On balance, a failure to communicate

I hasten to agree with your four unionist correspondents (Letters, 15 November) about what a failure that dreadful Alex Salmond was. Did you see how he was booed off the stage and out the door at the SNP conference this weekend?

Ian Ross says that the referendum defeat was basically a no confidence vote on SNP policies. This is true – the collapse in SNP membership and support in the opinion polls bears this out.

AA Miller says Salmond was a divisive figure. That man nearly caused the Scots to split off and run their own affairs. He’ll be putting ideas into the minds of Tibetans and Catalonians next. He must have been bitterly disappointed to unite the Conservatives, Labour and LibDems under a pan-Tory alliance to guard the rights of that financially obese 
London place. How right Raymond Paul is to call Alex a “failure” serving his own interests.

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This is so obvious when we see he joined the small marginal SNP after abandoning Labour as a student. Obviously the likes of Jim Murphy, Willie Rennie and Ruth Davidson have no personal political ambitions.

Good to see the modest Alex Gallagher showing up again. He is right to state that Alex Salmond led his troops to a crushing defeat. It will take a near-impossible 5 per cent swing to tilt the result the other way. Thank goodness independence has been put off for ever, or maybe five years.

These unionists must feel sorry for the likes of me having had Alex Salmond and now, Nicola Sturgeon as leaders. I didn’t have the good luck to have Brown, Blair, Darling, with Miliband waiting in the wings.

Thomas R Burgess

St Catherine’s Square


There were four letters picked out in bold at the top of The Scotsman (Letters, 15 November). All four attacked the SNP for continuing to argue that Scotland would be better off independent.

You haven’t printed a single letter that puts the other point of view – that the independence referendum was a wonderful, energising event in the political calendar and unified a wide spectrum of political feeling against the status quo.

The referendum achieved an 85 per cent turnout. 
Ninety-seven per cent registered to vote. While the result fell conclusively to the No camp, it was a tightly-fought contest till the end.

According to the anti-SNP letter writers you chose to publish, Scotland is now “a bitterly divided nation” riven by “wounds that will never heal”. What a lot of nonsense. There is a broad spectrum of political opinion and the old certainties are crumbling. This is to be 
applauded, not decried.

Your one-sided selection of opinion creates the impression that the prevailing opinion in this country is anti-
independence when in actual fact, polls show that the pro-independence movement is 55 per cent, 10 per cent up on the referendum vote.

I can’t for the life of me understand the vituperation directed at Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, two politicians without equal at Westminster.

At least their policies spring from their own lifelong, heartfelt convictions rather than focus groups.

Gerry Farrell

Cables Wynd


Nicola Sturgeon states (your report, November 15) that the SNP could enter into some kind of informal coalition with the Labour party in 2015 but “never” with the Tories. How times change.

The previous leader was quite happy to jump into bed with the Tories whenever it suited him between 2007 and 2011.

And those with longer memories will recall how the SNP played a starring role in putting the Tories into power in 1979.

Yet another U-turn it seems. What will this protean party change into next in pursuit of its obsession?

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue