HAMISH Morrison’s article on the grubby backroom deals between the Scottish branches of the London-based Labour and Tory parties reveals that Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are blissfully unaware that their minions in Scotland are simply trying to revive the fortunes of Better Together without using that name (Scottish Labour ‘endorsed’ by Douglas Ross’s tactical vote call, Apr 9).

Without alternative parties in England and any real understanding of the situation in Scotland, the Labour and Tory leadership in London are confused by the attempts of Anas Sarwar and Douglas Ross to maximise the effect of the pro-Union vote in Scotland without losing the hardcore Unionist vote to the opportunistic LibDems.

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Anas Sarwar’s “nod is as good as a wink” ban on agreements at local authority level and Douglas Ross’s unapproved campaign to encourage tactical voting are desperate attempts by the failing Westminster parties’ Scottish branch leaderships to delay the collapse of the Labour and Tory vote in Scotland.

It appears that the differences between Scotland and England have now become so great that the independence movement really is much bigger than the parties involved. Public support for the leading independence party has not has not been affected in the last week by the non-stop media-fuelled speculation on the problems of the SNP’s leadership.

All the signs are that people are looking beyond their party’s interests, and it does not bode well for the rumps of the Unionist parties in Scotland still clinging to Westminster’s apron strings.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

SHOCK, horror – gutter politics from the London elite. The SNP and Nicola Sturgeon in particular have been on the receiving end of gutter politics for years at hands of the Unionist parties and the British media. If anybody was asleep before the last couple of months of gutter politics backed up and applauded by a gutter press, they should be well awake by now.

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No surprise then that supposedly opposing leaders of London parties should encourage supporters to ditch their principles and vote for the other side to keep out the Scottish mob. They have been washed far beyond the gutter and are now swimming the sewage outflows of corruption, self-interest, privatisation and isolationism.

Murray Forbes

WHAT’S this – a welcome outbreak of optimism by George Kerevan? How pleasant a change to be hearing constructive ideas and options to take on the challenging failures of recent years (It’s time for Russell and Salmond to get round the table to talk independence, Apr 10). Good on you, George, hearing inside info is enlightening.

This is the time for positive attitudes to prevail over the petty personal feuds. We need all the attributes and experience we can muster now that the guard is being changed. Bring them all: Alba, Common Weal, All Under One Banner, Believe in Scotland all the indy forces ... come one, come all and bring on the National Convention to kick-start this new push to meet our goal.

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Let’s be positive and act as George Kerevan suggests by solving the problems – which, with the wealth of informed professionals at our disposal, we can do. The issues of an independent currency, energy control, transport management, border supervision, pension control (which was an issue which seemed to panic the public due mainly because of lack of knowledge), NHS and social care integration are not, in an independent nation, difficult to resolve. After all, our neighbouring compatriots have no apparent problems in this regard. These matters have been virtually ignored and we accept they were the main reason for our 2014 failure.

So who is best placed to bring about this new era of co-operation? Mike Russell has talked of this, therefore I expect a him to offer a “Laurel and Hardy handshake” to ALL our friends in independence.

Doug Drever

HUMZA Yousaf says he is a republican. But on May 6 he will not be attending the All Under One Banner independence rally in Glasgow at which he had promised to speak. Why not? Because he’ll be attending the coronation of the King of England.

I should not be surprised. I left the SNP in June last year because of Nicola Sturgeon’s fawning praise of the Queen of England – but I confess to being agape that Ms Sturgeon’s successor is even more shameless than she.

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Mr Yousaf also says he will fight for Scottish independence – which he believes is five years away, and he seems to think this estimate is good news. His colleague Michael Russell, SNP president, has said he does not believe independence can be achieved “right now.” Mr Russell also admits that the party is in the worst crisis it has experienced in 50 years. I do not know of a worse crisis older than that.

So, with the First Minister of Scotland too busy singing God Save the King – on Scotland’s behalf, in England – to attend an independence rally in Scotland, and the party’s president admitting it is so hopeless that a new independence movement must be built, what reason is there to vote for the SNP at the next election? Just as the Labour Party has long since abandoned even pretending to be socialist, instead presenting itself as a more competent Tory party than the current UK Government, the SNP has given up any pretence that there is any chance that we can soon free ourselves from being ruled by the most cruel and incompetent British government in a century.

If you are a British Unionist and/or a monarchist, and you like how the SNP has functioned as a branch of local government, then it makes sense to vote for them. But if you want our nation to make its own decisions – to actually be a nation – then a vote for the SNP is not one of hope, or even acceptance, but of surrender and despair.

Greum Maol Stevenson