I WRITE in response to Sir Tom Hunter's article ("Take this risk, do something differently to help Scotland lead the world", The Herald, June 29). There were some aspects of it which I really appreciated.

First, that it wasn't presented in any way as an attack on the Government (unlike many statements by politicians), indeed it was gracious in recognition of "what government does best". Secondly, I appreciated the reference to the Enlightenment; so many people forget about history and what we can and should learn from it. Finally, I was glad that he put an emphasis on small businesses. We've been doing our best to support independent bakeries, butchers and bookshops, and small restaurants offering takeaway meals, who have continued to trade through the crisis by whatever means they can. Personally I would like to see these businesses thrive, rather than multi-national companies like Tesco and McDonald's.

However, I would like to add a couple of points. Sir Tom proposes that business leaders should be in the vanguard of the economic recovery in Scotland; he also clarifies that he is not an economist. But surely economists should also be at the forefront here, with the entrepreneurs, if we are really to be led by experts? And please, here, include economists with what might be considered by some to be a more left-leaning vision, such as Ann Pettifor (the author of the Green New Deal), and, if we are to include international experts (as we should), invite Yanis Varoufakis (considered by some to be the brightest economist of his generation) to contribute his ideas.

The other addition I would like to see to Sir Tom's proposal would be the nurturing of alternative forms of enterprise. I believe it would be hugely positive for Scotland to see a big increase in social enterprises, whose profits are reinvested for the benefit of society and the environment. Similarly, I would like to see a big growth in co-operatives; it could be very useful and informative to look at the successes and achievements of the Mondragon Corporation, which was born in the Basque Country, and now has a presence on five continents. It is a cooperative, but also the biggest company in the Basque country, which now has the most equal distribution of wealth in Europe.

Finally, please, please don't forget cultural enterprises (if that's the right term). Theatres, music venues, galleries and museums and independent cinemas are all vital to the soul of the nation.

Cathy Benson, Edinburgh EH8.

RECENTLY Herald columnists have taken to comparing the response to the coronavirus crisis of the Scottish Government and governments elsewhere in the UK, especially that of England. Recent developments provide them with further ammunition.

On the one hand we have Boris Johnson proclaiming a New Deal comparable with that implemented by Franklin Roosevelt in the US in the 1930s. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that Roosevelt's programme was far greater in scope than that proposed by Mr Johnson ("Johnson’s recovery plan to ‘build, build, build’ leaves Sturgeon ‘extremely underwhelmed’", The Herald, July 1)., what is interesting is that a Tory leader should come forward with such a series of measures in the first place. Where are the calls for a small state? Where are the calls for free markets? What has happened to the Masters of the Universe in the City of London?

Sir Tom Hunter appears to take a different view and, in terms of his economic principles, a more consistent one. In Scotland business must come to the fore and the rest of civil society marginalised with no apparent role or voice for, among others, universities, trade unions, environmental campaigners, political parties or the myriad of pressure groups which campaign on many key issues. It is not, I have to say, a prospect I find appealing.

Before the crash in America with soup kitchens and "bread lines knee deep in wheat" there was a slogan, "The Business of America is Business". Scotland should strive for a broader, more rounded and inclusive view.

Brian Harvey, Hamilton.

TO put Boris Johnson’s £5 billion “New Deal” package into some context, the UK Government is spending £4 billion to refurbish the Palace of Westminster, including £350 million for a House of Lords rooftop restaurant.

Norway, which has produced roughly 10 per cent more oil and gas than Scotland, plans to spend a record 420 billion kroner (£35.27 billion) of its sovereign oil wealth fund this year to weather the brutal Covid-19 downturn and announced a Government Bond Fund providing up to NOK 50 billion (£4.2 billion) to be invested in bonds issued by Norwegian companies.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh EH9.

BORIS Johnson’s Recovery Plan is certainly modest incorporating an investment of £5bn when compared to the probable cost of HS2 at £106bn as predicted by a Government review in Jan 2020. With the changing circumstances brought about by Covid-19, how can this project still be justified especially as one of the outcomes of the pandemic may well be less travel and more working from home? These two sums of money are outrageously out of perspective with the needs of the British people at present.

Stewart Jamieson, Dumfries.

BORIS Johnson is among the most amiable of men, with the gift of the gab. However, his honeyed words seldom come to fruition. His latest speech on his “New Deal” spending plan appears to be no more than fluff; shuffling the same pack of cards; not one extra penny of spending for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, but then, Mr Johnson always promises more than he delivers. And, if he had referenced “England” instead of “UK”, it would have been just the same speech.

Under the guise of “reform” he is also getting rid of the most senior civil servant and National Security Advisor and replacing him with a political appointee. It used to be a commonly shared belief that the impartiality of the civil service was a jewel in the crown of the British State. Thus, for Tory party advantage, the foundations of that British state get a wee bit more shoogly, and our common “Social Contract” less relevant.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

NICOLA Sturgeon says she is "extremely underwhelmed" by Boris Johnson's economic recovery plan. She needs to look a little closer to home.

Whilst her efforts to keep Scots healthy are laudable, her efforts on the economy are far less so, her latest gaffe being damaging the already hard-pressed tourist industry. Kate Forbes, her Finance Secretary, has had to " request" extra financial aid from Westminster but this is not helped by the general attitude of the SNP that suggests any refusal will simply be another reason to go for independence.

Our current SNP/Green government is far too blinded by this prospect to actually notice the reality that, if Scotland actually voted for independence, then there are no viable answers to running the finances successfully. Talk is cheap, nothing else is.

Ms Sturgeon must stop governing by spurious poll results and deal with the real situation on the ground. Currently we have almost no productive economy to speak of but rapidly rising costs and debts. If Scotland is going to be an independent country soon, then there should be no need to ask Westminster for money. Surely we ought to be demonstrating our own "economic powerhouse" abilities right now with the multitude of powers we already possess. Anything less is just an excuse.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow G77.

NICOLA Sturgeon has said that she is "extremely underwhelmed" by Boris Johnson's post-lockdown spending plans. Could this possibly be the first time she has been reactionary dismissive of a sensible proposal from a UK Prime Minister just for the sake of it? I’m unsure, but you’ll have to excuse me, there appears to be a bear ambling into the woods over there.

David Bone, Girvan.

Read more: Sir Tom Hunter: Take this risk, do something differently to help Scotland lead the world