CURIOUSLY, when overcoming a personal crisis, it doesn’t half make you dig deep to consider greater crises. As a committed advocate of the need for Scotland to gain its independence – not only for the people of Scotland’s sake, but for all in the UK, hitherto blinded by false claim and deceitful government – I feel the question of by what means we gain our independence needs urgent attention.

The clock is not only ticking for all of us but is ticking for the value of our independence to do what it will have the potential to do for all on these islands. As our resources are squandered and the damage to lives continues, the mountain to climb becomes ever higher and likelihood of reaching the summit less likely.

Frankly, we will not get there without a party in government in Scotland whose absolute ambition is to achieve our independence. We already have such a government yet division, confusion and disillusion is widespread and dispersed among members, not only of the SNP but of other independence-seeking parties and no doubt independence-minded individuals beyond whose confidence and trust is there for the convincing.

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Those who seek independence are going nowhere! Their numbers are huge and their desire is resolute, despite disappointment before and since the current debacle. Pulling them together is both the need and imminent challenge.

With many members having left the SNP over recent years, more in recent weeks and days, while others have rejoined, there is undoubtedly much frustration within the movement and need for consolidation of effort toward our common goal. Frankly, I believe the only possible way to get back on track is by all concerned swallowing pride, the burying of hatchets between each and every faction of the independence movement and all joining the independence party currently in government reformed to include members of the wider and rejoining membership, thereafter campaigning onward and upwards toward independence.

Tom Gray


IN last week’s Sunday National, in the Seven Days section, Mike Small wrote about Scotland’s democratic revolution. I would just like to say that the most revolutionary words I’ve ever read are the following: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34.

Maybe we should all try that out and see what happens!

Charlotte Hunter

Ancrum, Borders

THOSE of us who have been on this long journey have always known that we have enemies among. It would indeed be very odd and a dereliction of Unionist obligation if this was not the case.

But it is now becoming more obvious indeed that some figures in responsible positions in our movement are the major sources of the relentless attack (and desperate) attack on our movement to independence.

“Hold, hold” is the position we take at the moment – and to be clear, we have gained new members in our SNP branch in the recent weeks.

The National:

The most common reaction I am hearing is “they are treating us Scots as idiots!” and “so they think we are the only country in the world too stupid to rule ourselves”, and we should lose no opportunity to answer the Unionist guff with these lines. And Ireland moving into third place in the world’s most prosperous societies is very telling.

In the meantime, can we look very carefully at some of the high-ranking figures and wonder why they seem to believe that undermining our progress in the Unionist media by describing, for instance, the SNP as a “shambles” and the like is how you progress our case?

I seriously hope that some of our highly placed figures are being seriously examined – and some of them will not be standing for us as candidates at the next election.

Dave McEwan Hill


ARCHBISHOP Leo Cushley, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, is in a panic about proposals from elected councillor Aude Boubaker-Calder to withdraw the council-given concession of voting rights from unelected religious nominees on Fife Council’s education committee.

He cites “a serious threat to the identity and Catholicity of our schools” and fears, “a first step in the process to remove faith education altogether.”

What does he mean by “the Catholicity of schools”? The teaching of unscientific ideas to children? The privilege of taking taxpayers’ money but only admitting children on the basis only of their parents’ declared religious beliefs? Where staff can be refused employment on a similar basis? The flagrant sidestepping of equality legislation when it comes to representing LGBT issues?

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That these religious representatives can vote yet cannot themselves be voted out is a gross violation of democracy. We teach sports but we don’t have unaccountable footballers sitting round the table. If Mr Cushley wants more of his god in schools, he should stand for election on that ticket like everyone else and we would support his right to do so.

Neil Barber

Edinburgh Secular Society

WEDNESDAY’S National had an article which referred to Angela Rayner “ducking” the question of a referendum. However, this appears to forget that the depute leader of UK Labour made her position on a referendum absolutely clear back in August last year when she was speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe.

At that time she said she wouldn’t countenance another referendum as it would leave England “to perpetual Conservatism at Westminster”. So basically she admitted they need votes from Scotland to give England a government that it hasn’t voted for.

Yeah, that sounds like Labour Party democracy to me.

Michael Docherty