I’VE never read any Harry Potter, so I had to go and look up who “Voldemort” was after reading Alyn Smith’s column this week (Parties within parties are a danger to the cause of winning independence, November 25). It seems he’s a sinister, narcissistic creature obsessed with creating a dark tyrannical empire of the “pure-blooded” with himself as its ruler, and Voldemort’s not much better.

I do know what a “bigot” is, though, and it doesn’t mean “person who believes in human biology and women’s rights”, so it was a bit dismaying to see Mr Smith smearing not only myself but the good people of the SNP Women’s Pledge and the SNP Common Weal Group with the term. It’s typical of the lazy abuse that a certain misogynistic faction of the party likes to dole out as a substitute for being able to conduct a debate.

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: Parties within parties are a danger to the cause of gaining independence

They do so because they simply have no answer to the polite and reasonable questions they’re asked by members speaking for the vast majority of Scottish voters – around 75% in every poll ever conducted – who object to the SNP’s plans to abolish the entire legal concept of a “woman”.

I’m not a member of the SNP (or any other party) and I never have been, so it was also strange to be accused of being “a party within a party” for the heinous crime of criticising the SNP’s total inaction on what’s supposed to be its reason for existing – independence.

A Freedom Of Information response this week revealed that the Scottish Government has literally NO staff working on the case for independence that Nicola Sturgeon promised to update in 2019, and that in fact no work has been done on it since 2014. The supposed “household guide” that was to be delivered to every Scottish household last year has also failed to materialise, and the SNP has had a lot of trouble explaining where the “ring-fenced” money it raised to pay for it has gone.

(Perhaps it’s gone to the same place as 40,000 members the party claims to still have but who mysteriously didn’t show up in its accounts when they were published earlier this month.)

The SNP currently finds itself in a very cosy position where it can blackmail half of Scotland’s voters by saying “we’re your only hope of independence”, even as it does nothing to achieve that independence – and indeed actively obstructs people like Martin Keatings who are trying to do so themselves.

The comically disastrous state of the opposition parties means that there is no credible threat to its power, and history is full of warnings about what happens to any entity with absolute power.

Instead of doing what it was elected for, the SNP takes those votes and uses them to push through unpopular laws that nobody would ever vote for on their own merits – like gender reform and the terrifying, draconian assault on free speech that is the Hate Crime Bill – and devotes a huge amount of energy to trying to sabotage the inquiry into its shameful attempted stitch-up of Alex Salmond. When anyone objects, they simply get shouted down as “bigots” and “infiltrators” and worse.

Ironically, it’s exactly the same domestic-abuser playbook as the No campaign deployed so despicably in the 2014 referendum – “You’d be nothing without us, you’ve got nowhere else to go, nobody else would want you”. That strategy worked for the Unionists for a while, but not any more. Hopefully the cabal who have captured the SNP will run out of time soon too. Because those of us who are still fighting for independence aren’t going anywhere.