I THOUGHT it was ironic that Angus J Stewart (Website comments, July 14) remarked in your paper that he would prefer one “intelligent post” by David Pratt to 1,000 contributions from “armchair experts”, before going on to give us his view on the second vote debate, possibly from his armchair.

Much as I enjoy reading David’s views, I value them as much as I do (almost) as every other blogger, letter-writer and contributor; I firmly believe that the fact someone is being paid to write does not elevate them to a status above those who pay to read their work. But I digress.

The failure of the “both votes SNP” strategy in some areas such as Glasgow and Central Scotland is an indisputable fact. The only way that it would work is for the SNP to massively increase their vote by tens of thousands, and even then that is a gamble.

The Greens, being the nearest established pro-indy party, could be the beneficiaries of a thoughtful second vote strategy, but this doesn’t seem to be a popular option. So I can completely understand the frustration of all those voters who are voting SNP but see their second vote as being wasted and want to make it work, and I understand why a pro-independence list-only party would benefit.

SNP councillor Mhairi Hunter today endorsed the view of a British nationalist columnist that such a party would be “cheating” the system, while Julie Hepburn of the SNP asks why such a party should be established when you could instead vote Green. I have to ask then, should SNP members be encouraging people to vote for other parties, and if so, why is voting Green acceptable as a second vote, but voting for another unspecified independence party seen as “gaming the system”?

British nationalists have been engaging in tactical voting for years with their voting wheels, diagrams and websites designed to keep the SNP out. So why is that not seen as gaming the system? If it is acceptable for them to work to keep pro-Scottish representation out of Holyrood then I believe that it is equally acceptable to minimise British nationalist representation. The UK Government is engaged in a dirty war with Scotland by trying to strip our parliament of powers – why should we help them by putting their mouthpieces into our parliament to assist in talking down Scotland?

The idea of a list-only party is on the face of it a sound one. But for that strategy to work, there must be a single receptacle for those second votes. While Wings over Scotland mooted the idea, as did others, one group at least has stepped up to the plate and committed to what others spoke about: the Independence for Scotland Party. Apparently they are to be joined by the Alliance for Independence, and numerous others are rumoured to be joining the list, including the mythical Alex Salmond party and probably the “I can’t believe it’s not SNP” party.

This is where I now concur with David Pratt. Division on this issue is utterly self-destructive, and I would hope all those who have planned to contest the list to come together, put personal ambitions aside and come to an amicable solution which works for Scotland, because to continue on their current path will only work against us.

James Cassidy

THE Unionists constantly went on about Nicola Sturgeon “getting back to the day job!” The irony has not escaped me that she has been doing the day job in dealing with the coronavirus and never once mentioned the “I” word. With her skilled, compassionate and professional handling of the crisis, especially in comparison to the shambles

from Westminster, we see support for independence rising. We’ll if this is what doing the day job means, all I can say is “get on with the day job Nicola!”

Crìsdean Mac Fhearghais
Dùn Eideann