I AM writing to voice my concern over one or two points regarding the independence movement here in Scotland at the moment. Like my Argyll and Bute friend and colleague David MacEwan Hill (Letters, August 3), I have watched with some sorrow as the party I have supported all my life drifts a little. After the huge rise in membership over the last few years, there indeed seems to be an urge for greater centralisation.

This will destroy the abilities that many members have for putting the strength of local issues onto a national platform under the umbrella of the SNP.

I know that Nicola has been – and is – doing a great job, but I started delivering leaflets when I was 12, I am now 76 and do not really wish to grab the bag of leaflets, have my knuckles poised for the door-knocking, just for another ordinary election.

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Now we must have the ammunition to go on the attack constructively for a tangible result which will bring independence. This movement was founded on the hard work, intelligence, and unstinting unity of Scotswomen and men who would not under any circumstances become guilty of seeing Scotland disappear. For some their involvement with the SNP put their careers and jobs at threat and it cost them dearly.

With no disrespect to our present members, I really do not feel in tune with what I call “Trendy-Wendyism”. I remain, however, a totally committed fighter for Scotland’s independent future, but, as you can see, the years are running in!

Like Dave Hill, I regret the change in the vetting procedure in the SNP, and conferences would seem to be a lot less than electrifying, though I have not attended one since 2005. There once was a political party in Scotland whose grip on everything and everybody was total – where are they now I wonder? Like the contributor in yesterdays National from Selkirk, I am not in any “camp”.

I have one last greet. Having canvassed for, and worked under the leadership of, many hugely capable women at branch, constituency, and now country level, I find the idea of closed female-only parliamentary lists to be totally undemocratic and dangerous for us. All those who wish to contest an election should throw their hats in the ring and allow the membership to choose a suitable candidate.

That large membership with its varied views must stay united until post-referendum before airing their differences. We sit astride the dyke of hope and reality, there is nothing, repeat NOTHING, our opponents are not capable of to keep their Union. At this late stage in life I have no wish to slide off that dyke and land back down the “snake’ tail”, I really could not take that.

We must stick together, against the most anti-Scottish, lying, incompetent Westminster government I can remember. The sooner the greater Yes movement becomes organised the better it will be. No more wee splinter groups please. Best wishes to our government, its officers, and all our members – stay together and we will make it this time.

Colin Stevenson
Strachur, Argyll

HAS Kenny MacAskill lost the plot? Does he and the rest of those stirring up unrest within the SNP live in a parallel universe where Covid does not exist? Multiple marches throughout Scotland to get across our message does not prove a popular activity to win support for the Orange Lodge, quite the opposite, so how does he think that marching will win backing for the SNP?

READ MORE: SNP MP says now is the time for huge indy rally 'on an unprecedented scale'

Regarding the NEC decision on candidates sitting in both parliaments, we cannot criticise others with two jobs when our own elected representatives do similar. It should be the case that if elected for Holyrood that is your main focus and you work on it full-time.

Christine Smith