READING Joanna Cherry’s latest article I was struck by how impressive an act of self-harm it was for our movement (Why my removal from the SNP front bench smacks of double standards. February 5).

Whilst we SNP members may disagree on many things, I’m not sure referring to Ian Blackford and the SNP leadership as “Stalinist” is really a wise or appropriate thing to do in the run-up to an election. Especially when independence hinges on the SNP winning a solid majority.

Stalin, for those who may not know, was responsible for a regime that murdered approximately 20 million people in the Soviet Union. Blackford’s decision to remove Cherry from the front bench is hardly an equivalent offence.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: Attempts to smear or intimidate won’t make SNP any stronger

Is it any surprise that Cherry has been sidelined given her consistent ability to demonstrate that she is not a team player? Has she forgotten that she herself briefed against the First Minister to the right-wing Murdoch press on the eve of SNP party conference just last year?

We are so close to independence, and it seems that Cherry is only out for herself. She is displaying a reckless lack of regard for the broader movement. Her egoism and faux populism reminds me of one other politician: Boris Johnson.

Given that Cherry seems to hold such socially conservative views (even the center-right US President Joe Biden has more progressive views on trans rights), perhaps she would be better off as a member of the Conservatives. Because frankly, she is doing more harm to independence than they are right now.

Helen Campbell

I AM fed up of being questioned by Unionists about the future of an independent Scotland, how it will be funded, what our relationship will be with England, or the EU, and so on. So, sauce for the goose and all that, I have some questions for them.

Do they think that Boris Johnson is a fit person to be our Prime Minister, and, if so, why? Given that the UK has the highest Covid death rate per head in the world, do they really think that an independent Scotland could not have done better? Could they explain why it is fair and democratic that Scotland is almost always governed by a party which the Scottish electorate has rejected at the ballot box for more than 60 years? How can it be right that Scotland has been taken out of the EU, with the effects of the terrible deal already being felt, against the clearly stated will of the Scottish people?

READ MORE: Brexit triggers spike in anti-Scottish sentiment in England, study finds

Is it OK that the UK Government can impose a referendum on us, yet when we ask for a referendum – which the polls show a majority of Scots now want – we are told, by the government for which we didn’t vote, that we can’t have one? Why is it that Scotland, one of the oldest nations in the world, rich in almost every way, should, almost uniquely, be unfit to run its own affairs? I could go on, but that’ll do for the time being.

Les Mackay

WITH regard to J Finney’s letter (February 5), all Salmond needed to say was “go read the manifesto/White Paper”, which detailed the SNP’s proposals for currency. I think this was a mistake on his part, but it was all down in writing so it wasn’t really an argument.

Mike Gourlay
via email

I REFER to Andrew Tickell’s article in Saturday’s National explaining the reason for the failure of the case raised by Martin Keatings (No outcome was always the most likely decision in indyref2 case, February 6).

The failure of the case appears to be due to the fact that the indyref has not yet taken place and more legislation will be needed to put it there, therefore the case is “hypothetical” and can’t be judged.

READ MORE: Andrew Tickell: No outcome was always the most likely decision in indyref2 case

However, the question put to the court appears to have been whether Holyrood has the legal competence to hold a second independence referendum. That, to me, means, “does the current legislation, as it stands right now, allow such competence?”

So, in that case, why did the court effectively side-step the question by making it a “future” question?

Dennis White

I WAS glad to see a National headline with the word “jag” on Saturday (Record day for Scots virus jag roll-out, February 6). Coincidentally, “jab” was Word of the Week in Saturday’s Guardian, which explained its origin in the Scots “job”. It’s certainly true that in the Scottish National Dictionary (SND) “jag” and “job” are fairly synonymous. However, where I live, only the former is in common use. Regarding the Covid vaccination, I’m often asked, “have you had your jag yet?”.

Of course, the adjective “jaggy” has long been applied to plants like nettles and thistles. One of Lady Nairne’s songs, quoted in the SND, says “Then forward, thistle, flourish fair ... Your jags grow aye the stranger”.

Also, the football team Partick Thistle has always been known as The Jags.

Alastair McLeish