It’s still a long way off, but talk of the General Election – and the various parties’ strategies – continues to exercise the thoughts of our readers. 

Much of the debate has centred on Humza Yousaf’s call last weekend for the SNP to strive make Scotland a ‘Tory-free’ zone. 

Read more: SNP defend 'clear and straightforward' call to make Scotland Tory free

Today one of our readers argues that the First Minister has got it all wrong, saying that the most urgent task the SNP faces is to minimise the Labour vote in Scotland. 

Derrick McClure of Aberdeen writes: 

"It is a measure of the lamentable standard of political debate in this country that the First Minister’s choice of words in expressing a hope that no Scottish parliamentary seats at Westminster will be held by Tories has been represented, with what can only be described as wilful stupidity and dishonesty, as a threat to exterminate all Tory voters.

"But he is making a major strategic mistake in elevating this hope to the status of a plank in his election campaign. 

"If a majority of English seats are held by Tories, then it matters not a doit or a docken whether they hold a lot, a few or none of the Scottish seats: we will still have a Tory government.

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"And since it seems unlikely that the forthcoming Westminster election will be won by the Tories, what need was there for Mr Yousaf to raise the issue at all? A far more urgent task facing him and his Government is to minimise the number of Scottish votes given to Labour. 

"Keir Starmer’s party can win at Westminster without any help from Scottish voters. Labour does not need Scotland; and Scotland most certainly does not need Labour, as both its past record and what can be expected from its present policy statements proves beyond cavil.

"What Scotland needs is independence; and the fact remains that since a popular insurrection is not in prospect, the only means of achieving this is by maintaining the SNP as the dominant political force in Scotland.

"Of course, this would be easier to do if the party would pull its socks up and start campaigning, not just for victory at Westminster or at Holyrood, but for what is supposed to be its raison d’être: independence."