AS a member of the SNP, I don’t believe that internal party discussion and debate should be conducted in public, on the pages of a newspaper. But as it is impossible to conduct it privately within the party – as the party’s hierarchy does not reply to emails and will not engage in any dialogue – I will take the opportunity to comment on the article you published today, “SNP to carry out a review of party structures after NEC controversy” (September 8).

But first, I must thank The National for all its updates on the internal business of my party, the SNP. Without your reporting, I would have no idea of what is happening. Your updates on the NEC are so numerous and accurate that some members have wondered if, in fact, your reporters have a permanent seat on the NEC!

READ MORE: SNP to carry out a review of party structures after NEC controversy

So thank you for today's article on the planned SNP review of the party’s structure. It was most informative. Certainly far more informative than the strict radio silence that the party’s hierarchy operates towards the paying members of the SNP.

One of the aims of the self-appointed review group is to “improve transparency of decision making and internal communications”. It is clear that the review group has already failed that test. No transparency over the selection and appointment of those sitting as a review group, no clear idea who this will report to.

The major decision-making body of the SNP, the National Executive Council, where a large number of members of the council were directly elected by the members, has not been involved. The NEC has not met since changing the rules on dual mandates.

And on communication, another clear failure, no email to paying members updating on this review.

Maybe the review will determine if the SNP’s communication strategy is not to engage and update the paying members but to leak or issue press releases to The National. I mean that is a communication strategy of sorts. It is certainly current practice.

As for the members listed as members of the review group, they would be well covered by the phrase “the normal suspects”. Most of them have contributed in various ways to the way the SNP currently operates. All of them appear to be party insiders.

No-one who has made a valid criticism of the current SNP structure and management seems to have been invited onto the review group.

Maybe Keith Brown should consider asking Kenny MacAskill MP and or Joanna Cherry MP onto the review group. They would provide a different insight into the failures within the SNP than the selected names listed in the article.

At some point my party will have to stop these internal disagreements and focus on its primary purpose, securing independence for Scotland.

Morgwn C Davies
Card-carrying member of the SNP

READING Sunday’s National I was greatly lifted by two new positive aspects of the independence fight: the organisations Voices for Scotland (VfS) and New Scots for Yes (NS4Y).

As regards VfS, it is correct that a reactivated Yes Scotland is no longer adequate or appropriate, because of the historical conditions that now exist – the main ones being the epidemic and Brexit. Also contained within those new conditions are the Yes majority in the polls, which was not our starting point in 2014.

Secondly, the expansive range of Yes organisations throughout Scotland show us the grassroots base which we will have for the beginning of the total fight for self-determination, and we will witness the creation of many more.

Bobby Brennan

HOWEVER much we may seek independence, it won’t arrive gift-wrapped because of favourable polls and impatient desires.

Clearly, the Scottish independence movement is open to all comers but, understandably, tends to be more attractive to the socialist-leaning mindset. This accounts for the demise of the Scottish Labour party, now a mere memory of itself as a consequence of the Blair/Brown era.

With a rural upbringing, I have always had visions of the term “sitting on the fence” and attributed this concept to liberal thinking. Most wire fences used to have plain wires with a barbed wire second from the top. This trend changed, and wired fences are now invariably netted with a barbed wire on top. Okay, visualising an individual sitting astride a plain wire is understandable, just – a barbed wire, no chance! It’s one side or the other, as on the clear-cut option of independence! In short, it is left or right, hence the LibDems’ adamant confirmation of where they stand in the matter, most Conservatives likewise.

If we need a case of the unlikely outcome which the current determined right-wing faction can achieve, by fair means or foul, look no further than north-east England, where the Brexit argument gained a majority in a long-established Labour stronghold and went on to contribute to the huge majority in which Johnson now bellows at will.

Make no mistake, his party’s next target is undermining and defeating the referendum campaign, whatever it takes. That is the independence movement’s challenge.

Without doubt, Scotland’s handling of the pandemic has increased the polls toward a Yes vote. However, this will not have gone unnoticed by the Westminster Cabinet, who could use this topical issue to manipulate a No vote. Grant Shapps teasing out inconvenience through confusion created by different UK nations having different advice on quarantining is a start.

Twenty years ago Scotland was a socialist stronghold on which the UK Labour government depended. Despite that government heralding the demise of Scottish Labour, we still are a predominantly socialist nation.

Falling on the left of the fence by voting for independence is the right thing to do.

Tom Gray