IT is sad to witness (via multiple readers' letters published recently) those who would deny the people of Scotland the right to choose their own destiny so desperately clutching at the straws they see as “evidence” of the demise of the SNP and the entire movement for self-determination.

The incredible rise in membership numbers following the narrow loss in the last referendum, when by some accounts the SNP had the largest number of individual members across the whole of the UK, was not proclaimed as evidence that the Union had deceased. Yet, when through a pandemic and cost of living crisis (driven by the UK Government) member numbers drop less substantially, it is illogically claimed by some that independence is dead. If some actually believe that membership numbers are indeed so significant, why is none of these "desperados" calling for all UK political parties to release their membership numbers for say the last 10 years?

Apart from political opportunists and misguided journalists looking to create sensational headlines, does anyone seriously equate the identified internal management issues of the SNP as having even the slightest equivalence with a party that has hidden the report on Russian interference in UK politics and has furtively awarded its donors\cronies contracts worth many billions of pounds of tax-payers’ hard-earned income for unusable PPE? Given the economic catastrophe of Brexit and the complete financial shambles of the UK Government under Liz Truss does anyone honestly believe that shortcomings of the Scottish Government can credibly be considered comparable?

Under the self-serving and dishonest Boris Johnson and ideologically right-wing Home Secretaries, such as Priti Patel and Suella Braverman, the UK has internationally become a pariah state with an apparent moral code falling far short of the values to which the majority of the people of Scotland aspire. The general public in Scotland have repeatedly proven that they know who are genuinely attempting to meet their needs and wishes as opposed to those who are essentially working for the benefit of a wealthy minority largely domiciled in another country, and that will not change whatever transformation is undertaken within the SNP or the wider Yes Movement.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.


THE internecine stramash which has convulsed the SNP since Nicola Sturgeon’s unexpected resignation is highly absorbing. But let’s face it, in the scheme of things it’s hardly earth-shattering.

All large organisations, be they political, commercial, religious or whatever, overclaim for themselves, and the SNP is no exception. Like any large organisation, of course it has its flaws. Even so it has somehow managed to conduct its day-to-day business of running the country pretty effectively for 16 years, including seeing off its competitors at two General Elections.

It seems fairly clear that the weaknesses now revealed in the SNP have been present for some time. The fact that they have only now become a problem after 16 years in the business could arguably be said to be due to effective management at senior levels.

In the SNP’s case, of course, the business in question is the business of government. While unusual, this brings a unique advantage to us as clients of that business, namely, that whatever schisms and tantrums might be taking place at boardroom level, as it were, the government of the country continues untrammelled, in the capable hands of a professional and politically impartial civil service. A new First Minister and Cabinet will duly be installed and inducted, and life will go on. The next upheaval, when it comes, will receive the same businesslike response at the hands of the professionals. It has always been thus.

I have no political affiliation whatsoever. I feel sure the sort of crisis now affecting the SNP could just as well arise in any of the other Holyrood political parties, and would probably not be handled any more harmoniously by its players. So; by all means enjoy the discomfiture of the SNP, but let us keep a sense of proportion.

Iain Stuart, Glasgow.

TO the Union-supporting correspondents who claim that the SNP is the most evil manifestation of hell on earth (it isn't - any reasonable person would say that it has had at least as many successes as failures), I pose the following question: if one desires independence, who else can one vote for? The stance of all the other main parties mean that a vote for them will be taken as a vote against independence.

I'm particularly disappointed in the Labour Party, which should divorce itself from London and leave all options on the constitution open. In the meantime it should try to do its best for the Scottish people.

Iain Cope, Glasgow.

Read more: It was typical of Sturgeon to seek to avoid the hard questions


ADAM Tomkins created a minor Twitter storm at the weekend when, in reference to the SNP "mess" he wrote: "Our work here is done. They are finished."

Many pointed out that until we have an effective opposition the SNP and independence are not finished and it looks like he took this on board in his article today ("Opposition should pause their glee before they choke on their popcorn", The Herald, March 22).

History tells that when independence is off the table – a least in voters' minds – the SNP does well and notwithstanding the current mess, if Kate Forbes, my tip for SNP leader and First Minister, continues her mantra of good governance, probity and focus on the economy and growth – and the opposition parties conduct another lacklustre "we're not the SNP" campaign – she might just squeeze it, especially if Labour's seeming reliance on wooing back former voters backfires.

If they can't muster innovative policies themselves Scottish Labour and Conservatives would do well, as a holding strategy, to "put a kilt on" and promote the realistic policies coming out of their UK leaderships on Brexit, public finance, immigration, child care, NHS reform, gender legislation, education, energy policy and getting people back to work.

If you speak to pro-UK Scottish politicians the main reason given for not having any policies is the SNP will just steal them. I don't buy that. The three biggest upheavals in British politics – Thatcher in 1979, Blair in 1997 and Salmond in 2007 – came about after several years of assiduous wooing of the public and interest groups such as the business community by the leadership.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

Read more: Scotland will not forget the SNP admissions of abject failure


NO doubt Ruth Marr (Letters, March 22) is absolutely correct in her list of the shortcomings of various parties.

However she cannot deny that it was the SNP which sought out the support of Annabelle Goldie's Conservatives for its first term of government, resulting in it only being able to pass budgets approved by the Tories, and that it was the SNP which in 2014 was perfectly happy to "drag Scotland out of the EU" as a price worth paying for leaving the UK.

Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews.


BRIAN Chrystal (Letters, March 22) worries that those who will manage the process of regaining control from London and will thereafter govern Scotland will lack “the competence and moral standards to do so”. Presumably he feels safer if we continue to have governments foisted on us from outside, such as those with the economic competence of Liz Truss and the moral standards of Boris Johnson.

I had thought the “too wee, too poor, too stupid” Scottish cringe had been dispelled.

Mary McCabe, Glasgow.

• I WOULD suggest that one of the first phone calls our new First Minister makes next week should be to Saatchi & Saatchi, just as Maggie Thatcher did 40-odd years ago.

Brian Watt, Edinburgh.

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BORIS Johnson was Prime Minister. He knew the rules. But he blames his advisers for not telling him he was breaking them. Each and every one of us knew the rules and tried to abide by them, but bumbling Boris really didn't understand they also applied to him and his Downing Street staff.

At his appearance yesterday in front of the Privileges Committee ("Boris Johnson not told by officials that guidance had been followed", heraldscotland, March 22) he was the embarrassment and buffoon we all recognise. I thought he would also come close to showcasing his characteristic as a bully by thumping his fist on the table when questions got tough.

He still fails to understand that while he held farewell parties for staff in Downing Street there were sons, daughters, husbands and wives outside hospitals or care homes across the country unable to say goodbye to loved ones because of lockdown restrictions.

Hopefully this is the last we will see of him. But sadly his legacy will live on. Brexit will cost us dearly for many years to come.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.