I WONDER if the Nationalists would be riding so high in the polls (" Support for Union has ‘never looked so weak’ as Indy movement on the rise", The Herald, July 6) if we'd seen their dirty little anti-English secret on display at the attempted blockade at Berwick ("A1 border protest scenes a ‘disgrace’", The Herald, July 6)? Or if we'd known the Borders Covid outbreak had been linked to a "hot tub party" in Scotland, and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman had admitted that, after all the fuss and angst, she can't actually track quarantined arrivals at Scottish airports?

We need look beyond the daily State Mammy Covid chats and these near-daily existential attacks on our democracy, society and economy represented by Humza Yousaf's sinister hate speech legislation and his predecessor Kenny MacAskill's proposals that the Lord Advocate should be an independence supporter, our collapsing education system, amateur job and business generation efforts, oil-less, Barnett-propped, overdraft economy and mean-spirited nationalism.

Soon, I hope, Covid will be off the front pages and the comparisons will start. How will Scottish and English economic growth, unemployment and tax rates compare, how are our kids faring at school? Do we really want to give the people who have divided, dithered and blundered Scotland into this rut another five years to shoogle and con us into another, this time suicidal, referendum?

The nationalists are getting an easy ride at the moment. It can’t go on. Where's the opposition?

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

THE news that more than a quarter of all Scots eligible would vote for a new party started by former First Minister Alex Salmond is no surprise to those paying more attention to the increased grumbles heard pre-Covid 19 on trains, buses, bars, cafes and workplaces; in lieu of the rhetoric of spin doctors, self-appointed "community spokespersons" and self-interested "focus groups".

Scotland cries out for leadership: its governance fixated with headline-grabbing micro-minority issues (for example, transgenderism) and any other self-congratulatory frippery it can adorn itself with, like primary school children coveting gold stars for their jotters; whereas bread and butter issues – health, education and transport – became mired in nepotism and ineptitude: only caring less about homelessness when Covid-19 made the destitute a public health threat.

That a Salmond party would also take a considerable slice of remaining Tory and Labour voters equally delivers warning this discontent cuts across all party lines. As Burns warned in 1795 during a previous political class' hubris, "It's coming yet for a' that!"

Mark Boyle, Johnstone.

AS Gordon Brewer seemingly struggled to interrupt Jackson Carlaw in full rant-mode when interviewed on Sunday Politics Scotland (BBC1, July 5) the pantomime appeared complete when the focus of Mr Carlaw’s extreme ire became clear.

It wasn’t the nearly 70,000 Covid-19-related deaths that have now tragically occurred across the UK, it wasn’t that the UK would not now be granted an extension beyond December to EU trade talks due to the ideological intransigence of his party at Westminster, it wasn’t even that a second poll in a row showed 54 per cent in favour of Scotland determining its own future, it was the apparent "catastrophe" that the Scottish Government had not yet carried out "quarantine checks" on recent arrivals from abroad. That public health officials in Scotland were not granted immediate access to UK border-control data by the Home Office seemed of no concern to our erstwhile used-car salesman poorly masquerading as a serious politician.

Not only was the fact that the UK Government suddenly introduced blanket quarantine regulations following minimal consultation with the devolved governments also unsurprisingly overlooked, Mr Carlaw attempted to bolster his threadbare case by wrongly stating that Scotland was the only one of the four nations that had not carried out quarantine checks on arrivals; to date the opposite is true as only Public Health England has claimed to have made any such checks. The UK Government in attempting to centralise control at every opportunity has exacerbated a distressingly deficient pandemic preparedness by repeatedly causing unnecessary delays. It was only recently that the devolved governments finally gained access to "UK Lab" testing data acquired under their own health jurisdictions and local councils in England are only now being given "full access", on a weekly basis, to test data that is essential for rapid contact-tracing.

Perhaps it is time for Mr Carlaw to direct some of his pent-up frustrations at those in his own party governing at Westminster with whom he boasts to have some influence?

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.

WOULD Jackson Carlaw be good enough to explain in detail how he would have handled the quarantine checks if he had been doing these in Scotland?

Ian Turner, Bearsden.

AS he often does, Ian Lakin (Letters, July 6) points out a number of reasons why Scotland would be impoverished if not in a union with England: Subsidies for wind power; fiscal deficit; reliance on the economy of London and the south-east; lack of exporting power among the usual suspects.

Perhaps he should ponder the reason why, after more than 300 years of the Union, Scotland has so failed to thrive relative to England and many other countries in Europe, and why it would not be a good idea to do something about it?

John Jamieson, Ayr.

I READ with some incredulity and dismay that support for independence is rising mainly due to a perception that Nicola Sturgeon has handled the Covid epidemic better than England, whereas the reality is that she has taken exactly the same measures but just slightly delayed implementing them.

The fact is that she can only afford to do them at all because of the backing of the UK Treasury. In the last referendum great play was made of Scotland’s oil wealth at $100 dollars a barrel; it is now $40. Don’t the voters realise the dire situation we would be in without the Barnett formula and UK treasury behind us?

The Scottish economic deficit stands at £12.6 billion. Heaven help us if we were on our own.

Cameron McDougall, Langbank.

Read more: Letters: Be grateful that Scotland puts health before profit