Signs of cracks appear within Nationalist ranks as holiday season continues

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At the flag-waving nationalist rally on Saturday and in comments from independence supporters since, there has been a move to declare that separatism isn’t the sole concern of the SNP.

Are we seeing a split between the gradualists who dominate SNP strategy and the fanatics they’ve stirred up in the last few years?

What should also concern those of us who desire stability and good governance over further disruption is that those under the banner of independence now openly range from the far left with fantasies of a socialist republic to hardliners who in normal politics are classed as far right. Such disparate groups can hardly have a shared vision for the future of Scotland so their alliance can only be seen as one of convenience, which would lead to chaos should their shared aim ever be achieved.

Dr SJ Clark

Easter Road, Edinburgh

So the headmistress went to Portugal on holiday and the kiddies, left to their own devices, began behaving badly.

First up on the naughty stool is SNP MSP John Mason apparently encouraging us to boycott companies owned by No voters. The next child standing in the corner is SNP MEP Alyn Smith. He’s suggesting an independent Scotland may become a Republic.

This is surprising in a party known not to tolerate any opinion from an SNP MP, MSP or MEP that diverges from Nicola Sturgeon’s.  

Are we now peeking through the cracks at the real SNP? Of course official SNP policy is not to discriminate against those opposed to separatism. Plus, some years ago, the PR-savvy SNP, realising republicanism was a vote loser, ditched it and became pro-monarchy.

The ever canny Sturgeon clearly will bend over backwards to appear acceptable to soft No voters. But are her senior SNP members of parliament providing us a glimpse of post-independence life?

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus, Edinburgh

We have a report that the Scottish police force is at “breaking point” as a result of the decrease in the number of police officers; a report that the number of negligence payouts by NHS Scotland is at “a record high”; and a report that the number of cancelled operations is up by 50 per cent .

And we read that an SNP MSP and an SNP MEP have taken time off from agitating for a second referendum, one to tweet that he is to boycott Barrhead Travel because its owner is a No voter and the other to raise the possibility of a referendum on the monarchy. You couldn’t make it up.

Clearly they are following the lead of the First Minister whose own efforts to grab the headlines in recent weeks have focused on the Brexit fall out and banging the independence drum in a blatant attempt to bury bad news. 

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue, Edinburgh

On the day it is announced that police numbers are at their lowest since 2010, on top of falling literacy and numeracy in primary children, fewer Scottish youngsters taking up college places and the Named Person fiasco, what does one of the contenders for the SNP deputy leadership come up with? An idea for another referendum! This time on whether we in Scotland should keep the Monarchy.

Is it not about time Alyn Smith and his comrades got on with the jobs for which they are paid a handsome salary?

Jim Houston

Winton Gardens, Edinburgh

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