THERE have been a number of letters regarding “divisions” within the Yes movement in The National in recent days. I think it’s important to state that everyone in the Yes movement, regardless of whether they are Alba or SNP supporters, believes in independence for Scotland, on that we are all united.

However, the emergence of “breakaway” parties such as Alba is a direct result of the SNP’s total inertia in progressing the independence case since the disastrous Brexit vote in 2016. With the SNP riding high politically, the inexplicable lack of any action to persuade No voters to switch position between 2016 and the start of the pandemic in early 2020 is the sole reason for the breakaway parties being formed.

On a positive note, however, if the SNP leadership do actually start a robust, well-thought-out and ongoing campaign from spring 2022, then my prediction is that the entire Yes movement will move swiftly behind it and support it all the way, because at the end of the day political parties and political leaders are not what is important here, Scotland’s independence is.

But, as the party in power at Holyrood, the SNP has a greater responsibility to heal the rifts and put an end to the divisions it helped to create by openly stating it will work with the entire Yes movement – Alba especially – to bring about our country’s freedom, because ultimately, that’s what matters, not Nicola, not Alex, but our country.

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I would appeal therefore to the SNP to deliver on its promises to get campaigning under way in spring 2022 and deliver a referendum in 2023. I would also appeal to Nicola to make the policy overwhelmingly passed by her own members – to get legislation under way to form a Scottish Reserve Bank and adopt our own currency – the policy we go into the campaign with, not the feeble Growth Commission policy of sticking with the English pound.

Only the SNP can deliver this, so come on, let’s get cracking, Scotland cannot wait much longer while the Tories dismantle all our routes to freedom. NOW is the time to act. The ball is very much in the SNP’s court.

Peter Jeal


IN her letter of December 2 Rona Bird, with no facts to justify her stance, sets out to besmirch the character of Alex Salmond.

She firstly concedes that he played a part in leading us towards independence, but then tells us, “We were made all too aware of his shortcomings.” Presumably, she is referring to the trial of Mr Salmond, the trial where he was found not guilty on all charges. She writes, “we must accept the jury’s verdict”, but then goes on to do exactly the opposite by claiming that “we must also accept the verdict of the Scottish people, delivered on May 6.”

Oh, must we? Must we disregard the conclusions of a judge and jury, composed of a majority of women who were privy to all of the evidence and, instead, rely on the veracity of the biased mainstream media and the uninformed public? I recall that at the time of the trial, most of the column inches were concerned with the minutiae of the accusations, with no interest in the defence case where these accusations were demonstrated to be unfounded.

At the last election, Alex Salmond and the Alba Party put forward sensible suggestions whereby they could work with the SNP to cover list votes to exclude Unionist parties. This offer was rejected out of hand and, despite being well warned as to the likely result, the SNP shouted “Vote SNP one and two” and so they let the Unionists in. The Alba Party performed poorly in these elections largely because they were starved of any publicity by the BBC and the newspapers, quite deliberately I suggest. The establishment closed ranks on Alex Salmond, fearing his influence should he become active in the independence debate.

I am not a member of either the Alba Party or the SNP, but it seems to me that someone with the stature and political track record of Alex Salmond is exactly what we do need at present. It is my hope that common sense will eventually prevail and the Alba Party and the SNP will stop tearing lumps out of each other and get their heads together for the sake of the people of Scotland and Scottish independence. However, unfounded character assassination such as in Rona Bird’s letter will hinder rather than help this accord.

Tony Perridge


IN my National on Thursday I found Iain MacEchern, chiding the Alba party and asking, are they a divisive force in the Yes movement? Apparently we are constantly girning and sniping from the side-lines, and it really is time we grew up, and made more mature positive contributions to the cause. Next was Rona Bird having a pop at Alex Salmond. In spite of being cleared of all charges, by a female judge and majority-female jury, he should be aware of his shortcomings. The morality and integrity of the witnesses in the box are to be admired, especially under questioning by “the likes of Alex Salmond’s advocate!” Really?

There seems to me to be a constant hum from sections of the Yes movement, where this civil infighting won’t lie down. It is bad enough on Facebook and Twitter, but could I suggest that we keep it off the letters page. Our very own senior politician Mr Wishart is quoted in the same edition as calling out the hatred in the Alba Party. It has to stop!

Roddy Maclean


RONA Bird’s letter in Thursday’s edition can only be described as a travesty. Alex Salmond in his capacity as First Minister led the independence movement from a position of 28% in the opinion polls to a majority in the week prior to the event. Unfortunately 383,937 of our fellow Scots decided to hand back the independence we held in our own hands on that fateful date of September 18.

Her letter is testament to the comprehensive evidence and efficacy of state actors of dubious hues in their concerted efforts to bring about the political demise of a remarkable politician and biggest threat to Westminster’s political hegemony. Alex Salmond was found not guilty of the charges he faced by a jury of his peers, the majority of whom were women. The charge of attempted rape was brought by a complainant who according to the evidence led for the defence, wasn’t present or in the building at the time of the allegation and casts a dreadful and continuing stain on both our public prosecution service and Scottish justice.

The answer to her question about where all our optimism has gone is that the current SNP leader has become confused by issues other than the cause of her country’s independence, a confusion probably brought on by the number of times she has encouraged her followers on futile marches up and down the geopolitical feature known as the Section 30 Referendum Hill.

IN his letter on December 1, “Electoral route must be available as an alternative to indyref2”, Ian Roberts puts forward a cogent argument for this course of action. However, the sense of urgency is perhaps rather muted.

What we have in the Westminster Government is proto-dictatorship that will use any and all legislative processes to first emasculate and then may abolish the devolved governments.

We are in a very similar situation to Germany in the period 1933 to 1938 when step by legislative step and completely legally under the German constitution the National Socialists constructed a governmental structure that gave them absolute power which they eventually used to dominate the adjacent German speaking regions of Czechoslovakia and the state of Austria.

The legislative programme of the current UK Government is designed to give Westminster absolute authority over the whole of the British Isles. No other legislature will be permitted to challenge this authority nor mitigate the effects locally.

We in Scotland have had the privilege of giving our people many social benefits that are not available to England and these will not be tolerated under a UK wide regime. I would suggest that the time is rapidly approaching when any option for independence will be made extremely difficult by the legal framework being constructed with the UK and that unless urgent action is taken we may have a much more trouble ahead of us than need be.

David Neilson


THIS week Barbados formally removed the queen as head of state and became a republic. I watched the telly with a real feeling of longing that I’ll still be breathing when such celebrations take place here for independence. I’m sure the head of state stuff can wait till later depending on the will of the people living in Scotland.

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I quite liked how the occasion was also marked by the first ever President of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason, declaring the singer Rihanna a national hero, saying to her, “may you shine like a diamond”.

I have visions of a similar scenario on our independence day, Nicola Sturgeon proclaiming to a bemused worldwide telly audience, “Francis Boyle, I formally declare you our very first Scottish national hero. Lang may yer lum reek. Can you please say a few words about how this makes you feel”. Before oor Frankie gets a chance to speak Nicola, in a stage whisper, says to him, “Mind Frankie, what we agreed, please, please, nae sweary words and dinnae share wi awbody yer true thoughts on that man Gove.”

Frankie being Frankie, this went in one ear and out the other. Once his acceptance speech was finished the whole world’s perception of Scotland being about kilts, castles, tartan, shortbread and all that stuff was smashed to smithereens in minutes!

Oh I can dream, I can dream!”

Ivor Telfer

Dalgety Bay, Fife

A FESTIVE ditty:

Away in Westminster, where hope goes to die

There’s corruption and sleaze, backstabbing and lies

The cabinet’s made up of millionaires,

They’re directors on boards and have company shares

They told us they loved us and begged us to stay

Cause they need oor resources to prop up the UK

The debt that they’ve run up has gone sky high,

We hiv to get oot before Scotland’s sucked dry.

They don’t need a Santa, they’ve plenty o’ toys,

Mansions and jets and jobs for the boys

There’s off shore tax havens for squirreling their cash

No financial worries if the economy should crash

But Santa please give them the thing that they need

A special wee present to counter their greed

It’s no’ the whole answer but at least it’s a start

If on Christmas morning they discover a heart.

Indy Lindy

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