YOUR political writers Iain Macwhirter, Neil Mackay, Tom Gordon, et al appear to have established a cloud of gloom over the SNP.

Let me say as an SNP member for 54 years – parliamentary or council candidate on many occasions, Constituency Organiser, branch chairman, etcetera, who has tramped the streets with leaflets, knocked on countless doors, organised street meetings, addressed great rallies, seen the Party rise, then fall, and rise again – this repeated fantasy that the SNP is “corrupt”, “toxic”, “paranoid”, and that masses of our members are leaving, is rubbish.

As the honorary president of Edinburgh Central constituency, I am proud to see both Angus Robertson and Joanna Cherry among our members valued as assets to our party.

People who are trans must make up about 0.02 per cent of the Scottish population and they must be protected from abuse and discrimination as should our valued immigrants from wherever in the world, but the important thing now is for us all to work together to achieve independence.

My SNP is an open party, a progressive party, and still a mass party, the largest in Scotland.

With calmness and with determination to achieve independence it will remain so.

George MacDougall, Edinburgh.





THE opinion columns this past week by Neil Mackay, Iain Macwhirter and Kevin McKenna have all exposed the very worrying arrogance being exercised by the SNP Government.

From Neil Mackay’s allegations of plants within the party, it is not difficult to think that Joanna Cherry has been “removed” as a way of preventing an even more powerful successor to Nicola Sturgeon from being a new leader in time, this thinking being generated from Iain Macwhirter’s column.

Kevin McKenna puts the danger in his own inimitable style.

Like all three writers I wish Scotland to be independent and have for a long time, but now, in my mid-70s, I do not want a state governed by this present SNP; and while, after independence, the people can vote for other Scottish parties, the damage done today may be irreversible.

No wonder there’s an exodus of members and our Empress does not seem to be addressing this problem in all of its manifestations.

Will this be resolved by May, or should I abstain from voting or lend my vote to Westminster via branch office candidates? Damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

Ian Gray, Croftamie.





AS a long-established SNP voter, I will most likely be voting SNP at the May election. However, on this occasion it will be reluctantly and through gritted teeth.

I am completely saddened by the dire state of the Scottish National Party, with different factions at each others’ throats, overt evidence of personal feuds between very prominent party members, and the weasel thought – who on earth would want to vote for such a bunch of bandits?

In my view, apart from the Alex Salmond issue which, I am sure could be contained and possibly resolved in the near future, the real rot set in with the advent of the ‘Trans’ contingent.

Here we have a single-issue group, representing, I believe, no more than two per cent of the voting population, but making a huge amount of sound and fury well above their weight.

The whole concept of the ability to select one’s preferred gender (notwithstanding one’s physical anatomy) in the context of the levels of biological imperatives, tend to put this concept into perspective and of relative importance. Not very high!

The unbidden thought of ‘How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?’ comes to mind.

Clearly, the ‘trans’ group has been so effective in pushing their point of view that the outcome has been the creation of the current toxic situation. This has been so successfully achieved that anyone with a counter-argument based on fact and logic is immediately demonised as being transphobic.

We all know who these victims are.

Please, SNP, don’t let the rot spread any further before the party becomes unelectable.

J. Robertson, Stirling.





JUST a thought; wouldn’t it be a refreshing to hear Douglas Ross, Alister Jack or Ruth Davidson simply say, “We think it wrong and will try to prevent it happening, but if it is the settled will of the majority of Scots to leave the Union then the Scottish Conservative Party would join with the majority and do our level best to make the exercise as successful as possible”?

After all, that’s their message about Brexit – and, who knows it may lead me to believe they are human rather than Establishment puppets.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.





I AM undecided for whom to cast my two votes in the forthcoming Holyrood election.

Obviously, casting one’s first and second votes for either the Conservative and Unionist or Reform UK parties is totally out of the question for anyone who believes that principles in politics are an essential element of democracy.

The Labour and LibDem Parties are uninspiring to a degree beyond belief and will remain so even for Labour, no matter who is elected leader.

I will not be voting for the SNP or the Greens unless we are given an assurance that independence is seen first and foremost by them as being “a sovereign opportunity of ensuring that Scotland would be governed in future for the many and not the few” and is not based on “dewy-eyed emotionalism”(Kevin McKenna, “Why the Yes movement needs a radical edge more than ever”, February 8).

Am I heading for abstention?

John Milne, Uddingston.





HALF of Scotland, sitting on the edge of their seats, watched in joy as the Scottish rugby team finally won at Twickenham 11-6.

After 38 years of trying the Calcutta Cup was finally won by the Scottish team.

The jubilant Scottish players were only surpassed in joy by their coach Gregor Townsend in seeing them clinch a game he had always promised Scotland would win.

A great day of a lifetime in Scottish rugby, never to be forgotten.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Bucksburn.

ALTHOUGH I enjoyed Saturday’s rugby match, I was again struck by the anomalous choice of pre-match “anthems” when England used “God save the Queen”.

This is objectionable for two reasons; first, because it is supposed to be the UK national anthem and, second, because it is not really a national anthem at all as it makes no reference to the nation but is only a royal anthem.

The song used in the absence of a Scottish national anthem is a rather dreary folk song which gloats over an ancient military victory but says nothing about the essential spirit of Scotland as a nation.

Surely two such important countries can do something better than this.

Dr P.M. Dryburgh, Edinburgh.

AFTER watching the fantastic Scotland rugby team thrash the mighty England at Twickenham, I would like to complain about the very biased ITV commentary once again.

In the first half it was all about what England were or were not doing, and very much less about what Scotland were doing , and in the second half we started to get the usual English bigotry.

With 10 minutes to go we got “there are loads of ‘Scotties’ counting down” – well, they may have been, but how patronising and derogatory!

At the final whistle we got “to the Scottish supporters, ‘you can come out now”, as though we had been hiding under a stone. Again, it was patronising and derogatory

Fifty-eight million versus 5.5 million - a level playing field?

Fraser Hamilton, Balfron Station, Glasgow.

SCOTLAND rout England at Twickenham. SNP claim responsibility.

Donald Macaskill, Glasgow.

I AM sorry to read that some members of the Scottish rugby team are being criticised for not taking the knee before Saturday’s international match at Twickenham. Surely that was a matter of choice?

Sadly, taking the knee has become politicised as I was sure it would when the First Minister’s top civil servant, Lesley Evans, made the gesture on the steps of StAndrew’s House.

Now that was virtue-signalling of the first order and frankly, in that context, ludicrous rather than respectful. .

Celia Judge, Ayr.

THE fact that only four Scottish, as opposed to a majority of the English players, took the knee before the match was unfortunate.

While fully recognising the extent of personal choice in the matter I think it shows that sports people still have a long way to go before the issue of racism can be fully understood and confronted.

The Black Lives Matter campaign has become a very real issue for a very good reason.

D.Morrison, Glasgow.