IT was interesting to read the literary gymnastics performed by Kevin McKenna in his column on Wednesday by way of justification for previous slanted comments regarding the SNP and the performance of the First Minister and the Scottish Government (Why you will have to put up with folk like me if we want independence, February 16). Much to his credit, albeit after performing a number of somersaults and other acrobatic contortions, he ended with the honest appraisal that socialism is more important to him than independence.

That ideological stance is of course respected, but then why when someone comments that Mr McKenna assists in the promotion of “79 Group” ideals (radical socialism), to which he is apparently sympathetic, does he embark on a perverse tirade about branding people “simply for holding a specific set of political beliefs or for belonging to a religious faith”? Making references such as “bureaucratic uniformity”, “by order of the cult” and “authoritarianism” to effectively label the views of others seems contrary to achieving “the values of the Scottish Enlightenment on which our system of doing politics and making laws is based”.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: Why you will have to put up with folk like me if we want independence

Certainly to achieve independence we should all be prepared to engage in open and healthy debate and accept different long-term political perspectives. While my own thoughts on social reform may be more aligned with Kevin’s than he might assess, if in the meantime we get bogged down in the pursuit of individual political dogmas (ie fail to exercise a little self-discipline for the next 77 days), while unreasonably branding or denigrating others who hold views with which we disagree, then we may contrive to undermine the goal of constitutional self-determination that could facilitate our common egalitarian aspirations.

Unfortunately it appears many in the Labour party in Scotland still cannot see beyond their big toes, which is why that party no longer provides a realistic path to socialist government, with the “Scottish Labour Party” unlikely to gain a majority at Holyrood until it truly embraces the founding principle of “Home Rule for Scotland”.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

IN his latest article Kevin McKenna tells us in no uncertain terms that to get independence over the line “you’ll need the support of tens of thousands of c***s like me.” Now I have no reason to disagree with Kevin when he says he is a c*** but he is not a stupid one and I am sure he is aware this particular argument works two ways.

Kevin asserts that his socialism is more important to him than independence, and I would ask how he is ever going to have a chance of living in a socialist country WITHOUT Scotland gaining independence? Socialism is certainly never going to be delivered by Sir Keir Starmer and it is very unlikely that the UK establishment will ever allow another Jeremy Corbyn to get anywhere near the leadership of the Labour party.

I still have my 79 group membership card and I would love to see my grandchildren grow up in a Trident-/House of Lords-free Scottish republic. I hope Kevin will agree that as much as the SNP needs the help of folk like him to deliver independence, he needs the aid of the SNP before any form of socialism becomes possible.

(Personally, I have no problem with Kevin and I am proud to be in the same corner as c***s like him in the fight against the Tories!)

Alan Woodcock

THE rail tunnel to Northern Ireland needs to be built – and built fast. Fast rail freight and passenger rail links will enable “hub arrangements” between the industrial areas of Belfast and Glasgow to the benefit of both.

The great ports of Larne and Belfast will be transformed into very strategic Atlantic trade ports given their proximity to the North Atlantic and Great Circle route – and now with direct rail links to the rest of the UK and continental Europe via the Channel Tunnel. Irish freight could board trains at Belfast for direct transit to the rest of the UK and beyond.

READ MORE: 'Early April Fool's' for Boris Johnson over Scotland-to-Ireland tunnel

A guy who is senior in the logistics sector made clear to me how bigger infrastructure such as a north channel rail tunnel will encourage the development of the very productive logistics sector, complete with its warehouses and transport networks. In short, the UK logistics sector will be more strategic. The jobs will be needed going forward.

Finally, by very happy coincidence such a scheme would necessitate the reinstatement of the much missed Dumfries-Stranraer line in the south-west Scottish peninsula to allow for direct freight trains between Belfast and rest of UK – and continental Europe.

John Barstow
Pulborough, West Sussex

WHY not build a link between two soon-to-be-independent countries? If I thought Boris was serious I would thank him. But of course this is just part of the love bombing campaign and is not intended to actually happen.

Michael Lloyd