IT’S perfectly understandable why some supporters of independence have become frustrated at the perceived lack of progress, but creating a new party is not the answer. Even if it were to succeed in strengthening the independence majority in parliament, what possible difference would that make, even if it succeeded?

There is already a parliamentary majority for independence. It would simply be a bigger majority. If SNP supporters feel there is a pressing need to gain as many pro-independence seats as possible, then a second vote for the Greens or Socialists will do it. All that is required is co-operation in putting the interests of Scotland before party. That is not “gaming” the system, but simply playing by the rules.

READ MORE: Let us stand together, not split the Yes vote thanks to in-fighting

Despite the unrelenting pressure from a hostile media, Nicola Sturgeon is demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities that have impressed the majority of Scots, and even some south of the Border. The soft power that she exudes is steadily helping to gain the necessary support for independence, as is the crass ineptitude of the UK Government. As things stand, it will only increase with time.

I do think that a public gesture is required to demonstrate that being an SNP MSP is not a career choice, but a commitment to creating a fairer, more caring and more equal society in Scotland. Perhaps if ministers were to donate 10% of their salaries to a fund for the poorest, it might convince people of that commitment.

It might also be wise for those who have influence with Alex Salmond to suggest to him that he keeps a low profile. In conversation I have found him very likeable, but although he was found not guilty of anything criminal, he was by his own admission guilty of questionable moral behaviour.

A little humility is now required, if not for the sake of his family and friends, then for the cause he has spent his life supporting.

David McGill

YOUR correspondent Carol Wood made two references to the next election being carried out on the basis of “single transferable vote”. This is not the case. The Scottish Parliament is elected using the modified D’Hont system where the voter casts one vote for the constituency and one for the regional list.

The SNP’s message has always been to vote SNP 1 and 2 – it can be no other without risking accusation of electoral collusion. (It was apparently not collusion for Kezia Dugdale to advise Labour supporters to vote Tory to keep the SNP out, but the SNP has always been subject to greater scrutiny.)

READ MORE: Pro-indy people taking aim at Nicola Sturgeon need to get a grip

If current polling holds, then next year voting SNP 1and 2 will give an SNP majority as it did in 2011. Where it gets more tricky is if SNP support declines by a few percent. The temptation to game the system (at least in the Central Belt) by giving the list vote to another pro-independence party is strong, although I do acknowledge the argument that it is morally questionable, and that when Labour considered this approach using Co-operative Party candidates for the list it was howled down. Those who value independence over excessive scruples over moral purity would be well advised to consult independent polls close to the ballot to determine their best way to vote in their region.

David Simpson

I WAS much heartened by the readers letters in Tuesday’s National, in particular from Noirin Blackie, Victor Moncrieff and Jim Lynch. I have been an avid supporter of independence and the SNP since the early 60s.

I well remember a young Alex Salmond when he was the president of the Student Nationalists at St Andrews University, coming regularly to our branch committee meetings held in members’ houses, usually to avail himself of a “doggy bag” of sandwiches from the leftover supper.

I remember him telling me once that his vision was to achieve independence and thereafter the SNP would likely be disbanded and a new party or parties would be formed which would represent differing political views throughout Scotland.

I always considered that to be a fairly sensible approach, and I remember conveying that ideology to several “doubters” during the 2014 referendum campaign.

I would be so annoyed if any individual or group of individuals were to scupper the chance of independence when we are so close, for their own self-interest or ego.

At the moment so many familiar sayings spring to mind like “turkeys voting for Xmas” and “shooting yourself in the foot”.

Please, please stop and think, and stop all this madness.

I can just see “Big Gordie” and Alister “Union” Jack getting ready to face the media with large cheesy grins on their faces, just to rub salt into the wound.

Robin Hastie
St Andrews

WITH reference to the letter of Noirin Blackie in Tuesday’s National, let me say how much I share the concerns expressed over the “loose cannons” in the SNP aimed at the leadership of my party, especially at a time of unprecedented crisis and when No voters are indeed being won over by the sheer quality of the First Minister.

How are we to explain the “loose cannons”? As I pondered that one, a line from the Dedication at the start of the King James Version of the Bible came to mind. It is the one that refers to “self-conceited brethren who run their own ways and give liking to nothing but what is framed by themselves and hammered on their own anvil”.

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear! A bit less arrogance and a good deal more humility, no to say a fresh commitment to team playing, would be greatly appreciated.

Rev Douglas Whyte