I HAVE been slightly taken aback by the social media posts and expressions of support for former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell coming mainly from the party’s MPs and MSPs, including one MP who stated Peter “had been kind and patient and complimentary about [her] baking.”

No-one likes to see a person lose their employment but if Mr Murrell had been employed in the private sector or in, for example, local government, he would be guilty of gross misconduct and instantly dismissed.

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If the chief executive of a company had, for years, concealed from its shareholders and board of directors the fact that almost half of the company’s customers had closed their accounts, I suspect he would have his email account locked, be allowed ten minutes to empty his personal effects into a cardboard box under supervision and then be promptly escorted from the premises.

I wonder if those MPs and MSPs currently offering Mr Murrell their sympathy and good wishes will be just so forgiving when it next comes to the counting of election votes and they find their support among the electorate has substantially reduced, possibly to the point where their own employment is terminated.

Iain Wilson

MURRAY Foote resigned over membership inaccuracies. Peter Murrell resigned as the person in charge. That’s how it works in a party that expects integrity in their leaders.

Vicky McGraw
Address supplied

READING the Sunday National letters page, I could easily imagine I had fallen asleep and was having a nightmare in which I was reading the Daily Mail or Express!

I will say at the outset that The National has the absolute right to publish as wide a range of views as possible on independence, the SNP, the Scottish Government or any other topic! We still live in a democracy, even if it is rapidly diminishing in a certain part of this accursed Union! As your letter writers have the right to express their views, I have an equal right to object to them! Not so much the views, actually, but the way they are put across!

I refer in particular to Alan Hinnrichs – the bulk of his contribution would certainly not seem out of place in one of the odious rags I mentioned at the beginning. In a classic nod toward the right-wing press he even uses the term “woke” as an insult! Well I have been called “woke” many times and in a similar fashion as that used by Mr Hinnrichs, and far from feeling insulted I consider it a badge of honour!

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Lastly I must ask – when did “continuity” become a dirty word? Scotland has had 15 years of largely successful, left-of-centre, socially conscious governance. The Scottish Government has introduced policies and innovations that are admired around the world! Does all this count for nothing with Mr Hinnrichs? He seems happy to rage against everything and throw the baby out with the bath water!

I share the frustration of all like-minded people on the lack of movement on independence and have voted for the leadership candidate I feel will put this at the absolute top of their agenda, where it should be! After all, independence is the wellspring from which all else will flow! Without it, and stuck in this corrupt and involuntary union, we will be left with nothing!

Drew MacLeod

“WELL, there you have it, folks – the SNP have more than 70,000 members” says Mhairi Black MP in her regular Saturday column (We must listen to next generation of campaigners, Mar 18). She says it like we should all celebrate as we still have more members

than the other so-called Scottish political parties. The only rather obvious flaw in Mhairi’s argument is that at the end of 2019, the SNP apparently had 125,691 members – so there has been a drop of more than 40%. Perhaps that is enough cause to put the champagne on ice for a wee while.

To put this massive loss simply down to the cost-of-living crisis is both simplistic and factually wrong as you can join the SNP for £5 a year – less that 10p a week!

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Contrary to Mhairi’s various theories, it is not in the main young people – their enthusiasm crushed by older, more experienced members – who have left. It is those older, more experienced members themselves who have left. I know many of them personally. Sadly for the SNP, they take their financial support with them – a fact which will perhaps become obvious in the party’s accounts in the not-too-distant future. As sadly an older member myself, I would more than welcome the arrival of more young people at our branch meetings the sooner the better.

The more than 50,000 members who have left are it seems already destined to be ignored and erased from Mhairi’s version of SNP history along, no doubt, with the efforts of a certain Mr Salmond, a man who forced the UK Government to grant us a referendum and raised the independence vote by around 20% to 45%, both of which the soon-to-retire current First Minister has failed to do.

Perhaps Mhairi should reflect for even a brief moment that, judging by the timing of the most recent membership losses, there would appear to be a correlation between them and the party’s recent obsession with gender reform.

Finally Mhairi states: “Arguably, party headquarters could have avoided a stooshie by simply releasing the number of members when asked – but the hysteria that followed was just bizarre.” The so-called hysteria is not so much over the time and effort required to finally extract the information, it is more to do with the simple fact that the figures have been hidden from us for years and therefore little or no effort has been made to try to reverse the trend.

Brian Lawson