RECENTLY, when stirred to write to The National I have withheld each letter as every one was so critical of the SNP. Deep down, beyond logical thought, I believe we need the SNP so I am trying not to undermine them.

But tongue biting is becoming unbearably painful. Why are the SNP putting so much effort into actions that are not directly supporting Scotland’s independence? Why is independence not top of the bill at conference? Why are they acting against Scotland’s independence?

By focusing so much on saving England from its own self-inflicted Tory Brexit folly, the SNP are weakening the case for independence. I have great admiration for Joanna Cherry and Ian Blackford and their undoubted hard work, but surely if they do manage to save England and stop the UK from leaving the EU they are making the case for the Union.

If they prevent Brexit, there are no “changed circumstances such as being taken out of the EU against our will”, and we lose that clear mandate so succinctly stated in the SNP manifesto.

If Scotland is seen to be listened to at Westminster and taking its place as a leading partner in the precious Union to the extent that SNP influence at Westminster leads to Tory England’s wishes being overruled, that completely destroys the case for independence.

Unionists will claim that is exactly the better together power we were promised in 2014 if we voted to remain in the UK.

I can only trust the SNP has a Plan B for Indyref2, but it is becoming ever harder to keep faith.

M Dunan

AS the G7 leaders gather in Biarritz for their latest summer summit, the rest of us are afforded a glimpse of what democracy looks like these days. A holiday resort closed down at the height of the season. 13,000 extra police accompanied by additional prosecuting staff and judges. Extra cell accommodation and the right to protest 19 miles away from the luxury venue.

The participants flown in at what carbon cost to the world? A group which contains a reluctant US President, a UK PM ready to throw dignity under a bus to impress him, and a French President so afraid of the likely protests against himself and the other participants that he has locked down a significant part of the local environs.

For what purpose?

No communique of agreement is expected this time. US television is filled with reporters hoping that their president will behave; the UK keeps its fingers crossed that its PM will keep his feet off the furniture and the rainforest will continue to burn.

While “it’s good to talk” might work for Macron as his self-justification for such a luxurious conclave. As democratic rights are thwarted by suppression of protest, jerrymandering, voter registration difficulties and – in our own special case – denial of a democratic mandate, the democratic credentials of many of the attendees are looking suspect.

In addition, while a US self-imposed trade war threatens the global economy, who in that grouping – a grouping who have already prostrated themselves before the self-appointed “chosen one” – thinks that talking will have any effect?

All of these democratic countries qualify for membership of this exclusive club because of their economic “success”. All of these countries have significant and unacceptable levels of poverty and inequality. Together these leaders could start the change to a fairer distribution of the world’s resources, and yet, two days from now, nothing will have changed, and tragically the rainforest will continue to burn.

I Easton

I BELIEVE that there is still a possibility of Boris Johnson using Henry VIII powers to bypass parliament. Since the Treaty of Union legally replaced the English Parliament with a new joint English and Scottish one, how can any laws or special powers in operation before 1707 be applicable now in the current Westminster set-up?

Since this English king did not hold any legal power over Scotland, surely none of his powers are valid today over any part of the UK, other than that over which he ruled? Can they therefore be used to prevent the elected representatives of these other parts from continuing to sit and act as a parliament if they so choose, continuing to debate and vote on behalf of their constituents, and could their use as intended therefore be judged illegal?

L McGregor

THE letters referring to whether the GERS figures are representative of Scotland’s finances miss the point. People who are not politically astute believe these figures, they did in 2014 and will do so now because they read it in the newspaper.

What activists need is some figures that disprove GERS that can be spoken about with those who might be prepared to vote for independence but are scared that these figures might actually be true.

It is preposterous that with 8% of the population we are responsible for more than 50% of the deficit, but this is not pointed out forcefully enough. The National has started to show how we can refute other myths about independence. Can you not get figures to dispel this one as well please?

Graham Smith

JENNI Minton (Letters, August 23) points out that a campaign has been going on for some time regarding the replacement lighting in Port Charlotte. She has every right to campaign but should do so in a proper manner. Dumping stinking rubbish in the street as part of a protest is not on. This illegal fly tipping is wilfully environmentally reckless. Incidentally, I have no view on the merits or otherwise of the proposed lights.

Bill Drew