GIVEN it is axiomatic that to gain independence we need all the resources the Yes movement possesses – pro-indy political parties, pro-indy groups and the many pro-Yes non-aligned individuals – I have a question. 

It is in relation to the initiative announced in The National (Nov 13) with the headline “Plan to hit one million homes with indy paper.” Mike Russell, political director of the SNP’s Independence Unit, is quoted in the associated article in Saturday’s edition as saying in relation to independence: “To get there we all need to work together with a positive and respectful message talking directly to our fellow Yessers and all our fellow citizens. I look forward to much more Yes movement joint activity in the coming year. Together we can do it.”

WATCH: Presses start printing historic pro-independence paper

My question therefore is this – why was this not done before this declared plan? What we can see so far is that this is a collaboration of the SNP, Greens, Business for Scotland and The National. Why was the wider Yes movement not involved? We were only made aware of it by SNP members receiving what appears to be an in-house communication with no invitation and no point of contact for others. The wider movement should have been engaged with so that it would have become a Scotland-wide enterprise with grassroots participation.

I belong to a grassroots campaigning group, the Lanarkshire Forum for Independence, formed before the referendum in 2014 to campaign for independence, 
and we have continued on that course since. It is our position that we are not aligned to any particular political party and do not promote any party’s programme for government, our sole objective is to campaign for independence. Our group consists of SNP members, Alba members, Greens supporters and those without any political affiliation, working in unity for independence. We have joined in national initiatives previously and supported the Business for Scotland pro-indy campaign event on September 18 because we considered it to be non-partisan, designed solely to promote independence.

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The proposed newspaper this time carries the political brand of the SNP and the Greens but the pro-independence campaign and movement must be wider and more inclusive than that. No political party owns the independence cause. I am minded of what Mike Russell said on his appointment to his present position – “I look forward to working with the vast range of enthusiastic talent within and outwith the party which is committed to a positive, inclusive and successful #Indyref2 campaign.” That’s where we need to be – pro-independence, non-partisan and all-inclusive.

John Milligan

REGARDING Iain Patterson’s letter about Scots (Nov 11), I remembered an amusing incident from my teaching days. The school was in a part of Aberdeen where the children were happily bilingual. They communicated comfortably in their own Scots tongue in the playground and did their best to keep the teachers happy by speaking the required English. On this particular day the nursery class was looking forward to a visit from a mum who was bringing her new baby to show them. The proud brother informed the teacher (a supply teacher with a scant knowledge of Scots) “Ay, mi ma’s bringin the bairn in the buggy.” The teacher said, in her “posh” accent, “No dear, your mother will bring the baby in a bag.” The boy was puzzled but kept quiet, as all sensible bilingual children would. The nursery nurse told the story and it kept us all amused as we passed it on to everyone we knew.

Phyllis Mackay