SNP in Westminster could benefit Union

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For once, I can see a potentially positive outcome to the SNP’s decision to perform a 180-degree turn in their previous policy of not voting on matters that purely concern England, or England and Wales. Clearly, by considering making overtures to northern English cities to offer their help in pushing for better rail links from southern England, they are actually showing that they have broadened their horizons.

Some may say that this is pure cynicism on their part – and who can argue with that, in light of their previous comments? – but, contrary to what many may regard as my normal stance in such matters, I am all in favour.

After all, if the SNP can be seen to be taking part in the full business of the House of Commons, then there is real hope for the future.

Once they have realised that the country (the UK, that is) works better when it has a unified system of government, then we are (almost) on the home straight.

All we need to do is to scrap the Scottish Parliament, demolish the building and spend its hideous 
costs on worthwhile things, like re-establishing local 
police forces throughout Scotland.

Imagine – we could have enough teachers for our failing education system and enough doctors for the collapsing Scottish NHS. It even solves the West Lothian question!

More SNP involvement in Parliament could be a win-win situation all round!

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive

Edinburgh

So now that SNP MPs wish to turn their attention to promoting a more successful economy and a fairer society in the rest of the UK, perhaps they will change their slogan to “Stronger for Britain”.

A child could see that this “strategy” is designed simply to raise the hackles of David Cameron even further and commit the Tories to ever more stringent proposals for English votes for English laws – the outcome of which would be exactly what the SNP wishes.

As Angus MacNeil said (your report 16 July): the change may offer his party “a huge lever to break the Union apart”. SNP MPs are, of course, only doing what – in private – they said they would before the election, which is to work their socks off to secure a second independence referendum.

Perhaps their constituents here in Scotland would prefer if they spent a little time representing them on issues seriously affecting their lives on a daily basis, such as the failures of the Scottish Government in relation to education, policing and the health service.

But what chance is there of that happening when even their representatives in the Scottish Parliament cannot keep their eyes on the ball they should be looking at?

Public health minister, Maureen Watt, when asked on Scotland 2015 (16 July) how many surgeries in Scotland were on emergency service, replied that she didn’t know. She was sure that the numbers provided from Labour’s Dr Richard Simpson’s research were wrong but she didn’t know the correct figure herself.

This, tragically, is only too typical. Is it not high time that the SNP’s MPs and MSPs lived up to their promise that they would represent all of the electorate and not just their own minority of supporters – even some of them may well not share the all-consuming obsession with the separatist agenda?

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh