ON yesterday’s front page was a banner regarding Kevin McKenna’s article covering the recent Labour MPs who have defected from Labour to a new grouping. It stated “…now only independence can save us from the Tories”.

I have been an independence campaigner since 2013, continually trying to persuade people about the benefits to us all of independence. How does it help our cause when headlines like this automatically alienate approximately 23% of the Scottish electorate? What message does this send? To me it is like that well-discussed banner at an earlier AOUB march in Glasgow that stated “Tory scum out”.

In an independent Scotland we do need the whole range of political opinion in our parliament, and as such we should all do what we can to openly welcome Conservative supporters to support our objective. I appreciate that the Westminster Government (of any British nationalist party) does not give a hoot about Scotland. Needless to say their representatives at Holyrood on the whole are akin to a joke, doing whatever they can to not support the Scottish Government or indeed the people who voted them in.

So, a heartfelt plea to The National’s front cover designers and to any who write pieces for the paper to please choose your wording carefully. Not everyone who picks up the paper or sees the cover at a news stand has left-leaning political views. I know a few Conservative supporters who are appalled at what is currently taking place down south. Perhaps the banner could have said something like “…now only independence can save us from the chaotic government at Westminster”.

Robert Anderson
Dunning, Perthshire

I BUY The National whenever I am near a newsagent and find it an interesting read, but one thing that grates and, I believe, takes your newspaper to the level of other tabloids is your irrational way of treating the Labour party.

A quality newspaper treats all people with respect and I’m afraid people in the Labour party, and the party itself, do not always receive respect from your paper.

Abuse is not good journalism. Reasoned, truthful and polite comment is. Sadly, the style you employ for writing about Labour is not always confined to just them.

I do not necessarily support Labour or others you deride, but I do support fair journalism.

J Arnold
via email

NOT for the first time I find myself applauding Wee Ginger Dug. His latest piece (It’s crunch time for the SNP: We need indyref2, February 19) was music to my ears. He certainly speaks for me, and I do not doubt that he speaks for thousands, when he says: “We are all waiting for the announcement that Nicola Sturgeon promises to make soon” and “If the SNP doesn’t use its mandate within this Scottish parliamentary term, many of us will think twice about voting SNP again.”

I hope Nicola Sturgeon takes this on board. There is a world of difference between procrastination and wisdom. If those of us who long for independence begin to doubt the commitment of the SNP to its core objective under her leadership, the party will assuredly and dramatically lose votes, in which circumstances she will not be First Minister for very much longer. It’s about priorities.

Billy Scobie

EQUAL protection before the law is a cornerstone of the legal system. Even the worst scum bags have rights. It’s not up to the government to bow to the mob, no matter what a person is accused of (the presumption of innocence is also another inalienable right). Populism should be shunned.

The Tories have stripped a British citizen of her rights to appease a campaign of right-wing mob hysteria. If it can be done to Shamima Begum it can be done to anyone. Legal principle is more important than individual circumstance. The Tories are ripping up the principles of habeas corpus as laid out in Magna Carta.

People will accuse me of “pandering” to an Islamic Jihadist. This is nothing more than childish nonsense. They should save their anger for the British Govenment, which for 200 years has financed, trained and recruited Islamic extremists.

Alan Hinnrichs

WE need a dedicated YouTube politics channel, not exclusively, SNP discussing all angles, not dedicated to left or right but discussing all things Scots from a Scottish perspective along the lines of the intellectual dark web.

I’m addicted to the Joe Rogan show, which covers an amazing amount of topics from science, politics, sports, drugs, and on. These shows can be three hours long, giving guest and host time to elaborate and expand on the topics.

Also check out Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin and a host of others. These guys have viewing figures that easily outstrip US networks.

Instead of worrying about a Scottish broadcasting channel to replace the BBC, we should be concentrating on the web. TV like the printed press is the past – look to the future.

Mark Harper

THE photograph you chose to accompany Pat Kane’s piece on leadership (Churchill’s at the centre of a culture war – but is he the leader we need?, February 16) interested me because I recognised Churchill’s passenger, if that’s the correct word.

The man standing in the back of the car was Detective Inspector Walter H Thompson and Churchill’s bodyguard for almost 25 years, culminating in the end of the Second World War. Those currently scrutinising the leader will find an interesting and different perspective in Churchill’s Bodyguard, Walter’s authorised biography by Tom Hickman.

John C Hutchison
Fort William