THE Conservative and Unionist party political broadcast on TV ended with the words emblazoned across the screen, "Tell Nicola Sturgeon no more referendums".

Could I inquire of Ruth Davidson what her and the Conservative MSPs' policies are on the NHS and care of the elderly, education and student fees, benefits system, free travel and winter fuel payments for the elderly?

Ms Davidson and her MSPs are the main opposition in Holyrood, and so far they have not produce any constructive policies nor constructive comment to assist a better and fairer Scotland. Just how would they stand up to their own Tory government in Westminster over cuts to the Scottish block grant and the austerity measures imposed by Westminster? Just what would the Scottish Tories mitigate against?

Out of all the devolved administrations the Scottish Government is performing best.

If Ms Davidson claims that she wants to be the next First Minister, she will need to stop bumping her gums about referendums and Nicola Sturgeon, and all that is in her opinion bad about the Scottish Government. She will need to produce costed and unique policies suitable to Scotland's needs and requirements, policies that can be scrutinised and stand out from the policies of Westminster Conservatism.

If she does not give up her sole mantra of No to Independence and referendums, and produce proper and workable policies, I fear Hell will have frozen over and global warming will be a thing of the past before she becomes First Minister.

Robert McCaw, Renfrew.

SO the Unionist wing of the Scottish Tories believe that hitching their fortunes to the One Nation Caucus of Tory MPs at Westminster will reverse their falling support in Scotland. Too much of Scottish unionism is misplaced nostalgia rather than a positive vision for Scotland's future. At a Tory gathering a stated view was "we used to have an empire". To which any sensible person would think "we also used to have slavery". For some Unionists devolution is not an unfinished process but a passing inconvenience that leaves their world view unaltered. Banning Boris Johnston from the Scottish Tory Conference and Scots Tory MPs supporting "Operation Arse" to spoil his leadership ambitions now look equally childish as events unfold.

The European election leaflet from the Scottish Tories has 10 name checks for Nicola Sturgeon against two for Ruth Davidson. This obsession serves the SNP well. "We really dislike the SNP" is not a winning strategy. Where are the progressive voices from the Conservative wing of the Scottish Tories to outline a positive future for Scotland in the UK single market and customs union? The subservient nature of the Scottish Tories to the UK Party and the anachronistic hierarchical structures ensures that Scottish candidates will go with the Tory ship in future elections chained to the oars.

Crying wolf on IndyRef2 has lost its effectiveness and undermines the democratic principle of self-determination. Do Scottish Conservatives not want be in charge of their own destiny and Scotland's future? Only an independent Scottish Conservative Party can really challenge the SNP in a devolved Scotland.

James Robb, Helensburgh.

REBECCA McQuillan ("Britain needs a leader. We might get Boris instead", The Herald, May18) comments that the election of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, would signal to the world that the "UK had well and truly lost its way". Here is a man who usually generates a strong reaction one way or another. Nicola Sturgeon, for example, not holding back, described him as "a complete and utter charlatan". The way things are going he clearly fancies his chances of being the next occupant of 10 Downing Street.

In all this to-do and speculation about the political demise of Theresa May, I am reminded of the words of the philosopher and political economist, John Stuart Mill, in the 19th century, that his age was lacking in genius and that the "deficiency of giants" was being met by "a constantly increasing multitude of dwarfs". How apposite, some would say, Mill's words are to today's world of politics.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

THE advances being made by Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party south of the Border are alarming. We must be very careful what we vote for on Thursday. Very careful indeed. A vote for the Brexit Party is much more than a vote for a no-deal exit from the EU. It is a vote for a sharp swing to a far-right society.

It would be a vote against what many still regard as their nation’s values. If we are to demonstrate that we wish to retain these values at least north of the Border we must hope that the Scottish vote in the EU elections for that party is negligible.

As far as the Conservatives are concerned I suggest few could possibly contemplate voting for a party seriously considering appointing Boris Johnson, a man accused of being incapable of telling the truth, as leader. Furthermore the Scottish Conservatives’ participation in the Brexit debate has been woefully negligible. As Marianne Taylor says in her article, “Ms Davidson has done nothing to influence the trajectory of the Brexit negotiations in Scotland’s favour.”

And if you are one of those who believe that Jeremy Corbyn has failed totally to cover the Labour Party in Brexit glory I remind you that you still have three established parties, which represent the aforementioned values, from which to chose. All is by no means lost for Scotland. We have the opportunity to retain our self-respect.

John Milne, Uddingston.

IT has long been a feature of the Scottish media that – with honourable exceptions including some in The Herald – the hostility of the SNP and its supporters to any kind of criticism has closed down scrutiny of the Scottish Government in many public arenas.

Luckily, the format of UK audience participation shows such as Question Time take the debate beyond the parochial Scottish media bubble ("Call for BBC to refer itself to watchdog over audiences", The Herald, May 20). It is always a joy to see how Scotland's SNP establishment squirms when taken to task by members of the public who cannot be cowed in the same way that some toadying professional journalists allow. Whatever their political affiliation, we should all salute the courage of these individuals who dare to speak out. It is a sign of both the weakness and the authoritarian instincts of nationalists that they wish to silence such voices.

Next time Question Time is in Glasgow I will apply to be in the audience and urge every lover of free speech and public scrutiny of our political classes to do likewise when it comes to your town.

Let the Question Time People's Revolt continue and grow. We, the majority, will not be silenced.

Peter A Russell,

Glasgow G13.

Read more: Poll puts Brexit Party into second place in Scotland