THERE has been a misinterpretation – deliberate indeed by the Unionist media – of Stu Campbell’s suggestion of how to deal with the problems we face with the list vote at Scottish Parliament elections. It has been maliciously suggested that this will produce a split in the SNP support, or as the BBC very incorrectly and very deliberately described it, another party to “take on the SNP”. That is exactly how they described it.

This of course is a redundant proposal if we achieve our independence (as I hope) before the next Scottish election. But this opportunity for our enemies to distort this and attack us could have been avoided had Stu talked to the SNP about this first. Perhaps he imagined he was doing so when talking to Alex Salmond.

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He has been at pains since, however, to point out that he has no intention of “taking on the SNP” and doing other than initiating conversation on how best to approach the list vote and get over the impediment of a huge SNP vote on first-past-the-post, making a similar vote on the list almost valueless.

Stu offensively describing the SNP as a “shambles” (you know, the sort of shambles the Tories, Labour and the LibDems would give their eye teeth for) has hardly made the necessary conversation easier to approach, but the idea of a non-formal Yes organisation contesting the list has huge potential – just as long as the SNP is not also contesting the list, which would need to be agreed first.

It has been suggested that had the SNP, the Greens, the SSP and Solidarity contested the list last time under a “Yes” umbrella we would have elected about 100 independence-supporting MSPs to the Scottish Parliament, and reduced Labour and the Tories to single figures.

How such an umbrella would rank its candidates would be complicated and require serious debate and much compromise, but that is a debate for another day should such an independence coalition or Yes body be put together. But we did fight the last campaign as Yes, and many of us have been contemplating an independence coalition for the next Scottish election. And just imagine the great people who could be on that team.

But such a coalition can only sensibly be achieved with full consent of the SNP and the Greens, so preliminary discussion should be arranged now.

David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

WHILST I have some sympathy with the frustrations of Stuart Campbell, indeed of many indy supporters and activists, I think his plan is ill thought out and touching on being a vanity project.

We need complete solidarity now, not more splits. There is nothing the opposition would love more than the chance to divide and conquer.

I don’t often pay much heed to the sententious pronouncements of John Curtice, but he is right in his warning that all this new party would do is split the pro-indy vote and let Unionists gain the advantage.

I fear Mr Campbell may well be beginning to get ahead of himself. He has been a marvellous medium for broadening support and for busting Unionist propaganda but his ego is now becoming dangerous.

I pray he sees sense soon and stops giving our detractors the ammunition they thrive on.

Kris Murray Browne
via email

FOR the first time since its publication I did not buy The National yesterday. I am totally sick that you are giving oxygen to Stuart Campbell. I say this as a member of the SNP for over 50 years. He does the independence cause no good with his vile remarks and prejudices. Moreover, as a native Gaelic speaker from Lochalsh I find his comments about my language extremely pathetic.

Ian MacKenzie

THERE is no smoke without fire. Possible cross-party combinations at Westminster in opposition to the latest Brexit proposals are now being hinted at.

I do hope the pro-independence groups are bearing very much in mind the vows, promises and love-ins, not to mention the last-minute admonition of the monarch to the “people of Scotland”, all features of an orchestrated Unionist joint campaign to frustrate the ambitions of Scots in 2014.

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The aftermath of these was an outbreak of selective amnesia by every member of that orchestra, the results of which are with us now. The lead mover in the independence campaign is the SNP and it would be valuable for it to be very wary indeed of believing any vows or promises or expressions of future magnanimity from any of the Unionists, even if those went as far as “in writing”, and to be equally aware of those same Unionists’ abilities to wriggle out or simply to renege on their commitments.

Not one Unionist grouping has made any reliable statement of anything resembling support unqualified for the views currently being expressed by the people of Scotland regarding their wish for the recovery of the nation’s sovereignty. Caveat emptor!

J Hamilton

SIX years ago Nate Silver was a famous US polling expert. His big win was predicting all the US states’ voting patterns: he got them all correct.

He visited the Edinburgh International Book Festival exactly six years ago. His pronouncement at that time was that the 2014 independence vote had absolutely no chance. However, he clearly stated that major factors such as the EU imploding financially or other significant constitutional events triggering a change in voting patterns would turn the tide.

Well, here we are exactly 310 weeks later amid the greatest political and constitutional crises of the past 75 or even 100 years, and things have changed on the scale that he clearly stated would be required to shift the voting pattern. I wonder what he is writing these days??

Motto of the story – “he who waits gets the last laugh”. Maybe the wait is over!

Dougie Gray