THE modern wonders of the internet allowed me to “attend” both the SNP’s convention and the AUOB march and rally in Stirling. I was able to watch the SNP’s morning session in Dundee via the internet, including the First Minister’s contribution, then drive to Stirling, have a very decent meal and a small cold beer in a local hostelry, and still be in time to see the arrival of the marchers into the field of Bannockburn. All credit to them: it was a very warm day and the march had taken around two hours. There was time to renew old friendships with people I have not seen since the arrival of Covid.

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I was even home in time to watch most of the closing speech by SNP MP Mhairi Black. On Sunday I was able to “catch up”, via a well-known video streaming service, on the parts of the SNP’s convention I had missed. This came with the welcome ability to fast-forward several of the less well-thought-out contributions. The contribution from Graeme McCormick was worthy of replay.

Official attendance figures at these events are difficult to estimate and, I suspect, subject to inflation by both organisers. It was very clear that the Caird Hall was far from capacity. At one point I counted 25 rows of about 25 seats. Cleary there were some people not visible in the video stream but there certainly seemed to be fewer than 1000 folk in the building. Given the importance of the convention and the fact that the SNP has more than 70,000 members, this must give serious cause for concern.

The numbers at the AUOB march and rally were even harder to quantify. I heard the figure of 6000 announced and I seriously doubt there were that many, but in any case there were certainly a lot more than were seated in the Caird Hall.

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The fact that more nationalists considered a two-hour mainly uphill march in the hot sun a more attractive proposition than a day in the Caird Hall trying to come to some kind conclusion as to the SNP’s way forward must come as a warning to the SNP leadership.

Monday’s headline in The National has the First Minister stating “Win and we will start preparing to get out of Union”. I foolishly thought we had started preparing back around 1974 when 11 SNP MPs were elected.

The SNP have had a majority of Scotland’s MPs since 2015. There are currently 45. When do negotiations start? Tomorrow? Next week? No. Only after the next Westminster elections, it seems. By then there may not be a majority of SNP MPs.

Dr Iain Evans

A VOTE for the SNP at the next Westminster election will be a vote to endorse Scotland becoming an independent country.

Nothing groundbreaking or headline-grabbing in that statement by First Minister Humza Yousaf, who was merely reiterating the fundamentals and founding principles of the SNP, principles that those who attended Dundee at the weekend would endorse.

Dundee certainly sent no message of “devo max” as the way forward, the message was clear and loud: time is not on our side, Scotland is being harmed, exploited and damaged by continuing in this union of unequals.

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I say unequals because Scotland’s voice and democracy is constantly being eroded. Just take our Holyrood parliament’s democracy being called in by the Westminster government because they can’t accept democratic decisions being made by our democratically elected MSPs!

Scotland can’t make decisions on pensions despite having an ageing population, on 86% of welfare spend in Scotland, and on having weapons of mass destruction housed only 30 miles from our largest city Glasgow.

Scotland needs to take the decisions that affect us all in our own democracy, and that was the message from Scotland’s First Minister from Dundee.

Catriona C Clark

READING Chris McEleny’s piece in Mondays paper, I fully agree with the “coming together” of all the independence parties and others, but when it comes to selecting who stands for the “Scotland United” concept, who’s going to select who stands aside and basically loses their job from the 45 SNP MPs, with no guarantees of holding the seat?

As for the SNP party “sitting low” – not that low, Mr McEleny, when you think of the numbers still in the party compared with others.

Ken McCartney

ALTHOUGH greatly saddened at the passing of the incomparable Winnie Ewing, and while conveying heartfelt condolences to all her family, Scotland also celebrates a great life well lived.

With her personality, actions and achievements, Madame Ecosse galvanised the movement for Scottish independence. To honour her lasting memory and legacy, unity of purpose must now be Scotland’s first aim, as we remember her rallying call: “stop the world, Scotland wants to get on.”

Grant Frazer

IT was interesting to read Tommy Sheppard’s views about the SNP on Saturday (We’re battered but we must regroup and wing coming election, Jun 24).

He said that Scotland will “need to become a renewable powerhouse”. That is undoubtedly true, but is Tommy aware of the existence of the Energy Charter Treaty, which would allow energy companies to sue Scotland should she make any decisions which might affect their profits? The existence of this treaty threatens Scotland’s move towards a renewable future.

I would ask Tommy, and all other SNP MPs, to sign Early Day Motion 1279 “Withdrawal from The Energy Charter Treaty” as quickly as possible, as an indication that they realise how damaging the treaty could be to the energy plans of an independent Scotland.

Jean Kemp
Global Justice Now Dundee