I FIND myself in a unique situation, as an 82-year-old nationalist and an SNP member for close on 60 years, of apparently being the only National reader aware of all that happened before indyref days!

I’m old enough to have endured National Service in the RAF and I was astounded at the amount of National Servicemen who at the end of the two years signed on. One remarked that he was “feart” to go back into civvy street. One could say it was my first meeting with a “fearty” REMAINER!

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: SNP paralysed on indyref2 at just the wrong time

I’m old enough to remember the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) system, where, for example, Dutch lorries would load up with Aberdeenshire beef and customs sealed the container, giving these lorries an unhindered route home. Today fish lorries from Fraserburgh are tracked throughout their trip to Belgium, so a simple digital message could give them the same unhindered access to Europe as existed long before we joined the protection racket called the EU. In 1971 the company I worked for sold a paper machine to a French company and we did not experience any obstacles in nipping to and from France during negotiations nor in dispatching 27 lorries loaded under my supervision.

When the SNP was against joining the then Common Market I was election agent in the 1970 election, when we were told not to worry as we would be given an opportunity to vote on it. Of course this was a lie and we were dragged into it with major shortages, job losses etc as we were shut out of the world.

As a candidate I fought the next three elections endorsing the SNP policy to leave the EEC. I was also heavily involved in the referendum of 1975, where the SNP advocated leaving. Of course we were lied to again, and with echoes of today the real lies are by omission, when the real intention of the European Project was closer and closer integration. Thus the EU was formed only 20-odd years ago with the Treaties of Mastrich and Lisbon, with no opportunity again for us to vote on this.

Need I add that I stand for real independence and envisage Scotland back in the world free of Westminster and Brussels, and would like some of our leaders to voice their true opinions. What about Nationalists for Leave!

I also participated in the SNP’s National Assembly, which produced many policies for the SNP manifestos. Though my main interests were energy and education, I sat in on the constitution debates and remember hearing the late Neil MacCormick, world-renowned constitutional expert, explain the protocols of the United Nations by which a country which ran a fair election with independence in the manifesto could claim to be independent based on a majority of seats obtained. This became SNP policy. Imagine my shock on hearing Nicola Sturgeon prefacing all her major speeches during the 2015 election with “this election is not about independence!” We could be independent today but for this misguided policy of referenda.

Spending almost seven years looking after my invalid wife (an eye-opening situation which highlights the pathetic care system that exists here in Scotland) precluded my attendance at branch meetings. With an apparent branch membership eight times higher, I recently went to a meeting and was astounded that there was single-number attendance and I knew them all! Where are all these new members? What are they doing apart from marching and flag-waving? Is this what we can now expect with the centralised membership scheme?

Kevin McKenna’s article in Wednesday’s paper (The SNP leadership is paralysed on independence at just the wrong time, July 17) correctly summarises the result of the party’s increasing censorship and centralisation, and should be a wake-up call for the SNP leadership, reflecting as it does a growing unease within the membership and the public.

Sandy Stronach
via email