Airing grievances

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For once, I am tempted to agree with some of Derrick McClure’s letter (21 March) stating that: “some Scottish voters did, and presumably still do, support David Cameron and his party”. Indeed, more than 400,000 did at the last general election. I also agree that there were plenty of Scots (the great majority, in fact) who “did not vote for the present SNP government”.

His argument that the SNP is being sidetracked by “specific grievances against one or another London-based party” is correct in one sense and incorrect in another.

I agree that “grievances” are inherently bad, because everyone can have a grievance. Nurturing them creates problems, rather than facing up to them positively. That is where Nationalism comes adrift, because it is inherently based on grievances and, thus, negative. Its negativity has flavoured the entire campaign for a Yes vote.

However, he is incorrect in his reference to parties (and I expect the Greens to be included in this too) as “London-based” or “Westminster” parties. They are not.

They (and the SNP too), are represented in Parliament, which, it happens, is in Westminster. It could just as well be in Plockton. It has to be somewhere.

However, the difference in defining those parties is that they are true “national parties”. They straddle the whole British nation from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The SNP does not.

Mr McClure is right to recognise that the Conservatives are a legitimate voice in Scottish and British politics. There is hope for him yet.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh

It suits Steuart Campbell (Letters, 21 March) to belittle the SNP’s achievements in the last Scottish Parliament election.

In it, just under 2 million people were motivated enough to get out and vote.

Of that number, 902,915 people or 45.3 per cent of the turnout voted for the SNP, giving the party 69 seats.

Mr Campbell is correct in that such a vote was not supposed to be feasible under proportional representation, but it is a clear indication that for the voters who bothered to vote, the SNP was their choice and they got the government they voted for.

For those who now bleat about the size of the turnout, the answer is clear: get your parties’ supporters off their backsides and along to the polling booths.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh