TWO things in the Sunday National brought a smile to my face: Marco Biagi will be submitting his name for Edinburgh Central, and the SNP National Secretary has cancelled the decision to bar James Dornan from Glasgow Cathcart.

I know both of these candidates slightly, and generally think well of them. The James Dornan case reminded me of Edinburgh West (or Western); a faction there opted to open the candidate list although we had a sitting MSP in Colin Keir.

At that meeting I said they were laying down the welcome mat for the Liberals, but they knew better.

READ MORE: Marco Biagi: This is why I want to reclaim my Edinburgh Central seat

During the selection process there were comments in the Edinburgh Evening News from “an unnamed activist” attacking Colin Keir; these comments were picked up by the Liberals, who mentioned them over and over again.

Colin Keir was deselected; the cabal behind this campaign didn’t think that attacking an SNP MSP was attacking the SNP. When the poisoned boomerang came back, the SNP lost the seat; incidentally we also lost our parliamentary majority. I know some people left the SNP after that episode; I left the branch I had been a member of for over 40 years, and became a headquarters member.

I had visions of that happening in these cases; it is not likely now.

Jim Lynch

THE clandestine manoeuvres to stop Joanna Cherry from standing in the Edinburgh Central seat for Holyrood next year are a glimpse into where the SNP are.

Why would the party want a prominent and popular politician wasting away at Westminster in the face of a massive Tory majority? Why would they want to parachute in an ex-deputy leader who has no rapport with voters into a key battleground seat in the capital? As the old saying goes, if your face fits.

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

Undemocratic shifting of the goalposts aside, the mere idea that the SNP are treating next year’s election and the aforementioned seat as a shoe-in shows how far they have lost grip on what they should be. The transformation into New Labour has been something to behold. Completed by hiring a spin doctor who splashed The Vow on his front page.

Now they have taken to a small clique controlling the party and taking voters for granted. We all know how that ended for the Labour branch in Scotland.

Kyle Graham

THERE’S a feeling of doom and gloom among supporters of Scottish independence. Maybe I’m just missing the marches and having a pint with the indy family, but this should not be the mood when the polls show a rise for Yes and I, like many others, am hearing more of my friends saying that they would now vote Yes.

Is it not time to formally revive the Yes movement with a small planning team of people with political and media savvy under the leadership of someone relatively young and energetic? This team could build the case and address the questions that were largely responsible for defeat last time.

READ MORE: Keep faith in the SNP and we can make indyref2 an unstoppable reality

It would give us momentum and take the focus off the SNP, which would knock the wind right out of the media’s sails, allowing the FM to direct their questions to the group.

There are many strategic groups like the Scottish Independence Convention, Scottish Independence Foundation, Progress Scotland, Common Weal and others. That’s great but how do they connect to the Yes groups and activists on the ground? And, frankly, there are far too many wads of paper around when what we need is action to convey a simple message – Scotland must control its own affairs.

Would connecting and working together not be the answer? We could crowdfund through this group for billboards to drip-feed bullet points of the very simple reasons why we need to break free. It’s all there but many are still not seeing, hearing or getting the message.

I know it’s not easy and I don’t know who could lead it but maybe other readers have some thoughts and we could build on that. Or maybe it’s just a pipe dream. I don’t think so ... but please be gentle with me!

Noirin Blackie

WHY do we all fall for it? We all seem to agree when Adam Tomkins says that “for the first time in Scottish history, independence might not be a minority pursuit that it’s always been.” Really? From my limited knowledge of Scottish history (god bless independent education in Edinburgh) I don’t think there was much dancing in the streets in 1707 in celebration for what was foisted on the nation.

Ranald Dods

I’M sure I’m not alone in being grateful to the Conservative Party in these otherwise grim times for providing some light relief.

The recent defenestration of Jackson Carlaw followed swiftly by hand-on-his-heart denials from Douglas “Three Jobs” Ross of any advance knowledge of or indeed complicity in the sacking is an excellent example. The irony of a Tory citing Alex Salmond as precedent in justifying his continuing as MP and SFA referee while assuming he’ll be elected to what he clearly regards as a wee parliament is simply brilliant.

Whatever next? Past history shows that Three Jobs shouldn’t get too comfortable in his new post. Mind you, I suppose he’s already got his eyes on a peerage like his other cronies. More fun to be had in speculating on his title! Lord Multitask of Moray, perhaps?

John W Graham

Q. In three words describe England’s relationship with Scotland.
A. Overpowering, obdurate and oppressive.

Anne Thomson