IT seems ignorance really is bliss in Kevin McKenna's myopic world. His "At Large" column ("Campaigners for Yes movement have their own kind of majesty", The Herald, May 8) was filled with all the clues as to why the majority of Scottish people shun nationalism.

He seems oblivious as to why he saw so few people dare to openly celebrate the Coronation or fly the Union Flag when passing through Possilpark and Maryhill to an All Under One Banner (AUOB) march for independence while he asserts a dubious attendance figure of 15,000 (going on 5,000) and quoting one attendee: "Ye cannae beat a bit of chaos and rebellion on Coronation day, can ye big man ?"

Maybe, just maybe, the majority of law-abiding Scots remember the divisive, embittered referendum that set neighbour against neighbour, split families and friends, we remember the torch and pitchfork mobs surrounding the BBC because Alex Salmond was asked awkward questions by the BBC's Nick Robinson; even now we have former Westminster SNP leader Ian Blackford spouting indignant outrage at journalists who asked an innocuous question as to why the new SNP Westminster leader was not informed of events. We remember Labour's Jim Murphy being hit with an egg while trying to express his opinion of the benefits of unity within the UK.

Mr McKenna snipes from the sideline while not offering any better alternative, either by the replacing of monarchy with an equally privileged tier of other privileged high heid yins, or by replacing Westminster's Parliament with a mini-me version of exactly the very same parties now in Holyrood. It is also interesting to see and hear the morphing of the fickle, shallow mindset of independence supporters from SNP to the soon-to-be new, fresh, cuddly independence party.

Allan Thompson, Bearsden.

Read more: 'Campaigners for Yes movement have their own kind of majesty'

A slap-dash attitude

HUMZA Yousaf is certainly attempting to be Nicola Sturgeon's "continuity candidate". He is continuing in the recent SNP tradition of not having notes taken or meetings recorded ("Hague casts doubts over FM's missed vote on gay marriages", The Herald, May 9).

This seems to be an all-too-common approach by the SNP. It casts severe doubts over its ability to negotiate on important issues if it takes such a slap-dash attitude. Perish the thought that these politicians should ever try and arrange a genuine attempt at an independence referendum. This would have more holes in it than a Swiss cheese and would be easily cut to ribbons.

Is an SNP government with Green "help" seriously the best Scotland can do?

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.

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SNP has to ditch the Greens

IN recent weeks, I have been increasingly disturbed at the dominance the Green Party is exerting on the Scottish Government, culminating in the latest legislation on the Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA).

I have been a member of the SNP since 1994 and was a councillor for the same length of time. The latest controversial legislation to be implemented has resulted from yet another ill-thought-out proposal by the Greens. We have had the Gender Recognition Reform Act, followed by the Deposit Return Scheme and, in addition, the alcohol sponsorship ban which will not take effect in other nations of the United Kingdom. The HPMA, the Scottish Government’s latest blunder, influenced by the Greens, promises another disaster.

I applaud the MSP for Inverness and Nairn, Fergus Ewing, for ripping up the HPMA document as will those in the coastal areas affected ("Former rural affairs minister rips controversial plan to ban fishing to shreds", The Herald, May 3). As long as we’re paying homage to the Greens, the SNP is heading for electoral disaster.

Robert Macintyre, Rothesay.

Independence is a must

EVEN with the current SNP difficulties, which will be resolved, there has been a surge in party membership of more than 2,700. With “transparency” in mind, that comes to 74,889 members and rising.

To date Scottish unionist parties have refused to publish membership figures, perhaps due to embarrassment. Furthermore it is believed that the small Alba independence party has more members than the Scottish Tory Party.

Independence is not on the "back-burner” and indeed it's a must for Scotland to progress and flourish. This will develop Scotland’s massive renewable potential, including off-shore wind, hydrogen and low-carbon heat energy sectors, keeping Scotland as a front runner in Europe and the world.

Grant Frazer, Newtonmore.

Read more: Ditching Trident would make little difference to Scotland's finances

Cracking down on freedoms

ARRESTS on suspicion of being about to commit a public order offence, refusal of permission to vote without having ID, the imposition of tighter restrictions to curtail strikes. That is Britain today.

Every little brick in that wall builds a barrier to make it tougher to take actions on contentious issues.

A party of government professing to believe in the freedom of the individual seems to be setting its face against communitarian action by any group likely to produce some societal disruption in pursuit of fairness.

There is a reek of hypocrisy in all this to ensure that protests become toothless while any controversial policies are waved through on the nod of the Government's majority.

Putting in place powers for the police to prevent disruptive action from being taken will create even more distrust between the public and the policing authorities, putting paid to the policing by consent upon which Britain once prided itself.

Those measures make life easier for the Government to enact policies which run counter to public expectation, such as downsizing the state, emasculation of workers' rights and immunities and to make it awkward to organise any public opposition to such developments.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

Have you seen a Marxist lately?

I WAS alarmed when I learned from reading Neil Mackay’s article ("‘Family, faith and flag’ – the new Tory weapons against the SNP", The Herald, May 4), that prominent elements within the Conservative Party wish to import far-right US politics (and an alien religion) into the UK. So I undertook further internet research into National Conservatism (NatCon).

I learned that NatCons see National Conservatism as being “the best path forward for a democratic world confronted by a rising China abroad and a powerful new Marxism at home”. How recently have any of your readers come across an active Marxist? I can only assume that to the likes of Suella Braverman, Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg, to name but a few, any citizen who does not share their dangerously right-wing views on politics and religion is a left-wing extremist.

It is said that the real nature and intent of anyone is revealed by the company they keep. So in the case of the NatCons I submit the name of Viktor Orbán, Hungarian prime minister, the inventor of “illiberal Christian democracy” who was a guest of honour at the 2020 NatCon conference in Rome. Mr Orbán is renowned for calling, in a speech to US Republicans and their European allies in Budapest, for Donald Trump’s return to office, claiming that “their shared brand of hard-right populism is on the rise around the world”.

John Milne, Uddingston.

Buffer zones thin end of the wedge

UNIONS can picket the entrance to their workplace during strike action which they are perfectly entitled to do, by law, although non-union members, going to their workplace, through the picket line may feel uncomfortable/uneasy (1998 Human Rights Act – Article 11, Freedom of Assembly and Association.) The Orange Order can walk the King's highway, in Scotland, to commemorate the English revolution of 1688-1690 which they are perfectly entitled to do, by law, although some people may feel uncomfortable/uneasy, especially by the crowds that follow the march (1998 Human Rights Act – Article 9, Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion; Article 10, Freedom of Expression, Article 11 Freedom of Association and Assembly).

However, if the Scottish Green Party’s Gillian Mackay’s Abortion Services (Scotland) Bill becomes law and wee Jean (Baptist Church OAP) holds up a banner outside a hospital, on the King's highway, saying "Protect the Unborn", "Support Women", she could face six months' imprisonment for a first offence.

Voltaire, the 18th century French Enlightenment philosopher, was ascribed to have said: “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Not so in 21st century Scotland, cancel culture trumps democracy and human rights.

Who’s next?

John Smith, Falkirk.