AS a Yes/Leaver voter please allow me the opportunity to respond to the ill-timed polemic by your columnist, Andrew Wilson (Why Yes Leavers would make huge mistakes by not voting for the SNP, November 7) on voting intentions in the forthcoming General Election.

Andrew and I are both veteran campaigners, and I like and respect him very much, although I profoundly disagree with his current view on tactics and strategy concerning the SNP. So disgusted was I by the lack of choice for Yes/Leave voters at the European elections earlier this year I decided to spoil my ballot paper, the first time I have ever done this since first voting in 1983. However, given the emergence of pan-Unionist tactical alliances in various Scottish constituencies, I will hold my nose and adopt a pan-nationalist approach when I vote on December 12.

However, Andrew Wilson should not take this as a lack of sympathy with the political frustration of both Jim Sillars and Jim Fairlie, whose critique of the current SNP leadership on the question of Scotland and the EU I share. That frustration stems largely from the inability or unwillingness of pro-EU advocates to actually engage with the risks of remaining in the EU. Andrew Wilson compounds this sin by stating that the desire for Scotland to leave both the UK and the EU is a “colossal strategic error”, yet rather than outline his own argument in support of this he astonishingly declares that we need to “Leave aside the rights and wrongs of the European argument for another day”.

It is the salient failure of the SNP to offer its members a full and frank debate on the direction of the EU which directly led to the 2017 General Election debacle when 21 SNP seats, and half a million votes, were lost. Andrew perhaps did not meet many SNP Leave voters who abstained in 2017 but I certainly did, as the 2017 local elections ran concurrently with the General Election that year,and I was campaigning in a ward with a historically strong SNP vote where people had voted SNP for decades, not just years.

Surely at a time when there is regrettable tension between the

SNP and the Greens in constituencies like Perth and North Perthshire – and I can see both sides of that debate – we need to strive harder to unite all Yes voters behind a prospectus which both acknowledges and respects the concerns of Yes/Leave voters.

The SNP needs to dust down its 1983 conference policy of a post-independence referendum on the EU and not fatally, and naively, conflate two separate constitutional issues. This would be a principled, honest, and clear position, but I am not holding my breath.

Cllr Andy Doig (Independent)

Renfrewshire Council

JIM Sillars, staunch nationalist that he is, has a point when he says that indyref2 is about Scottish independence, not joining the EU. Generations have fought to wrest control back from Westminster to Edinburgh. Over this time millions have overcome all obstacles flung at them to uphold the principle that you should “never surrender your sovereignty to an authority you cannot control”. Yet here we are on the verge of independence, ready to simply hand over our sovereignty to yet another authority.

Crucially, we haven’t even discussed the terms of withdrawal before we join. In a changing world, what happens if the Baltic and Scandinavian nations decide on a Nordic Alliance that Scotland would want to trade with? Or a Nordic/Celtic Alliance? Where is our freedom of choice? Conversely, by retaining our sovereignty at Edinburgh, Scotland, with all its resources, could trade with all and be tied to none. Independence means independence.

Robert Gritton


I WAS greatly moved by the announcement by Richard Leonard (Who? Oh him) that he would be the next First Minister of Scotland now that Ruth Davidson has left the job vacant.

If Scotland is fortunate and wise, the next First Minister will be Green and will be a Prime Minister. Until then the job is not vacant and is filled by one of the most internationally respected politicians of Europe, Nicola Sturgeon. She will lead our nation to play our role as a leader in Europe and the international community where we belong. But only if we get out there to hush the nonsense of the nay-sayers.

KM Campbell


THE dropping of candidate Kate Ramsden is a perfect example of Labour’s anti-Semitism paranoia and the influence wielded over the party by a well-funded, highly organised, right-wing Ashkenazi Zionist lobby (Scottish Labour campaign in chaos as third candidate dropped,, November 8).

Ms Ramsden’s comment was clearly aimed at the state of Israel’s governance (by a political party that was explicitly founded with the intention to form a Mussolini-inspired fascist state in the Levant). It was patently not directed at Judaism or Jewish people in general. It made an apt comparison to the modern Zionist’s use of the Holocaust as a justification for their own persecution of and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (historically including Mizrahi Jews) with the prevalence among child abusers of those who have themselves suffered similarly.

Ray H

TOTALLY agree with you, Ray H. She made an analogy and a very good one at that.

Whether it is the case or not that it is only an analogy, she has shown no disrespect to the Jewish faith whatsoever.

She is rightly condemning the government in Israel for some of their policies and actions towards Palestinians and others.

Alan Laing