I RECENTLY read an article in your sister paper The Herald by a person on the left of the independence movement in which there was some criticism of Nicola Sturgeon, and it prompted me to write with an inclusion of other comment.

Let me first deal with the matter of her not appearing at AUOB demonstrations. Political struggles and in our case the independence one are many-faceted, of which demos are an integral element.

I think the majority of participants would love to see her there, but would appreciate that as First Minister Ms Sturgeon has an essentially more important role in the fight for independence.

As the leader of the Scottish Government she must be viewed as representing all the diverse areas of life and all of the people of our nation.

Let us look at some of the things that have been achieved in Scotland under her leadership: 1) A majority for remaining in the EU, and as time goes by people are becoming aware as to how important that decision was.

2) Winning a retention of her party in government, and despite losing MPs at Westminster the majority from Scotland are still SNP.

3) The continuation of free prescriptions and no student fees.

4) Mitigation of some of the worst of Tory Westminster austerity.

5) Despite problems in health and education, comparison with England in those areas shows that we outperform them.

6) The domination of her party in the EU elections. All of which would be a basic requirement of any government and she has achieved it.

We now examine her international role. When meeting with other foreign politicians, her attitude is not one of superiority but of equal status, which generates from them mutual respect.

She promotes Scotland, its people, industries and produce, and confirms to them the openness and welcoming nature of our country and its government.

She is well aware that the indy movement in its growing strength does not demand that she be at every demo or event. Predictably Unionists attack her as being aloof.

Unionists understand that she is the main danger to their “precious UK”, which is why their attacks on her are constant and unrelenting as they endeavour to undermine her value and to weaken the independence movement.

Politics are so fluid and in such a constant stage of change at present that the timing of a referendum is a crucial call dependent on so many factors. The forces of Unionism are also conscious of this, thus their collective fear.

This is a battle requiring consideration of all current conditions, rock-solid patient, clear analysis and correct judgment.

Be assured the forces ranged against us (despite their clownish front men) will also be doing this. The only difference is their intention.

Thinking supporters of our movement require to be focused as well on the stages that lie ahead of us in our struggle.

First, winning a referendum. Secondly, achieving a Yes majority. And when that is accomplished, the negotiation with Westminster for our nationhood. All of which unity is essential if it is to be a positive outcome for the benefit of our people.

It will be tough, but the prize will be a nation where all politicians and their respective parties will be judged by our people on their proposals for using all the powers of government to determine our future and destiny.

Bobby Brennan