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It was somewhat ironic that in the same issue (11 March) in which Douglas Turner’s letter questions allegations that the SNP wishes “to create a totalitarian state” you carry a report on that party’s most recent power-centralising measure – conferring yet more powers upon Police Scotland by handing it the policing of the railway network.

Interestingly, Mr Turner did not attempt to rebut the charges brought upon the SNP by previous correspondents but chose rather to cite what he perceives as examples – including some rather dubious ones – of a similar “erosion of democracy” initiated by other parties.

Two wrongs would make a right, apparently.

Mr Turner does, however, raise a very pertinent question. Why would SNP members tolerate this kind of strategy? Goodness only knows is the answer to that.

Perhaps for the same reason they swallow the nonsensical “anti-austerity” rhetoric which is vying with anti-Trident rhetoric to be the most popular election mantra.

A most plausible answer was provided by Kenny Farquharson (Perspective, 6 March): “A party’s prospects can rise and fall on whether voters get a warm glow from associating themselves with its image and perceived purpose, never mind anything so mundane as policy.”

If voters will only take the trouble to examine the policies of the SNP then perhaps instead of a “warm glow” they will experience a cold sweat.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh

Douglas Turner claims “eccentric” correspondents fear the SNP wants to create a totalitarian state but does not reflect on how they might have come by such an idea.

Could it be the SNP cracking down ever harder on dissent in the ranks, an area in which they have form having slung out the late, great Margo MacDonald in the 1990s?

Or that Holyrood’s committees are now a joke with Nationalist MSPs obstructing scrutiny of the government and protecting colleagues in positions of power?

Or the compulsory windmills, the impotent local councils in Europe’s most centralised statelet or the “settled will of the Scottish people” – referendum – being ignored.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews

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