THE only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future, so said Oscar Wilde. Why are we witnessing SNP leaders Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford verbally smearing Alex Salmond and other dedicated people who happen

to believe just as passionately as they do in Scottish independence? He who is without sin let him cast the first stone.

Ian Blackford, like the rest of us, doesn’t wear a halo. Yet he recently stated that Kenny MacAskill, a long-time SNP activist and parliamentarian, was an embarrassment and he was glad to see the back of him when he left the SNP to join another independence party.

In the past, when Ian Blackford disagreed with the SNP he also left the party to join, of all parties, a Unionist party – the Labour party – before returning to the SNP. It could be argued that Kenny MacAskill has shown more commitment to the independence cause and certainly didn’t deserve such a crass comment.

In other words, we can all point to the failings we think others have. Rather than stand side by side with Unionist parties in showing contempt for the Alba Party, the First Minister and Ian Blackford, together with those who follow them and behave in similar vein, should look to their own failings and leave others to fight for independence in the way they see fit. Showing a nasty and trashy side to those who disagree is not a good look.

For the First Minister to use the Unionist Daily Record, of all newspapers, to voice yet another rant against Alex Salmond was incredulous. While the First Minister is on such good terms with the Daily Record, perhaps she should ask them who passed the information to them regarding Alex Salmond.

The vast majority of people vote for the SNP to gain independence and not to fall into line and support self-ID and the Hate Crime Bill, both of which have become part of the SNP mantra. If you don’t agree with the First Minister and her acolytes, you are deemed fair game for abuse by some SNP MPs and MSPs who like nothing better than to vilify non-adherents to the additional beliefs which seem to have eclipsed even independence in importance. Certainly, it plays a big part on whether you pass vetting.

The First Minister wants Alex Salmond to apologise for something which he has been found not guilty of by the court. Maybe Nicola Sturgeon should apologise to those in the grass-roots movement for the abuse that they have had to endure for their efforts. Also, both the First Minister and Ian Blackford should apologise to Joanna Cherry for the appalling way they turned on her and then refused to show any compassion when she found herself being physically threatened. They need to take a step back.

READ MORE: Ian Blackford slams Kenny MacAskill as he quits SNP, calling departure a 'relief'

In the past, when the First Minister stood side by side with Alex Salmond, the future looked bright for the independence movement. Unfortunately the First Minister has presided over further division due to her support for trans ideology and the Hate Crime Bill, arguably moving both issues to centre stage, ahead of independence. The only way to resolve the matter is to listen to other points of view outwith the cabal and stop the venom against Alex Salmond and the Alba Party.

Bill Clark

Fort William

TO the SNP and the Alba Party Girls and boys, PLEASE stop name-calling. We, your chums and supporters, wish you would get back to the game. After all, it’s the most important game ever and there is a smashing prize. We’re all looking forward to sharing it afterwards because we’re all on the same side! Look out – you’ve got to pull together now as that other team is getting ready to rush in and grab the ball when you’re not looking.

So shake hands now, boys and girls, be NICE to one another, and we will all share that lovely prize after May 6!

J McIntyre Hall

via email