I REFER to Alan Magnus-Bennett’s letter of July 28 chastising Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. I have no dog in the race since I am neither SNP nor Alba. However, I was concerned at some of the matters raised therein.

Firstly, while I don’t agree with the nomenclature that Tasmina used, I do agree that independence not being in the foreground of the SNP’s order of business (not to be confused with the “Scottish Government”) is a failure.

READ MORE: It’s rich for anyone in Alba Party to call the First Minister a failure

The party is not the same as the government. They are supposed to be the party of independence, yet have done nothing to even prepare for the very thing they were elected to deliver. It’s not just a case of information not forthcoming; the party has gone to great lengths to repel any and all information sought – and that’s not for the purposes of tactical advantage against the UK Government, it’s because as we now know, they’ve done nothing in advancement of that aim.

As for the Freedom of Information request making that known to all and sundry, well that’s a good thing. Were it not for such requests, a lie would continue to be perpetuated that something was being advanced, which was in fact not being advanced. The SNP are not the Yes movement, although they are a big part of it, and when they fail to move forward on independence, those who lent them their vote have a right to know that is the case.

READ MORE: Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh: Is this current SNP government really preparing enough for independence?

The people are sovereign in Scotland, not the government and not the parliament, and if the SNP don’t act soon they’re going to do irreparable damage to both the movement and the country. One thing Tasmina is right about is that the SNP need to stop being so cautious, because otherwise they’re going to find the car has already crashed through the barrier and off the cliff, before they finally decide to jump.
Martin Keatings

I WAS intending to praise Tasmina for her incisive article on Wednesday, and still do, but refer to the rebuttal by a Fifer who demands how dare she question the lack of preparation and of a Scotland’s Future Mark 2021.

It is because it is part of democracy to question and suggest positive options. I recall that at one time there were, in Fife, more communists than Tories elected so he should understand Tasmina’s right to question the SNP’s policies or lack thereof.

He goes on to state that “issues centred around any preparation for independence at this stage are government business and no-one else’s”. What bull****. It’s MY business, YOUR business and Scotland’s business to know how much effort the SNP is really applying to our goal of independence.

I note with pride that All Under One Banner is organising a bit of a do in the SNP City of Dundee on Saturday ... well done you, and you’ll get more than a few hundred I guess.

This frustration at lack of planning has brought an indy enthusiast, a man with whom I have real empathy, Christopher Bruce of Taynuilt, to chuck in his SNP membership. I, too, am sick of these ingrates who insult Alex Salmond knowing of his contribution to the cause of Scottish independence. We need the help of all including Alba and AUOB, and trust that the trade unions will see the wisdom of throwing their weight behind the idea of independence.

But most of all we need some indication of positive ACTION against an army of Union Jack-waving colonialists who have plans. They have prepared for a fight against (hopefully) an equally prepared band of Scottish independenistas.
Doug Drever

I HAVE to say that I disagree strongly with Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh’s piece in Wednesday’s National and am getting increasingly scunnered by the amount offensive anti-SNP content I find myself reading in the paper.

On the issue of the White Paper of 2013 – Scotland’s Future, which lies, all 649 pages of it, at my bedside – it looked impressive on publication but had virtually no effect on our independence campaign. The worthy publication, described as “rubbish” by Alistair Darling within 20 minutes of its publication, had no measurable effect except perhaps providing some targets for our enemies, and 99% of the electorate knew or heard nothing of it. Its content could just as usefully have been provided online to anybody interested. It also appeared to assume that it would be the agenda of the first independent Scottish Government though some of its positions were not and still are not universally agreed.

I am not in any way underestimating the effort that went into producing it or the good intention, but it had in my opinion no discernible benefit to our campaign and I would imagine those with any idea of the public pulse recognise that. We hear constantly that we have no position on the “currency question”. In fact the White Paper provided four sensible currency options composed by four of the world’s most respected financial experts. That I think sums up the effect of the White Paper. Not a lot.
David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

IN big and in little ways, the English cannot help revealing their true attitude to the Union. One of the latest manifestations appeared in the most recent edition of University Challenge.

The question-master, Jeremy Paxman, told one of the contestants that they were wrong to say that the abolition of the English Parliament had followed the Battle of Vinegar Hill. Paxman could not help adding: “The English Parliament has never been abolished, although many have tried.” He thus demonstrated once again the view that the Act of Union passed by the English Parliament did not truly create a Union parliament but simply absorbed Scots MPs into the English institution. This is constitutionally and historically wrong, but typical of the prevailing mindset.
Gavin Brown