IT has been a difficult few years for all of us, whether or not we support independence. It has been made even worse by the constant bickering within the independence movement, especially by some (irrespective of the parties they support) on social media.

While we know that council elections are about local issues, we also know how the Unionists and their complicit media would portray any Unionist gains. Surely now is the time to vote till you boak and rank all pro-independence candidates ahead of the Unionists on the ballot paper.

We need to send a clear message – not just to Boris Johnson and the world, but also to ourselves – that we will not get back in our box, but will come together to regain Scottish independence.

It’s been a long and frustrating road since 2014. We have our chance now to kick start the next stage of our journey. Please don’t waste it.

Colin Macpherson
Spokesperson, Germans For Scottish Independence Straubing

SO Salmond is publicly stating (Apr 29) that the SNP are shooting the Yes movement in the foot by telling members not to rank any other party in the up and coming election.

Really, and was this his rally call when he lead the SNP? Did he share platforms with other parties when he had the keys to Bute House? Was he so embracing to others during the campaign of 2014?

The answers to those questions are of course a resounding no, so why his change, why his complete reversal of strategy? Simply put, he wants to be back in Holyrood and having failed there, now at the very least he wants to be the power behind the throne. Instead of accepting he is yesterday’s man with yesterday’s policies and has an approach to workplace conduct that should be well consigned to history, he has created a fundamentalist party designed to wreck the campaign, and here the term fifth column is not an over exaggeration. Nothing screams bought and paid for more than the behaviour and actions of Salmond, his NEC and his bloggers.

I would urge caution as to how we vote today. The Tory, Labour and LibDems we know about; it is the independent candidates and those of Alba that I have great concern about.

Let’s get this done.

Cliff Purvis
via email

TODAY’S local elections have implications for us all, because they impact on so many aspects of our daily lives. So many of our public services are run by our local authorities, local services which we all depend on like refuse collection, education, care services, our public roads and much , much more.

Historically local elections command a poor turnout of voters. Why is this, when one considers our local authorities impact our lives from the moment we open our eyes in the morning? Surely a better turnout is called for. Voters have a massive responsibility and can change the make-up of our local authorities by just not turning up to vote. Our local councillors are at the forefront of our political system inasmuch as they are dealing with local issues, doorstep issues that are so important to our daily lives. Councillors have a responsibility to serve their communities, however I trust voters will also take their responsibility seriously and use their votes.

Catriona C Clark

I AM astounded at the rank hypocrisy of the campaign literature of the Tory party in Perth and Kinross!

They wish to get back to local issues like roads, schools, transport etc. They have been in power in Perth and Kinross Council for five years and failed to deliver on all these things. The have failed to spend Covid recovery money of more than £7 million on vital services to get our area revitalised. Shame on them.

J McKenzie
Bridge of Earn, Perth

SO Ruthie is back and the wee shilpit Dross is just that. This must please the loudmouth Stephen Kerr, whose only policy when we had to tolerate him in Stirling constituency was “Ruth is Good”. I expect he is hoping to become leader of the Scottish branch. That would be great, for then we could all see the noxious poison that is the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. Hell mend them.

K M Campbell

YOU report Scottish Information Commissioner Daren Fitzhenry saying the public release of legal advice would significantly enhance public debate” on the issue of independence raises two issues (Robertson defends referendum plans in face of ruling, May 4).

First, is it really within his remit to determine and “manage” the level of public debate on any issue? How can such clear politicking be within his remit? And how can this be justification to renege on the long-held convention that government can receive legal information from sources who have the right of privilege and commercial imperative for any information they give to be solely for their client’s use, and their identity protected?

Second, and I consider even more important, if Fitzhenry is rewriting the convention does this mean, in the interest of consistency and precedent, that the application of the convention in all of the historical refusals by government to divulge vital information, supported by Commissioners, can be revisited and his office will now sanction the release of information previously denied?

All of those with cases against government for whom the Information Commissioner denied access to vital information, stifling attempts to hold government to account for its decisions, must surely be waiting to resurrect cases disabled by previous Commissioners’ intransigent refusals.

Jim Taylor