These leaks must stop

As a member of the SNP National Executive Committee (NEC), it pains me to write this open letter. I have had enough of opening national newspapers to find parts of internal discussions at NEC meetings being reported. Let me be clear, I have no issue with the paper printing the stories or the journalist looking for stories. That is their job.

My anger is vented at the selfish and inconsiderate member of NEC who is leaking the stories in self-interest.

Firstly, what is being reported is only half of the story and often edited. Many of the leaked documents or reports only paint half of the story of what is being discussed – and is always the negative half. This is damaging to the party and also undermines NECs ability to make decisions.

If the leadership of the party do not feel they can bring sensitive information to NEC to consider or that they can inform NEC members of real-time situations privately, without it appearing in the national newspapers within hours, then they will simply cut out NEC, the democratically elected body of the party. I, for one, would not blame them. This would destroy the whole party and there would only be one person to blame – the individual who is providing the leaks to the press.

I understand members of the SNP may want to know what is being discussed at NEC and might even find these stories refreshing. Maybe NEC needs to look at how it can open up how it reports decisions back to members. That said, we must have the ability to make decisions and discuss events in private without our opponents being in full knowledge, or even worse, only bits of the story.

Let us all, as SNP members, publicly condemn the individual responsible for the leaks, who is damaging our party for nothing more than to massage his own ego,

Yours for Scotland.

Frustrated NEC member

Abuse goes both ways

We were heartened to read that James Morton of the Scottish Trans Alliance believes “nobody should be subjected to threats or abuse because of expressing an opinion” (Trans Scots suffering abuse in wake of GRA debate, The Herald on Sunday, June 2). We wholeheartedly agree.

Mr Morton will doubtless be aware of the high level of threatening and abusive behaviour to which women are subjected – not just on social media platforms but also in real life – when they dare to express opinions on proposed changes to gender recognition legislation or related matters such as the ongoing erosion of sex-segregated spaces.

It is regrettable that one of the young people interviewed by Hannah Rodger feels excluded from social media due to conversations about these issues. Abusive behaviour in all forms should be strongly condemned. However, it is hard to imagine Ms Rodger is unaware that many women who reject the notion of “gender” as based on regressive stereotypes have been banned from social media platforms altogether, often for the “crime” of stating biological facts. Joanna Cherry MP eloquently set out the seriousness of this problem at Westminster recently.

Presumably, Cherry is among those Rodger wishes to imply have “encouraged anger”. In our opinion it is quite correct to encourage anger about the widespread abuse of women, especially when tech firms like Twitter are turning a blind eye, so we salute Cherry and her like-minded colleagues at Holyrood for their actions.

Perhaps Ms Rodger’s next article will focus on the experiences of women who find it distressing to use social media – or indeed participate in other aspects of public life – due to the epidemic of violence against women in our society.

Susan Smith

For Women Scotland

I know who I trust, Mr Howell

The headline on The Herald on Sunday letters last week was “The First Minister cannot be trusted”, according to Keith Howell.

It would seem that every word Nicola Sturgeon says is suspect. I do not find this so, but then I want independence; Mr Howell, on the other hand, sees this as some form of betrayal. He implies that Sturgeon did not ask for votes to help delay, and possibly cancel, Brexit, but sneakily to campaign for independence.

Mr Howell should open his eyes – Brexit is going to create untold levels of unemployment and poverty, and this has been maximised by a Brexit Party spawned by the Tories, who do not give twopence for ordinary citizens.

I do not expect Brexit to fundamentally affect myself, as I am 84 and probably will not be around all that much longer. However, I have sons, grandchildren, and now a great-grandchild, so a definite interest and concern for all the coming generations.

There is no doubt that Scotland will be affected more than the south of England. I firmly believe we should trust the First Minister, as she is doing the best job for Scotland. Contrast that with the Scottish Tory leader who shilly-shallies for the best way to advance her own career, or the so-called Scottish Labour leader who doesn’t seem to have made up his mind about anything – waiting for instructions from on high.

In conclusion, the UK is heading for the most severe personal and economic crisis since the Second World War, and the Westminster Parliament and the rich bloated House of Lords have no idea what to do .

Verily indeed, a Plague on Both Their Houses.

Jim Lynch


As Nicola Sturgeon pushes ahead with futile legislation (since Downing Street won’t grant a Section 30 order) setting out her aspirations for a second independence referendum, is it timely to remind the nationalist leader of her 2016 election manifesto promise to make education her number one priority?

Come to think of it, can anyone remember the last time Sturgeon talked about anything but the constitution?

Martin Redfern


Glass houses, stones and Labour

During the D-Day anniversary ceremonies, Labour’s Emily Thornberry followed her party leader’s example and was scathing in her criticism of Donald Trump. In particular, she sprung on his alleged misogyny and racism.

That the leaders of a major party being investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into multiple accusations of anti-Semitism – the only other UK political party so investigated was the BNP – could suggest Donald Trump was racist and misogynist beggars belief. Surely one’s own stable should be clean before flinging around such accusations at others.

One of Corbyn’s top aides is under a cloud after accusations of sexual misconduct, which are denied – as Donald Trump denies those made against him

For Labour hypocrisy this takes some beating.

Alexander McKay


President Trump, please accept this letter of recommendation to my hairdresser.

Robin MacLean

Fort Augustus