AS mentioned in previous letter, I am a in my 70s and a retired fire fighter. I was also an extremely active member of the SNP until I left the party in 2006.

My last campaign was at the Livingston by-election in 2005. I went to that by-election as I was not a devolutionist and rather than go to the much nearer Scottish Parliament by-election in Glasgow Cathcart went by bus to Ratho Station and walked to the Broxburn campaign office to campaign for independence.

I was grateful that a few times the then candidate Angela Constance gave me a lift to Ratho Station after campaigning to catch a bus back to Glasgow Buchanan Street.

Today, I wonder “who or what are the electorate, not only in Scotland but the UK, voting for”.

Labour? What do they stand for, they have discarded many of their members through a purge of the left in order to gain votes in middle England, will build nuclear submarines, not make commitments on spending, use the private sector to build public buildings and housing with the debt owed to private investors.

We are still paying added bills for the last “PFI” schemes from Labour.

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Just look at their campaign leaflets and billboards, trying to out-Tory the Tories. When in the past would you have seen the Union flag on Labour campaign boards?

Do Scottish Labour MPs go to Westminster to represent their constituents or be lobby fodder for English laws for Keir Starmer or vote for nuclear submarines? The same nuclear submarine that will, unless we gain our independence, be based at Faslane on the Gareloch.

Tories, if they are anything they are a party of power, that is what they have always been. But now? With the Boris Johnson Covid parties and Liz Truss’s Budget debacle? And Rishi Sunak’s inability to understand the importance of meeting other world leaders at one of the world’s most important commemorations for a TV interview? Staggeringly incompetent.

The LibDems are Parliament’s fence sitters, they dream of past glories a 100 years ago. They occasionally come down from their perch to pick up the crumbs from other parties’ temporary misfortunes and wail and moan.

They got a sniff of power under David Cameron, only to discover which party was in charge.

The SNP, are, in their own words the party of independence. Yet they seem to not want to take the decisive step, always having an excuse not to fulfil their stated conviction. Do they really want an independent Scotland?

Reform, new on the horizon, have no record yet in the political system. Yet they seem to be Tory Tories, and they may take their votes as an England-centric party.

If the SNP do not make this election an independence vote they will lose some seats to Labour and possibly the LibDems but may gain Tory seats.

They will still have a majority of parliamentary seats, if they announce that a vote for the SNP will be a vote for independence itself or UDI, not a vote for a referendum on independence.

Under FPTP it does not matter what the overall vote is for independence parties, the result may be that Unionist parties may win even if you add up SNP, Alba and Green parties.

The people we send down to Westminster will be from the party who receives the most votes, not a combination of independence votes.

There should be only one independence voice, even if all the parties of Independence at General Elections come together and form an election alliance for Westminster Elections.

Although I concede it cannot happen for this General Election.

Alex Kerr