WELL, the party faithful have spoken. The SNP NEC and other committees have been renewed and new energy and purpose has been brought to bear. Each new member brings their own brand of hope and views views on how we achieve our independence. They also bring various shades of political thought about the direction the SNP as a party should take.

Yet having just read through all the responses, there is much jingoism and triumphalism being expressed by a number of the “winners” and comment made by the “losers”. Perhaps the Kevin McKenna article and the Alyn Smith article epitomise both extremes (“The SNP’s woke team have been defeated – here’s what that means” and “OK. So you defeated me. Now it’s time to deliver”, December 2).

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: OK. So you defeated me. Now it’s time to deliver

Much personalising and gloating about which party member has lost is an unfortunate feature of some of the content. I believe The National has given both sides the opportunity to vent their opinions. Factionalism present in many of the responses clearly is unhealthy for the party. It must be remembered that those whose voices are the loudest represent a small percentage of the party and the “silent majority” of the membership are neither interested nor care about the personal agendas of those who shout the loudest.

The conference delegate votes for the various committee members averaged about 1500 in total out of a membership of 125,000, so let’s get it all into perspective! The one and only issue is the expectation that the rank and file have of Scottish independence and that we get it as soon as possible. Leave the differing politics and internal fighting until after independence.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: The SNP’s woke team have been defeated – here’s what that means

This is not the time for in fighting for the soul of the party. Right now, from where I am standing that is exactly what is happening and our political opponents must be rubbing their hands. A little word to the wise to the so-called “big beasts” of the party. Remember the hard work of the branches and their activists and of course the voting public who put you there. You switch us off at your peril.

So for those who achieved what they wanted, enjoy your win but please let us all be magnanimous. Unite and let us put in place a strategy and an agenda for independence that is clear concise and most importantly transparent to ALL in our party and harness the great energy of the SNP faithful towards victory and independence.

Dan Wood

AS independence looms there are far too many self-centered minorities trying to take over the SNP. Did they not take in the First Minister’s closing speech? It was broadcast live on BBC1. The main topic was that if the SNP wins the 2021 election with a majority there WILL be an independence referendum, preferably in 2021. The ball is now in Johnson’s court.

William Purves

AGAINST a mostly negative response from the media, Nicola Sturgeon’s direct and inspirational end-of-conference speech could not have made her position and that of her party clearer. Only as an independent nation can Scotland hope to recover from the ravages of Covid and the disaster of Brexit. As a progressive, social democratic country, with an international outlook, it would engage, work and trade with the rest of the British Isles, Europe and the world.

Next May it is up to the people to decide who is best able to govern Scotland and indeed the future choice will be between a Holyrood parliament voted for by the Scottish people or a Westminster parliament that the people of Scotland did not vote for. The time is near that with unity of purpose we secure an independent Scotland for the future benefit and prosperity of all its people.

Grant Frazer
Cruachan, Newtonmore

“EDUCATION, Education, Education,” was how Tony Blair set out his priorities of office. “Brexit means Brexit” was Mrs May’s slogan, quickly followed by Boris’s “Let’s take control!” So how about Nicola emulating all the above with “Independence, Independence, Independence ... self-determination means self-determination ... let’s take control! Good enough for Westminster. Certainly good enough for us!

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

I HAVE worked for the NHS for more than 35 years. While it is a nice gesture for the Scottish Government to give each NHS worker £500 as a thank you for our work during the pandemic, I feel the money could be better spent elsewhere.

While it may be a welcome windfall for some individuals, as a body we don’t really need it. We have remained on full pay throughout the crisis and enjoy a job security many can only dream of. If there is a large sum of money available, in my opinion it would be better spent helping those who are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the economic damage the pandemic has caused. Most NHS workers do not fall into that category.

Stuart Allan

IS any more evidence needed of the difference between the Scottish and Westminster governments than the treatment of our health and social care workers? Nicola has announced a £500 reward for these key workers who helped during the pandemic. Westminster announced a public-sector pay freeze which would leave many of them without a pay rise this year. To add to this insult, the Tory party, seeing how popular the bonus is, are trying to claim it was their idea. Many of us would like to see this payment be free from income tax, but of course our links to Westminster make this impossible. Yet another reason why Scotland needs to be in control of its own future.

Pete Rowberry