Stance on fox-hunting could hurt SNP

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Is the SNP Westminster group’s stance on the fox-hunting legislation a prime example of duplicity, a shrewd tactical move, or a conversion on a point of principle (your report, 15 July 2015)?

Television footage of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s performance on the BBC’s Question Time last February must be seen as a cause of embarrassment.

In it she suggested that fox hunting south of the Border was an example of a matter on which SNP MPs would not vote. Certainly she was under pressure from chairman David Dimbleby. But it does leave her looking terribly exposed in the overall debate on English votes for English laws (Evel).

The SNP now seem to have suspended their self-denying ordinance on not voting on the areas that seem to only affect England and Wales.

In truth it was an ordinance they should never have imposed on themselves when they had only six MPs. The fact that they did leaves them a bit weaker in the current controversy over Evel.

It is a simple point to make now that if they are elected to a parliament they are entitled to vote on equal terms on all bills and proposals that come before it. It is a point they should have made when their House of Commons strength was considerably weaker than it is now.

The current stance on fox-hunting looks a bit like pique caused by frustrations over the Scotland Bill, and not a sudden conversion to the importance of animal welfare south of the Border.

It is now time for Nicola Sturgeon and Westminster leader Angus Robertson to make things clear to voters. They are now a main opposition party in London.

They should end the pretence that Scottish and English matters can be easily differentiated, and it is now their duty to vote on all matters that come before the Westminster parliament.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes

Richard Allison (Letters, 15 July) is correct in what he says about the arrogance and opportunism of the SNP in relation to the stance it has taken on the vote on fox hunting.

What we all have to realise, however, is that this will be the SNP’s approach to absolutely every matter at Westminster. Roberston and his fellow MP apparatchiks will be told by HQ to follow the SNP’s clear strategy of creating as much division as they can between Scotland and the rest of the UK by voting in the way that will annoy English voters and MPs the most.

In this way, they will try to bring about a twofold outcome: firstly they want to make the citizens of rUK say: “Enough is enough – let them go their own way” and, secondly, they need to keep feeding the fire of blaming “Westminster” for everything – and then more on top.

Meanwhile, Rome burns at home. Anyone who thinks Scotland’s interests are being represented at Westminster by the SNP is living in Lalaland. The 56 are there to further only one thing and that is their separatist agenda.

Cameron will make a mistake if he institutes Evel (which I believe is the dream scenario for the SNP) as this strengthens the SNP’s hand in manufacturing grievances.

I agree with Mr Allison about voting down the SNP next April but I believe that we will need the emergence of a new, single, pro-Union party for that to happen.

David K Allan

Mainshill

Haddington, East Lothian

Pete Wishart MP explained on BBC Radio Scotland on Wednesday morning how the SNP will now decide what issues they will involve 
themselves with at Westminster.

Apparently, this covers not just those matters that have a direct Scottish impact, or those that might have indirect financial implications.

Now they have added 
any issues about which their constituents have lobbied them. No doubt that is his way of saying he and his SNP MP colleagues will simply get involved in any issue they can cause trouble with.

It is sad to see such a cynical attitude from someone who now chairs the Scottish Affairs Committee.

Yet given the SNP 
intention to sow grievance and discord at every opportunity that will perhaps be how Mr Wishart interprets the future purpose of that committee.

More concerning is the prospect that the First 
Minister’s previous assurances that there will not be 
another referendum unless the people of Scotland want it, could on the same basis simply mean that a referendum can follow whenever the SNP’s supporters urge their MPs or MSP to have one – or more accurately whenever the First Minister thinks she has a good chance of 
winning.

Even if the effect of that is to give the next term of the Scottish Parliament a single constitutional issue focus. Much like the last one!

Keith Howell

West Linton

Peeblesshire

The SNP members at Westminster are very fortunate.

They can sit through debates without having to concentrate on the pros and cons.

They just have to wait for the directive from Nicola Sturgeon and pass through the appropriate lobby.

Doris MH Duff

Belmont Gardens

Edinburgh

So David Cameron is incandescent at SNP inconsistency as his attempts to underpin the inhuman rights of the unspeakable to pursue the inedible are undermined.

Meanwhile, he remains unconscionably unconcerned about injury inflicted on the underprivileged. It’s incoherent, injudicious and indefensible.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh