MY opinion on the Edinburgh Central controversy has very little whatever to do with the persons involved. I believe it improper and inappropriate for any candidate elected to any seat to decide (seven months later) to go for a different seat – except in very special and individual circumstances and only with full support of the party’s leadership body.

That should always have been the party’s ruling and I assume it now is.

READ MORE: Cherry won't be seeking Edinburgh Central nomination after party change rules

I do not believe for one moment that those who supported the course of action we are discussing didn’t understand that in this case those sensible conditions were unfulfilled. Or that they didn’t fully understand the chaos that pursuing it would result in. People have said to me that there is another agenda here. This may not have occurred to the naive.

And as an aside, I am rather more concerned about the James Dornan situation.

READ MORE: SNP reverse decision to block James Dornan from Holyrood

We keep hearing of “plots”. As if! Plots in a political party? Who’d have thought so? Plots are a continuous feature in all political parties. And they run both ways. Believe me. Enlivening and sometimes destructive, they drive the leadership forward, very often to better things. Or off the bus. But in the final analysis my judgement on all senior figures in the SNP will be decided on whether personal interest and ambition is what drives them, or independence for Scotland.

I have many concerns about the SNP. And I never hesitate to fire them off to HQ. Not least the peculiar notion apparently entertained (the appalling 2017 election campaign springs to mind) that running a government and campaigning for independence were mutually exclusive operations.

My biggest concern, however, has been the relentless centralising of power over the last few years. In particular, the vetting procedures have now taken all power away from local decision-makers, and I will be seeking support across the country to insist that power is given back to those who raise the funds, do the streets and know best who is likely to win elections.

And having sat through several conferences at which we got to listen to nothing that any of us really wanted to talk about, I want to see every suggested resolution for conference that was submitted legitimately made available online for us all to read, to offer support and finally to reassure us that the conference agenda reflects what we are all in it for.

David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

FORTUNATELY the vast majority of SNP voters and independence supporters do not care who is in which “camp” in or out of the SNP – always supposing these camps actually exist outside the minds of the commentariat and those with an axe to grind.

Like that vast majority, I would vote SNP if the candidate were a tabby cat with a yellow-and-black rosette to match her eyes; not because I think the SNP are angels from heaven or get everything right, but because it is the SNP that will gain us independence. Once we get our independence I – and many of us who care more about our country than our party – will eventually return to our natural voting pattern, mine being Green.

READ MORE: The race for Edinburgh Central: Three battle for SNP nomination

I do not for an instant believe there is a sinister plot against Joanna Cherry. If I remember correctly, she put herself forward for selection just days after Angus Robertson. In my opinion she should not have done so; it was a huge mistake to have two such prominent SNP figures after the same seat. She is already the MP for the area and it would have been more reasonable for her to remain so. While we still have representation in Westminster, don’t we want as many SNP/independence-supporting MPs as possible?

As regards the NEC ruling on dual mandates, I’m with Pete Wishart: “If I were selected to stand as an SNP MSP I wouldn’t even need to be asked to resign my Westminster seat. Just what should happen.” I’m aware that others have held Westminster and Holyrood seats concurrently – I cannot see how this is even possible, never mind acceptable, and I am only surprised that it has taken this long to stop it. It should in my opinion never have been allowed from the outset.

As I say, fortunately this latest storm in a teacup will barely be noticed by the vast majority of the electorate, and most of those who notice won’t care. But still, how do these supposedly intelligent politicians and political minds not realise that, especially now that independence is ours to lose, division within the movement is the surest way to lose it? Country first, please – party and personalities a distant, distant second.

Max Marnau

I HAVE always considered 60% in the polls to be the tipping point that would make indyref2 unstoppable. What Kevin McKenna refers to as the “Sturgeon/Murrell power dynamic” has got us to an all-time high of 54%, with the full horrors of Brexit yet to come (Let’s be clear ... this was a vendetta against Cherry by senior SNP figures, August 1).

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: This was a vendetta against Joanna Cherry

I suspect that Joanna Cherry will turn the other cheek and suck up what may well have been an “elaborate stitch-up”. The dignity with which she does so will not be forgotten by the Scottish electorate and this standing would allow her to play a key role in pressing for and delivering on indyref2. In the meantime I hope that divisive and inflammatory rhetoric such as that contained in Mr McKenna’s comment piece does not undermine our progress and result in us “handing Scotland to the Unionists on a plate”.

Danny Oswald

APART from hoping for a SNP success in Edinburgh Central, I have no interest in who the candidate might be, unlike, it seems, Kevin McKenna. He effectively pulls the rug from any credibility in his case. He writes, “if you do not have sufficient personal means or a healthy private income, the SNP don’t want you at Holyrood”. This is a thoroughly stupid assertion. The SNP ranks in Holyrood are packed with people who fail to meet this criteria. Get real.

Archie Drummond