WELL said Joanna Cherry MP (Scotland might be independent by now but for the focus on identity politics, Apr 5) when she says she wishes “the post-2014 leadership of the SNP had spent half as much time on advancing the case of independence as they have on identity politics”.

I am not at all surprised that she hears “the message from the doorsteps of real anger from constituents who think that too much time is spent on virtual signalling and not enough on the issues that they care most about, such as health transport, housing and education.” I hear the same thing.

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I don’t believe an SNP government should be faultless but it has to appear at least competent if we are to persuade the undecided to take what many still see as a substantial risk. They need assurance that with independence their jobs, pensions and savings will be OK and that their children’s future is going to be in safe hands. We cannot continue to blame the UK media. They simply feed on the considerable scraps of dubious policy decisions made by governments of all political persuasions. That situation will never change. The real trick is not to leave so many of those scraps lying around.

The SNP turned 90 years old on April 7. Founded in 1934, it has sadly not yet achieved its principle aim in those 90 long years. I understand the entire official celebrations will amount to a four-hour ceilidh, to be held on a Sunday evening two weeks later, at the Glasgow University Union. I have received an invitation but I think I will give it a miss. There is not a lot to celebrate.

The First Minister has recently declared that when the Labour Party wins the coming General Election he will ask Labour leader Keir Starmer, very nicely I assume, “Please Sir, can we have a Section 30 in order to hold another independence referendum?”

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I think we can all guess what the answer will be. The UK desperately needs what is left of our oil and gas and is eagerly looking forward to draining almost all of our renewable electricity via the cables and pylons currently being planned and soon to be constructed.

Assuming a reduced presence of SNP MPs at Westminster for the next five years of a Labour government, the next electoral milestone in this 90-plus-year journey will be the Scottish Parliament elections in 2026. We have two short years to prove to the Scottish electorate that the problems of the past few years are behind us. The Port Glasgow ferries are a great success, the hate crime legislation has benefited thousands, gender recognition is accepted by everyone, long Scottish NHS waiting lists are a thing of the past, the Grangemouth refinery has been saved, bottles and cans are being recycled on a vast scale and the introduction of freeports has led to the creation of thousands of well-paid, skilled jobs. These jobs will include, of course, the Scottish taxpayer-subsided jobs at a Japanese-owned factory producing the very cables needed to drain our renewable energy southwards.

A loss at the 2026 elections to a Unionist party, or coalition of Unionist parties, perhaps even including our current Green friends, would see independence kicked off even the Scottish Parliament agenda until its next elections in 2031. We could even be looking at no real progress on the independence project by the SNP’s centenary in 2034.

Never mind – we can always have another Sunday night ceilidh.

Brian Lawson

ISN’T Joanna Cherry correct when she opines that Scotland may be independent already if not for the focus on identity politics?

Wouldn’t a party that professes serious ambitions to carry the electorate along on the argument for Scotland’s independence concentrate on same, and do everything to minimise potential opposition to it? So why have the SNP gone off on these social re-engineering tangents that are alienating various groupings, the cumulative effect of which is surely to diminish support for the party and, by association, the very drive for independence?

The question is, just how serious are the SNP to deliver? And why are the supporters one would think are indy zealots not holding the leadership to account for their failure to deliver, to even progress the case?

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I’m broadly in support of Joanna’s trans sex/gender premise. Although I do differ somewhat.

I agree that biologically men can not become women and vice versa. Sex is biologically immutable, its characteristics are ingrained in every cell of the human body. Only chemical cheats can give the appearance of sex change. However, some individuals feel that their lifestyle happiness rests in undergoing surgical sex change. I wouldn’t deign to deprive those who desire sex change of what they think is their destiny. And I look at those like India Willoughby for an inspirational example of one who has made the switch, is happy to have done so and relishes her life in her new identity – she doesn’t deserve to be attacked for her own private decision that impacts on no others.

But it’s a different life. And it raises issues of sporting and other equalities that can’t possibly align with real equality. Those born male can’t possible compete equally with naturally born females. Nor should they be allowed to.

My wish is that the debate would highlight that sex and gender are not the same. It’s nonsense that penises can be allowed to invade women’s spaces. It’s nonsense to claim that males can give birth. It’s nonsense to allow psychological gender dysphoria to socially re-engineer society, with all the uncertainty that brings.

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Of course, we all have the right to live the life we choose, and this includes the myriad genders, too numerous to name, how people may want to express themselves. That’s their right, and others’ right to reject.

But our law has to be based on plain truth, and that has to be the simplicity of binary sex. That protects all our rights, is simple to effect, and is biological truth, not psychological fashion influenced by a society that has much more important social issues it should be addressing.

Jim Taylor