. If that is his true motive then he has forgotten that revenge is a dish best served cold.

Secondly, we must remember that Mr Salmond, as a gambler, is a well-known lover of betting on horses. The only way to be certain of winning a horse race is if you own all the horses in the race. This idea of a "supermajority" in Holyrood is surely in theory a potential danger to the unionist cause if enough floating voters fall for the subterfuge. It is perhaps a call for all non-independence parties to up their game and nip the Alba party in the bud.

Lastly, in stacking the cards with two pro-independence parties I expect Mr Salmond hopes to divert the original intention behind the Additional Member System (AMS) of voting in Scottish Parliamentary elections. What was designed to ensure fairness in representation may become a mutation which could be viewed as political trickery as it may be promoted as a back-door referendum when the votes on May 6 are counted. How many more pro-independence parties might we expect are up his sleeve? Where is the money coming from?

However, as a Union supporter I am confident that the thinking public will consider Mr Salmond as a back number and his gamble will only provide even more mud to the already cloudy and divided political waters of Scotland. Better to stay good friends with all of Albion than vote Alba.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.


WHEN we set up the Scottish Parliament, List MSPs were specifically created so that voters who did not elect winning candidates in constituency seats would get representatives in parliament.

The openly-stated single aim of Alex Salmond's new party – "to build a supermajority for independence" – is to rig the election by allowing voters who are already fully represented by electing SNP constituency MSPs to also grab a share of the list seats, without winning a single extra vote.

If it had existed in 2016 and had taken a third of the SNP's list vote, the pro-independence parties would have got more than 60 per cent of the seats despite having less than 50% of the vote.

It may be letter-of-the-law legal, but it's manipulative and anti-democratic.

When Labour dominated the constituencies, some members and MPs suggested the party should attempt a similar scam by standing candidates under a different party in the list. I'm proud that Donald Dewar didn't attempt to do this. Mr Salmond is clearly less scrupulous.

Archie Flockhart, Aberdeen.


IN the world of science, levels of “toxicity” are placed in one of four categories. It is abundantly clear that even I, with no knowledge of such matters, would realise that the current SNP debacle of infighting and self-interested behaviours would be placed in “Toxicity Category One”. This category is described as “highly toxic and severely irritating”.

A wholly discredited Alex Salmond launches the Alba party in the mistaken belief that we, as the electorate, will believe it is all about independence when in fact it is simply the vehicle he thinks will further his aim to bring down Nicola Sturgeon. She in turn sets the SNP “attack dogs” on to Mr Salmond. Do these two discredited individuals really thing the Scottish people would believe any proposition that they could work together in the Scottish Parliament to further their cause of independence having fought like two ferrets in a sack over the recent past?

We have education standards that have fallen through the floor, class sizes up, NHS waiting times increasing, an appalling drugs death rate and any number of domestic infrastructure failures. Add into the mixing bowl such names as Margaret Ferrier, Derek Mackay et al and you have confirmation of Toxicity Category One.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh.


SO we are now to be subjected to six weeks of gaming as two flawed egos put independence before education, enterprise, child poverty and good health in a country they both neglected whilst they peddled their unviable vanity project. We should reward their arrogance with #Bothvotesneither.

John Dunlop, Ayr.


THERE'S an irony to Scotland's Greens promising to create 100,000 sustainable jobs the day after Alex Salmond's Alba Party made their five in Holyrood unsustainable. The sheer acridity of the invective hurled by a remarkable cross-party consensus of SNP, Tories, Labour, LibDems and Greens against the upstart shows they're far from alone fearing for their future.

There are 56 regional or list MSPs owing their survival to the vagaries of the D'Hondt system – the more a party wins constituency seats, the greater their handicap in the regional vote, no matter how many regional votes they get. Scotland's Greens have gamed the system (and their meagre support) for two decades by only standing for regional seats.

Now with Mr Salmond they face electoral wipeout, and constituency-winning parties may kiss goodbye to perhaps half their regional MSPs. For the irony is many disgruntled Tory, Labour and LibDem voters see in Mr Salmond a superior counterweight to an out-of-control Nicola Sturgeon than proffered by their own insipid parties of equally arch careerists, illustrated by Ruth Davidson's cavalier retirement to a life of slothful ease in the House of Lords at the ripe old age of 42.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone.

Read more: Sturgeon needs to learn humility and admit mistakes