THE First Minster's threat to increase lockdown legislation if people "fail to do the right thing" ("Sturgeon’s lockdown threat despite 50% drop in testing", The Herald, June 2) reeks of paternalism. We are already three weeks behind the rest of the UK with regard to the lockdown.

The SNP-led Scottish Government has lectured us for more than a decade about our eating, smoking and drinking habits, all to no avail for the most part. A bloated body of NGOs, third sector organisations and charities in Scotland is testament to this.

Perhaps a new and revolutionary tactic of treating Scots like autonomous adults, responsible for their own actions and the negative consequences of said actions, would be a better course during the lifting of lockdown.

Alternatively, target the endemic minority of feckless serial offenders, rather than the entire Scottish population for a change.

David Bone, Girvan.

“NOW behave! I’ve given you a sweetie – enough! Do you want to go back into lockdown? I’ll do it! I really will!”

Welcome to the delusional world of Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government (with application to the other three constituent governments of the UK, if they are thinking the same way).

It is glaringly obvious that the only credible policy in respect of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, is to manage social distancing – now that’s policy for the long-haul.

The UK wont go into complete lockdown again – a panic reaction in the first place – because the country simply cannot (economically) afford to.

Of course, the powers that be can cherry-pick a few thousand people to arrest and charge, or lockdown a few localities here and there, in order to make it look like they actually know what they’re doing – but this will fail against the tide of public opinion.

The mantra “we govern / police with the consent of the people” is often trotted out at press conferences; but if this is to have real meaning, then the said powers that be must implement policies which are perceived by the public as credible; thus, in relation to coronavirus management, the only credible management policy is social-distancing rather than nonsense talk of more draconian measures.

Philip Adams, Crosslee.

IT was extremely disappointing to hear Nicola Sturgeon's response to the increased traffic from the cities and to the surge of visitors to “beauty spots. The same support for an authoritarian return to strict lockdown in the event of poor behaviour was the tone echoed on the BBC radio`s Monday evening news programme.

My aunt and uncle escaped the Depression of pre-war Glasgow by, whenever possible, getting up to Arrochar and Glencoe. The hills gave them a true education, a sense of worlds beyond their oppression.

And their generation inspired successive hillgoers seeking friendship, fun. beauty, health, adventure … I`m not sure our present Government understands this.

The majority safely seeking a release from current oppressions should not be hostages to the actions of the thoughtless. Where are the creative actions to address the problems?

What about getting all the car parks open? Getting litter bins in place? What about toilets? What about testing at the National Park boundaries? What about actions to really emphasise by rural posters the basics of contagion reduction?

And as for the vandals, the fire-raisers, the litter louts: they are breaking existing laws. Let the police deal with them.

All our people, urban and rural, need reassurance through creative action. The Scottish Government needs to move on from its emphasis on fear.

Dick Webster, Kingussie.

REGARDING Mark Smith's recent article ("The reason nationalists are so in love with lockdown", The Herald, June 1), I wonder what a slightly wider survey of Scottish voters committed to social justice than Mr Smith's circle of friends might have revealed? Deep concern about the impact of lockdown on their jobs, their pensions, their local economy perhaps? Yearning to see their loved ones again? Fear of a future where our education system, our Health Service, our very way of life are reconfigured in a way that reduces direct physical contact? And yes, fear that people they know may contract the virus and become ill or die.

Nobody wants the lockdown. But many of us have seen what happened this weekend when certain of the populace were afforded slightly increased liberty. Less "gradual extension of social contact". More "aff the leash"’ altogether. And if it continues, what then? Shape our response along political lines – minimal state intervention versus state control ? Or along health guidance lines?

Incidentally, the throwaway remark about Jason Leitch was just cheap. I’ll take "whiny TV ads" over vacuous bombast any day.

These are dangerous times for all of us. I’m pleased to be part of a community response which embraces people of all political persuasions. One thing we have in common, though, is an understanding that this is serious. I know of no one who wants the lockdown to continue a day longer than necessary. The only thing they want less is for anybody else to die from it. They are not political ideologues. They’re just folk. Why not do a piece on how such people pull together in the face of Covid instead of theorising on their underlying motivation?

John Gilruth, Dunkeld.

Read more: Letters: The cost of independence would have hit the Covid fight