I WISH to respond to comments expressed by Kenny MacAskill in yesterday’s National (Indyref2020 still on despite MP’s claim it’s unlikely, January 3).

As a new MP I believe he has a collective responsibility to the party and his fellow MPs to ensure that his opinions and criticisms of SNP policy and in fact anything which, in general, creates mixed messages about SNP policy are kept in check and remain part of party discussion.

It has not taken him long to seek controversy!

During his time in the “wilderness” he readily criticised many of the SNP government’s policies and actions. Like Jim Sillars, he clearly has and had the right to do so like any observer or member of the public. Clearly many such responses were not only welcomed but were a godsend for our opponents to feed on and declare “great divisions” within the SNP.

READ MORE: SNP say indyref2020 is still on – despite MP’s claim it’s unlikely

I am not suggesting for one moment that politicians do not have the right to hold and express differing points of view, however, upon becoming an MP or holding political office they should have due regard for the consequences and fallout of anything said or actions taken, not only at constituency level but at agreed policy level.

In relation to his suggestion that “the likelihood of a referendum in the short term is slim ... more likely nil”, this may be the case, but only time will tell. We do not need, at the beginning of the year, speculation by new MPs like Ken MacAskill which torpedoes the policy in place, of going for late 2020 to hold a referendum.

Much depends on what the intervening Brexit shambles will do to the UK, and Scotland in particular.

The EU negotiations are already stalling, after the Johnson declaration of Brexit completion “in law” by the end of 2020 was met with surprise and bewilderment by the EU president.

READ MORE: SNP MP MacAskill suggests more cautious approach to indyref

As we go through 2020 it will become obvious to all that Scotland will be at the centre of a mitigated disaster economically, socially and politically as this right-wing Tory government flexes its Brexit muscles.

It has to be said briefly that what is important at this time is for supporters of independence – be they SNP supporters, activists, politicians or members of the wider Yes movement – to take stock of where we are regarding the level of support for independence and a second independence referendum.

The recent General Election has clearly indicated that although we remain shy of a majority, we clearly are close to achieving our goal if we get the strategy right!

Can I suggest that Mr MacAskill and others who carp from the sides, pointing out the problems and flaws of independence policies and targets, divert their energies into convincing those yet uncertain about voting Yes, to join us on our crusade towards independence.

Dan Wood

I FEEL after reading both the article about Kenny MacAskill’s remarks and and the comments beneath it that someone’s winding MacAskill up to believe he’s better than he is. This is very much an old Unionist trick of divide and conquer which too many, at the moment, are swallowing.

Time, I feel, to let the dust settle down a bit, keep our powder dry and let the yoons sweat out that which they greatly fear – Scotland’s departing them. Hoping as many as possible can get into Glasgow on the 11th and get them worried even more.

Happy New Year to all independence supporters and all the best to us this year. Saor Alba.

Barrie S Gammie
via thenational.scot