READING the letters in Monday’s paper, I find myself in almost total agreement with the views anent the Joanna Cherry and James Dornan affairs, and in particular, I find Selma Rahman expressing exactly my feelings not only of anger but frustration and near despair at these further instances of control freakery at the top of the party. A woman after my own heart (and probably of similar age and political history).

I would, however, like to advance a slightly different take on the Joanna Cherry affair in particular. Rather than treating the situation as evidence of a threat to the stability of the hierarchy, would the NEC not have served the party and the independence cause better if they had tried to defuse and resolve the situation without creating rancour? By their actions, unfortunately, they have given the opposition and the Unionist media a peg for whatever exaggerated headlines they can dream up to our detriment.

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Ms Cherry has shown brilliantly in the past her expertise in fastening on to legal niceties and defeating the underhand moves of the Tories. That is a skill for which we should be extremely grateful and should be looking to use to the full, both in finding a legal route to independence when, not if, a Section 30 is again refused and during the negotiations subsequent on our winning a Yes vote. Let us be quite clear: the Unionists will use every well-honed, dirty trick in the book to preserve what they stand to lose.

Were Ms Cherry to win a constituency seat at Holyrood, she would then be severely constrained by the workload of such a full-time job. Would the party hierarchy not be better to designate her as our supreme legal “watchdog”, looking out for possible devious measures from the Unionists during campaigning, finding the legal loopholes to forestall them and studying every single detail of negotiation to protect our rights as we prepare for independence day? Even now, she could be advising on legal moves that are still competent at Holyrood to combat the power grab of the “Internal Market” Bill.

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It is surely at best short-sighted to try to shut down all dissension and thereby allow it to be seen as “splits”. We all have the same goal and that must take priority.

On the issue of James Dornan, which I understand has now been resolved, I too object absolutely to so-called “positive discrimination”.

It is still discrimination. Women will only have equality when the equality of opportunity is accompanied by the equality of the right to choose whether or not to take it. If ever I have an enforced all-female list before me, I will break the habit of a lifetime and WILL NOT VOTE.

L McGregor

SUGGESTIONS for inclusion in an independence/election strategy for May next year:

1) Demand not only the return of the 6000 square miles of Scottish North Sea waters, and the oil wells that went with them, stolen by the Blair/Brown regime – but also calculate and demand retrospective rental for said waters and oil wells. That should achieve the following desirable consequences –

* To a considerable extent it would nullify the inevitable argument about the amount we owed the remainder of the UK for the debt which (they claim) they ran up on our behalf.

* It should also forestall any attempt to roll out either Gordon Brown or Tony Blair to bombard us with false promises of federalism.

2) Produce an interim constitution to be voted upon simultaneously in the indyref2.

3) Include in that constitution a clause which would give MSPs the right to choose how they would prefer to participate in the proceedings of parliament (at Holyrood) – (a) by physical attendance in Edinburgh, or (b) remotely from their own residence. That should achieve a better gender balance without the need to introduce women-only candidate lists.

4) Promise to set up not only a Scottish Investment Bank, but also a Scottish High Street Bank which would provide normal banking facilities for ordinary Scottish citizens.

Hugh Noble

I DON’T believe in coincidences so I certainly don’t believe in the present carry-on with the way Jackson Carlaw apparently decided on the spur of the moment to resign with immediate effect. I detect a female hand behind it.

To go back a few weeks, we had Douglas Ross resign on a fairly weak excuse and suddenly he is leader of the Scottish Tories. The final act still has to take place – as a member of the House of Lords, Baroness Davidson will be elevated to the position of Secretary of State for Scotland, which will be a very sad day for Scotland and independence.

Rob Mair

I’VE just read your article “Ross rewriting history with indyref claim”, where he states: “Nicola Sturgeon had signed an agreement with the UK and Scottish governments that it would be once in a generation.”

You mention that Ross was “presumably referring to the Edinburgh Agreement, which transferred power from Westminster to Holyrood to ensure the 2014 independence referendum was legally watertight.” If he was then it just shows how little he knows about Scottish politics.

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Unless I am very much mistaken, Nicola Sturgeon was not the FM in 2014 and the Edinburgh Agreement was actually signed by David Cameron and Alec Salmond. Nicola only became First Minister after Alec resigned, and that was after the indy referendum. You are quite right when you say there was nothing in it about a “once in a generation situation”. “Once in a generation” was merely an off-the-cuff remark by Alec Salmond in a TV interview when he was asked how important he believed this referendum to be.

But this doesn’t make Ross’s motives any less devious or dangerous. I believe his and Boris’s next move, after the power grab, will be to make moves to bypass Holyrood completely, thereby making it redundant, and then to close it down. I wish the SNP would wake up and see the danger.

Charlie Kerr