Your editorial (The Guardian view on the SNP: deliver on public services, not just a referendum, 13 settembre) makes some salient points about the track record of the SNP in Scotland, but you also throw in a few red herrings. I am not a fervent nationalist but have voted SNP for around 10 years for three reasons. Primo, it is a left-of-centre governing party; second, because it is pro-Europe and would try to rejoin the EU should Scotland become independent; and third, despite a few stains on its record which you highlight, it has governed Scotland responsibly and, although not always successful, has had the country’s best interests at heart.
It’s always been clear that Scotland is a more left-leaning country than England and the idea of the SNP providing a buffer to Boris Johnson’s shambolic rightwing agenda is of some comfort to me and many others.
The thought of England voting in another 10 years of Johnson and his Brexiter Tories, which is likely, has driven many former unionists like myself towards independence.
Your views of the poor performance of the SNP are perhaps not as widely shared as you assume. Since the SNP government took control, Scotland has, just for starters, a glorious new bridge over the Forth; a new railway line has been established between Edinburgh and Galashiels; the A9 Perth to Inverness is finally being dualled; the Edinburgh and Glasgow motorway has had much-needed major improvements; and both cities now have large new hospitals.
Tourism in our beautiful country is thriving and Scotland is well ahead of the UK on green policies. The Scottish government has legislated on minimum alcohol pricing, domestic violence and smoking in public places – issues that matter to ordinary people – all long before Westminster.
And would Westminster have done this for Scotland? Bene, it had plenty of time to demonstrate interest and solid investment before the SNP took power.
An SNP government is now the status quo in Scotland. We have a generation of young, voting-age Scots who cannot remember a time before Holyrood or a non-SNP government. Many see the goal of independence as entirely logical, as only around 20% of the Scottish electorate votes Tory. Despite some recent polls from unionist sources, it is doubtful if the desire for independence from other age groups will diminish. Throughout the pandemic, Scots have been immensely proud of “our Nicola’s” commitment and felt considerably safer with her at the helm.
Watching the ineptitude, sleaze and shameless lack of compassion in Westminster, we know when we’re well off.
Haddington, East Lothian
I was disappointed to read your editorial. For a paper that normally presents well-balanced opinions, the anti-SNP rhetoric of this article lacks any subtlety – this shows clearly in the statement “Brexit has ejected Scotland from Europa against the SNP’s wishes.” Brexit ejected Scotland from Europe against the will of 62% of the population of Scotland – not against the will of the SNP. The Yes movement in Scotland is inclusive and much broader than the SNP and this should be taken into account in an unbiased way in the discussions on Scottish independence that will be taking place soon. I trust the Guardian will rise to the challenge.
Dr Hugh Young