WHEN Stan Grodynski exhorts Yes-supporting critics to put their SNP misgivings aside (Letters, Feb 12) doesn’t he betray his difference with them? He is putting his party before country, whereas they (we) are intent of putting Scotland and independence first and foremost.

I suspect there may be a fundamental difference between independence zealots and the wider, less passionate public; namely with regard to the alliances and policies his party has pursued in government, which have generated widespread opposition and increasing disdain for the SNP, as evidenced in opinion polls that show steady support for independence while support for his party has waned.

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The formal alliance bringing the Scottish Green Party into government, not voted for by the electorate, has been an unmitigated folly of political disaster proportions. The influence of that group, and the lobby groups driving it, has led to controversial measures resented by much of the public, not least the attempt at gender reform that seeks to redefine the sexes and, once again, which the public didn’t vote for. For example, we were implored to vote SNP last time for independence, not piggy-backed policy follies such as this, which Mr Grodynski carefully avoided in his offering.

While consideration of issues like these have clearly eroded confidence that an independent Scottish government would legislate for the majority rather than vociferous minorities, who doubts this is a major hurdle to the SNP winning back popularity sufficient to restore the significant majority achieved last time? Sadly, the party doesn’t even seem to recognise the problem, far less seem willing to rectify it, which it could by abandoning unpopular policies like gender reform, minimum pricing of alcohol (little more than a box-ticking exercise) and increased taxes etc (clearly an implanted political minefield deliberately embedded in the Scotland Act which the SNP has naively blundered into).

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However, even more than this, what energises independence zealots’ disdain for the SNP has to be the party’s abject failure to deliver on the mandate it has consistently had. The party has failed to properly drive the campaign, and its de facto leadership of the wider campaign has been little more than a damp squib. It could have led the marches. It could have taken Johnson’s Section 30 order refusal to be tested in the courts, both domestically and internationally. It could have used Westminster representation as a focus for independence demand and protest. It could have disrupted the constitutional process to create the situation where independence is the solution for rUK, not just a minor irritation.

The SNP membership have an opportunity to show they want to be part of the wider campaign for independence, and for their party to reclaim its de facto leadership role. They could insist their party leaders declare this General Election as a plebiscite, where all votes for independence-supporting candidates will be accounted for to make representations in Westminster demanding independence negotiations begin forthwith. It’ll be too late after the election to claim any authority for this.

So, Mr Grodynski and ilk, It’s not good enough to implore others to accept your faults and join with you. With such an important issue as Scotland’s independence, the imperative is to listen to those you seek support from, and frame the inclusive offer that shows you have listened and are prepared to work together.

Isn’t that one “Better Together” that all indy supporters could rally behind?

Jim Taylor