Readers letters: Catriona Macdonald fell to Tory tactical voting

"Ms Macdonald was an excellent candidate, well-spoken, moderate and articulate”

Saturday, 15th May 2021, 7:00 am

Catriona fell to Tory tactical voting

It’s not often I find myself in agreement with John McLellan, but his comment in the Evening News (13 May) about the success of the campaign of the SNP candidate for Edinburgh Southern, Catriona Macdonald in increasing the party’s vote by 4000 despite not taking the seat, and the amount of supportive SNP party literature that was received through his door, is one that as a fellow constituent I can endorse.

However, his comments (reported to be from SNP activists) that Ms Macdonald was viewed by them as ‘inexperienced’ and not ‘inclusive’ and did not engage with activists bears no relation to reality.

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Ms Macdonald was an excellent candidate, well-spoken, moderate and articulate who enthused activists by her calm, confident demeanour and support for a national care service among other progressive policies, and she remains a great asset to the party.

The success of the Labour candidate Daniel Johnson is not a reflection on her campaign but on a tactical voting tool promoted by a Tory group encouraging Tory voters to vote Labour in order to keep the SNP out, as evidenced by the fact that Miles Briggs’s vote dropped by the same astonishing amount that Johnson’s increased by.

Mairianna Clyde, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.

EU market is no comparison to UK

Nicola Sturgeon keeps claiming the EU is Scotland's biggest market. Its population is 446 million, seven times the rest of the UK, and in 2018 Scottish-EU exports were £16bn, or £36 per citizen.

The rUK's 61m inhabitants bought £49bn of our goods and services - £800 per person - so the rUK market is 22 times bigger per head.

Or to out it another way, if the EU market was really bigger than rUK, our exports should be £350bn, twice our GDP, which is, of course , nonsense.

The EU is a more untapped market, however, which is why Scotland's EU grow at 4.5 per cent compared to 2.5 per cent to rUK, but if these rates continue it will take 60 years for Scotland's EU trade to catch up with our rUK exports.

Allan Sutherland, Willow Row, Stonehaven.

Balfour downplays mental health issue

I cannot be the only one disgusted by re-elected Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour proclaiming himself as the only disabled MSP in the last parliament. Really?

Boris Johnson has stated that mental health is a top priority for Tories; perhaps he needs to send the message north to his MSP.

I know MSPs in the last Scottish Parliament who had mental health issues, disabilities and who bravely spoke publicly about the yolks around their necks.

Mr Balfour has been an Edinburgh councillor and an MSP in the last parliament. He was and maybe still is a panel member for DWP disability benefit entitlement appeals.

I assume in these posts he has come across aforesaid people whose lives are blighted by mental health constraints. He should apologise.

Douglas McBean, West Pilton Way, Edinburgh.

Ian and John Show!

Thursday is a fun day in the Evening News! Pages 14 and 15 have allegedly polar opposites in Ian Murray and John McLellan singing the same song. Tactical voting is acceptable, says Tory John; the only Labour MP talks about independence again and nothing else. The old guard, even Maggie, would be birling in their graves. These two make the Comedy Stand dull.

Roddy Watson, Orchard Bank, Edinburgh.