MAY I first congratulate Lesley Riddoch on a very excellent article in Thursday’s edition (It’s about time we put an end to the British state’s own Groundhog Day, February 18).

When someone as pro-independence as Lesley – and someone who has continually advocated support for the SNP, as she has – starts to point out the disillusionment spreading amongst the Yes movement and indeed makes the point that she too is noticing it, then I think it is time for the SNP leadership to sit up and take note.

There does seem to be only one route to independence for Scotland at the moment. That’s through support for the SNP. However, with the advent of other independence groups putting forward candidates on the list vote, there is every possibility that this will be the last election in which the SNP will be the dominant party. Any lack of action between this election and the next one will undoubtedly be punished with seats lost to other indy-supporting parties. It is undoubtedly time for the SNP to stop just talking the talk and start walking the walk.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: Why I agree with Tom Harris on the state of play for independence

Second: Is it not ridiculous that “Coal Dust” (“Dross”) and his Tory cohort are trying to make political gain from the lack of a definitive route out of the Covid pandemic? (Sturgeon warns the scope for change is limited, February 20). It seems that everybody except them is aware that this virus is entirely erratic. It may mutate again – or it may not. It may become resistant to the present vaccines – or it may not. It may well be eradicated by the present lockdown measures, and by the current vaccine, but it is more likely we will have to endure it for some time yet. It is completely unpredictable.

Therefore, any definite route out of the pandemic, laid out now, before we know what it’s going to do next, is only raising false hopes and leaving the authors of such a document open to widespread criticism if, or when, it all collapses in another few months’ time. While we would all, no doubt, like to know when we will be able to go out for a meal or even just down to the pub for a pint, surely it would be better to continue as our First Minister is doing at the moment by remaining cautious.

READ MORE: Scottish Tories demand 'certainty' over timing of lockdown exit

I would much rather follow that course than be told now that “in the first week of May the hospitality sector will definitely open and you’ll be able to go out and meet friends again,” only to find a sudden and unexpected surge in infections in the last week of April and be thrust back into another lockdown.

This move by the Scottish Tories is nothing more than political opportunism, with the intention of laying a trap for the SNP leaders.

I hope they will not fall for it!

Charlie Kerr

FURTHER to Bob Mc Tavish’s Website Comments in Saturday’s National – “It’s not Nicola Sturgeon who wants independence, it’s Scotland” – I couldn’t agree more.

As recent polls have shown, independence is now mainstream and being driven more and more by the Scottish people. It is no longer about Sturgeon, Ross, Davidson or Rennie. It’s about the people of Scotland demanding a government that is elected democratically. So in paraphrasing president Clinton, I would like to send this message to Boris Johnson and his band of Unionists: “It’s democracy, stupid”.

Terry Keegans
Beith, North Ayrshire

IF you look up the mathematics of the d’Hondt system of allocating seats, if there were four significant parties to vote for the SNP would need about 43.5% of the list vote share to gain 50% of the list seats. At this point in time, it would be better for all supporters of independence to vote SNP rather than risk giving more seats to Unionists. By not voting for SNP on the list, we are risking throwing away the best chance of gaining independence we have ever had.

Jo Fry

CONCERNING the list votes for your second vote. The SNP asks for members to put their names forward to be on the list. When the list is completed for each area it is emailed to each member in that area. Each person on the list has set out all the reasons why the should be elected. Each member then puts their choice on the voting paper, numbered from one downwards to the bottom number. I am 89 and have already voted.It is the ordinary members who chose, not the head bummers.

William Purves

I DON’T have enough information or knowledge concerning the issues between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon to be able to make any type of informed comment or judgement. What I can say, though, is that it will be more than a little ironic (as well as hugely disappointing for those of us who have invested so much time and effort on the campaign trail over the decades) if Alex Salmond’s actions this week (when we are in the run-up to what must surely be the most important and vital election we have ever faced) result in more damage being done to the independence cause than the Unionists – even with all their propaganda, distortions, vast resources and media support – have ever been able to inflict.

Alan Woodcock

I’D like to express my support for Colin Beattie’s concern about increasing dog attacks (SNP MSP calls for ‘real action’ on dog attacks, February 19). I’d suggest that one step forward would be to require all dogs in public places to be kept on a lead, as happens in parts of the United States.

READ MORE: SNP MSP calls for Government to take ‘real action’ on dog attacks

Unfortunately, a section of dog owners seem so obsessed with their pets that they forget that canines are wild animals with a pack mentality and can quite readily turn on people if they are allowed to run about. Keeping dogs under legal constrain when outdoors would provide a raised level of protection against random attacks and should be relatively easy to enforce.

Ron Halliday
via email