NOT that long ago, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon were the feared "dynamic duo" of British politics. Now Nicola Sturgeon is coming under increasing pressure as yet more failures in the system come to light ("Dire police failings on 200 emergency calls in a year", The Herald, November 10). Her performance at First Minister's Questions was decidedly muted, which is not like her at all.

With all the fuss surrounding Theresa May's leadership the same questions have to be asked about Ms Sturgeon. The Scottish National Party has endorsed unwanted independence as well as failures in education, balanced taxation, housing market disruption, excessive free entitlements and the general economy. Her predecessor is now looking to Russia for employment ("Salmond under fire for signing TV show deal with Russia Today channel", The Herald, November 10) and there seems to be no clear-cut path forward for Ms Sturgeon. Has the "dream team" run out of steam?

Dr Gerald Edwards,

Broom Road, Glasgow.

NICOLA Sturgeon should be commended for criticising Alex Salmond for his TV show on Russian state-funded broadcaster RT. This is an interesting moment, as Ms Sturgeon finally breaks free of her former mentor, and Mr Salmond at last breaks free of the checks and balances to which he has hitherto been subject.

He could now become increasingly politically belligerent, in due course diverging significantly from the First Minister's stance on Catalonia, a second independence referendum and much more besides. Frankly, it was always going to happen.

John Gemmell,

157 Collingwood Drive, Great Barr, Birmingham

I UNDERSTAND that Alex Salmond doesn’t like anything with the word "British" in it, but surely appearing on a show on the Russian state-sponsored news network, Russia Today, is a step too far.

It seems like the former First Minster has started to embark on a concerted and sustained campaign to undermine not only the "British state" but all aspects of Britishness. He is appearing on a show sponsored by a government whose country is rated "not free" when it comes to press freedom according to Freedom House. A place where LGBT relationships are still not recognised and there are a number of discriminatory laws in place. A place that is rated 119th in the world's least-corrupt countries. The UK is number 11.

However, Russia was one of the few other nations to support an independent Scotland in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum, not because of any vague notion of self-determination of people, but more because of the damage it would do to the western world.

In particular to the United Kingdom, one if the great historical engines of liberal democracy, toleration, press freedom and minority rights. This is something that Mr Salmond likes to forget in his attempt to resuscitate his moribund dream.

David Bone,

1 Ailsa Street West, Girvan.

AT a time when concerns of Russian state sponsored interference in the US political process continue to fuel investigations in the USA, it is at first sight shocking to find a Scottish political figure willing to align himself with Russia’s propaganda outlet. Yet reflecting on Alex Salmond’s decision to host a weekly show on the state-owned Russia Today TV channel, it presumably reflects a unity of ultimate purpose.

Alex Salmond has never hidden the fact that he seeks to undermine the UK and work for its break-up. Russia, meanwhile, appears to have a wide ranging interest in encouraging disruption of western democracies by fair means or foul.

Equally, someone missing the media spotlight of public office, perhaps has such a craving for the oxygen of publicity that any sense of diplomatic or political propriety has been lost.

Keith Howell,

White Moss, West Linton, Peeblesshire.

Nice to see the SNP MEP Alyn Smith keeping up the high standards of rhetoric from our elected representatives to the Scottish Parliament with his”'what the f*** is he thinking about” comment re Alex Salmond's new TV show.

Martin Smith,

34 Victoria Road, Lenzie.

EVER eager for an anti-Westminster grievance, Nicola Sturgeon tells us, ahead of a British Irish Council meeting, that she is “substantially in the dark” over Brexit talks (“Farmers in the dark on Brexit”, The Herald, November 10).

Really? Surely it's only a few weeks since the devolved administrations reached agreement with the UK Government on how powers will be brought back from the EU to the UK.

Plus let's remember Brexit is beyond the nationalist leader's remit. Her reduced cohort of Westminster MPs legitimately has a Brexit role to play but Holyrood's remit is entirely domestic.

Ms Sturgeon could spend her time more effectively by concentrating on supporting hard-pressed frontline professionals in schools and the NHS. But will she? Of course not. She clings to the hope of using Brexit to achieve independence - so division is always her focus.

Martin Redfern,

Woodcroft Road, Edinburgh.

I NOTE your report of another Westminster careerist putting her London tuppenceworth in regarding the Scottish Labour Leadership election (“MP Creasy to back Sarwar", The Herald, November 9).

Stella Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow, says "when you see nationalism tearing communities and countries apart", which is now a well-used phrase for those who know nothing of Scotland or its people. I have no interest in who wins this Labour election as no matter who wins, it will be the same old same old. However, I do resent these southern Unionist politicians telling us our communities are tearing ourselves apart when they would get a nose bleed if they ventured up here to find out for themselves that the opposite is the truth.

Scotland had a wonderful democratic referendum which brought fresh blood to grass-roots politics and we are still having an enlightened discussion on who we are and where we are going, and long may it continue.

Robert Buirds,

12 Lomond Avenue, Port Glasgow.