WHAT right has Luke Graham to say that people in Scotland must feel comfortable being both Scottish and British? I was born and lived all my life in England except for the last 11 years since moving to Scotland. During those years as an adult, it didn’t take me long to wonder what being British was about.

After all, Great Britain had deteriorated so much as a leading light in industry and commerce. The rest of the world’s major countries had soon caught up and, to a greater extent, had overtaken Britain as leading exporters and producers of goods from kitchen goods to cars and foods. “Great Britain”? No, not so great anymore. Me? I never ever thought of myself as British. English? Well yes, the country of my birth.

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So why should a Scottish or Welsh person or perhaps even a Cornish or Yorkshire one be told that they must feel British just because some young former Tory MP with a false and old-fashioned sense of his place in society says so?

The SNP have been accused of being a nationalist party because a majority of Scots want independence. Not all independence-minded Scots vote SNP. We know for a fact some supported the Labour party. So why should we feel British? It is not a “nation” like Scotland or even England and Wales.

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should feel British when it cannot logically be defined.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

IN reply to the letter from John Robson, “SNP 1 and 2 was what won 2011’s majority” (February 22), it’s worth bearing in mind that the 2011 election was a freak result that was never supposed to happen and will probably never happen again. It was caused by a perfect storm of the SNP having a high vote share, while at the same time the Unionist parties all had a low vote share. The SNP actually won MORE votes in 2016 than in 2011, although a slightly lower vote share because of increased turnout.

What the Unionists did learn to do in 2016 was to vote tactically, and the Tories increased their list vote share by 10% and doubled their overall number of MSPs. The fact that the Tories won enough votes to win a large number of lists seats was a major factor in depriving the SNP of an overall majority in 2016.

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If the Tories get anywhere near the same vote share they achieved in 2016 (low to mid 20s%) – which all polling over the past few months suggests is a likely scenario – then a repeat of the 2011 result looks highly unlikely and Both Votes SNP will probably once again result in hundreds of thousands of pro-independence votes on the list being wasted. Action For Independence are the only option in this election who are looking to bring the entire independence movement together, and who will put party politics aside and work with anyone to deliver independence, so they will be getting my vote on the regional list.

Paul Donaldson

ANENT the excellent letter from John Robson, I agree wholeheartedly with all the points he makes in favour of this approach.

There are as many views concerning this matter as there are mathematical permutations under the d’Hondt system for electing list MSPs. However, the one overriding fact is this – the relatively small reduction of 2.3% in the SNP’s list vote in 2016 brought about the loss of 12 SNP list seats and the loss of a majority government!

I cannot see any argument that changes this indisputable fact, which came about because too many people were persuaded to place their second vote with another pro-indy party. It really is a simple as that.

I would respectfully ask every pro-independence supporter to think seriously about the above numbers, and to put aside any other argument till we get independence.

Dennis White

I WRITE in response to John Robson’s letter. Firstly, the majority was “won” due to the arithmetic of seats won at the constituency ballot, which was just enough to allow the votes cast for SNP in the regional ballot to have maximum value when allocating seats.

As we approach May’s election, not only has support for independence maintained a healthy increase (22 polls show a majority in favour of independence), the support for Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and her leadership qualities have and are maintaining increased support for her government and party. All recent polling indicates that the SNP are likely to increase the number of seats won at the constituency ballot – predictions indicate between 70 and all 73 seats. The delivery of these poll predictions will rely on the effort of all pro-independence support, not only the ranks of SNP activists.

The cost of that effort and delivery of that success will be the ability to actually pick up ANY regional list seats. Action for Independence hope to address this cost by standing ONLY on the regional list ballot and giving a platform of UNITY to the pro-independence support, at the same time reducing the number of pro-Unionist lap dogs, and then supporting the Scottish Government to deliver Scotland’s independence at the earliest opportunity.

Does Mr Robson actually think that with the actions of Backdoor Boris and his supermajority in Westminster, his Bungled Brexit and his utter contempt for all things Scottish, that the Scottish electorate will suddenly change in support of the Unionist lap dogs?

We in AFI are individuals and Yes activists and former local and national elected members, known in our regions and throughout the Yes movement. May I suggest to Mr Robson that a simple search on www.AFI.scot will enhance his knowledge of AFI’s members, while at the same time he can research our constitution and aims and objectives.

Pat Lee
Member of the founding team at Action for Independence