I NEED to respond to the P Davidson letter (June 9). I thought the debate was exhausted but clearly not. P Davidson’s letter I found rather condescending to the various readers who responded to J Pannell’s letters. I believe the debate has been balanced and civilised. In my responses I have attempted, yes, to be critical but objective.

As I have said previously, there are two key issues in the debate. Firstly, should the SNP be independent in Europe or not and secondly should an SNP party member and activist vote for another party which supports Brexit and should that party be the Brexit Party?

Clearly there are differing viewpoints. If an article arises which supports independence outwith the EU and also supports giving your vote (while an SNP activist) to a Leave party, in this case the Brexit Party, then of course it will attract robust responses and debate. The author of such an article should expect this and of course this has happened.

Returning to P Davidson’s article. The article I believe attempts to unpick the issues surrounding the the EU but I found it lacked focus and did not really address the issue of IN or OUT of the EU raised in the J Pannell letters. I stand by the responses I have made that J Pannell failed to convince me of the logical reasons for remaining outside the EU.

In fact, I found them to be unclear, lacking in rigour and unconvincing. A good example was the comment made by George Mitchell that Scotland has no power to change anything in the EU (as suggested by J Pannell) in his response.

The real issue for the SNP membership, which also should concentrate the minds of the SNP leadership, is how does the party address those within its ranks, ie supporters, membership and activists, who hold very strong views about remaining outside EU membership? The National has already alluded to this, and if anything the debate triggered by the J Pannell letter and all the responses have brought this into focus. For me, achieving independence is all that matters. The only way this can happen is for the SNP to harness and attract every vote from its supporters, the membership and its activists and of course the Yes movement.

As a last aside, I believe that the criticism and condescension expressed by P Davidson towards the responders to be unhelpful. Terms such as “unnecessarily aggressive”, “debate in a calm courteous manner”, “anger and harsh criticism”, “calm and reasoned” smack of taking the moral higher ground when there is no reason to do so. In fact I believe these criticisms add fuel to the fire and raise the temperature of this debate. At no time have I read anything other than a civilised, robust debate of some very important issues on the road to independence.

In conclusion I would with humility suggest that it is paramount for every SNP/Yes supporter and activist to have nothing on their minds but independence the next time they put a cross for the SNP on the ballot paper.

Dan Wood

OBVIOUSLY there are the die-hard no-surrender types of Brits that can never be convinced. The problem with some people is that they desperately want to believe the pro-Union myths like Scotland is being subsidised by the English taxpayer, that the Scottish quest for self-determination is based on hating the English, that Scotland being savaged by Westminster Tories somehow helps the working people in England or that all nationalisms are the same, ie Nazism. It’s the same with many EU myths. It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

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