THERE is much talk about the coming General Elections being the "Brexit" election. However, that has no substance as far as the Scottish people are concerned, most Scots, of all political persuasions, are anti-Brexit and are much more interested in other issues.

Even in England, where there is much more interest in Brexit, any objective observer can see that this issue, however much it is claimed to be central to UK politics can’t be the significant issue for this General Election, because in spite of the propaganda slogan, “get Brexit done” Brexit will not be "done", even if Boris Johnson gets a working majority and gets his deal through Westminster before Christmas. Because if that happens, we will be in exactly the same position next autumn, as we were last autumn. It will again be a question of, is the negotiated trade deal with the EU good enough, or are we going out of the EU without a deal, or are we going to extend the leaving date?

None of this has been resolved, unless one accepts that the UK and EU negotiators can complete a comprehensive trade agreement dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s, in just a year. Such complex agreements usually take around seven years to complete in draft form as all politicians and media professionals will know.

So Brexit will not be "done" in any real sense at this election. However what may be done in a very real sense after this election is that the electorate in the UK may be too late to get another chance to change UK policy in order to prevent us reaching a tipping point in the climate change struggle, as most scientist are now telling us.

We do not have the luxury of waiting another five years before the UK seriously addresses this issue, and it is clear from both the Tory and Brexit Party that their leaders are not even prepared to turn up for a public debate on this subject which they are refusing to give attention to. In real terms, this may prove to be the climate change election for the UK, rather than the Brexit one and sadly the media are not really facing up to this.

The Scottish Government is addressing this issue, and has been for some time, not nearly enough as it will need to do, but to a much greater extent than the UK is doing. In Scotland there have been efforts for some years now to use the limited investment and persuasive powers to influence power production and Scotland has made significant advances in this area. One simple telling example of this is that the Tories, LibDems and Labour are telling us how many trees they will plant if they are elected. Scotland has planted 22 million trees in the last year, 84 per cent of all plantings in the UK, and has the organisation and capacity to develop this further.

This question of climate change will prove, in historical terms, to have been the most important issue at this election and the politicians and media who are not seriously addressing this issue, which unfortunately are the majority, are doing a gross disservice to the British people and to democracy.

Andy Anderson, Saltcoats.

THERE is a small smidgeon of hope for Thelma Edwards wish that our political leaders can find “peace, community and good sense” (Letters, November 29), as Labour, Tory and LibDems promise huge tree-planting programmes in England. Thirty million trees per annum from the Conservative Party: 60 million trees per annum from the LibDems and two billion trees by 2040 from Labour. To put this in perspective, in 2018/19 Scottish forestry (devolved) had 11.21 thousand hectares of new planting while England increased by only 1.42 thousand hectares – already a breach of Tory manifesto commitments from 2015 (and later).

I think it will take more than a “sprinkling of magic” for Labour, Tory or LibDems to come anywhere near these absurd promises: that is the problem with this election, manifestos that are based on fantasy, magic thinking and money trees (not real ones).

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

YES, the children of the world are right, the first priority of this election should be climate change rather than the blight of Brexit.

Britain's core values used to be tolerance, honesty and respect; none of which have been visible of late. With corrupt politicians throughout the London-based parties and dishonest interviewers issuing a platitude of lies, Britain now wallows in a dark Brexit flux.

A caring, sharing SNP representation in the UK Parliament can begin saving our beautiful green planet. Only in seeking an independent Scotland, free of nuclear weapons, connecting with Europe and the world, can we halt the land slipping into anarchy and destruction.

Grant Frazer, Newtonmore.

I HAVE become somewhat indifferent to politics as there is little else to do except watch Britain's race to the bottom. However, there does seem to be increasing interest in climate change, although it is difficult to know if it is just talk or if people really want government action on this. The reason for saying this is the party gaining most support at present is also the one which is least likely to take action on global warming.

James Evans, Dumbarton.

MANY people seem to believe that a no deal Brexit has been avoided by the vote in Parliament for Boris Johnson's hard Brexit deal. I would encourage them to consider why Nigel Farage stood down most of his Brexit Party candidates and what he would get in return. Page 5 in the new Conservative manifesto states, in bold, that “we will not extend the implementation period beyond December 2020”. Even if we had the luxury of a semi-competent and serious UK negotiating team, it is not credible that a multi-year task can be completed in one year. Therefore, the ultra-right-wing hard-Brexiters have baked in their no deal Brexit.

The 13 Scottish Conservative MPs signed up to this manifesto and know this very well, but they pretend that they are all for Mr Johnson's deal. We can but hope that the Scottish electorate deprive these Scottish Conservatives of their part in this calamity.

Dr J Toole, Crieff.

PETER Russell (Letters, November 28) should know that the EU is a political as well as an economic union and that a self-governing Scotland’s accession would be relatively quick even if it meant spending some time in the European Economic Area, which would be much better for our economy than the UK leaving the EU.

As a modern, democratic country with a higher GDP per capita than most EU members, there is no reason why the EU would be difficult. but diplomatically their senior officials won’t confirm easy access until such time as the UK leaves or Scotland votes for independence.

Those opposed to self-government need to explain why Scotland would not be entitled to a share of the UK’s assets including currency reserves and Bank of England deposits if we continue to pay interest on the UK’s national debt which accounts for a quarter of the total GERS notional deficit that Unionists gleefully pounce on to claim that Scotland is a fiscal basket case.

Over the past 40 years more taxes and revenues have gone from Scotland to HM Treasury in London than has been spent by the UK Government in Scotland, including Barnet consequentials, which begs the question as to why GERS charges Scotland any interest on Westminster’s debts.

Given our natural assets, there is no logical reason why Scotland cannot emulate Denmark’s economic success or tax oil and gas companies at Norwegian levels once we take charge of our own future. Small countries respond quicker and more successfully to difficult situations.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh EH11.

OPINION polls merely reflect the mood of the moment. Once their results appear in print, they fix their imprint in the minds of the readers. This can lead individuals to jump on the bandwagon which the opinion poll points to. Others can be led to believe that there is no longer any point in voting for their chosen preference.

Opinion polls operate on the premise of a framework of unalterable algorithms, which cannot take into account the extraordinary circumstances which affect local behaviour or the influence of electoral pacts. This makes opinion polls fallible in extrapolating from their findings to the wider intentions of the nation.

This particular General Election has so many factors at work that the mood of the electorate is moving under the radar of what opinion polls are geared to pick up. All that opinion polls can do is to to create an impression that one party or the other is on an irresistible rise, thereby depressing the expectations of those trying to oppose the group portrayed in the poll as likely to win

With almost two weeks left to play, this is going to be a difficult election to call. If there is a serious meltdown by one side or the other, that would hand the election to the party profiting from such a collapse.

What we have before us is the poorest collection of political leaders that I have witnessed in my 60 years as a voter. I am sure that I am not the only one who is finding it difficult to decide which way to vote. It looks as though it is going to be either voting tribally, going with a gut feeling or sticking a pin into the electoral list and so taking a leap into the dark.

The two main candidates for the position of Prime Minister do not inspire the electorate that they can be trusted with the future of the country

Opinion polls, then, are rather reminiscent of the theories of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who said that everything rolls on and nothing is static.This idea was amplified by stating that you cannot step into the same river twice and refined more humorously with the remark that you cannot step into the same river once. Let that be the caveat to bear in mind when presented with any opinion poll.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

HAVING listened to him on TV recently my candidate for the "Most boring politician of the Election" must surely go to Barry the bore, Gardiner, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the last Parliament. Absolutely dreadful, waffled on and on and there is no stopping him. With no particular political axe to grind who would Herald readers put forward?

Alan Stephen, Glasgow G44.