WITH all due respect to Andy Anderson (Letters, Jul 13), whose contributions to this newspaper I always look forward to reading, he appears to have misread my letter of July 10.

I did not argue against the concept of uniting supporters of independence behind a single independence candidate, in fact I expressed the view that it had “merit”. What I did attempt to convey was my opinion (as a local resident) that the single candidate for East Lothian should probably not be Kenny MacAskill (assuming that, in spite of approaching retirement age, he would wish to stand again) because he has lost the respect of many who previously voted SNP, including both party members and those such as myself who are not affiliated to any political party.

READ MORE: Angus MacNeil insists he has 'absolutely no plans' to join Alba

Of course, the simple approach of backing the current MP (if representing an independence party) in the next General Election is straightforward, but when that MP is now standing for a different party from the one represented when elected, the reality is more complex, especially in East Lothian where that MP seems to have conducted a personal vendetta against his former party (and still the leading party of independence), the SNP.

The outcome all supporters of self-determination wish is for independence candidates to win the highest possible number of seats with the highest possible number of votes cast. What no independence supporter wishes is for the Labour Party, as long as it refuses to support self-determination, to win any seat in Scotland, particularly a seat that with considered forethought or some humility could have been another win for a party representing our common cause.

READ MORE: Operation Branchform emails released by Scottish Government

Perhaps what might unite all of the “Yes movement”, including supporters of the Green and Alba parties, behind single independence candidates proposed by the SNP, is a pledge (a suggestion arising from a recent conversation with former East Lothian councillor Fraser McAllister) that each and every SNP candidate, if elected, will commit to a planned course of explicit follow-up actions outlined in the party’s manifesto and, importantly, to never standing again for a seat at Westminster.

Such a commitment will not only focus minds but compel SNP MPs to pursue any and all appropriate steps, including those that appear less straightforward or are truly radical, to fulfil the primary mandate of delivering independence on which they were elected. In any constituency where it can be demonstrated (via local convention, polling, or otherwise) that a candidate from a party other than the SNP has a better prospect of winning a particular Westminster seat, then that candidate should make that same commitment in order to gain the united backing of all who support Scotland’s right of self-determination.

This pragmatic approach should not only maximise the number of independence-supporting MPs, but hasten the new dawn of an independent Scotland.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

IF Scotland went against Westminster’s wishes and created safe consumption rooms where we think they are most required and which could help with our drug problem, what could Westminster do?

Rap our knuckles? Send in the polis (from the Met?) to shut them down? Fine us by reducing the amount of the block grant? Divorce us?

Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

George McKnight
West Calder