ON the day when Stephen Flynn MP did an excellent job of exposing those twins of Unionist supremacy, Sunak and Starmer, in their attempts to undermine the triple lock on state pensions, Alyn Smith MP in his column in The National concludes that “a strong contingent of SNP MPs can bring pressure to bear on the next UK Government to deliver radical changes which will help people throughout these islands”.

It doesn’t take a Philadelphia lawyer to spot that the hope in the ambition in the headline is not matched by the under-ambition in Alyn’s content.

I am increasingly concerned that in as many weeks, no fewer than five of our senior MPs have publicly set their ambition as a return to Westminster to hold the next UK Government to account and with any luck hold the balance of power.

But Humza Yousaf has called the next General Election the independence election. Why do these MPs publicly undermine the First Minister’s and SNP activists’ ambition and commitment to deliver independence at the forthcoming General Election?

Independence is urgent for all our people, but today that urgency becomes more immediate for our older folk, the very people who put their faith in the Union in 2014.

There is a great danger to the party and, more importantly the cause of independence, if the SNP fail to prosecute independence with everything at their disposal.

In today’s Britain, pontificating on realism is a cruel nothingness, and comments like “we have to bring the people with us” indicate that Westminster is too comfy for some folk or creates a lethargy which makes manana dynamic by comparison.

Now is the time for our politicians to be evangelists for independence. If they can’t commit to it, why are they standing for Westminster on an SNP ticket, and why can their candidacy be approved by the party?

Independence is not an add-on to winning the General Election. Winning the popular vote is winning the election because we are then free. Anything else is defeat – though most, if not all, of the SNP MPs may retain their seats. At what future cost to our historic mission?

Graeme McCormick


In the past few days there have been some interesting letters covering the disappointing result in the Scotland-England football friendly match at Hampden Park and the best way forward for Scotland and Steve Clarke to progress positively. Simple – ensure qualification for the Euro 2024 finals in Germany!

I also noticed that former Scotland striker and media pundit Ally McCoist (below) gained some English media attention after his vilifying comments regarding the Tartan Army’s “drowning out” of England’s royal national anthem before the kick-off.

The National: Ally McCoistAlly McCoist

I must say I found his comments to be rather curious, especially coming from a likeable former Scotland centre-forward who decades ago experienced, on quite a few occasions at Wembley and Hampden Park, this particular practice was exactly the same as it is now. Fickleness personified in my humble opinion.

Why a sudden change in attitude over an issue that he has been well accustomed to for a long time? Better to hold to an element of reticence in this case and forget cosying up to English media associates with such personal affront. Indeed, there is probably the added spice of many within the Tartan Army who are not enamoured with the idea of “conveyor-belt monarchy” being foisted on the Scottish population following the passing of the Queen last year and the massively overdone TV and media coverage sycophantically glorifying the royals to the point it was unbearable!

May I also remind Ally that opinion polls in Scotland more or less confirm a real “turn-off” at English media attempts to try and shove the monarchy down our throats, much like their attempts to do it with a rejected Brexit lie that was never voted for in Scotland. I suspect this ill-conceived criticism may well come back to haunt him at some stage in the near future.

Bernie Japs


Itis hardly surprising that Ally McCoist came out with his politically biased pro-Union, anti-SNP drivel as Scottish fans booed the Anglo-British forelock-tugging dirge that is used as the English national anthem. He has plenty of past form as the embodiment of the Scottish cringe. My heart sinks every time I hear that he is a co-commentator on a match broadcast on ITV.

On Tuesday he spent as much time commenting on the English performance as he did on Scotland. He was supposedly there to balance the English commentator but as usual he did his ingratiating Uriah McHeep impersonation, essentially conveying that: “Scotland are better than they were but England, of course, are a superior footballing nation.”

He absolutely gives me the boke.

David White


Regarding the stooshie about booing anthems at the Scotland v England men’s football match, perhaps the following could be pointed out to Ally McCoist. Both sets of supporters exercised their right to boo their opponents’ anthem but Scotland won that contest by weight of numbers.

As for the tired stereotypical link to “the SNP”, most of us who support independence are not members of and may not be voters for the SNP now. Perhaps Ally is concerned about the SNP alliance with the Green Party coming as he does from a royal blue constituency?

John Quinn


Goodnews on the polling front from an unexpected pollster. Ally McCoist states it was SNP supporters booing the national anthem at the England game. More than 50,000 Scots at the game, so when John Curtice crunches these figures, the SNP will win every election for the foreseeable future.

David Coll

Isle of Bute