SNP revelations

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If WEEKEND reports are accurate Jim Sillars’ book, In place of Failure, threatens to lift the lid on what was going on behind the scenes during the SNP’s ruthlessly choreographed referendum campaign.

Mr Sillars now admits that, for example, the school playground chant that the pound was as much Scotland’s as the UK’s “was a specious one”. But why didn’t he make this public at the time? Because, he tells us, of “the imperative of supporting the white paper and lining up the central organisation with the SNP rather than the other way round”. A familiar story which comes as no surprise apart from its provenance.

But not only did Mr Sillars keep schtum. Indeed, during a televised debate, when questioned about the currency, he pawkily produced a sterling note from his pocket and claimed that Scotland could use the pound. Surely whatever credibility he had is dispelled by the revelation that he publicly promoted a policy which he privately rejected.

To be fair, Mr Sillars has been consistently open about his revised approach to the EU. He believes, with some justification perhaps, that Scotland would be better served by leaving the EU but retaining access to its market via the European Free Trade Association. Can we therefore expect to see Mr Sillars boarding his referendum-mobile to tour the country campaigning in support of leaving the EU?

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh