THIS appears to be the ideal time for Nicola Sturgeon to present her promised “refreshing and very positive” new case for independence, as described by Jane Cassidy’s article in Tuesday’s National.

Now that all the excitement in the media over the council elections has eased off, it is time to step back and look at what has happened in the real world.

After the elections the SNP has 23 more councillors, the Scottish branch of the LibDem party has 20 more councillors, the Scottish branch of the Labour party has 19 more councillors and the Scottish Green party has 16 more councillors while the Scottish branch of the Tory party has 62 fewer.

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The media has concentrated on these figures and also making this election appear to be a close-run thing, while that was only between Labour and Tory for the top position among the “also rans”.

It has mainly ignored the fact that the SNP now has almost twice as many councillors as Labour, more than double the number of Tory councillors, five times more than the LibDems and more than 12 times more than the Greens.

It might be better for the Scottish branches of the Unionist parties if Anas Sarwar, Douglas Ross and Alex Cole-Hamilton concentrated on producing realistic policies that are relevant to the people of Scotland rather than on attacking the SNP.

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While the trio have been slavishly following instructions from their party headquarters in London attacking the SNP, the Scottish Government, the performance of every public body and just about everything Scottish, the SNP has been getting on with the day job.

The people of Scotland are not fooled by their rhetoric, they are aware that the SNP government is gradually improving the lives of everyone in Scotland – in spite of having had to cope with the austerity and cuts of successive Labour, Tory/LibDem and Tory governments for almost all of the time it has been in government.

The three branch leaders can and will become ever more desperate in their misplaced attacks because they do not understand that it is the people of Scotland, not the SNP, who are slowly and steadily cutting away the bonds that tie Scotland to these hostile Westminster governments and failing Union.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I AM grateful to Andrew Tickell for drawing my attention to Anas Sarwar’s comment that the Green party is simply “a branch office of the SNP.” It takes considerable gall for Mr Sarwar to try to appropriate that comment in particular. He will, I am sure, be as aware as the rest of us that the term “branch office” gained traction in Scottish politics when one of his (many) successors used it to characterise the attitude of the London leadership towards his own Scottish Labour party.

Perhaps he was simply carried away by the excitement of his party having achieved only its second-worst set of local election results since Holyrood was reconvened.

Gavin Brown

IF the advice the First Minister gets on ferry procurement is the same quality as she gets on economic policy from Andrew Wilson, no wonder there’s a “ferry debacle”. Andrew Wilson in Saturday’s edition was advocating an independent Scotland rejoining the EU to secure its economic well-being but only having its own currency “in due course” and “when it’s practical and the time is right” (Remaining in Union would be ‘economic risk’, May 7). Strange economic advice indeed, as there will be no accession of Scotland to the EU unless we have our own currency, that’s simply the rules of the EU club.

Iain Bruce