WHEN you see three politicians who have defected from the SNP appear outside the Scottish Parliament with a “Scotland United” banner it is difficult not to feel there is a level of hypocrisy.

Politicians are fully entitled to change parties when they feel so strongly about an issue that they would be more comfortable in a different party, whether it be Alba or Tory.

However, what I struggle to accept is the lack of integrity and democratic values where individuals continue to sit in Westminster or Holyrood without consideration for the thousands of SNP voters and dozens of activists who supported them to represent the views of their constituency. To be blunt, would any of these parliamentarians been elected if they had stood under the Alba banner and been in an electoral contest against SNP?

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I have family members who voted for SNP in the last General Election, but are now represented by an Alba politician in East Lothian. They are disillusioned about the system that allows this to happen and it will be no surprise if they turn away from voting in future.

I was reassured at a recent SNP branch meeting that there was a very balanced discussion about the need for the Yes movement and independence-supporting parties to work together towards independence and find common ground. However, there was also a unanimous feeling that any politician who moves to another party should step down, trigger a by-election and stand on their record and their new party.

Gordon Ferrie
South Ayrshire

DOUGLAS Murray’s jibe about Glasgow shows how far out of touch he is regarding the level of poverty in Scotland, which now does not have a single area on the list of the ten most deprived areas in the UK, mainly due to work done by the Scottish Government under the SNP (Douglas Murray slammed for ‘disgusting’ attack on Humza Yousaf, Nov 10).

Perhaps that is one reason why Humza Yousaf has the backing of the vast majority of people in Scotland and around half the people in Scotland want to leave the UK permanently.

Douglas Murray apparently does not think that immigrants and their descendants have made significant contributions to the quality of life in the UK.

READ MORE: Douglas Murray's 'racist' Humza Yousaf comments spark anger

Does he believe that the UK would have been a better place to live today if it had regularly closed its borders to immigrants from various countries or areas at some time, even in fairly recent history?

Were Japan, China and the Iron Curtain countries better places to live when they sealed themselves behind barriers to migration?

Today, wars and totalitarian regimes are still destroying the quality of life for people and distorting the normal flow of migrants all over the world.

The US, UK and others are strengthening their borders to deter immigrants from countries and groups of people who are fleeing wars often fought with weapons manufactured in the very countries barring their entry.

Let’s hope that the appalling, inhumane attitudes of the the leaders of the present and potential UK governments convince enough Scots that this is the time to cut our ties with this travesty of a union.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I USED to regard Tommy Sheppard, with his republican and left-wing political hinterland, as a firebrand of the independence cause, but I worry that his political health if not his political insight is coming under strain from sitting on the green leather benches of Westminster for too long.

In his piece, “Billionaire reads raft of Tory policies to make us and the planet poorer” in the Sunday National, his critique of the admittedly lamentable King’s Speech – not my king, for the avoidance of doubt – is fatally corrupted by his sentiment that “as we approach the election we will continue to point out the need for more power for Scotland and seek a mandate to pursue a new UK Government to get it.” Not “demand”, please note.

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And he goes on: “the SNP has been calling for extra powers to be given to the Scottish Government to allow them to do the job Westminster won’t.”

Is it me, or is this more of the same supplication that those of us not being paid to promote our country’s independence are heartily sick and tired of?

In Sheppard’s to-do list of things the Scottish Government need more powers over is the control of energy and capping of energy bills. Whatever happened, Tommy, to the great Sturgeon plan for a national energy company? He continues and identifies wage rates and powers to make corporate giants escape less of their tax liability with a redistributive tax regime to help smaller businesses.

Unfortunately, Tommy, you’ve made it clear by your priorities that you are suffering from greenleather-itis like your colleague comfy-slippers Wishart. The priority for the Scottish electorate is to become “a normal self-governing independent country” FIRST and NOT an add-on as in your piece.

Iain Bruce

JAMES Duncan’s prognosis (Monarchy does have at least one benefit, Letters, Nov 10) would hold water were it not for the fact that France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Eire, Austria, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Portugal are all stable countries without a monarch.

Richard Walthew

IN response to Jill Ferguson’s letter in the Sunday National, perhaps if Glasgow City Council hadn’t had to rectify the previous Labour council’s refusal to accept that females were being paid less than their male counterparts, there wouldn’t be such a large deficit. Also the Scottish health service would have been in a better financial position if it hadn’t been for Labour’s PFI.

Norman Robertson
via email