I HEAR what the arguments are for a united second party with the aim to gain list seats during elections, and in principle the idea appears to have some traction. My concerns relate to the number of small parties emerging with their own agenda, as each believes they have their own righteous perspective on independence and the FM has it all wrong, despite the polls proving the contrary.

What has not been recognised is the possibility of wasted votes as these small parties lose their deposit failing to meet the electoral threshold. If there were to be a second legitimate party it would have to be united under a leader that would not only appeal to Alex Salmond supporters but to the whole of Scotland. Trying to form a party under a “cult” leadership does not make for a sound basis, and historically and currently it has been shown that those countries who have elected such leaders found to their regret the cost of being part of a cult.

READ MORE: Indy party led by Salmond might be just what the Yes movement needs

I recognise the hard work and strategy that Alex brought to the party and the independence cause, but times and people move on and a more youthful membership may look for a leader that possibly reflects more their personal view of life.

Nicola Sturgeon has proven to be a sound leader who not only appeals to the whole electorate but has moved the independence case forward from Alex Salmond’s leadership by her consistent and dignified messaging. When the time is right I have no doubt the FM will do the same for independence once campaigning actively commences. Meanwhile, our responsibility as interested parties is to progress the case in a positive and practical way with our daily messaging.

I urge independence supporters to remember how far we have come in a very short time. Those of us who have been in this for the long haul know that we are moving forward, and that in itself is a gain. Our commitment is to independence, and that will only be won by proving to the electorate that we have a sound government with the ability to govern in their best interests and campaigning hard for independence.

Christine Smith

THERE has been much talk and discussion about another independence party on the list for the next Scottish parliament elections. The timing of this seems quite revealing.

I’m beginning to think it’s a plot from the Unionist side to divide and conquer, as it has gained momentum at a time when there is a sustained move in support for independence.

The numbers suggest the SNP will pick up 74 seats, and taking into account the Green vote of another 10 seats, this would give us a pro-indy total of 83 of the 124 seats.

READ MORE: Party led by Alex Salmond would win list votes

With this, my question would be “what would another independence party bring to the new parliament, other than seeking to split the vote?”

We need to come together and put forward a united front, now more than ever. If the debate is to be had, let’s never lose hold of what we are fighting for and the end result we’re seeking. We are in the end game – let’s be careful and sensible with what our focus should be.

Paul Gilchrist

IT should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed George Galloway’s political career of late that he is currently entreating opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament to band together and defeat pro-independence groups in 2021.

Mr Galloway’s somewhat flexible principles and moral compass have become more apparent in recent times, culminating in his fulsome support for Brexit and for Nigel Farage in 2016. His attempts to justify his decision were based on a left-wing 1970s perception of the EU as a monolithic anti-socialist bloc and on his deeply narcissistic persona.

Following his failure at successive polls as a Respect candidate he has become an irrelevance to UK political life, and his latest utterance is a vain attempt to appear relevant to a public that has long since forgotten him. It is almost as if his ego will not allow him to disappear from the political stage with any dignity or smattering of a reputation he once had for his ethical stance or judgement.

His long absence from Scottish affairs means that he has totally misread our current constitutional climate and would rather have the most right-wing authoritative government determining Scottish affairs than the socially democratic government currently led by Ms Sturgeon.

As the UK Government prepares to sell arms again to the Saudis to aid in their state terrorism of the Yemeni people, it may be a time for people like Mr Galloway to reflect on the reality of Scotland being associated with such an administration.

Politics is not a game, and Boris Johnson’s corrupt and morally vacuous government can never represent the humanitarian values and compassion of the people of Scotland. Ditch your conceit, George. The political landscape has changed and independence is only a heartbeat away.

Owen Kelly

BEING an English resident in Scotland for short of ten years I have not had sufficient experience of the Scottish national voting system to date to understand it. Consequently, I was finding it a wee bit difficult to comprehend. The recent letters discussions on the subject only left me even more confused than ever.

However, I have to congratulate Andy Anderson for his Long Letter in Tuesday’s edition. This has left me in no doubt how to use my main vote and list vote of which, I confess, I thought I had it right. But more importantly, Andy has explained to me exactly what each vote is exactly for and better still, how a “list” vote is determined and why, giving me a better notion of how to cast my vote. Thanks Andy – no figures or percentages, just simple procedures.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

ANDY Anderson, in Tuesday’s edition, points out that he voted Green with his second vote at the last election, as I did.

Surely, this should be the tactic next May for all independence supporters. Instead of confusing the issue with “new” parties, why not vote for a ready-made alternative, with some good environmental policies and very competent politicians who have come to the aid of the SNP on several occasions, and are committed to achieving an independent Scotland?

Sandy Coghill
Sligachan, Isle of Skye