SNP policy convener Toni Giugliano appears to be appealing to us in the wider independence movement to put our energy and effort into supporting the SNP, telling us that a failure at the polls for the SNP takes Scottish independence “off the agenda”.

Well the SNP leadership should be seeking advice and learning lessons from the wider indy movement, not preaching to us.

READ MORE: Scottish independence 'off the agenda' if SNP lose General Election

The loss of support for the SNP recently is directly related to failures within the SNP leadership which demonstrate that the administration was in a right mess. We all now know it was incompetent, and the jury is out on whether it was worse than that.

We also know that Nicola Sturgeon – who is an excellent political communicator, probably the best in Europe – failed us by assuring us that there were no problems with the party finances instead of dealing with the problem. Nicola also took us on a dead-end road to independence by making an appeal to the English Supreme Court, which gave us an English legal interpretation of Scottish sovereignty which has no basis in Scottish history and which is invalid.

READ MORE: Believe in Scotland: Days of action, congress, and strategy meeting

So the SNP leadership gave the Scottish people a very poor example of maladministration and took us down a dead-end road to independence which led us into a box canyon.

Now Humza Yousaf, who was not helped by the previous leadership and was kept in ignorance of vitally important issues, has been trying, with some success, to get the SNP out of the mess he inherited. He has made some good moves, but has a long way to go, particularly in bringing the SNP into the wider indy movement where they should be playing a leading role.

The old SNP leadership should be a bit less self-assured in preaching to the wider movement and much more prepared to work with, and learn from, the movement. If they do this, and open up their vision to include all parts of the indy movement, then they will earn the respect of most of us and we will support them at the ballot box. However, fixing dates for SNP meeting on important dates for All Under One Banner activities is not a good way to start.

Andy Anderson

IT was noted that last week Alister Jack attempted to bully the head of the civil service to not allow any civil service staff to work in the department of Scotland’s Minister for Independence.

Fortunately the civil service refused to be dictated to in this manner, when permanent secretary John-Paul Marks made it clear that it was the job of the civil service in Scotland to support appointed ministers – telling the Finance and Public Administration Committee that it has been “well understood” that under devolution that the civil service for the Scottish Government “serves the Scottish Government and their priorities”, adding that the constitutional debate was not “theoretical” and is a “here and now reality”.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: 'I literally had no idea who Alister Jack was'

Asked what his response was to Mr Jack (who also happens to be my MP, as well as Secretary of State for Scotland), Mr Marks told the committee: “It is for the First Minister to appoint his ministerial team, given his priorities, and that ministerial team is then voted on by this parliament. Then it is for the civil service to serve that ministerial team with impartiality”.

In recent weeks we’ve also seen other unprecedented attacks by politicians from London-based parties on Scotland, and on our elected elected government in Holyrood. We had Alex Cole-Hamilton, the leader of the LibDems in Scotland, stating that Scotland “can never and should never ever exist again [as a nation]”, during a debate on independence in Oxford.

READ MORE: Scotland 'can never' exist again, says Scottish LibDems leader

And, of course, we have the leader of the Labour Party in London making it clear that not only does he support the UK’s Brexit to the full, he is not even remotely interested in rejoining the European single market, but prefers to continue with policies that have (and will continue to) inflict great harm on Scotland, where a clear majority voted against Brexit in every parliamentary constituency.

They used to be quite good at pretending to love us, whilst hiding their disdain. However, it has become increasingly clear that, regardless of which group forms the Scottish Government in Holyrood, it will not be possible to take devolution any further for the benefit of the people of Scotland. The London-based parties, and the lackeys representing them in Scotland, seem determined to not merely deny support to Scotland, but to actively do us down.

The Westminster cabal abuses Scotland at every opportunity – and no longer deems it necessary to hide behind any mask.

Ian Waugh
Dumfries & Galloway Indy Hub

ONE can’t defend Margaret Ferrier’s actions, but it does seem she is being more harshly treated than Boris Johnson and other miscreant MPs. Also, it is wrong for Labour to claim that she has neglected her Rutherglen constituents when Hansard research shows that over the past 12 months she has made many more Westminster contributions than Labour’s sole Scottish MP.

Ian Murray’s disgraced predecessor, Nigel Griffiths, was found guilty by the then Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Mrs Elizabeth Filkin, over the misuse of his constituency office allowances but was let off any punishment by the Labour-dominated House of Commons standards and privileges committee. Elizabeth Filkin resigned after pressure from some Labour MPs who effectively hounded her out of office as it was felt her standards were too high for New Labour.

Fraser Grant