ISN’T it about time SNP politicians got obsessed about independence?

Most of the problematic social issues faced by folk in Scotland today – energy bills, pressures on NHS, lack of affordable housing – can only be resolved by a government with full economic powers, including its own currency, able to create money supply into the economy, not fettered by the policies of another government running a totally different agenda, serving a different electorate.

READ MORE: SNP leadership challengers urge party chief Peter Murrell to publish membership data

Yet SNP politicians seem incapable of saying loud and daily that the only way these issues can be properly tackled is by an independent country with access to the European single market. Some appear to believe that they can grow the economy within the existing devolved situation (not “settlement”, as the Tories are bent on power grabbing). Perhaps they can, but only very marginally.

Many appear to get defensive when faced with the Unionist challenge “all you talk about is independence”, when they should be on the front foot responding “too true, and this is why...”

There’s too much passing the ball across the pitch, or back to their goalie, when the actual goal is way up the pitch.

Roddie Macpherson

QUITE regardless of whoever wins the SNP leadership contest, or of their merits or demerits, the winner will need all of our full support and maximum unity if we really want a final push for independence. We were so close and are now so far. Splits and confusions only serve enemies of independence. The Lab-Con-Unity Alliance are enjoying their popcorn moments in sheer delight to see our contestants tear each other apart. We can pull it back if we unite.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour brands SNP's Kate Forbes a 'tartan Tory'

The people of Scotland will soon decide what kind of independence we want after independence in normal and democratic elections, after a short reconstruction period, to build our shattered country up to the standards required to abolish such poverty amidst plenty. Once we are in control of all our natural and financial resources we can form any parties we choose. The people of Scotland are our best asset.

English imperialism may say no, we cannae have this and we cannae have that. We say yes! Yes! YES! We will have all that belongs to us in a society of abundance.

Donald Anderson

I’M not a member of the party but I am pleased at how the SNP, along with the Scottish Green Party, have worked to try to make Scotland a more sustainable, fairer and more inclusive place. This displays a sharp contrast with Westminster, where politics seems to ignore compassion and focus on whatever the latest poll suggests will play well with right-wing nationalists.

If the SNP, under a new leader, play up to this sort of “populist” agenda they will lose the support of a high percentage of young voters, who are vital for building a future Scotland, independent in Europe.

READ MORE: PMQs: Rishi Sunak seizes on Kate Forbes's SNP criticisms to attack party

If they move to the right of Labour and the Liberals they will lose large numbers of votes to them at a time when we need a clear majority for independence-supporting parties.

We need to show our differences and be proud that we are a more caring society, or we will just be trying to recreate a little England north of the Border and many of us, though lifelong supporters of independence and democracy at the lowest practical level, will never vote for that.

The independence movement includes a minority from the bad old “English Out!” movement but it also includes many more who are deeply uncomfortable with populist right-wing rhetoric but want an end to rule from the imperialist UK and wish to return to being a part of the federal EU.

As I said before, I’m not a member of the SNP, but it should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of political nous that Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, by playing to that right-wing, anti-progressive tendency are, like Keir Starmer, deeply damaging support for their party amongst those who primarily want a better society.

If your choice for leader is popular amongst the Tory party in Scotland and the tiny QAlba conspiracist minority, they are, hopefully, on the wrong side of history.

Mark Johnston
via email

IF the performance of the Holyrood government is to be considered “mediocre”, in the face of the challenges of Tory-imposed austerity, Brexit and Covid-unpreparedness, how would one rate the performance of the Westminster government?

Setting aside the lies, moral corruption and rampant fraud, the enormous waste of taxpayers’ money by the Tories continues unabated at a scale that makes the Ferguson Marine budget overrun minuscule by comparison. Forget tens of billions of pounds lost to non-functional PPE, late and hugely over-budget aircraft carriers (without the planned aircraft) and other delayed military hardware. HS2 alone is now estimated to be £65 billion over budget (Lord Berkley estimated in 2020 the actual cost overrun at more than double this figure) and even with the northern extension to Leeds abandoned it is now scheduled not to be completed until a decade later than originally projected.

READ MORE: This is a Tory austerity Budget on stilts – it will only deepen the crisis

The cynical disclosure by the Tory government of the latest delay via written statement cannot hide the fact that even on the conservative estimate of £98bn, the cost of this massive folly is equivalent to the cost of paying the salaries of around 200,000 more nurses, doctors, care workers, teachers and police officers for the next ten years.

Clearly “mediocrity” would not only be a “dizzying height” for Douglas Ross but also for his fellow Conservative and Unionist Party MPs acting as ministers in the Westminster government.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian