Dear Ben, I was pleased to see you and the other candidates at the Leith Churches Together hustings last evening.

Talking it over with church friends – not party friends –  this morning, there is some consensus about the most disgraceful thing said: when you said that in 2004 you decided “Why wait for Westminster and England to get sorted” (slightly paraphrased).

Westminster and England certainly need to get sorted, the state of the UK is terrible. What a lazy and shallow and opportunistic response this had and has from you. Your response should be: “Why don’t I put my shoulder to the wheel and get them sorted”.

We are much poorer in all ways as long as the SNP imagine that rhetoric and ideology over-ride the hard realities of geography and economics, not to mention the human pain of a hard border.

I submitted a green question which wasn’t put:

In the event of Scotland separating itself from its biggest trading partner and natural near neighbour, which would inevitably incur a major economic hit and create currency turmoil, and with no certainty at all that Scotland would be admitted to the EU, when, or on what terms, when does the panel expect to start the much-needed green revolution and how would it be sustained?

 I was expecting denials and evasions from you, but you might surprise me.

We all heard you say that you would be an enthusiastic supporter of joining the EU. That is no doubt true, but carries no weight.

You may call a referendum and you may even “win” it. But you must know that approximately half the population will be against separation, that the border will be every bit as dysfunctional as the border in Ireland, and that when reality sinks in separation will make as much sense as Brexit.

I want better for Scotland. A separated Scotland would not be a happy place.

Best wishes – Tim Bell

I’ll let you know if I get a reply.