I WELL remember the days in 2014 when the Yessers and independistas very much appreciated the support of journalists like Lesley Riddoch and Ruth Wishart. They were regarded with enormous affection because they stood against the Unionist hordes in BBC Scotland and the mainstream media!

But I have to say to both that perhaps they have spent too much time in Scottish Government circles and have perhaps failed to notice the slow creep of being drawn into the in-crowd.

I noticed it when the reports of the Alex Salmond conspiracy began to emanate from bloggers who gave the story the kind of forensic attention it required. Personally, when I first heard the story raised I thought it was a put-up job.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: The truth about the Section 35 challenge

When the Alba Party was set up I joined immediately and was part of a marvellous Zoom women’s conference which discussed openly the nonsense, fears and insecurities unleashed by the SNP/Green approach to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

When Alex Salmond announced SNP 1 and Alba 2, I was amazed that so many SNP supporters attacked the Alba position although they surely must have known that the D’Hondt system of voting would give them Unionists instead of ISP, Alba and Scotia Future. But I was especially amazed that Lesley and Ruth went along with that proposal!

But the current situation with its leadership election jiggerypokery doesn’t appear to have rattled them too much.

The situation is absolutely dire now, and if journalists had any sense they would be approaching Alex Salmond apologetically and listening carefully to what he proposes for the next indy steps, or they will be caught out again as more drastic changes suddenly emerge.

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A trip to the Court of Session/Supreme Court about the GRR Bill is absolutely not what the Scottish Government should be doing. Another disaster looms for the hapless Humza. As Dr Yvonne Ridley has been saying: “Self-determination not self-identification”. By all means challenge the Supreme Court on their right to refuse a Scottish referendum, but not on this flawed legislation which needs to be fixed here in Scotland by a multi-party commission or citizens’ assembly re-visiting the 200 or so rejected amendments under the guidance of someone like Joanna Cherry.

The Alba Party has been horribly vilified by the mainstream media and Alex Salmond and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh have remained dignified and hard-working throughout this period.

The SNP will be going nowhere by using the same officials who were the see-no-evil brigade when the party finances were being removed from discussion at the NEC.

Yes, of course the Yes movement must come together, but that ain’t gonna happen until there has been a bit of a clean-up, and some trust re-established.

Maggie Chetty

OF course the Unionist branch parties support the GRR Bill challenge. They know it will fail, and its failure will (further) damage the SNP.

I am certain Scottish Labour knew the Section 35 would be applied when they voted for this. I am pretty certain that is WHY they supported it. And I am 100% certain all the supporters of this legislation know how unpopular it is with the general public.

What astounds me is that the normally astute Lesley Riddoch cannot see how this seriously flawed and ultimately doomed piece of legislation is now going to be used to drive the final nail into the SNP’s coffin and to set the cause of independence back a decade or more.

Nick Bowles
via thenational.scot