JUST imagine, for a moment, the following group being part of the SNP team leading us into May’s Scottish election – Nicola Sturgeon, Joanna Cherry, Alex Salmond, Phillipa Whitford, Michelle Thomson and a host of other excellent MPs and MSPs.

It’s akin to finding out that Lionel Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar have Scottish grannies just before a World Cup qualifier – oh wait, the Scottish manager has told the coaches to advise those stars they are not required. He’s not putting out his best team. You can just visualise the reaction of the fans, similar to the that of many independence supporters having to suffer the internal politics within the SNP NEC.

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I was being facetious with my hopes of team selections, but it is time some people in the higher hierarchy of the SNP stopped hiding behind each other. The SNP can certainly talk a good game. They have now made the commitment to carry out a review of party structures following criticisms of NEC decisions. This group should not include any of the present NEC members who voted to bring in the last-minute ruling to curtail Joanna Cherry and others from standing only to put themselves forward for consideration as candidates for the same elections.

We are told that more transparency is an item on this group’s agenda. It’s almost as if we have been subjects of the SNP rather than members and supporters. That has to change.

Delaying justice is injustice. The Tories ousted Jackson Carlaw by plotting and Labour is trying to remove Richard Leonard by the same methods. Surely we are better than that? The fact that the polls are in our favour, with every chance of getting an SNP majority, is no reason to ignore the grassroots. I agree with Health Secretary Jeane Freeman’s statement that we shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves before we have even won our independence. However, neither should we sit back and ignore any unjust treatment being dished out by the NEC to Joanna Cherry for reasons unrelated to her abilities.

Anyone saying we voted for the NEC so we can’t interfere with their decision is not putting Scotland first. We didn’t vote them in to get rid of people of ability.

Bill Clark
Fort William

I READ once again that the SNP manifesto for next year’s elections will contain a commitment to another referendum. Fair enough, but not far enough.

It should be made plain that they will pursue all means to achieve independence, not just a referendum. This is necessary to ensure that the public and the UK Government are aware that there will be no “hand sitting” when, as expected, Westminster says “No” to a referendum.

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It appears the the SNP “powers that be” are assuming that a win in next year’s election will be enough to achieve the Section 30 powers. The presumption of good faith on behalf of the UK is an obvious weakness in the face of the ongoing Brexit charade. It is time more visible efforts to achieve independence are made.

Drew Reid

THERE is growing momentum within the Unionist media that differing advice from the devolved nations leads to confusion within the populace. The underlying theme seems to be that one uniform message for all four jurisdictions would be simpler and safer, and that message should be the one from England.

If one thinks about this for a moment then it is clear it is nonsense. Any confusion relates to the structure of the BBC (and ITV), where the message from radio and TV for us all is the one for England – the message for Scotland is given later during the “news where you are”. Thus England consistently gets English guidelines only, but Scotland (or Wales or Northern Ireland) gets English guidelines first before they receive their own.

And now the BBC in London is even trying to prevent the Scottish people from receiving advice from their own Scottish Government. The answer of course is that Scotland needs control of news broadcasting within its own borders, thus at a stroke eliminating the possibility of confusion. I am sure the people of (for example) Denmark receive advice about coronavirus from the Danish authorities alone without having to be confused beforehand by messages relating to Germany – even though Germany is a much bigger neighbour.

Kerr Walker

IT is abundantly clear that the UK Government is playing to the hard-right-wing Brexiteers and has secretly instructed the negotiators to leave the EU without a trade deal and make sure the EU gets the blame.

For example, regarding state aid and the level playing field, the Brexiteers love to hear “at the end of the transition period we can do as we want as a sovereign state, and no other trade deal has such restrictions”. No mention here of the 20% tariff inflicted on aerospace firm Bombardier by Trump because of the state aid it received. The EU is being reasonable asking for the UK’s policy on financial assistance to business to avoid conflict later.

This whole sorry saga of lies and false news is doing great damage to the UK and as a consequence to Scotland, which voted to stay in the EU.

Mike Underwood

THE silence of the Labs does nothing to help embattled Richard Leonard. Where are the condemnations of the Tory onslaught on devolution? Why isn’t Scottish Labour furiously giving interviews to fight against the damage that will be done to Scotland? Why isn’t Ian Murray writing columns in the Daily Mail defending Scottish democracy? Well I think we know the answer to that one ... the Union Jack suit says it all. Of course Scottish Labour – let’s give them the honorary title – are busy doing what they do best, fighting each other. Never has there been a time when Scottish Unionist politicians have let down Scotland so badly. Cometh the hour, cometh the election.

Mike Herd