ISN’T George Gunn’s parting snipe at Alba (Letters, Mar 13) beneath contempt?

After citing a long litany of devolution’s failures, during the long stewardship by the party he clearly supports, he has the temerity to describe Alba, which only exists because of SNP’s abject failure to deliver independence at a time of the best political and economic conditions to achieve it, as like another hole in the A9.

I resent being told by a party that has squandered so many electoral mandates to progress indy that I must vote for them so yet again, or somehow I would be to blame for the SNP’s failure to deliver relief from the curse of devolution and British occupation of Scotland, with all the adverse connotations that derive from it.

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Devolution has delivered just one real benefit for Scotland. And that is the democratically elected parliament as an expression of the will of Scots, who have delivered the clarity of a desire to be independent. It should have been the focus for independence.

But the SNP have sidelined this focal point, and failed to deliver on the power it brought to demand our fundamental democratic rights of a historical nation that wishes to reset its “partnership” in a union that subjugates rather than respects us as equals.

I am a founder member of Alba. I wish the party hadn’t needed to exist, but it is born of the SNP’s failure. And it is clear to me that it is a necessary catalyst to effect the change we desire.

Whatever happens in the forthcoming General Election – yet another opportunity lost by the SNP putting party interests before the needs of Scots – it is clear that nothing will have changed.

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A diminished SNP contingent in Westminster will be even less effective, that Unionist forum will still disregard we Scots. SNAFU!

Westminster offers the opportunity to attack this iniquitous Union. But not with a party whose representatives refuse to eschew their cosy gravy train where the they can play Unionist politics, looking like independentistas, while having all the effect of a limp lettuce past its use-by date.

Meanwhile, Scotland is a small country with a local authority system we can’t afford. It needs a root-and-branch review to weed out the political “empire” structures and the administrative duplication that wastes resources.

The SNP have had ample opportunity to achieve this, but then, they signed that cosy concordat with Cosla to ensure its influence was not challenged.

The SNP have had the opportunity to drive the interests of Scotland. We know what the results are.

And George Gunn wants to blame us for their failure to deliver?

Jim Taylor

IAIN Bruce (Letters, Mar 12) makes the political road to independence clear, as he points out we have two choices: (a) we carry on playing the Westminster game, with all the dice stacked against us, or (b) we set up a different game, and bring our politics home and on display in Edinburgh.

If the SNP are going to adopt the second line, now would be a very good time to act. The Speaker abandoned tradition to prevent the SNP from exercising its extremely limited right to determine the agenda on one of its limited days at Westminster, and Westminster seems content with that and with the Speaker.

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Now would be a good time for the SNP to decide that its MPs will meet in the new building at Edinburgh and will only attend Westminster when they consider it relevant and in the interests of the Scottish people.

Iain is right: this would get a lot more attention in the world media than their present political activity engenders, and more importantly it would show the Scottish people that they were serious about getting attention on Scottish issues.

In Edinburgh the Scottish MPs could debate the need for Scotland to secure more of the fruits of our natural resources for our own country and how we would invest such resources to meet Scotland’s economic needs. This would be of much more interest to the Scottish electorate than the nonsense we will be getting in the next few months leading up to the General election.

If the SNP took this bold step, then Alba would need to follow them with their two MPs and this could be a forum for developing a more united independence political stance for the future.

Andy Anderson

CONGRATULATIONS to our paper for the all-women edition for International Women’s Day. Throughout my adult life I have been a supporter of women’s justified rights, especially those of my class, the working class. I have voiced this in three areas of my work: politics, trade unions and tenants’ association.

In my adult life I learned very early that women were the smarter and cleverer of the two genders, as a result of them being closer to life, because they bring life into the world. Last Friday’s edition strengthened this belief.

Finally, all the articles and letters were excellent. A sincere “well done” to all involved.

Bobby Brennan