I DISAGREE with Donald Anderson’s suggestion that Nicola Sturgeon should “set the heather on fire by declaring for a Holyrood election” (Letters, April 22). I understand his sentiment but in my opinion it would be a huge tactical error as Holyrood already has a clear mandate and the First Minister has already won the argument for a referendum on independence within the Scottish Parliament.

In the UK General Election, the Scottish Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats are teaming up to vote tactically and, if they are successful in unseating any of the SNP’s existing MPs, they will undoubtedly claim it as demonstrating there is no mood in Scotland for a referendum. However, that would merely be their opinion and only a referendum could settle the argument. Nicola Sturgeon has played the game so well thus far, it would be a tragedy to devalue her mandate.

The EU can see what’s happening and the incredible democratic deficit with respect to Scotland. EU countries will be aware that without allowing an independence referendum the Brexiteers have no right to offer any of Scotland’s assets as bargaining chips. How could Brussels countenance the will of the Scottish people being steamrollered undemocratically, as until after Brexit we are still EU citizens? With Holyrood having already voted for a referendum, nobody should be allowed to offer up anything of Scotland’s until the matter is resolved by the Scottish people.

The UK General Election is a distraction and more to do with Theresa May sweeping the election fraud issue under the carpet whilst at the same time wanting to impose an iron grip over every aspect of our lives. There is already voter fatigue. For Nicola Sturgeon to add to that with an unnecessary Holyrood election would not be wise.

Scotland must not be sidetracked. The First Minister was given a clear mandate in the 2016 Holyrood election to call for a referendum if there were to be a material change in Scotland’s position, such as being forced out of the EU against the will of the Scottish people. The only way the UK General Election could claim that mandate had been rejected by Scottish voters is if more than 50 per cent of Scotland’s Westminster seats were to be won by the Unionist parties. If the SNP wins 30 or more seats on the June 8, Holyrood’s mandate has not changed. The consequences of the UK General Election could be dire for the UK’s standing in the world if Theresa May used the result to overturn the will of the democratically elected representatives of the Scottish people. Holyrood has its mandate, so don’t let it be us that jeopardise it.

Geoff Tompson

ALEX Salmond is absolutely right that given Labour’s poor showing in he polls, their leader would have been wise to have sought to block May’s election bid at this time (The expenses scandal was the real reason for this election – May’s majority was at risk, The National, April 22).

Although it cannot help Mr Corbyn’s decision-making when he is so often criticised by his own MPs and, as a party, Labour is hypersensitive about criticism from any perceived siding with the SNP.

The Labour leader might, however, truly believe he can win the General Election by a clear majority. This “can do, no matter what the odds” is much in evidence in UK political life.

It might be nice to think that tactical voting between LibDems and Labour can negate the projected Tory majority of more than 100, but under the first-past-the-post system it is unlikely to make much of a difference in any more than a handful of seats.

Peter Gorrie

Boosting the paper’s circulation would be a Yes win-win
JIM Lynch (Letters, April 21) encourages SNP branches to order and pay for deliveries of The National to every doctor, dentist, barber and hairdresser in their community, a strategy he successfully deployed in the 1960s Peterhead. What a great idea, and I hope branch secretaries throughout Scotland put that proposal to their members. There can be no downside to such an initiative.

To take his idea a stage further I would also suggest branch secretaries should encourage ALL members to sign up, either online or physically at their local newsagent, for a daily copy of The National.

For decades the SNP and independence movement were without an ally in the UK and Scottish press. The National is our newspaper and, as I understand it, its circulation via all media is around 10,000 whereas the most popular newspaper in Scotland – yes, sad to say it – remains the anti-Scottish bias of The Daily Mail with around 50,000, shortly followed by the Labour-leaning Daily Record.

As the forthcoming election is likely to see an increased Tory majority at Westminster, and given that I understand that the editor of The Daily Mail was invited to dinner at 10 Downing Street on the night May announced the General Election, then we have a pretty good idea of the anti-Scottish media storm about to be unleashed. It was laughable to hear May defend, on national TV, the great pride she takes in “Britain’s free press”. This was of course on the BBC!

Given that the party has more than 100,000 members and add to that the Greens, RIC, and general Yes movement, then we could, overnight, change the face of newspaper circulation in Scotland. Imagine The National being Scotland’s most popular paper in circulation terms.

That would be transformational for the paper as they would immediately start to pick up the lion’s share of newspaper advertising revenues in Scotland and for us in the movement then the more revenues the greater the resources that the paper could deploy in developing and growing our cause. It’s a win win.

The reality is that it is within the capability of SNP branches and their members to achieve this overnight.

I have signed up for both a digital and hard copy.

Let’s all just do it.

Ian Stewart Uig
Isle of Skye

MY heart sank when seeing the attempt to rebrand Yes2 as aYe Scotland. The logo is a piece of feeble graphic design. I understand the need to be all inclusive for a wide spectrum of voters favouring independence, but to change from a strong and in my opinion a powerful and direct YES2 logo to something as limp-wristed as this is an act of sheer folly.

James Sinclair


I’M not sure what is happening in the rest of the UK but I have not seen any reports of cases there such as that of the Canadian Zielsdorf family, and others who have had to leave Scotland (Zielsdorf family deportation case to be highlighted at rally in The Netherlands, The National, April 21). Perhaps this is because of lack of publicity, and I fully endorse I McGregor’s praise of The National in this regard, but I am beginning to wonder if this is another Tory plot to deprive Scotland of hard-working families who are contributing to the local economy. This seems to be on a par with their energy policy of removing support for Scottish renewables while increasing the price they have to pay for connection to the grid. Along with the repeated statements that we export more to rUK than to Europe and the rest of the world, it is not entirely fanciful.

Ann Rayner

AINCE again, The National haes come up wi ae richt enlichtnin airticle regairdin the wey Scots haes influenced the wurld in literatur, airts, economics, philosophy an politics. Creating An Enlightened Scotland bi Alan Riach (The National, April 21) gaes us nae ainly ae history lesson on the ‘Enlightenment’ but ae reflection on the wey Britian is the dey.

Scotland, streivin tae protec humanity an respec for thaim less fortunate than oorsels, an ae political system determined tae kep economic control an the nation’s weilth waein the hauns o the tap 10 per cent centred roun the ceity o Lunnon.

George T Watt