I AM looking with dismay at the plethora of parties seeking to game the list vote. Many, if not all, have forgotten that the use of the d’Hondt voting system for the Scottish Parliament was designed to stop the SNP ever gaining a majority. We are seeing unprecedented criticism of Nicola Sturgeon, whose performance over Covid has won acclaim throughout the UK, as she is doing the day job in face of crisis.

I am very surprised at the suggestion that Alex Salmond may be forming a new party for independence; I well remember his words as he flew back to Strichen after resigning as First Minister “You’ve no seen the last of my bonnets and me” (Bonnie Dundee for those unaware of the song).

With regard to Dave Thompson, Alex owed his post of First Minister to Dave’s querying the first results of the Highland and Islands list votes in 2007. The Returning Officer stated the result as Labour 4, Tories 2 and Green 1. The Returning Office asked if Dave was saying he was wrong; Dave just asked for the figures to be rechecked; after about half an hour the figures became Labour 3 Tories 2 and SNP 2. This put the SNP ahead of Labour in the Scottish Parliament, and Alex became the First Minister. The liberals refused to even speak to the SNP unless we abandoned independence. (They had previously been in cahoots with the Labour Party). They expected the SNP to only survive for a few weeks; we survived for four years with one defeat; the uproar from Cosla about that episode resulted in Labour changing their vote very quickly. I saw Dave Thompson quite regularly at Holyrood and published an article by him on what would be required after Independence; this resulted in a visit to him by Alex’s Heavy Mob, but Dave did not change anything.

I understand Dave’s actions on a list party, engendered by an urgency for Independence, but I will be giving both votes to the SNP, assuming that I am still alive when the elections are called (no histrionics here, I am on the verge of being 86). I do not believe Dave is self-motivated.

We desperately need independence; after we get it I could see Alex Salmond rejoining the SNP and helping to drive Scotland to a better future.

Jim Lynch

LIKE Lynne Wood I too will be supporting the SNP at the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary elections (‘SNP leadership have brought us so far, and the party can keep winning’ October 12), because they are the de facto political leaders of the drive for independence. However, I don’t share her blanket support for its record either in government or handling the independence issue.

READ MORE: SNP leadership have brought us so far, and the party can keep winning

When Nicola Sturgeon made the formal request to the PM for a section 30 order last December, she failed to have any riposte to the anticipated rejection, nor did she issue a refutation of Boris Johnson’s spurious and ludicrous remarks he made as justification for that rejection. So, clearly without any structure plan, what was the point of making the request at that time?

Instead, the drive for independence is withering on the vine, despite Westminster’s actions like legislating to break treaties and effectively dismantle devolution fuelling the rise in support for an independent Scotland.

Apologists for the SNP’s disappointing independence leadership, seemingly put on the back burner by party leaders, claim the pandemic is of prime importance and that independence needs to take a back step until Covid has been contained. Yet, we are now being told that waves of the pandemic are predicted to continue through 2021 and perhaps even into 2022. So, how long must we wait, and how can the current fervour for independence be expected to persist in the absence of progress?

If the Scottish elections next year happen as planned, and the SNP do gain the significant result we hope, then isn’t that the signal for the party leadership to get its act in gear?

Jim Taylor

AS an independence supporter I have voted SNP all my life because they are my vehicle to independence. However, after reading how the voting system works for the regional vote, I realised that I was quite literally handing my second vote to a Unionist party. At the start of March, I started looking at the options for my second vote, I knew of Greens/solidarity/SSP, then I heard about the two new party’s ISP and AFI, I looked at both these parties and read their aims and objectives and I liked both. All these parties have something to offer voters across the broad political spectrum of the yes movement but the one thing that I wanted to see was them all coming together, it would make a much stronger all-encompassing new independence party and for me AFI offers this. I think they are being completely misunderstood, what AFI offers is unique, you can come under the AFI umbrella and keep the policies you believe in, there will be no “splitting of the vote” doing it this way and all that AFI ask is that you support independence. I wish all the smaller indy parties all the best because they have a common goal.

Lynne Millar