ASSA Samake-Roman has very much missed the point about social class in her column in Wednesday’s National (UK’s definition of who is middle-class is crazy and needs to change). Class is not defined by income. She insults vast swathes of the working-class population in identifying “steady jobs ensuring we can comfortably handle rent or mortgage; the idea of a family; maybe a car; the chance to take a holiday; some spare cash for leisure, and an overall sense of wellbeing without going overboard” as middle-class attributes. Does she really believe that working-class people do not aspire to these things?

Unlike Ms Samake-Roman, I am pleased to learn from the New Statesman that a quarter of people earning more than £100,000 identify as working class, only I wish it was more.

READ MORE: Scotland needs good political economists if it's to achieve independence

The “cost-of-living crisis” that she alludes to makes it very clear that if someone is obliged to sell his or her labour or the product of their labour, they are only two or three pay packets from having their quality of life severely undermined, and from there not too far from poverty.

What it means to be working-class is not determined by income but by whether or not we have resources to survive without selling our labour so that we can live independently of others and possess sufficient surplus that we can pass onto our offspring so that they can do likewise. Without those resources we are working-class.

If the working class all stood together, valuing each other equally as contributors to society whatever reward we receive in return, it would be possible to overthrow the greed of those who profit from the labour of others by taking ownership of the means of production and its product. The rich and powerful upper class do not want us to understand this, and so they perpetuate the myth that there is a middle class between them and the working class. Sadly there are affluent working-class people who, like Ms Samake-Roman, think they have landed because they have accrued some wealth and a comfortable white-collar job. They call themselves middle class and turn their back on the working class.

In the words of John Lennon’s critique of the so called middle class, “you think you’re so clever and classless and free, but you’re still [expletive] peasants as far as I can see”.

Ni Holmes
St Andrews

GORDON MacIntyre-Kemp gripes that the SNP’s “work day” clashes with an independence conference (‘Reinvent campaign – or the dream dies’, Yessers are warned, Feb 15) . Surely Gordon is fully aware that the SNP is a separate entity and has the right to set its own agenda and timetable for events for its members.

Small-minded Unionists might assert that the wider Yes movement and the SNP are one and the same, but Gordon has been active in the Yes movement for some years so should know better. That is one of the problems that holds the wider Yes movement back, as not everybody in it is a member of the SNP and they think they can dictate to the SNP when to hold meetings and other activities.

READ MORE: Poll points to historic SNP General Election win – can we trust it?

We all need to take a step back right now with a General Election looming, and look hard at what is to come. Nobody can predict when the next election will take place, so now’s the time to collect our thoughts and get prepared for the next several months and, if the opinion polls are correct, win at least 40 seats. That will take a lot of hard work and campaigning.

Since 2014, the independence movement hasn’t made much headway. People like Gordon – and others in the Yes movement – seem to think that the SNP should do everything, yet they are the fundamental campaign groups rallying the people to vote for independence. That is the fundamental mistake of the wider Yes movement and they are following the Unionist trope in that respect. A political party follows what the people want if it wants to be elected, it shouldn’t dictate to the people what they should get. Gordon and the wider Yes movement are the ones who should be telling the political parties what the people want. Let the English political parties dictate to the electorate what they should get!

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon's resignation one year on - what's next for the SNP?

There have been some good letters and articles recently in this paper, and I would say that the biggest step forward since 2014 has been the suggestion that a Constitutional Convention be set up. Yes, we can sit back and wait until the SNP set one up, but we in the wider Yes movement can take the lead and set one up now. There are several prominent activists advocating how we should proceed, but why aren’t they setting up a Convention right now?

After the 1979 referendum it wasn’t a political party that set up the Convention, and the SNP at one time didn’t want to take part, it was Cannon Keyon Wright that set it up, and that led to devolution and where we are today. If people like Gordon were to set one up now, before the next election, it would fundamentally alter what the Unionist parties can offer Scotland come the election if they want Scottish votes.

Alexander Potts

THE piece about Josh Simons into Wednesday’s National should be a reminder to all who live in Scotland – the English do not even begin to care about Scotland, let alone give any consideration to its future. I despair, sometimes, that Scots forget this. You do so at your peril. We shall almost certainly see an attempt by the politicians in England to treat Northern Ireland in the same way, now it has started along its path to independence. (I love Thom Muir’s suggestion, by the way, of sending the seven nuclear submarines to Westminster pier.)

READ MORE: Keir Starmer ally appears to think living in Scotland is a punishment

We must remember that in the next Westminster election any vote for the Tories or for Labour will jeopardise Scottish independence. Bear in mind when you vote that the SNP, Alba, and the Greens all want the same thing. Forget about their differences. Just don’t vote for the Tories or for Labour. They really don’t care.

Tony Kime