IN a recent discussion with a neighbour, who although not an SNP supporter is possibly in favour of voting for independence, they wanted to know who they could vote for after independence has been declared. They want independence but don’t want to only have the SNP as the only option afterwards.

My simple answer was they could vote for anyone or any party that was on the ballot paper but that did not seem to satisfy the questioner. In an effort to explain, the scene was set that Scotland has voted to leave the Union, a conclusive incontestable decision has been made by the people of Scotland.

Post-referendum the voting system is not likely to change, and why would it as it provides the a most inclusive system of representation, so it will continue to be the constituency and list proportional system we have right now.

There would not be an immediate election to select a new Scottish Government, as we would be expecting this government be focused on running Scotland and working with a cross-party teams and engaging with civic Scotland to work through the transition of Scotland to become an independent country. A significant piece of work. Possibly after three to five years an election to Holyrood could take place.

My answer seemed too “politico-speak” and not really answering my neighbour’s direct question. Who could they vote for other than SNP?

A friend butted in, a big guy, experienced in the political world much more that I, and said he has a simpler answer. The question, he said, should actually be answered by the current political parties that stand for election in Scotland right now. Will Scottish Conservatives not stand in an independent Scotland, seeing as they are Unionists, and do not believe in a separate Scotland?

Similarly, will Scottish Labour stand down as a campaigning political party; or possibly the Liberal Democrats shut up shop again as they too are welded to the flagpole of Union?.

This seems fanciful, as their core voters will still be living and breathing in Scotland and will need representation. So these parties with their views on life in Scotland will stand and seek to represent their current and future constituents.

It is as simple and as complex as that.

Alistair Ballantyne

Birkhill, Angus

IT’S patently ridiculous for working-class people to vote Tory, especially now when this Tory government is showing its true colours. The Tories’ principal concern is with the acquisition and management of money, although you wouldn’t know it with the decisions made by Liz Disatruss.

The National: In the face of the economic crisis, was that really a serious question from Tory MSP Douglas Lumsden?In the face of the economic crisis, was that really a serious question from Tory MSP Douglas Lumsden?

Ordinary people come a far distant second place in Tory political ideology. In keeping with that ideology, the Tories have lifted the cap on bankers’ bonuses and their non-targeted tax cuts hugely benefit the rich. They have dismissed the opportunity to levy a windfall tax on the enormous profits being made by the big energy companies at a time when ordinary working people are being pushed to the limit by a soaring cost of living crisis.

Once again we are being fobbed off with the fiction of “trickle down” economics. The idea that the wealth created finds its way down the social strata so that everyone benefits. It’s never worked in the past because any wealth created tends to stay with the wealth creators who award themselves huge “fat cat” bonuses.

Incredibly, the Scottish Tories want the Scottish Government to adopt the Liz Truss tax regime. They are so blinkered and inept, no wonder they can’t get any electoral traction in Scotland.

We’ve had 12 years of Tory austerity and are now having to deal with the fallout from Brexit and a cost of living crisis. I feel sorry for our English neighbours, at least the people of Scotland can escape this madness with the option of independence.

Sandy Gordon


THE UK’s economy is in crisis, a crisis wholly brought about by the UK Government’s policies of greed! Markets are tumbling, the pound is sinking and mortgage products are being withdrawn from the market, all adding to the cost of living crisis.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney informed Parliament that the Scottish Budget is worth £1.7 billion less today than it was when set and agreed in February 2022, all as a result of raging inflation. This is a very serious situation for our public services on which we all depend, especially with winter approaching.

So I was somewhat amazed during Portfolio Questions at Holyrood on the topic of “Covid Recovery and Parliamentary Business” to hear Conservative MSP Douglas Lumsden ask if ventilation in school classrooms had resulted in door sizes being cut.

A question of some interest, but on a day when the UK economy was in turmoil was this a serious question? Thankfully, Swinney dismissed such a question in light of the catastrophic economic situation the country is in.

Catriona C Clark


LET’S make it abundantly clear to all, including Labour, that we will never seek any “deal” with them as a condition for them “allowing” an independence referendum. We should not accept that this is ever their decision to make. Being clear about this will also remove a propaganda tool from the Conservatives.

Any support for Labour policies should be granted on the merit. If we cannot convince the majority of the electorate that independence is in their best interest we don’t deserve their support.

No backroom deal with Labour or anyone else can take Scotland out of the Union against the wishes of the majority any more than any legal barrier can trap the country where its voters no longer wish to be.

So let’s fully focus on proving to our population where the interests of them and their children and grandchildren truly lie.

Gus McSkimming