IAN Blackford and the SNP MPs have made a major error of judgment in not supporting an October General Election. They have now left the Labour party with the initiative in determining the timing of the election. Anyone for an election campaign in the context of the Salmond trial soon to come up?

Instead of having an election when Unionists in Scotland are at their weakest and the SNP could expect to gain a dozen or more seats, it will have to come soon but circumstances could be less favourable. A vigorous campaign, with the opportunities of independence its central focus, could have given the whole movement momentum. The opponents of independence in Scotland must be delighted.

The reason given for not taking this opportunity is that it will guarantee we don’t get a No-Deal Brexit. It won’t.

It can stop Brexit on October 31, but if there is an election in November or January or February and Johnson wins a majority, we will be back to where we are now. This does just kick the can down the road.

If the SNP group think they will be regarded as good guys by their Westminster pals and that this will help to get support for an independence referendum, they need to think again. The parties at Westminster will do everything they can to sabotage any prospect of independence because it is not in the interests of the British state. So don’t count on Brownie points.

We have lost an opportunity and the wider movement will have to try to create its own momentum.

Isobel Lindsay

THE trajectory in the Johnson “strategy” has moved from opposition to May and a now descent into dictatorship from No 10. The Tory rump are of no use to Johnson in the interim, as ministers leave and nasty reality sinks in – the reality of a proven “trickster” who uses and abuses the conventions and precedents in the Westminster system.

The innate Westminster system of waiving the “rules” has reached its aposiopesis in Johnson, where what comes next is unprecedented. The unwritten constitutional process has turned in on itself. After “ruling the waves” the UK is now in “uncharted waters” constitutionally, if you pardon the analogy.

North of the Tweed the signals are clear – the onward uncoupling from Westminster and the Union continues. The same realignment is now recognisable in Wales.

As the English chaos disrupts political life south of the Tweed to an unprecedented extent, with the increasingly “Brexitised” Tory party convulsed and many Labour supporters being dragged from Labour by the ultra-right Faragists, one can see signs of an anti-parliamentarian trend. Parliament is now being a accused of being against the country, the people and those who voted to leave the EU, so the line from No 10 runs.

The “thuggery” displayed towards those Tories who voted against the PM is a sign of things to come. The opposition have been labelled traitors already by the PM and no doubt parliament, by taking its current stance on stopping a No-Deal, will be seen as traitorous within No 10, which is now aiming to break the law by ignoring the current anti-No-Deal legislation, even contemplating withholding the document to prevent it being signed into law by the monarch. Such a torrid scenario!

The descent into dictatorship from within No 10 is now palpable. As it is now hemmed in, no doubt further break-out measures will be dreamt up to circumvent the elected MPs.

Yet, all this will come as no shock to the many Scots. Similar nasty measures employed by Westminster acolytes during the 2014 referendum using untruths, scares and downright lies, aided and abetted by the press and media and the Unionist parties, are now being used upon the very Westminster system down south. Those Tory MPs kicked out of their party now feel the Westminster shock tactics from within their party, a supposed upholder of parliamentary democracy and legendary “fair play”!

As Westminster plays out its own denouement the world watches, and so do the Scots!

John Edgar

RECENT opinion poll – Tories on course to lose 10 of their 13 seats in Scotland. Boris Johnson visits Scotland (or Conservative Scotland, namely Peterhead). More recent poll – Tories now on course to lose all 13 seats in Scotland. Continued removal/resignations of moderate Tories. Future poll – Midges more popular than Tories in Scotland!

Kenny Burnett
Dyce, Aberdeen

ANOTHER misleading statement was allowed to pass unchallenged on BBC this weekend on Dateline London. Discussing the theory that PM Johnson would prefer to have an election which would not have the participation of the million or so new young voters who this time would be eligible – and likely to be pro-EU – a panellist said that group would not be likely to affect an election result. He based his opinion on our electorate for the referendum: “the age in Scotland was 16 and they lost”. This statement, from a representative of French newspaper Le Point, was allowed to go unchallenged by presenter Carrie Gracie and to be aired as a statement of fact.

MC, Girvan
via text

THANK you Lesley Riddoch for articulating my thoughts so coherently and calmly (The SNP must put independence front and centre of their campaign, September 5). Something I just couldn’t do, as much as I’ve tried. You express the incomprehension of many of us ordinary Scots who support the SNP. We do deserve some explanation about the reluctance of our First Minister and her advisers to seek independence for Scotland as their priority. We have been bullied and insulted for too long by Westminster, especially with the crew now at the helm.

I hesitate to call the present incumbents “goverment”. It’s like a 21st-century Carry On film.

Grace Dunn