WHAT about a big and well-deserved thank you to Ian Blackford for his loyalty to the cause, his consistent and persistent rebuttal of Tory misinformation.

Well done, Ian, and thank you for your untiring effort on Scotland’s behalf. No-one can say you have done nothing towards independence!

Valerie and Mark Waters
via email

SNP MPs at Westminster would do well to remember they are part of the national SNP family and not a new political party – the clue being in their title – before they go rogue in the jungle.

In the article by Abbi Garton-Crosbie about Ian Blackford standing down as party leader at Westminster, a comment was highlighted from an anonymous SNP MP stating it would bring an end to “remote control” decision making from Edinburgh (The inside story of Blackford’s resignation, Dec 2).

While the Westminster MPs should be free to use their local knowledge to influence their actions, they should remember that the party does have an overall leader, executive and voters in Scotland who are the ultimate decision-makers for the party both in Scotland and Westminster.

Christine Smith

READ MORE: Ian Blackford reveals truth about 'friendship' with Boris Johnson

I WAS amazed when listening to Original 106 FM news on Thursday that on mentioning Ian Blackford stepping down, they spoke to Labour MP Ian Murray, who gave his usual bullshit opinion on what was going on! Was there no SNP member available for comment? I mean why would you ask a rival group’s opinion without seeking out some semblance of balance to the item?

Now I don’t know who is supplying the independent radio stations with their news, but between them and now on a regular basis STV, we seem to be getting a daily diatribe of bad news about NHS Scotland and it’s just not on. Between the pandemic, Brexit and austerity, the NHS anywhere in the UK is going to take years to catch up with their backlog of operations and investigations.

I don’t know who is setting the agenda for these two companies, but they could end up being boycotted by independence supporters, just like me as I do BBC news, if they don’t start to introduce balance and context to their news items.

Steve Cunningham

THE independence question is caught in an inevitable but interesting dichotomy in that Westminster governments have repeatedly demeaned Scotland’s worth and contribution to the wellbeing of the UK. The consequence is that a populace down south can legitimately respond by assuming they’d be better off without the burden of Scotland.

For many years I’ve thought that the truth will out, and the article by Hamish Morrison highlighting Rona MacKay’s analysis of UK opinion on Scotland’s right to hold an independence referendum might well be at last shining light on the deception of Westminster governments that has long been felt in Scotland, but is now inadvertently, though inevitably, becoming clear down south (Majority of UK voters back Scotland holding indyref2 in 2023, The National, Dec 3).

Could this be a bring-on-the-popcorn moment, as UK governments change their tune and wriggle in ever-decreasing circles toward their own admission of guilt while attempting to get back into step with the majority of the British electorate? Oh, I canny wait!

Tom Gray

I AGREE with Iain Evans’s letter in Friday’s National that treating the next General Election as a “de facto” referendum is a bad idea. It appears that many Yes supporters support holding a Scottish election on October 19 2023, the date proposed for a referendum by the Scottish Government, as their preferred option. To make the General Election the “de facto” referendum means that 16- and 17-year-olds cannot vote. As we know, they are the strongest supporters of independence and their future is at stake in a big way.

That would not be democracy. Similarly, EU citizens would be deprived of a vote and many support the SNP policy of rejoining Europe. Surely the Scottish election proposal must be discussed at the special assembly the Scottish Government is organising in the spring and not ruled out as Keith Brown, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, appears to have done.

Susan Grant

PARLIAMENTARIANS of all stripes and civil society should engage constructively with the points raised by Special Rapporteur Reem Alsalem (Scots women’s groups hit back after UN official’s self-ID warning, Dec 1). Any mature democracy should welcome scrutiny from all the United Nations thematic experts in their various fields, whether they are expressing concerns or praise. When Scotland is independent, this will be the bread and butter of participation in the international community.

Susan L Kemp
Leith, Edinburgh