I AM now 80 and have been a member of the SNP for more than half of that time. We are now closer to our objective of independence than ever before, and what happens in the next few months will be crucial to attaining that objective.

The events of Covid and Brexit have to some extent detracted from the importance of focussing on gaining independence for Scotland; however, both of these events and the way they are being handled may well play out to our advantage.

I note that most of my Tory friends frequently refer to the First Minister by an unflattering nickname. This does not worry or annoy me. It simply means they are feart of her ability and capability and their only defence is to resort to cheap denigration. The FM may be a wee wummin but she is head and shoulders above Boris, the bumbling buffoon who splutters and stutters and staggers his way from one crisis to the next. MOONSHOT my derriere.

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The fallout from the Alex Salmond affair is a potential problem. Mr Salmond, who was a very effective if somewhat bumptious leader, has left us with the legacy of his “once in a generation” phrase and a tainted history. I fear the English bard’s words “The evil men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones” may prove to be an apt epitaph.

While this worry may prove to be transient, I am more concerned by the signs of division in the nationalist movement. Divide and conquer is a strategy the British establishment has frequently used with great effect to achieve their ends. Show the British establishment a crack and they will drive in a wedge so deep and so fast you won’t have time to blink.

Therefore, my fellow nationalists, I urge you to unite and pull together to win our independence in inderef2. This will be the last chance of gaining independence for a generation. There will be no inderef3 in your lifetime and certainly not in mine.

Dr Jim Bruce