THE European election result showed the Scottish Green Party with an 8.2% of the share of the vote. This was not the spectacular vote the Scottish National Party achieved but neither was it the abject failure of the Conservative and Labour parties. It was not such a bad night for the Scottish Greens.

I always feel guilty when I don’t vote for the Greens, but for the time being the Scottish National Party is the one to secure Scottish independence – with, it has to be emphasised, the help of the Greens (also an independence party) and many other groups.

All parties examine the significance of the result of an election in minute detail but there is no need for the Greens to be soul-searching and resorting to the sort of in-fighting we are used to in the other political parties nowadays. The wind is changing. Concern for the environment is growing rapidly, especially among the increasing number of younger voters. This will be reflected in more support for the Green movement as a whole and for the Green parties. In Germany, 34% of the 18-34 age group voted Green last weekend.

Across Europe there was significant movement towards voting for Green candidates in Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Portugal and Ireland, and in the UK the number of seats increased from four to seven. More comfort for the Greens is provided by its share of the vote, at 12.1% compared with the Conservative share at 9.1% in the whole of the UK. The distribution of seats in the UK – Conservative (four), Labour (10), Liberal Democrat (16) – shows clearly that these parties have an uphill struggle to improve their position at a General Election compared to the Greens (increased to seven). In the case of the Liberal Democrats the difficulty is to maintain that level when they started from such a low base, presumably still suffering from their decision to join a coalition with the Conservatives.

We need the Scottish Greens for their effective co-operation with the SNP. At Budget time they keep the SNP on its toes. At all times their environmental decisions are constantly scrutinised and compared with the Green agenda. Both parties plough the same furrow of Scottish independence.

Taking the long view, when Scotland is an independent country again and the planet is in more danger than it is now, the Scottish Greens will have more MSPs and will continue to work with and have even more influence on the SNP in whatever is the government of the day. Last Sunday was not really bad.

Robert Mac Lachlan
Foulden, Berwickshire

IN the aftermath of the shock to the system suffered by the Labour party in Scotland in the EU elections, we may witness a new element within the independence struggle. This change may be a shift in the position of Labour in respect of how it views independence. Though I suspect any change will come from its lay members and possibly some of its leadership and MPs.

There surely must now be within Labour a belated awareness that covert and overt association with the Tories in a constant and consistent attack on the SNP is a route that can only lead to a further decline of their party’s fortunes and more loss of faith from their traditional support.

Labour’s long-held idea that they need Scottish MPs to bolster their government and give it a Westminster majority must now be shattered and is not realisable. They may now begin to understand their their real purpose in Scotland is to oppose Tory policies in all areas of life alongside all who hold similar intentions and anti-Tory sentiment, or at least form a consensus with them. That is the path that will regain the trust of working people.

Perhaps with all the recent and present happenings in politics there will be a rethink from Labour on the constitutional question and a realisation of the fact that only an independent Scotland can awaken Labour’s basic ideals of internationalism and solidarity not just with working people of other UK nations, but also with European ones. Something that would see them being revived as a political and progressive force.

If the above were to become a reality, it would strengthen the independence movement.

Bobby Brennan

BEING labelled anti-democratic is unlikely to embarrass the current bunch of Conservatives in Westminster from saying no to a second indyref for Scotland. They have already proved their uncaring credentials by taking the whole UK, never mind Scotland, to the precipice of financial and social ruin in risking if not indeed favouring a no-deal Brexit.

The UK faces being enmeshed in a trade deal with the US – whose envoys, including their president Donald Trump, are already lining up the drastic details. These will involve Britain importing all kinds of dodgy produce from American factory farms, not to mention our blessed NHS being replaced by some kind of profit-based health provision which doesn’t deserve the word health being attached to it.

The EU has already refused to engage in any trade deal with the US that include agricultural produce, and obviously Brexit puts all such caution aside.

Scotland must stand firm and determined against these dangerous attempts to undermine our standards.

Too many generations have striven to ensure these standards. To gamble on the goodwill of the present Westminster ruling incumbents is like backing a three-legged horse in the big race and we aren’t quite as daft as that!

Ian Johnstone

SURELY the fact that (at the time of writing!) there are 13 candidates for Tory leadership indicates there is no obvious leader available. To me it indicates how their egos have superseded their abilities.Who in their right minds would take over this poisoned chalice?

Now I’m no Brahan Seer but I think the canniest of them all is Amber Rudd, ex-Home Secretary and currently the Work and Pensions Secretary. I reckon she’ s waiting for the whole Brexit debacle to fall one way or the other and the next leader to fall on their sword! Then the cavalry in the form of Amber Rudd will emerge to save the day, the Tory party, and England!


Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus