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Another day, another letter from Scott Arthur attacking the SNP (Letters, 20 May). This one descends into trivia, referring to the chip buttie story which surfaced in a right-wing daily newspaper and two instances of typical Westminster silliness about seats and speeches which are elevated to “unsavoury” by Dr Arthur.

A couple of things stand out from Dr Arthur’s letters. The first is that while he remorselessly attacks the SNP, he never provides examples of positive alternative policies.

He does not seem to have cottoned on to the fact that the relentless negativity his beloved Labour Party showed in the referendum election campaigns is what led many Labour supporters to abandon it for the SNP.

He is also curiously diffident about the fact that during the election campaign the Labour Party indicated that they did not intend to change one iota of George Osborne’s last Budget, thus signing up to another £30 billion of cuts including £12bn from the welfare budget which will hit the most vulnerable members of our society (to whom Dr Arthur frequently refers in his letters) the hardest.

And let’s not forget the anti-immigration mugs and the letters sent to pensioners during the election campaign which repeated the lie which worked during the referendum, saying that a vote for the SNP would put their pensions at risk.

And finally, during the Blair years, when the Labour Party moved significantly to the right in search of the “aspirational” vote and took this country into two illegal wars which cost hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of pounds, we never heard a peep from him.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh

Dr Scott Arthur quite rightly criticises the behaviour of one SNP MP trying to organise seating arrangements.

An important point mustn’t be overlooked, namely that he “had nothing better to do with his time”. Irrespective of party allegiance there must be some disquiet over the cost of running our democracy.

Surely devolution of “more new powers” must mean even less of a role for the Scottish MPs.

Isn’t it the case that Westminster MPs have no locus in MSPs’ “bread and butter issues?” It could well be with 129 MSPs, 59 MPs, eight MEPs and thousands of councillors Scotland is becoming over-governed.

US democracy works with 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 in the Senate.

Arguably when constitutional affairs are being debated the cost of keeping so many MPs is fundamental.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie