WHAT a well-thought-out long letter from Edward Andrews on Friday (Fissures must not be allowed to destroy the party we all built, October 9).

The incredible growth of the SNP over the past few years across Scotland undoubtedly brought with it organisational problems for the party’s HQ team.

Coupled with the fall-out of the last independence referendum, fighting a couple of General Elections and Brexit, while trying to advance the cause, run conferences and deal with the tidal wave of issues, enquiries and problems that so many people bring with them must have been challenging to say the least.

READ MORE: Fissures must not be allowed to destroy the party we all built

To have brought us to where we are now is surely testimony to the guidance and leadership this great movement has, and is still experiencing in the face of Covid-19.

Edward also makes a valid point about family connections within the party. But that is a good thing. Yes, that closeness can cause friction at times, but it has been a strength too.

It must be remembered that so many people have married or formed relationships having become party members and met as a result of working for independence.

Here in the east, I know of a few of them, the most obvious being the FM herself. I have great faith in the party and its ability to win.

My late father, a keen amateur footballer, always said that tactics and arguments should be kept in the dressing room. That when the game started, the strength of the team was in its team approach.

The SNP is a team, a very successful one at that, and as Edward said “is the only viable party for the efficient government of Scotland, and which can win first-past-the-post seats”, enough to win back our independence.

Lynne Wood
by email

SO MPs are to get a 4% pay rise. It is unbelievable – can you name any other public servant who is getting or has had anything near that? Not so long ago the Tories voted against a pay rise for nurses – the backbone of the Covid epidemic has been borne by many many on minimum pay and zero-hour contracts and yet without a blush MPs are awarded this pay rise.

Have they been outside their Westminster bubble at all? Have they seen what is happening to thousands and thousands of workers losing their jobs, and many many more worried they might be losing their job very soon?

Have they seen the anxiety etched on the faces of people going to food banks who never believed it could happen to them?

This pay rise is not just a disgrace, it it shameful, and still they tell us we are all in this together. They should be hiding their faces in shame.

Winifred McCartney

SNP MP Drew Hendry’s reaction to the decision to award a pay rise of £3,360 to Westminster MPs is very welcome and demonstrates an empathetic and realistic appraisal of the current public mood and the mounting financial pressures many people face.

Mr Hendry accused the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), the body created in 2009 following the parliamentary expenses scandal, of being “tone deaf” to the plummeting economic mire the UK is currently in and flagrantly out of touch with the zeitgeist of the people of Britain.

READ MORE: Anger as MPs set to receive 'tone deaf' £3500 pay rise next year

Since 2015 the IPSA has awarded pay rises to MPs that have been consistently above that of other public-sector workers. This rarefied body appears impervious to the extraordinary economic circumstances we now find ourselves in, with the calamitous impact of Brexit still hiding in the wings.

That the verdict to substantially increase MPs’ pay should come in the same week that the Prime Minister refused to rule out slashing Universal Credit payments by nearly £90 a month to the most vulnerable groups in the country not only adds insult to injury, but displays a Marie Antoinette-esque contempt for the hoi polloi. In sharp contrast, leaders in countries like New Zealand have shown solidarity with their people by taking a cut in pay for the duration of the pandemic.

There are, predictably, too few MPs like Mr Hendry who will make a principled stand and try to maintain the trust of their constituents and the public at large. MPs are richly rewarded for their work already. To accept a wage rise in the political and economic climate of today is not only an error of judgment but ethically disreputable. It is time to challenge the obscure procedures and practices of the IPSA and for democratic MPs to at least appear more utilitarian in word and in deed.

Owen Kelly

I DO hope MPs like Drew Hendry (and also MPs’ staff) who disagree with the IPSA proposal also reply to the consultation.

One of the final questions in the short, online consultation asks if the respondent is an MP or former MP, member of an MP’s staff, or a member of the public.

Derek Scott

IT is only through breathtaking arrogance and misconceived self-importance on a Dominic Cummins  scale that Ferrier has not yet resigned.  Her selfish attitude stains all of us in the independence movement who have stuck, and are still sticking, to the Covid-19 restrictions laid down by the Scottish Government.

Tommy Murphy

UK minister Kevin Foster MP has rejected the calls for Scotland to be given control over immigration, saying it suits our Scottish Government’s agenda of separatism. Perhaps Kevin Foster should learn from the Canadians.

The province of Quebec has power over immigration, so why not Scotland? When are we going to finish with this nonsense of asking permission from a supposed equal partner?

Andrea Annand
Address supplied