IN tackling the cost-of-living crisis, child and fuel poverty along with racial and religious bigotry, protecting trans rights, abortion access, equal marriage and opposing conversion therapy, all is now assured by the new SNP leadership.  And with a fresh young Holyrood Cabinet, the campaign to create a socially democratic independent Scotland should now progress. I and many others joined the SNP for that express reason.

However, it remains a sadness that only 70% of SNP members actually voted in the recent leadership contest, where three contrasting choices were presented.

In truth our new First Minister, Humza Yousaf, while conducting the good governance of Scotland, cannot protect the status quo which has failed to advance the case for independence, despite the disaster of Brexit and dysfunctional and corrupt UK Tory administrations.

In realising what has been achieved with the limited powers of devolution, imagine what a richly endowed Scotland could achieve with the full powers of independence – people of Scotland, unite and rise to the challenge of Westminster’s wholly undemocratic stance and regain your sovereign national right.

Grant Frazer

I KNOW it is over and I should forget the election for first  minister, and let the new government get on with it. But one last thought. If Kate Forbes had resumed her position as Finance Secretary would not that have been, in a sense, “continuity”, which Kate said “won’t cut it”?

Marjorie Forrest
via email

YET again the Scottish Tories get their nether garments in a Gordian Knot by complaining that the SNP has appointed an independence minister. The Irony Party pointed out that they did not oppose things when Johnson created a Minister of the Union.

M Ross

LOOKING at the current lack of progress toward independence, you have to wonder what exactly is wrong with Scots.

I often cite 1560 as the beginning of the end for Scotland as an independent nation, with the roguery of 1707 an inevitable consequence – but behind all these “reasons”, might there not be something going on in our psyche that lends itself to submissive behaviour?

READ MORE: Former union man takes on top job at Scottish Labour

Or can it be that collectively we’ve come to believe that we cannot influence matters – our heads go down and we have, without even realising it, accepted domination by a powerful neighbour as inevitable?

Could it be a mixture of both?

How would you explain the grovelling sycophancy shown by many (most?) Scots over the last two centuries towards a foreign monarchy? This might be on the wane, but it’s by no means dead. How to explain the roughly half of us who would rather be ruled by extremely rich buffoons in London than dare to take charge of our own affairs? Something has gone badly wrong in Scotland when, almost uniquely among the nations, a majority is happy to be treated as a third-rate joke by a foreign power.

Look behind the pipe bands and the bold tartans. You’ll see that the kailyard mentality so despised by MacDiarmid and Grassic Gibbon lives on in a sleekit, unworthy manifestation.

READ MORE: Holyrood return for Alex Salmond on the cards amid Alba poll breakthrough

A media that is happy to run “Scottish” shows UK-wide as long as our southern neighbours get the message that Rab C Nesbitt, Jack and Victor et al are the real Scots.

Or the cringeworthy Braemar “Highland” gathering with its royal slant. Ironic when you consider that that area produced troops for the last attempt to overthrow the ancestors of those same royals.

Scotland and the Scots must be a worthwhile study for amazed academics from overseas who watch us as we repeatedly vote away our rights. And you thought Kevin McKenna was cynical!

Jim Butchart
via email

THANK you Joanna! (Cherry labels treatment of Ferrier by some in SNP as ‘shameful’, Apr 1) With almost 60 years working for the SNP (unpaid), I am so very glad that Joanna has spoken out for Margaret Ferrier and I am appalled at the complete negation of any sympathetic views on her position from the rest of the SNP.

The SNP are supposed to be in Westminster to fight for Scotland’s independence, something that Margaret has done in abundance over many years, and they should NOT have acquiesced with them. They should have rallied round and fought for her; instead they left her in a corner ALONE!

Stuart Farquharson

I LOOK forward to pitting my vocabulary against the Word Wheel and can boast of seldom failing to meet the target, but “Gaucherie”? Come on! It’s a Scottish paper, not Le Monde!

Les Hunter