Readers' Letters: Lack of transparency in SNP worrying

All but the most dyed-in-the-wool SNP supporters should be concerned about the latest revelations of secrecy and cover-up in the SNP.

High-profile SNP MP Joanna Cherry has quit her party’s National Executive Committee (Picture: Getty)
High-profile SNP MP Joanna Cherry has quit her party’s National Executive Committee (Picture: Getty)

Last week, we heard that SNP Treasurer Douglas Chapman had resigned with immediate effect due to being unable to do his job because of a lack of required financial information and records.

Today, we hear that Joanna Cherry, the lawyer who led the SNP charge against the UK Government over Brexit, has also resigned her position in the SNP ruling body, citing the reason as being unacceptable absence of transparency in management.

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I wonder how many other people will eventually see the light that is never shone on the dark processes of the SNP.

I cannot think of any other democracy in the western world, that has a situation where the head of the governing party is actually the spouse of the de facto prime minister.

We began to see evidence of the workings of the SNP during the parliamentary review of the Alex Salmond affair and the unwillingness of the SNP to release full and factual records of events until eventually the threat of breach of ministerial standards caused the reluctant and partial release of records.

It saddens me to see Scotland descending into third-world governance standards.

And if we add to that the many acts of incompetence seen in so many SNP governing officials, it amazes me that the Scottish people continue to accept the SNP with all its faults, lies and cover-ups.

To use First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's own words, we are becoming "scunnered" at the neverending mess,

Derek Farmer, Anstruther, Fife

Safety first

It is disgraceful that four years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the question posed by your headline to Clyde & Co’s article on 31 May, “Who pays to make high-rise buildings meet fire safety standards?” remains unanswered (Friends of the Scotsman).

We do not even know how many of Scotland’s 774 high-rise buildings need remedial works, let alone thousands more UK-wide. Are these all “accidents” waiting to happen?

But it is not just the new standards that existing buildings now need to meet. It seems that in many cases the old standards were not adhered to, so surely all the culpable firms and individuals involved (including local authority Building Control officers?) should have faced charges by now.

One of the new standards is to reduce the height at which combustible cladding can be used on buildings from 18 metres to 11 metres. That hardly seems sufficient improvement and many will query why any combustible cladding at all should be deemed acceptable. Are the other standards more rigorous?

This must not be allowed to repeat the scandal of the innocent victims of contaminated blood in the 1970s and 1980s, who have still not yet been compensated, as far as that can ever be satisfactorily achieved. Their infection by HIV and Hepatitis C is deemed the worst treatment disaster by the NHS ever, since its formation in 1948, exceeding even thalidomide (your report, 19 May).

It is surely not unreasonable that the victims of both disasters be compensated forthwith by central governments, which should then claw back as much as possible from those responsible.

John Birkett, St Andrews, Fife

By Jingo

Like many Unionists, Penny Ponders (Letters, 1 June) doesn’t understand the difference between “England” and “the UK” of which Scotland is reluctantly a part

It is not “anglophobia” or hatred to dislike the increasing British nationalism exemplified by the profusion of Union flags on everything from food packaging to aircraft and as a compulsory background to Tory MP’s appearances or the numerous “Great British” television programmes.

No other democratic country in Europe feels the need to display such jingoist characteristics.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Time to go?

Alex Salmond claims that the Duke of Cambridge demonstrates “poor judgement” by meeting with the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the Duke’s recent visit to Scotland.

Mr Salmond clearly has an issue with the future king of the United Kingdom daring to perhaps discuss the issues around independence. However, for the very same Alex Salmond to criticise anyone with “poor judgement” really takes the biscuit!

He who described the action against Serbia in 1999 as an act of “unpardonable folly”, who described the pound Sterling as “a millstone around Scotland’s neck” and produced an Independence argument in 2014 predicated on an oil price of £115 per barrel.

Is it now not the time for him to “judge” that he should quietly end his public pronouncements or will it be that his unashamed ego will prohibit him from doing so?

Richard Allison, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Russia tomorrow

Is there nothing Alex Salmond will not do to gain press coverage? Is his ego that big that he can tell, as in your article by Gina Davidson today, the Royal Family (especially the younger generation) what to do and who to speak to.

In the recent visit by Prince William and Kate, speaking to Gordon Brown or any politician is more fact finding and is in no way “taking sides”. It is high time that Mr Salmond retired from public life in Scotland and sought his job back on Russian radio where, like now, no-one will listen to his ranting.

Michael G Cockburn, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Fair exchange

The Scotsman reports Alex Salmond saying it is "extraordinarily foolish" and "poor judgement" that Prince William, Earl of Strathearn, met with former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He makes no criticism of his meeting with Nicola Sturgeon.Prince William shows a balance we cannot expect from Scottish nationalistsVaughan Hammond, Braco, Perth & Kinross

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Joanna Cherry is second MP to resign from SNP ruling body

Splitting headache

Although it will take time, as these things do, the gradual descent into oblivion of the SNP is already underway. They can see the writing on the wall, which is emphasised by their attempt to get a deal with the economically illiterate Greens, whose idea of policy is to destroy all our industries, starting with oil.

The breakaway group who joined Alba have sunk without a trace and Alex Salmond, a shadow from the past, tries to gain a headline, but only, in fact a small side column, accusing the Royals of political favouritism for speaking to a retired ex-Prime Minister. Desperate stuff.

To twist the knife in the wound, their own party faithful are walking amidst allegations about what has happened to £600,000; no fewer than three of them in a week. Joanna Cherry, one of the few impressive SNP representatives, was fired from her front bench role in February and has now resigned another. What is going on?

Politics tends to go in waves and political trends only last so long. Nationalism is no different. Just as the Liberals gave way to Labour, Nationalism is on the wane and is beginning to split into its various factions, some more extreme than others. The Alba split is symptomatic of more splits to come.

Andrew H N Gray, Edinburgh, Midlothian

The faith fits?

It is commendable that Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, in a recent interview with Nick Robinson, professes her strong Christian faith which leads her to “serve and love her neighbours with all my heart and soul and mind and strength”. I find it inconceivable that someone so committed to divisive, controlling nationalism which has done so much to divide neighbours, to create division, hatred and anger amongst families and friends and in my opinion ruined Scotland, can also profess the Christian faith, which is based on love, forgiveness, compassion, peace, hope and grace.

I see nothing in the nationalism which has engulfed Scotland to equate with Christian values. Looking at the social media of some nationalists provides an extremely disturbing insight to the beliefs and attitudes of separatists and I would very much like to hear Ms Forbes’s defence of some of her fellow nationalists, who strongly and crudely decry and vilify those of an opposing political viewpoint.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar, Aberdeenshire

Plan to pay

Scots are faced with a tsunami of red ink when the bills to implement COP26 are sent out yet, with fewer than five months until the conference, the media is still focused on IndyRef2 without a single reference to the impact of a £150 billion Green Revolution or a fourfold increase in energy bills when gas (4p/unit ) is replaced by electricity (16p/unit ). Such costs will bankrupt the economy unless the Finance Secretary can show voters that there is a plan on repaying such debts.

So when exactly are proposals being issued for debate within Scotland?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

Dangerous dish

Regarding your article “Stop selling fish raised on fishmeal from West Africa, retailers are told” (1 June), are people in power too stupid to learn from past mistakes?

Look back to the Sixties and Seventies, when BSE in cattle was running amok, all because the powers-that-be thought they could find a cheap source of food, that is, meat and bone meal (feeding cattle back to cattle).

Subsequently, many people got seriously ill and some even died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease through eating variations of this food.

Robert Fleming, Duns, Scottish Borders

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