Class dismissed

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Unfortunately, Ellis Thorpe (Letters, 28 October) again misses the point of my argument, although he does acknowledge that “no political party appealing to a single socio-economic group would be electable”.

That is precisely what the SNP and Yes campaign did in the referendum on independence. The Salmond strategy was to make the SNP electable, in the mistaken belief that support for Holyrood would be automatically transferable to support for independence.

That could hardly be expected, given that for several campaigns fought by the SNP, the word “independence” hardly appeared on the party literature.

By eschewing any reference to “identity” and dismissing Scottish culture as “haggis and kilts”, the Yes campaign insulted the working class by inferring such concepts were of little interest to them, making the campaign about no more than getting a better deal for the underprivileged in society.

The Tories and Labour are still perceived by voters to be class-based, hence the often expressed sense of betrayal of the working class by Labour, epitomised by the alliance of the parties in Better Together, to say nothing of Johann Lamont’s “something for nothing society” speech.

Obviously the SNP garnered many middle-class voters in Holyrood elections, partly because it went to great lengths to stress they were not being asked to vote for independence and because of the perceived lack of quality among Scottish Conservatives.

On the one occasion they were asked to vote for independence, having just endured a two-year campaign which courted only the working class, the middle classes were hardly inclined to vote Yes and chance living in a Scottish society which seemed to be saying they were not wanted.

Nicola Sturgeon has asked people to support her to “build a better country”. That will only be done with the support of the majority of Scottish society, when they are persuaded to see independence as the prerequisite for creating that “better country”.

Jim Fairlie

Heathcote Road

Crieff