I WAS saddened to read the letters from Charles Maitland and Stevie (January 8).

Maitland seems to think the SNP is waiting for some kind of magic which will sweep Scotland to independence and virtually accuses Nicola Sturgeon of sitting on her hands. He demands she starts “fighting for Scotland” before it’s too late.

I have been in the SNP since 1966 and I have never seen a more shambolic UK Government in my life. It is perfectly understandable that she waits until the fog clears a bit before showing her hand. If Maitland looked a bit closer he would see the vast amount of work going on behind the scenes as the SNP gears up.

The period over Christmas and New Year is not a campaigning period, and outdoor political work is not viable in the winter nor is it appreciated by cauld voters on doorsteps – this I know because I have done it in my younger days!

In the meantime, Nicola Sturgeon is attempting to knock some sense into the Unionists, because they are hell-bent on wrecking the social and economic systems.

Stevie states that if we are not out of the UK by the end of March he will not be voting SNP again. I would gently ask how long has he voted SNP? If he genuinely wants independence, how is it going to be achieved? We have forsworn the gun, which our Irish neighbours used.

READ MORE: Letters, January 8

Jim Lynch

PRESSURE is mounting on Nicola Sturgeon to come clean on a date for another indy vote, and not only from some quarters within the wider Yes movement.

Even her mentor, Alex Salmond, right after winning his court case against the Scottish Government, insisted that she “should concentrate on achieving independence for Scotland”.

But so far, Sturgeon has only hinted at the Holyrood mandate which, in principle, the SNP has every right to fulfill before the end of this parliament.

Yet why hurry? As things stand the SNP can rest assured that voters will again vote them back into power at the next Holyrood elections for want of any real alternative.

On policy, be it health, education, police or transport, the SNP is the only game in town. Opposition parties point out the Government’s flaws and failures but they don’t give voters any clear idea of what exactly they would do differently. Without that knowledge, voters will stay on familiar ground.

As long as that doesn’t change the SNP can easily win another Holyrood mandate for indyref2 post-2021.

They can afford to wait and see how Brexit unfolds. But that won’t appease those Yes activists within and outside her own party whose patience is wearing thin.

Regina Erich

LESLIE Evans appears to make light of the serious situation that has arisen from her department’s mishandling of the allegations made against Alex Salmond from start to finish. Doing so reflects very badly on the Scottish Government.

By saying that the investigation was procedurally flawed in only one respect, Evans seems to think that Alex Salmond having to go to the Court of Session over her department’s discipline procedure at a cost of £500,000 is only of minor significance.

Judge Lord Pentland took a slightly more serious view of the failings of the discipline procedure when he struck down the Government’s findings because the decisions were unlawful, unfair and tainted with apparent bias.

In order to restore the public’s confidence in the administrative arm of the Scottish Government there needs to be a full, impartial inquiry into all aspects of the handling of this discipline case, including a troubling trend of leaks to the media.

John Jamieson
West Lothian

Malcolm Parkin (Letters, January 9) makes a good case for why we should support local food production. I certainly agree and believe that we should all be supporting the Scottish brand name.

The Saltire on Scottish produce is known for quality and an excellent marketing tool.

It is reasonable to assume that super markets require large amounts of produce that local growers might not be able to cope with and will at times have to import from other countries.

However, it saddens me that some retailers appear not to want to label some goods with the Saltire and prefer to stick a union flag on even whisky.

I find this rather silly as Scotch, for example, is clearly a product of Scotland and we should all be proud of that and advertise as such with our national flag.

All of us should buy local when possible as it supports communities and jobs, but retailers should promote produce by labelling it from where it comes from.

Bryan Auchterlonie