LIKE Ruth Wishart, I am tired of the falling out between independence supporters (Time to bring an end to this uncivil war and focus on independence, Dec 19). But from there onwards we differ.

The Independence for Scotland Party (ISP) and Alba grew out of frustration with the SNP’s inaction on independence. Unless I have miscounted, there have been seven mandates for independence (or at least for doing something) since 2014. How many more do we need?

And those who snipe at the new parties seem to have missed why we are there, and missed that the SNP is doing nothing.

The SNP is stuck in a logjam of just moaning about how undemocratic the UK is. When other routes to independence are suggested, they are immediately sneered at. Other parties were not set up to “chuck boulders” at fellow supporters, but to create a super-majority which would have given us other routes to independence, although the SNP announced it would not go along with it anyway.

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Ruth does not like being labelled transphobic, and nor do any of us. The battle over gender reform is irrelevant in many ways to independence, but not entirely. Some women who formed the backbone of indyref1 are actually saying they will vote No in a second referendum because of what the SNP have done with the power they have.

Have they attacked poverty? 25% of children in Scotland live in poverty, all ages and classes of people pay way more than we ought to for energy in an energy-rich country, but most worryingly, SNP policies agreed by members are just sidelined. No national energy company, watered-down action on short-term lets which are turning communities upside down and pushing rents literally through the roof.

But letting men identify as women? Yes, fast track it, first year of the parliament.

This isn’t an irrelevance. People who once were for independence are against it because of self-ID. It is a sobering thought that the only thing protecting women’s rights in Scotland is the British Equality Act 2010.

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The Scottish Government redefining what is female means is making ordinary Scots angry. And they see a Scottish Government elected on certain policies abandon them in favour of a policy which recent polls show 70% of Scots are against.

We don’t want to be discussing self-ID. We want to be talking about independence and poverty. We have been given no option by the current SNP but to discuss it, because it impinges on women’s rights; battles which we thought had already been fought and won, but we are having to fight all over again. It is for others to judge why this huge distraction has been thrown up, but sadly it is not a distraction that can be ignored; many are suffering because of it.

Maybe it is time for the SNP to ask itself what it stands for, instead of attacking other independence parties who are actually on the same side as them.

Julia Pannell
Friockheim, Tayside

I AGREE with Ruth Wishart. Forget the differences until independence has been achieved, and after that you can try to sort out your differences.

I was in a bookshop in Cork a few years ago enquiring after a book which would inform me as to how the the two sides in the Irish Civil War had reconciled their differences. Once they had found a man old enough to know what I was talking about, he smiled wryly and said: it’s never been sorted out. But it didn’t prevent them from achieving independence.

Tom O’Hagan