WITH the kind of flair he is renowned for, Alex Salmond managed to move the Alba Party conference from something of interest to members and political hacks to one of the main items on every news bulletin, with his announcement that Ash Regan MSP had left the SNP and joined the Alba Party. This sent another shockwave through the SNP, who hot on the heels of losing Lisa Cameron MP to the Tories have now lost someone who only recently ran for leadership of the party. To lose one is careless, to lose two must be concerning.

Not so, according to Humza Yousaf, who made himself look very small when he said that it was “no great loss” to the party. What exactly does that say to the general public? Any reasonable person must ask how many others have been elected who would be “no great loss” either. Mr Yousaf’s soor grapes chimed with many SNP members who claimed to have heaved a collective sigh of relief now that this “agent provocateur” was now gone, while others began sharpening their long knives as they seek to rid themselves of others who are dissatisfied with the direction of the party, such as Fergus Ewing.

READ MORE: Angus MacNeil to work with Alba in Westminster

A few weeks ago the SNP were losing voters who were switching to Labour, but it appears that committed independence supporters such as Ash Regan aren’t being seduced by by Sir Keir’s menu of continued Brexit topped with the magic beans of your choice, but are switching to other independence parties, Alba being one. The old saying of “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me” is uppermost in many of their minds, and it seems to concern no-one in the SNP that MPs, MSPs, councillors, members and voters are all bailing out. When is it going to register that the SNP in its current state is rendering itself unelectable? Nothing seems to register anymore, and every defeat or injury is written off without thought.

The SNP as a collective, from top to bottom, have now reached a point where they are acting like the fans of a once-successful football team who are now facing a relegation dogfight, and either refuse to accept it can happen or are consoling themselves that they will soon be rid of all the under-achievers and hangers-on. As a supporter of a team which has experienced relegation, the proverbial “season in the lower league” doesn’t always pay off and more often leads to an extended stay, a loss of fans and occasionally oblivion.

The SNP are on the verge of taking Celtic and turning them into Albion Rovers. The season is not over though, and with many fixtures still to play they can turn things round. They need to accept that the new manager is a dud, and they need to change things now if they want to stop losing their best and brightest to the opposition. Otherwise it’s goodbye San Siro, hello San Giro...

James Cassidy

HAS the BBC plumbed to new depths with the latest edition of Question Time? Last week, apart from the eminently sensible Alyn Smith of the SNP, we were subjected to a Tory minister, a Tory Baroness sitting in the House of Lords and the Whitehall editor of the Sunday Times, who is undoubtedly in that position because he supports and promotes the Tory agenda his newspaper is renowned for.

READ MORE: Tories are given too much BBC air time to spout misleading propaganda

Add to this a red-Tory Labour acolyte following leader Starmer’s orders not to say anything that might upset Labour’s attractiveness to the red-wall voters he hopes to flip-flop back to the party at the forthcoming election and we witnessed the right-wing agenda well and truly serviced.

Who could possibly believe the BBC is an impartial broadcaster rather than the establishment right-wing propaganda machine that we in Scotland know is deliberately restricting coverage of the campaign for our right to democracy and self-determination?

Jim Taylor