I DESPAIRED reading Angus Robertson’s column on Saturday, but it at least helped me understand where the SNP leadership is right now (Those who would deny Scotland democracy will pay price, January 9).

I read with rising incredulity his defence of all things American, as if the Congress riots were just an aberration and not the logical and natural progression of a country run by a madman which has millions more guns than people and little in the way of rigorous political debate. Being Democrat or Republican looks increasingly like the division here between Tory and Labour.

READ MORE: Angus Robertson: Those who would deny Scotland democracy will pay price

Americans have been rightly proud of their constitution? The Second Amendment adopted in 1791 provided that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” But in District of Columbia v Heller (2008) the Supreme Court confirmed this right rests with individuals to defend themselves in the home. There are limitations prohibiting the mentally ill and felons from possessing guns but that does not seem to be working out particularly well.

The National:

Were the Congree riots really just an aberration?

America has been keen to promote the peaceful handover of power? What about the CIA fomenting trouble in Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Venezuela because America did not like their left-wing leanings? And it was hardly a peaceful transition of power which allowed black Americans the vote only grudgingly and definitely not peacefully after the civil rights movement of the 60s.

A trusted trade partner? Chlorinated chicken wing, anyone? And America’s democratic values do not particularly extend to trade unions. South Carolina has only 2.7% of its workforce unionised and union membership is actively discouraged. Sometimes the decision where to invest is decided by union representation or the lack of it. Power in labour relations seems to rest with employers. And how can you be a beacon of democracy when until recently one-quarter of Americans had no health insurance, with only a creaking fallback system? Obamacare was opposed all the way by corporate vested interests.

READ MORE: Don't be too sure the riot we saw in the US could not be repeated here

We are to believe that Biden and Harris are a new dawn. But Joe Biden is not known for his leftish (or even centrist) credentials, and Kamala Harris as a law officer refused to release prisoners even when they were later proved innocent.

Does the people of Scotland want to emulate America particularly? Do we want our NHS run by American corporate interests? Do we want environmental and consumer standards trashed?

So why is the SNP leadership such a fan of America? Are they perceived to be better than Putin’s Russia or more friendly than China? Cosying up to America appears the logical extension of the right-wing leanings evident in recent years in the Growth Commission, the closeness of government to right-wing business leaders, even the SNP love affair with an EU which works for corporate interests rather than for the people – just ask Greece how democracy is working out. Is it so that we don’t frighten the horses, it will just be business as usual when Scotland is independent? Well, it shouldn’t be business as usual.

It seems a lifetime ago since the SNP laid out their various red lines (June 24 2016; 2015/ 2017/ 2019 Westminster elections; Brexit January 31 2020 and December 31 2020) and then quietly forgot about them. We are no further forward in achieving independence. Wishing to “defend, support and develop our democracy at home” is very laudable but what if the UK Government seeks to abolish Holyrood or just circumvents its powers and makes it Scotlandshire District Council?

At this time in history, we don’t need politicians who rail about how unfair it all is. We know it is. What we need is an exit strategy.

Julia Pannell
Friockheim, Tayside