LESLEY Riddoch’s article, “Transformative new partnership can signpost the way to a referendum win, (Aug 26) reveals the conflict that lies at the heart of the “professional governance” approach which the SNP and the Greens seem to be adopting by entering into a partnership.

If you believe that the problems which beset Scotland arise from the parasitic rule of the Palace of Westminster and that independence now is the only corrective measure, it is counter-productive to devote almost all your energy to making the status quo work.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: New SNP-Greens partnership can signpost the way to independence

Lesley Riddoch is generous-minded. She writes about the positive views which underpin co-operation and efficiency. But she reveals her understanding of the risk of mixed messages at the end of her piece. “If the new leadership falter, independence will pay the price.” The blunt albeit negative truth that we are being dismantled as a political and cultural entity must be the headline on our banner.

Once, the SNP was a party which seemed to have the spirit to challenge the selfish establishments which distort Scottish life and our environment. Till recently the Green Party took over that function. By uniting, the old radicalism is being blunted and the hope of true freedom blighted.

We need to be independent immediately.

Iain WD Forde

WITH agreement reached on Green MSPs joining SNP MSPs in Scotland’s government, it appears that some ardent supporters of the UK constitutional status quo have still not accepted the democratic mandate of the Scottish Government to hold a second Scottish independence referendum on terms previously agreed with the UK Government under the Edinburgh Agreement.

The proposition by Alister Jack, “Secretary of State for Scotland”, and others expressing their views across various UK newspaper letters pages, that a threshold of 60% of sustained polling intentions in favour of holding a referendum should be required, appear to indicate a devious intent to move the goalposts for the next referendum from what the UK and Scottish governments agreed, ie that a majority vote would determine the result.

READ MORE: Faux outrage will not cut it ... we need to see UK’s bluff being called

Furthermore, the UK is governed through adherence to precedence and favourable polling was not needed to conduct the only UK referendum since 2014. Nothing more than a simple majority was required to bring about the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in spite of the narrow margin in support of Brexit. Certainly if a threshold of 60% had been required in the referendum itself, the extreme outcome could probably have been avoided and we would not now be witnessing the potentially disastrous decline in Scotland’s food and drinks exports as well as increasingly empty supermarket shelves, but this is “UK democracy”.

For those who have remained silent through the whole Brexit referendum process dictated by an ideologically-driven right-wing Tory government (that even refused to include representatives of the devolved governments in the Brexit negotiations) to now proclaim the necessity of new standards for the holding of Scotland’s second independence referendum smacks of more than a little hypocrisy.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

THE new session of the Holyrood Parliament commenced yesterday and some things never change!

I speak of the Conservative benches and one of my list MSPs (Stephen Kerr, Central Scotland). On rising Mr Kerr accused the Holyrood Parliament of being “bloated” in association with the new “formal agreement” between the SNP and the Greens. He went on to inform the chamber how much the appointment of two new junior Scottish ministers (from the Greens) will ultimately cost the taxpayer!

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon has the perfect response to Stephen Kerr's complaint about Green deal

Scotland’s First Minister was quick to her feet, taking no lessons from Mr Kerr and the Conservatives regarding government expenditure. The First Minister highlighted the expense of the redundant Scotland Office and went on to refer to the second-largest parliamentary assembly in the world after China’s national people’s congress, the House of Lords!

Mr Kerr’s interest in government expenditure was certainly well hidden while he served in the House of Commons. Some things never change!

Catriona C Clark

NOWADAYS you rarely hear about the abhorrent food banks.They have become an established normal part of daily living. Their proliferation around the country is a national disgrace.

And now we hear of the imminent cut to Universal Credit. Coupled with the shortage of some foods on the supermarket shelves, heating prices rising, the government void of action to increase the number of HGV drivers. Christmas looming.

Food banks, charities and decent people will no doubt try to step up to the plate, unlike the pathetic Tory government, Inactive and void of empathy. What a mess! All because of Brexit and in particular the overall desire to curb immigration. Talk about “cut your nose off to spite your face,” but of course it doesn’t affect them, the “I’m alright, Jack” brigade, the Tory followers, the reasonably well-off. They are cocooned, oblivious to the suffering around them.

Nicola, we can’t wait five years. Some definitive action to sever our connection with a corrupt, self-interested regime must be seen now, please! Things can only get worse for so many!

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

IN yesterday’s National, Michael Fry asked: “Why are we trying to run rich Scotland on policies for the poor?” It is because we have seen and experienced the effects of successive governments that have run the poor UK on policies for the rich.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry