JIM Taylor (Letters, February 13) begins his critique of my letter of the previous day with a wrong assumption.

I am not a member of the SNP and have never been a member of any political party – my overriding aim in relation to politics is simply to do what little I can to help Scotland regain its independence , as early as peacefully possible and without compromising my own principles founded on respecting our common humanity.

Furthermore, in suggesting that whether one is a member of the SNP or not, they should set aside misgivings over the current leadership of that party at the next General Election in order to further the cause of independence, I was arguing to put country before any party or individual views, contrary to what Jim claimed.

Certainly, I agree with Jim that there are many things that the SNP could have done differently, or better – both at Holyrood and at Westminster – over the last 10 years – and no doubt every one of us who support self-determination has different thoughts on how this can now be best achieved – but the next obstacle in our common path is the General Election.

While agreeing with some of Jim’s suggestions on the way forward, he does not appear to accept that a significant setback for the SNP at that election – as keenly desired by all the opponents of independence – would be a major setback for the wider Yes movement. Such reluctance to accept what appears obvious even to our opponents is, I believe, a mistake because it risks setting back our common cause of self-determination for generations.

As mentioned in my letter, the Scottish Government has had to confront many daunting challenges over the last 10 years – yet still the polls indicate that a majority of the electorate are on the verge of being convinced to vote for independence candidates. The fact that the “de facto” leading independence party has at times acted differently from what one would personally have proposed does not indicate that no-one in that party was listening but perhaps reflects situations in which decision-making has been considerably more complicated than has been perceived.

Returning to the fundamental argument of my previous letter, if avowed supporters of independence cannot put differences of opinion over decisions made during the last 10 years behind them and give the new leadership of the SNP the benefit of any doubts in order to successfully overcome the next obstacle in our common path, then we are going to struggle convincing 60%+ of the electorate that we are ready and willing to work “together” to deliver a better future for all of Scotland’s people in an independent country.

Elsewhere, on February 14, I wrote a letter to The National making a suggestion with which perhaps Jim might agree. I proposed that if a Gaza ceasefire was not announced by the time Westminster returns from its recess on Monday that Stephen Flynn should lead all SNP MPs – and any other MPs who wish to join him – out of the House of Commons, preferably staying out until a ceasefire is announced or at least until UK arms sales to Israel are suspended. However, I fully accept that such a move may not be as straightforward as it appears and even if it were to be clearly rejected by the party’s leadership, I will still vote SNP at the General Election!
Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

WHILE I recognise and empathise with Stan Grodynski’s idea of withdrawing our MPs in support of our antipathy to the UK Government failing to call for the essential humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, I believe to do so would be a fundamental political error in this case, for a variety of reasons (Letters, Feb 14).

First, the tactic of a walkout would only have its desired effect once, as any repeats would lessen it. And we need that effect to be discharged over the fundamental rights of Scots being denied by the Westminster parliament.

READ MORE: How will October 7 be remembered in Israel and Gaza in 10 years?

Second, historical understanding suggests that the ceasefire will eventually happen, but only when it is expedient for the political forces at work and associated commercial interests for it to do so. The devastating effect and misery inflicted on civilians will be subservient to this.

The conflict in Gaza is intolerable in human terms. I believe we in Scotland abhor what is taking place and are mystified about the corruption of morality that sees a nation born out of despicable crimes against humanity unable to recognise the inhumanity it is perpetrating against defenceless civilians.

The National: School and university students takes part in a School Strike for Palestine walkout in George Square, Glasgow, to demand an end to the Israeli military action in Gaza. Picture date: Wednesday February 7, 2024. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Andrew

The UK Government has decreed Hamas a terrorist organisation – a ploy aimed to justify its position on the stance taken against the organisation and support of Israel’s indiscriminate attempt to eradicate it.

But we all know this is the pursuit of the impossible by the equally despicable. There can never be victory when such wanton destruction can only encourage the hatred and distrust to render impossible the “peace” claimed to be sought.

We know full well who the backers of Hamas are yet we seem to “accept” their involvement. And we know that even if Hamas was cleared from Gaza, they and their backers will take their overt terrorism to the wider world.

Who forgets the maxim that one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter?

Peace for all can only be gleaned through dialogue. And that needs to be together in conference – not at the end of a gun or rocket. And ceasefire is the precursor to that wisdom.

For me, the difference in policy between Scots and the UK Government is just the latest in the long litany of reasons showing there is scant synergy in outlook and policy between the two nations.

We are culturally different, as is the way we would choose to conduct our affairs. Our political, economic, ecological and social aspirations are at variance with rUK and we wish to take a different path within the global world, with a message of equality, humanity, political and economic co-operation and peaceful co-existence.

And that’s why our MPs should withdraw from Westminster. To demonstrate to all that the time to sever this iniquitous one-sided “Union” has arrived, indeed long overdue.
Jim Taylor

THERE has been much talk recently about antisemitism, with Keir Starmer taking a hell of a hit in respect of it. Clearly, those that are guilty of it are beyond the pale. What can’t be ignored, however, is that those using examples of this for political purposes, who consistently ignore – or, even worse, deny – examples of Islamophobia as they don’t suit their politics, are most definitely beyond the pale.

The National: Boris Johnson

In 2018, that “effing clown” Boris Johnson (above) wrote that women wearing burqas looked like “letter boxes” or “bank robbers”. Was he banished to the political wilderness by a wholly affronted and embarrassed English press and media? Was he hell! With their massive support, he became prime minister of the UK around a year later with a whopping majority!

In 2019, Sayeeda Warsi – who was Britain’s first female Muslim cabinet minister, and appointed chair of the Tory Party in 2010 – accused the Tories of “turning a blind eye” to anti-Muslim racism in their ranks. She said the prime minister at the time, Theresa May, had ignored her pleas. She stated: “I have been raising these issues for over three years and still the party refuses to act. We now have daily examples of the most vile racist and Islamophobic comments from elected [Tory] representatives and members and still the party remains in denial.”

In 2019, the Tory MP and the UK’s only female Muslim minister Nusrat Ghani was bombarded by e-mails by her constituent and Tory activist David Proudfoot, praising Enoch Powell’s Rivers Of Blood speech and questioning whether immigrants should be allowed to stand for parliament. He also called for an end to “ghettoes like little Pakistans”.

In 2020, Nusrat was sacked as a junior transport minister in a reshuffle. She alleges (and why would she lie, by the way) that party whips told her: “Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues uncomfortable.”

If you look online, there are zillions of other examples – but you wouldn’t know without a lot of digging, given the complete lack of coverage by the English right-wing press and media. In Scotland, around half of us want independence. With all mainstream telly media being blatantly hostile against the cause of independence and only our beloved National/Sunday National being pro-independence in the printed press, we are basically treated as outcasts in our own country.

I would never compare Islamophobia with the anti-Scottish independence sentiment from the powers that be in England and their lackeys in Scotland. Interestingly, however, Scotland is the only Western European nation that, in Humza Yousaf, has a Muslim leader and, by the way, I’m very proud of that. Something tells me, though, that Humza has been subject to a bit of a “double whammy”, getting unfair stick purely because he’s a Muslim by gits that would never have the guts to admit to it, and ditto for leading the main Scottish independence-supporting political party.

Maybe the Tories treat one of their own and some of their own voters as outcasts but that’s not the Scottish way. To live in a Scotland where awbody is respected can only happen in an independent country. Arguing about whether or not the SNP are the best independence-supporting party in an election year is to hit the self-destruct button. It’s crucial there is as big an SNP vote as possible at that election. Remember that the next time ye feel an outcast in yer ain country!
Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay

PICKING up some chatter on how some are shocked by the realisation that Downing Street at a stroke could get rid of all devolved powers.

This they can do quite legally in the eyes of the world through the majority that they command in the Commons. There is no properly codified and written constitution in the UK to enshrine the devolved powers. We have them for as long as Westminster indulges them.

I, and others, have mentioned many a time that this upcoming General Election (GE) will be the defining moment in the independence campaign.

The propaganda of the fascista state is reaching hitherto unmatched depths of desperation as it attempts to stem the tide of a nation in its rebirth.

Any mistake – trivial or otherwise – is blown out of all proportion by the agents of SSGB. Anything – no matter how ridiculous – is used to “prove” that Scotland could not survive on the world stage as an independent country.

Yet, that same so-called free press is strangely quiet on the transgressions of the monarch, his family, his friends in the Lords and the Downing Street thugs.

All pretence of equality has been brushed aside as the money-grabbers of the Conservative, Unionist and Fascista Party transition into their final Libertarian form.

We need, all of us, to register to vote, obtain the correct form of voter ID and then use that vote at the next election to return as many SNP MPs as possible.

There are no alternatives for our campaign.

There is only one way to show the world our intent.

Please register and use your vote.
Cliff Purvis
Veterans for Scottish Independence 2.0