SURELY more and more people must be arriving at the conclusion that having the SNP running our country (insofar as devolved matters are concerned) has stopped far short of being a runaway success.

Let us look at some of the headlines in The Herald over the last few days: “Yousaf urged to take historical SNP example and rethink hate crime laws” (August 3); “Government admits Sturgeon had extra meeting in Salmond affair” (August 4); “Hospitals probe will ‘dig deep’ says Lord Brodie” (August 4); “Ministers in storm as results ‘favour affluent’” (August 5) ; and “It’s the pits … Anger at £80 m ‘wasted’ on failed fixes to the Rest And Be Thankful” (August 6). To that one can add from earlier in the year issues associated with Police Scotland, Prestwick Airport, and Ferguson Marine.

There are at least two possible explanations which can be tendered for this state of affairs: first, the eye has been taken off the ball because of the concentration of effort on promoting independence and second, the questionable quality of many in the Scottish Cabinet.

Surely the magnitude of the ineptitude will eventually at some point diminish the vote for the SNP. Come the May 2021 elections for Holyrood we are likely to find out.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

LAST week, after spending £80 million on it, the Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll was closed yet again by landslides. Money thrown away again on an SNP-led project.

If this was a “one-off” we might excuse this ineptitude of the SNP Government, but regretfully it is just one of many similar errors and bad judgments it has made.

Look at the money wasted at Prestwick Airport– £50 million; the nationalisation of Ferguson Shipyard costing possibly over £400m, and the unused Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh, at least £150m, to mention just three.

In Aviemore the funicular railway has been idle for two years, damaging tourism there, and will now cost almost £20m to repair. Yet no urgency or apparently funds exist to expedite this repair and similar failures. What happened to our green revolution, promoted by the First Minister as our future, as the Campbeltown Wind Turbine Factory, like BiFab in Fife, closes down? Nicola Sturgeon and Kate Forbes talk the talk, continually blaming London for short-changing them and asking the Treasury for additional funds, yet never look at the financial waste and lack of economic planning they preside over. When will they have the generosity of spirit to thank the UK Government for all the financial support given to Scotland these past months, which an independent Scotland could never have financed?

A number of years ago our First Minister said to “ judge her on her record in education”. Given the sorry state of Scottish education, compared to south of the Border, and the catalogue of the many other economic mistakes and bad policy decisions she has presided over, it is now time for this judgment to be made and for her and her failed Government to go.

“Spinning” Covid press conferences is no substitute for good government.

Andrew Livingstone, Kilmacolm.

CELIA Judge (Letters, August 6) appears to to think that it is possible for an independent Scotland to be a sovereign state and somehow keep the pound and join the EU. First, an independent Scotland would not be able the keep the pound. Indeed she should look no further than the Growth Commission report (sponsored by Nicola Sturgeon) which correctly stated that for a number of years Scotland would have to opt for “Sterlingisation” (without control of borrowing or interest rates) before launching its own currency and only after a number of strict tests had been met. Furthermore, it is not possible for Scotland to apply for EU membership without its own currency – plus we would be outside the UK internal market and outside the EU for an indefinite number of damaging years.

In summary the whole SNP economic argument appears to be based upon an equivalent of a tempestuous teenager who wants to leave home but unable to explain how they would support themselves without their parent’s credit card. Time for some reality to be injected into the whole independence debate.

Iain Lakin, Aberdeen AB13.

IN April 2016, Holyrood magazine announced that Scotland would be one of 14 participants in the International Subnational Government Programme which would focus on what devolved administrations can do to facilitate transparency. The SCVO looked forward to working with the Scottish Government to create “an upfront and engaging approach to government that works better for people”.

Fast forward to August 2020, where the Scottish Government has refused to hand over to a Holyrood inquiry evidence relating to the Alex Salmond affair (“Government cites legal privilege to block evidence to Salmond inquiry”, The Herald, August 7).

The Scottish Government’s conduct in this affair has already needlessly cost Scottish taxpayers £512,000. Do we not have a right to know what the evidence was for the Scottish Government’s botched and expensive case?

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh EH14.