The SNP’s constitutional monomania

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PETE Wishart MP last week explained in a BBC Scotland radio broadcast how the SNP will now decide what issues they will involve themselves with at Westminster. 

Apparently 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 committee’s future purpose. 

More concerning is the prospect that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’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

SO, Alex Salmond reckons that a second independence referendum is “inevitable”, does he? Strange how it was a “once in a generation” event before the last one, isn’t it? He must have seen it in his crystal ball.

Mind you, one must ask whether there would “inevitably” have been a second referendum if the SNP had won the first one. The silence on that subject says it all, of course. No. As we Edinburgh folk say, “you’ll have had your referendum”.

The likelihood of there being a second vote is complicated by the fact that it is up to the UK government if there is to be one and the Tories have indicated that the answer to the SNP’s earnest prayers is still No, much like the result of the last referendum. The Nationalist administration has to ask for permission to hold another one. Agreement to that proposition is as likely to happen as Scotland winning the World Cup. 
If, however, there were to be one (just to be Devil’s advocate), then I strongly suspect that Ms Sturgeon’s guidance on the matter of referenda – at least, as far as the EU goes – would be followed. 

She feels that, if the UK were to vote to leave the EU, then, “England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should each deliver a majority vote to make withdrawal legal”. Clearly, as far as legality goes, if she thinks that for the EU, then she thinks that about the UK. 

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive


YOUR correspondents who are opposed to the Scottish people running their own country are entitled to quote Alex Salmond when he suggested that a referendum for independence in Scotland was a “once-in-a-generation” event” (Letters, 28 July).

Nobody could have anticipated the transformation in the political scene in Scotland after Scotland voted No in the referendum.   

Our country is now run from Westminster by a Tory government with only one MP in Scotland, just like the main opposition, Labour. The SNP has 56 of our 59 MPs.

It is, therefore, inconceivable that anyone who believes in democracy would deny the Scottish people the right to vote in another referendum. Of course the SNP is right when it says that the decision must reflect the will of voters in Scotland. The best way to establish this is to include an offer of another referendum in the SNP manifesto for the 2016 Scottish elections

It is understandable why those opposed to the restoration of Scottish sovereignty don’t want another referendum, as they know the result would be very different from the first referendum. We have learned from our mistake.

Jim Carson

Balerno, Edinburgh

ALEX Salmond’s statement, that a second independence referendum is inevitable, proves that when people shout “Independence for Scotland” they mean independence for those who shout “Independence for Scotland.”

The SNP wants to run Scotland. Power for its own sake, regardless of consequences.

Malcolm Parkin