READERS of The National will be aware that I am not exactly uncritical of the SNP strategy on independence, so I can see the attraction of new pro-independence parties on first blush. However, having seen the emergence of a couple of these over the last few days, I still do not see how they really take forward the goal of Scotland’s independence.

Unless I have misread the article by Colette Walker in Wednesday’s paper (It’s time we stood up to Westminster to win independence, May 13), it seems the main thrust of the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP) is to somehow overthrow the D’Hondt voting system at Holyrood, presumably by first flooding the Parliament with ISP and other members who will then vote down the current system. And replace it with what? What system will we have instead and how will it bring independence closer?

READ MORE: Colette Walker: It’s time we stood up to Westminster to win independence

The new Yes for EU party does not even have Scottish independence front and centre. It is primarily a pro-EU party (I did not realise that “Brexity” was an actual adjective). They agonised over whether to support Scottish independence at all, and seem to miss the point that about one-third of Scottish voters voted to leave the EU, so this new party will not attract them.

There seems to be a phalanx of pro-indy offshoots of one form or another in addition to these two. That poses two problems. One, it confuses the voters. Each party may have something that appeals to indy voters, but if we just vote for this offshoot or that, it will get us nowhere. To be effective, there has to be one unified party standing on the list, so that voters know exactly what they are voting for. A vague alliance will not do.

READ MORE: What difference will it make if we have even more pro-indy MSPs?

Second, it relies on the SNP just standing aside on the list vote, which is going to happen when hell freezes over. Even if the SNP did step aside, there is no guarantee that SNP voters would vote for just one list alternative. They may just dissipate the SNP vote through various other list parties and may even get more seats for Unionist parties as an unintended consequence.

And it also relies on the SNP hoovering up all or most of the constituency seats. If something goes wrong (unlikely, I know), the SNP would need the list seats which may then be lost.

Even if by some miracle some party other than the SNP picks up the list votes which currently go in the bin, does it really make a difference? If pro-independence parties have ALL the seats in Holyrood, so what? We are currently still tied to Section 30 and I have yet to see anything which gets us out of this.

It seems we are stuck with the SNP and their gradualist strategy of winning people over. It is worth noting that even now, we have made scant inroads into undecided or No voters. What are we doing to reach them? Many of us buy an extra paper for work, speak to colleagues when asked, etc.

If I could suggest two things to the SNP leadership. First, we need a strategy to reach the unconverted. What happened

to the economic case for independence every household was supposed to be sent last summer? Anything we send through the post runs the risk of just being binned, it is true, but how else can we reach them? They will never go to a pro-independence meeting and will not go on pro-independence social media.

The other thing is ditch the devotion to Section 30, and make something else the mandate for independence, such as 50% of the votes cast at Holyrood (not 50% of the electorate, and not even 50% of the seats – we have already got that with the help of the Greens).

Julia Pannell
Friockheim, Tayside