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Readers’ letters: Another leader who has proved to be an electoral liability?

Aberdeen Election Count. Alex Salmond arrives at P&J Live. Picture by Scott Baxter 06/05/2022
Aberdeen Election Count. Alex Salmond arrives at P&J Live. Picture by Scott Baxter 06/05/2022

Sir, – What was the biggest surprise from the local elections? Some will say the Conservatives gaining eight seats in Aberdeenshire but surely it must be that Alex Salmond doesn’t realise he has no part in Scotland’s political future.

Putting up more than 100 candidates, some of whom were elected as SNP representatives in 2017 before shamefully defecting, his Alba Party failed to have any councillors elected.

With the party’s best hope, a local legend with almost 40 years’ service in SNP colours before defecting, polling fewer than 300 votes, and counts for other candidates throughout the country being only marginally better than those for parties such as Molly McGinty’s Free Dog Poo Bags for OAPs, you realise Alba’s future is bleak.

Why did Alba fare so badly? Is it because, despite all the bluster, they can offer nothing that the SNP don’t already provide, or is it because of the leader himself?

Past behaviour of powerful men does not have to be criminal to be reprehensible and obnoxious. Scottish voters have long memories. To my mind come the words of that fine Liberal Democrat councillor Peter Argyle who after losing the seat he had held for 23 years said: “This (politics) is a brutal game, and you’re either in or you’re out. If you’re out, that’s it, end of, pull the curtain, walk away and do something else.” Wise words indeed. Are you listening Mr Salmond?

Ivan W Reid, Kirkburn, Laurencekirk.

Independence in EU is the answer

Sir, – It’s truly remarkable that, despite being in government for 15 years, the SNP has secured its best ever Scottish council election result and remains firmly in first place. Furthermore with Wales utterly rejecting Conservative unionism and the astounding result in Northern Ireland, radical constitutional changes are required.

Since Labour and the Lib Dems have now accepted Brexit, all unionist parties have joined the break with Europe, choosing to ignore the economic consequences. With every lorry queue, trading becomes ever more difficult, with the higher prices and labour shortages enhanced by the infamous Nationality and Borders Bill.

The fact is, throughout the UK constitutional change is now inevitable. The London establishment and its compliant media has never accepted Scotland’s choice of an SNP government and its consistent call for independence.

The first principle of democracy is that any sovereign nation must be governed by the people who live there – Scotland governed by the people of Scotland, not by London which consistently reaps the benefit of Scotland’s resources!

Boris Johnson’s Brexit disaster has meant that the wishes of all the UK Celtic peoples have been ignored, as a declining and increasingly insular post-imperial Great Britain tries to retain its world status.

The answer is for the four independent nations of the British isles to work together in Europe and around the world for the benefit of all.

Grant Frazer, Cruachan, Newtonmore.

Fact: Pro-Union parties in majority

Sir, – As ever, Nicola Sturgeon and followers are cock-a-hoop with her perceived success on Thursday.

The facts are (not including independent councillors elected): Pro-independence councillors elected (SNP + Greens): 488; pro-Union councillors elected (Con, Lab, Lib Dem): 583.

I believe there should be a referendum ASAP because there is NO majority for separation and we can end this constitutional quagmire once and for all.

Following seven abysmal, costly years, Nicola Sturgeon has consistently failed to offer any economic/financial/defence plans for a successful independent Scotland. Her supporters are stuck in an emotional independence, xenophobic bog.

Pro-Union votes cast versus pro-separation votes in the election will again show that in any referendum Ms Sturgeon will lose. She knows that, hence her procrastination.

Douglas Cowe, Alexander Avenue, Kingseat.

Effect of failure to cast a vote

Sir, – Having looked at the local election results I am appalled at the very low turnout of those people entitled to vote either by post or going to the polling station.

The voters who could not be bothered voting in national elections did in fact allow the SNP to stay in power at Holyrood and I am very sure that this will not be welcomed by many voters in Scotland.

So for the next few years where will the SNP waste more of the taxpayers’ cash? Perhaps a shipyard or maybe an airport?

Gavin Elder, Prunier Drive, Peterhead.

What’s logic of SNP backing Sinn Fein?

Sir, – John “Swinn Fein” Swinney’s pledge to work with Sinn Fein in “separatist alliance” seems illogical to me. Sinn Fein wants to unite two entities on one island which, whatever your religious or political views, has a certain, basic, logic to it.

The SNP wants to split an island up into two states after 300 years of political stability, security and relative prosperity. In so publicly supporting Sinn Fein they also severely risk re-igniting and worsening the ball and chain of sectarian strife that dogged Scotland for years and had been improving.

Allan Sutherland, Willow Row, Stonehaven.

What to make of U-turn by Ross?

Sir, – Only a few weeks ago I was praising Douglas Ross to the skies for his principled stance condemning Boris, then came the U-turn when the most important thing that could happen was that Boris would stay in post to end the war in Ukraine (by the way, get a move on, Boris).

So what could have happened? As a cynic of many years standing I assumed that the faceless Tory grandees had leaned heavily on Mr Ross and maybe even made hints unknown and certainly not committed to paper. Sir Douglas Ross… Lord Ross of Referee’s Whistle… who knows what?

While Mr Ross has followed his corrected line, he has hardly done it with enthusiasm. Will he now be sacrificed, after a decent interval, as the scapegoat who lost Tory votes?

And Heaven help us, what if Rees-Mogg, Minister for Sneering at Lesser People, was right about him being a “lightweight”?

At least Ruth Davidson has stuck to her guns.

Gordon Cook, Gowanlea, Friockheim.

No problem with keeping promises

Sir, – Congratulations to the new Forres councillors, I hope that their terms in office are productive for the folks they represent.

We can forget about any support from the elected SNP and SNP2 (Greens) for the long-promised dualling of the A96. As well as the high proportion of travel to work, there is the health issue.

Because of the SNP’s NHS policies of centralising services at Aberdeen we in the rural areas require good roads.

I surmise that the Green support came mainly from the residents who don’t drive to work and from our lodgers at Findhorn Foundation. I can only hope that these supporters have no cause in an emergency to be blue-lighted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. If so they might realise too late the importance of good road links.

Looking as I am at Mr Van Der Horn’s election pamphlet he at least will have no difficulty in keeping his election promises for the people of Forres as he didn’t make any.

I noticed in the news that the leader of the SNP is stating that their gains in the local elections give them a mandate for another indy referendum. I’m surprised her training as a lawyer did not include maths.

Finlay G Mackintosh, Lochview, Forres.

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