HOW very predictable! With our opponents in meltdown, our popularity at its highest ever level, most Scots now believing that Scotland will be independent, desperate measures have now being used against us.

With virtually nothing left in their dishonest armoury, Unionists have decided to mount a relentless attack on the leader of Europe’s most popular party and the most popular political leader in Europe.

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So with a General Election approaching at which the SNP are likely to wipe out all of the Tory and Labour MPS in Scotland and be in a position unprecedented in UK political history, somehow its leadership needs to be removed. Says who?

Say the Unionists spinners online, says elements in the Unionist media, say some past glories, say some personally ambitious “nationalists” (we are led to believe), say some folk with a personal axe to grind, say the naive.

But not wise members and supporters of the SNP, who realise that there is only one vehicle to carry us to independence and any attack on its leadership at this critical point in our journey is completely counterproductive and unacceptable.

There may have been different ways to get us to where we are. We all understand the SNP very seriously misjudged the 2017 election. Many of us feel that running the government and campaigning for independence were not mutually exclusive activities and it took SNP far, far too long to recognise that.

We have got here eventually. But if one swallows some of the stuff on the media, mainly online, some supporters or members or significant figures don’t care or don’t understand. They have an ambition to pursue or an axe to grind.

So they play for the other side (whether they understand this or not, or even care). But lots of us understand full well. And narcissism is a political curse which disfigures all political organisations.

So let us be quite clear.

The SNP has its autumn conference coming up. It is entirely a democratic affair when it comes to providing the party with leadership. Any person appropriately nominated and supported can aim for a position. The leader of the party is there by a democratic process and can be challenged. This is not happening. There is no challenge because the present leader would win any contest by a landslide. So instead elements who would like to damage the party by damaging the leader have to instead encourage attack and employ divisionism among us. This will be attempted. They will find supporters for this.

Any significant SNP figure who plays any public part in this process is a very wrong.

Let us be quite clear. Impatience in the movement is palpable and becoming more pronounced and destabilising. We do not need an exact date. But we do need a defining commitment and we do need a campaign starting right now

The Unionist opposition sense an opportunity to divide us. We may hold different views about our leadership. But there never was a more important time for us to put these to one side.

Whether, for instance, Alex Salmond is found guilty or not guilty of the charges against him, or even whether the charges are dropped, says absolutely nothing about the case for Scottish independence. Whether the Scottish Government and by extension Nicola Sturgeon is found wanting in this sorry affair says absolutely nothing about the case for Scottish independence. This process will run its course.

The setting up – as soon as possible – of the new cross-party Yes team will effectively take any potentially contentious issue of the SNP leadership out of the attack frame.

Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll