SNP omerta

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Nicola Sturgeon hardly makes a statement without referring to seeking a “free, fair and democratic society”. This from the leader of a party which clearly does not tolerate dissent from anyone within its ranks and who banned anyone other than official spokespersons from talking to the press in the lead up to the referendum.

As televised Holyrood sessions show, there is a requirement for SNP MPs to nod in unison at every SNP speaker’s statements.

Brian Wilson’s piece (Perspective, 31 January) regarding the control-freakery prevalent within the SNP painted a worrying picture of the culture of fear and a mafia-style “omerta”, or oath of silence, that exists within the SNP. “Free, fair and democratic society?” Don’t make me laugh!

Donald Lewis

Beech Hill

Gifford, East Lothian

I am not at all surprised by the tone of Brian Wilson’s article.

In fact, the Scottish Government’s determination to achieve its ends by manipulation is revealed by its failure to demonstrate a clear commitment to democracy.

The SNP does not seem to recognise the need for a system of checks and balances in order to prevent the abuse of power. Compare the effectiveness of the Westminster committees with the overall performance of those in Holyrood.

I regret also to have to suggest that those with influence in civic and civil societies, not to mention many members of the journalistic elites, seem to have allowed their enthusiasm for independence and their fear of losing influence to blind themselves to their duty to ask the Nationalists challenging questions.

I wonder how many voters on 18 September were turned away from voting Yes by such concerns, asking themselves if this is what “democracy” in an 
independent Scotland would be like.

John Milne

Ardgowan Drive

Uddingston