I READ the article “Does the SNP need to make a glorious sacrifice for indyref2?” by Gordon Macintyre-Kemp (The National, January 4) with interest and a degree of alarm.

In 1966 I joined the SNP as I believed in independence for Scotland, and saw this as the right way to go. Over the last 51 years I have had many crises of conscience, as the party swung this way or that, but there was nowhere else for me to go. I never in my wildest dreams envisaged anything like the result of the 2015 Westminster election, and imagined we would make due progress in the Westminster stipulated five-year term, allowing our new MPs to bed in. However the political stupidity of the English Prime Minister in calling a snap election threw everything into turmoil.

In the two years we had 56 of the 59 Scottish MPs, every proposal put forward by the SNP was blocked, speeches to an empty chamber were followed by a division-bell transfer from all the licensed premises at Westminster, and MPs were just told which lobby to enter.

I merely restate the above to emphasise Scotland’s place in this British political world, ie naewhere!

Mr Macintyre-Kemp’s proposition that the SNP should sacrifice the governance of our first independent parliament to an ad hoc body of MSPs, and the SNP sit on the sidelines, transfers sacrifice to suicide for Scotland. In the same edition of The National you publish details of the Scotland Office spending, which has soared dramatically since the referendum – they won it, remember, and early claims by Westminster that this office should be abolished have been shelved. The Scots electorate proposes, Britain disposes.

After independence I would hope for at least two terms of SNP government to allow the parliament to bed in properly and frustrate any attempts to nullify its existence; this will also allow other parties to emerge, grow and develop. (After the Union of the Parliaments in 1707 it was said “We have cotched Scotland and will not let her go”.)

After things have settled down I hope we could then have whatever government the Scots want; at my age I will not see this, but my grandchildren will. Let us not be fair and above board and allow them to take us to the cleaners again.

Jim Lynch

MUNDELL’S £61,000 hospitality budget can be easily explained with a wee bit of research. His Scotland Office suggested the Royal Highland Show would include roundtable discussions with business members of the food and farming sector. This year it is from June 21 to 24.

The Double Tree Hilton Hotel by Edinburgh airport looks reasonable for such an esteemed group. So that would be, let’s say, five members of Mundell’s team and ten members of the business group at a cost of around £1,390 each. This comes to £20,850 and that’s not including an evening meal. I have no idea what the air fair would be, but that leaves £40,150 for the rest of the year. It seems to me that his 71 staff hospitality costs would fit snugly into the £61,000 quoted.

All of this is to ensure Scotland is ready for Brexit, regardless of the fact that the Scottish Government has not yet been allowed into any discussion concerning Scotland’s actual needs. Mundell’s office admits this sum is for events and engagements with “stakeholders”, whoever they might be. Certainly not the Scottish Government.

All this is to gather views from “within Scotland” and to “champion” Scotland’s interests across the whole of the UK and beyond. That has to be the best pack of lies to date. If that is the best excuse it can come up with to quantify its existence then it is certainly of no use to Scotland and should be disbanded next time around ... if there is one!

Alan Magnus-Bennett