I’D like to thank Ross Meikle for his reply regarding the Greens (Letters, June 4). Although in my last letter I did credit Stephen Paton with staying away from name-calling for once, it seems this does not extend to Ross or other Green followers. Perhaps keeping emotions out of political thinking, or at least trying to, would be a good idea for all of us?

It was with this exact thought in mind that my stance against an unnecessary and unwarranted coalition was made. As stated, 92% of people rejected the Greens at the ballot box and of the 8% who did give them their vote, how many only lent them their second (list) vote due to them being a Yes party? A very substantial number, I would say.

READ MORE: We need the Green Party conscience to hold our feet to the fire

Ross goes on to list a whole range of wild policies he hopes to bring about. The Greens are a fringe party, and on their fringes are those who fall into the extremist category. Extremists are rarely worth engaging with. However, on this occasion I would ask Ross and the other angry Green types who have been so clearly triggered by a moderate voice how they plan to get these policies across the line without independence? Because NOTHING will change without it. Absolutely he-haw.

We all want something new, but independence comes first and an unwarranted coalition with the Greens might be popular with the left but it is not the left we need to convince, is it? Are most of us already not ex-Labour voters? And by clearly favouring an extremist left party will we not, while stroking the egos of people already intending on voting Yes, further alienate those on the centre-right who may yet be persuaded?

READ MORE: Greens have more influence on Scottish life than their vote share warrants

Independence must come first. Democracy is what we stand to gain from it. Democracy above all must be respected. It is not “ignorant in the extreme” to suggest this, and if you find criticism of your political stance “offensive” you really do have bigger problems and this is probably why you are on the extreme edge of politics in the first place.

So I say again, our duty as the movement for Scottish independence is to TALK to and LISTEN to those who are unconvinced, particularly those boring middle-aged types who have a family car and a job, who exist on the right of centre and who are highly unlikely to see the removal of their road networks for the benefit of young cyclists as a boost. Other references to 300-year-old sewerage practices etc are entirely missing the point. These are our friends, families and fellow Scots. We should never fall into the trap of placing all No voters in some rampant, knuckle-dragging, Orange Order bubble. Their votes and opinions count and will continue to do so. So we all need to get out of our echo chambers and start thinking of how to win people over before counting our chickens.

So once again. Very clearly. Independence first. Then true democracy for the first time in Scotland’s history will determine how we deal with the obvious environmental issues we face. If Scotland wants a Green government, it will vote for one.

It very clearly hasn’t yet.

Rory Bulloch
via email

SO, Mike MacKenzie, who stood on the regional list for SNP in last month’s elections, has defected to Alba. Was this his plan all along, knowing that he had more chance of winning a list vote under the SNP umbrella than under the Alba umbrella?

Surely this should not be allowed, and he should be told to serve his community as the SNP representative for which the people voted? They didn’t vote for Alba! I suspect the people who supported him as an SNP candidate feel utterly cheated, and let down by Mike MacKenzie.

Anne Smart
Milton of Campsie

ALBA, home to failed politicians ... a sort of “House of Lords” for Scotland.

Peter Thomson
via thenational.scot