WELL, we have just completed what I think is possibly the most important week in Scottish politics for the last three-quarters of a century. I say that as someone who started his interest in politics by sitting up all night with a notepad and an ancient, but very good, radio, listening to the election results as they came in in 1950. Labour, led by Clement Attlee, were elected to head the Westminster Government.

Then, we didn’t have a Scottish Government – seats were split between the Tories and Labour, with a few Liberals added on – and the last remaining Scottish Communist Member of Parliament was defeated. Today we have a devolved Scottish Parliament, with a general election in Scotland just two months away and not a lot of time to get things right.

For months now we have witnessed the supporters of our SNP Government taking chunks out of each other while each faction maintains that their view is the correct one. Supporters of Salmond and Sturgeon have each had a day of watching their idols make their case. If Scotland is to survive as a useful and successful country this arguing has to stop. We have to go on from here to independence,

and getting an overwhelming number of new independence-supporting MSPs in May is the way we have to go.

This has been very convincingly put by the three regular contributors to your columns on Thursday – Lesley Riddoch, David Pratt and Richard Walker. The only viable route forward for our country is that the existing SNP Government leads us to a convincing win in May, there is no alternative.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: What did we learn from Sturgeon’s appearance in front of committee?

So, holding your nose if you feel you have to, that is the way we must go. Vote SNP with the first vote and strategically with the second.

Time is really very short and a few things need to be considered. Some changes needed to be made at government level; in the legal and civil service departments particularly, to take account of the failings which have been revealed during the evidence presented over the past week at the Holyrood Committee hearings. Whether these should be done now or left for the incoming new government in May to sort out is a question for the existing Scottish Government to decide upon.

I also cannot help but feel that in the present circumstances it would be best if the ongoing Alex Salmond scene were to, at least until after the election, disappear from our view so that a single-minded march to election victory could be achieved.

I would also suggest that the actions of a number of the members of the Holyrood Committee whom we have watched this week left a lot to be desired. Their general behaviour and language, particularly in relation to their lack of respect for the convenor, whose job it was to make things run smoothly, certainly did not add to the quality of the proceedings.

George M Mitchell


I HAVE no problem with EVEL (English votes for English laws). It is only right that people, through their political representatives, set the laws of state.

No nation should have its laws made elsewhere. To this end I propose SPSP (Scottish Parliament for Scottish Parties). Why should any parliament have political parties which are headquartered outside its borders? As I understand the Internal Market Bill, a set of rules to govern, say, food standards shall be required to be implemented across UK, surely it then holds that a high standard set in, say, Scotland, must be met across UK?

M Ross