WHAT a carry on! Every news day there is a plethora of desperate attempts by Unionist nonentities to have a go at Scots and/or their desire for independence. As if that were not bad enough, alongside these diatribes there are the divisive and often quite offensive comments by Scots themselves about fellow Scots ... even those in the same team!

It is healthy to have different opinions voiced but it certainly isn’t doing anyone any good to berate and insult the opinion-holder, rather than debate the opinion. I can remember – and hopefully many can – how praise was loud and often when Nicola Sturgeon steered the nation through the agonies of Covid ... now she gets dog’s abuse for voicing any opinion all because deliberate press photos of a tent successfully tainted people’s recollection of her!

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All and sundry have jumped on a bandwagon of “down with the SNP and all who sail or sailed in her” but surely for the sake of our nation, folks who were once accredited, even for just a short time, as having something worthwhile to say should think twice about HOW they do it.

Their words do not just damage the target of their seemingly “honest” opinion but also the independence cause and the outside world’s view of us as a people. To belittle a nation inadvertently is still belittling it, so those Scots who want their soundbites and photo calls, think twice about cause and effect ... and frankly there’s plenty having a go at us without you as well!

E Ahern
East Kilbride

THESE are trying times for the SNP and the independence movement in general. The SNP have been in power for 16 years and the party is in a period of transition with a new leader. Several leading lights in the party have recently announced they are stepping down including Ian Blackford, Mhairi Black and Stewart Hosie.

These factors bring their own challenges and Unionist politicians, press and media are keenly aware of that. They will make capital out of any perceived sign of weakness whether real or imagined.

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What we don’t need is two experienced politicians like Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond making their animus towards each other public. They should know better.

Nicola Sturgeon has said of Alex Salmond that he is “not someone I want in my life.” Alex Salmond answered with a swift rejoinder saying that Nicola Sturgeon “cuts a sad, almost reduced figure.”

With these unguarded and contentious remarks, both Salmond and Sturgeon seem to think that defending their egos is more important than defending the cause of independence. They are effectively doing the Unionists’ work for them. With their kindergarten tantrums, they are doing very real damage to the independence movement.

They should put up or shut up!

Sandy Gordon

IT is surely urgent for all prominent figures in the SNP and the wider independence movement to take a compulsory revision course in Scottish history. At every turn from the Wars of Independence and indeed before, the cause of independence has been bedevilled and frequently wrecked by infighting.

Independence can only be achieved by a “broad church” approach putting policy differences and personality clashes aside. Independence is more important. Heads need to be knocked together at every level. GET A GRIP!

Jim Hunter
via email

HAVING yet to receive an invitation to my local SNP regional assembly to consider a route map to independence, within the past weeks I have asked two of our leading parliamentarians about the possible options and what legal advice they had seen.

To the shock of those present, neither MP had read any legal advice or sought to research it themselves. They did not know if the Scottish Government or the party had commissioned any advice.

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I have to ask myself: can it possibly be true that the most important decision SNP members have ever made is being proposed with no outline of the options and their possible pros and cons? How many assemblies have had any platform guests other than parliamentarians give sage advice to the rank and file? Were they all singing from the same hymn book? Did they provide authorities for their opinions? Were they as much in the dark as their two colleagues whom I encountered?

It is vitally important that the SNP conference in October debates all the options. Scotland could be a nation-state in 15 months if open and agile minds prevail.

Graeme McCormick

YOUR article “UK Government criticised for involving itself in devolved areas” (Aug 14) was not surprising – just think of gender recognition and the Deposit Return Scheme.

But digging deeper, what was behind the invite from the Westminster government’s Health Secretary Steve Barclay MP to Scotland? Let’s have discussions and learn what lessons can be learnt from approaches to the health service taken by different governments across the UK.

Perhaps Mr Barclay is really crying out for help, as yet again in England junior doctors are on strike. Perhaps he should try sending an invite to those junior doctors to get round the table and sort things out. After all, more strikes result in longer waiting times for patients.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer: Scotland should stay in Union despite Westminster's issues

But then I thought, perhaps Mr Barclay really wants to take the opportunity to apologise to Scotland’s Health Secretary Michael Matheson MSP for the disastrous impact his Westminster government has inflicted on our NHS here in Scotland with a hard Brexit, impacting on our NHS workforce.

Thank goodness here in Scotland our NHS is a devolved matter.

Catriona C Clark