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Letters / Insurance policy

The visceral and irrational animosity of the Liberal Democrats for The Scottish National Party was on display for all to see and hear at the BBC Hustings on 30 and 31May.

It is evident that the Lib Dems wish to deny that they have much in common with the SNP as parties with a background in social democracy. Sadly, that did not stop them going into coalition with a party with whom they had nothing in common, and they paid the price for putting ambition before principle.

The Lib Dems wish to have a UK wide referendum on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. Unfortunately wishful thinking on their part as they do not have the political clout to implement it, but, nevertheless it demonstrates a fear of the Brexit outcome, a fear they share with the SNP.

Alistair Carmichael did however go to astonishing lengths to deny the legitimate stance that the SNP have taken on this issue. He went as far as to call into question the right of the Scottish Parliament to seek to call a referendum if the Brexit deal turns out to be toxic for Scotland by contending that the Green Party had no right to vote as they did. To do this is unprincipled and clearly unconstitutional.

Nicola Sturgeon by contrast makes her point with gentle humour by saying that she cannot get a word in edgeways on the referendum for Ruth Davidson constantly banging on about it; and there she exposes the issue.

The Tories will go to any length to distract attention from their divisive policies, and, I suppose, though dishonest, goes for what is regarded as political tactics these days. I suspect though, that a discerning electorate will see it for what it is but may find the Lib Dems stance harder to understand.

The real issue for them and Labour is to prevent a Tory government from being elected. And they need to see, though I doubt they ever will, that the intention of the Scottish Parliament on indyref2 is to provide an insurance policy for the Scottish people should the Brexit outcome prove to be of huge disadvantage to Scotland.

Peter Malcolmson

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021