I GOOGLED SNP Alyn Smith MP on Wednesday morning because I wanted to know if he had been born when I joined the SNP. It seems that he was around then but had just celebrated his first birthday.

Having been an SNP council group leader for more than ten years, I can appreciate that getting all the members of a political group to get on with one another all the time is a virtually impossible task. In this respect I had great sympathy for Ian Blackford and will continue to have the same for his replacement Stephen Flynn. It cannot be easy to lead more than 40 individuals (some very individual) at Westminster.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry tells Alyn Smith: I won't be leaving SNP over gender reforms

However, I do take some exception to Alyn Smith’s recent public demands that Joanna Cherry leave the SNP. If we are ever to win independence we need all the clever folk we can get. Ms Cherry is clearly one of them but I am becoming unsure that Mr Smith fits that description. If all the SNP members who are unconvinced of the major benefits of the recent gender recognotion legislation, and are unimpressed with the recent events in the Scottish Prison Service, left the party it would be a much smaller entity.

I may be old, and with it old-fashioned, but the thought of facilitating 16-year-olds to change their sex is basically not very appealing to me. We limit their access to tobacco, fireworks, driving cars and alcohol for what seem good reasons. The ordinary members of the public I meet are puzzled and, in the main, disappointed that their Scottish Government appears to have prioritised this subject over many other more pressing matters.

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: UK has to get real as the EU is sick of its nonsense

In September last year, there were 9130 children living in temporary accommodation – a 31% rise in three years. To put it another way, 2155 more children were without a permanent home than in 2019. I suspect most would favour a permanent home over easier access to a gender recognition certificate.

The number of people classed as homeless in Scotland hit an all-time high last year, according to the latest figures. There were 28,944 homelessness cases in September 2022 – the highest since Scottish Government records began in 2002. The figures were an 11% rise on the previous year. 1644 of homelessness applicants reported sleeping rough.

I sadly find myself agreeing with columnist Kevin McKenna when he says: “In recent years, I’ve sensed that the SNP has been hollowed out by small interest groups who simply have no knowledge of or interest in the large voter group who remain to be persuaded by the cause of independence.”

Brian Lawson

WHEN Alyn Smith states that Joanna Cherry should leave the party for not agreeing with an SNP policy, doesn’t he just show us how appalling our parliamentary system can be?

Doesn’t Smith forget that the loyalty of our elected representatives lies first with the electorate, not the party hacks imposing the control clique’s own policies? It’s admirable that those like Cherry maintain their convictions and campaign accordingly. Isn’t it just a pity that those who opposed Brexit rolled over and accepted the biggest single cause of our current economic distress.

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As an indy supporter who vehemently opposes the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, I’m now in the invidious position of somewhat welcoming the British government I abhor intervening.

Perhaps Smith could explain why I should vote SNP again in a de facto referendum election when we’ve already done that, and his party put inordinate energy into gender recognition while failing to accord the independence issue equal conviction and deliver the referendum?

Jim Taylor