SEVERAL MSPs are calling for Richard Leonard’s head, thinking a leadership change is all Labour needs to triumph at the polls next spring ("Leonard says he’s staying put despite MSPs’ revolt", The Herald, September 3). They should think again.

Playing another round of musical chairs for the leadership of Scottish Labour won’t solve the problem of Labour’s near-extinction in Scotland. Until Labour recognises the folly of opposing Scotland’s democratic right to self-determination, it will continue to languish and eventually die out. That’s a shame. Any party in leadership needs an effective opposition to keep it accountable to the people it claims to represent.

Labour could be that strong opposition and an effective advocate for a National Care Service, a jobs guarantee scheme and a Green New Deal, but only if it accepts that a majority of Scots wants out of a Union that doesn’t listen to them or work for them.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh EH10.

HAVING worked with Richard Leonard on Scottish Labour's Executive Committee for five years I can say without contradiction that he is a nice guy, but certainly not a leader.

He is in fact a liability when it comes to the electoral chances of Scottish Labour in May 2021. He lives in the past, speaks in the past and offers nothing for the future.

Richard as leader has seen Labour lose the European elections badly and of course presided over Labour having only one MP in Scotland at the last General Election.

Richard is a principled politician in the mould of Jeremy Corbyn rather than a practicable politician like Sir Keir Starmer, who understands that sometimes you need to compromise on your principles for good governance and electoral support.

Richard by hanging on and by saying that he has the support of the members just doesn’t get it, that playing to your own membership does not get you elected into government,

Mr Corbyn is proof that you, must appeal to a wider audience. Unfortunately, Richard does not appeal to the wider voting public who are not inspired by his leadership and for that reason he must do the right thing and resign, otherwise in May 2021 Labour could very well be staring into oblivion.

Willie Young, Former SEC Member, Aberdeen Central CLP Chair, Aberdeen AB11.

MICHAEL Watson (Letters, September 3) asks: have the lunatics taken over the asylum? The answer is yes: . Not only here in Scotland, but also in England; I cannot comment on Wales or Northern Ireland.

The UK Government continues to be led the public school bully-boy, his strings being pulled by the demonic Dominic Cummings; the PM treats all of us like fools, and has clearly shown, in abundance, that he is totally unfit to govern this country. He, Mr Cummings, Gavin Williamson and Matt Hancock need to resign immediately after their collection of infamous U-turns; and this is not a simplistic suggestion. What has happened to the guts of the Conservative Party? I remember often in the past, some other member of the party would get backing to challenge an existing leader or PM for his/her position, and this should happen immediately. It is all very well us saying that we, as the electorate, get the chance to remove him or her, but not in this instance, as there are still more than four years to go until another General Election.

And here in Scotland, we have a Scottish Government led by a self-serving egotist - she said yesterday (September 2) in the Scottish Parliament that she is the only person in the world to have answered so many questions on Covid since the outbreak began. And she actually believes it - that is the worrying situation, where again she, John Swinney, Jeane Freeman, et al behave with frightening unity – with her cohorts and yes men/women, of course, not being allowed to say anything at all, without her permission. And what happened to the daily BBC broadcast being reduced to three broadcasts per week?

I will not reiterate the obvious statements which other contributors have provided so ably in your columns over the past six months, whatever their political backgrounds. This country of ours, the United Kingdom, is currently being led by two dubious people who surely are not the best or only politicians available to deal with this crisis, and also the other important day-to-day situations which face all of us in our daily lives.

Walter Paul, Glasgow G42.

WITH Covid-19 infections increasing in Scotland and some people still dying from the disease, one would hope the Scottish Government would be devoting all of its resources into combating the virus. Sadly, it seems not to be the case. Reportedly, lawyers are busy beavering away, drafting an independence bill which is due to see the light of day within the next year and at a time when the public will be hopefully trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives after the pandemic.

Going on past experience, do we really need the division and rancour which the bill's publication will no doubt cause? It's perhaps an insight into where the SNP's priorities lie and that is certainly not with the wellbeing of the people. Boris Johnson has been called a one-trick pony with his stance on Brexit and the same label could be attached to Nicola Sturgeon and her obsession with independence.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.

WILLIAM Loneskie (Letters, September 3) is clearly an inveterate unionist who believes that rehashing the same old stuff about the Scots being too stupid to understand currency and finance will further his cause. Inferring that Scotland is too small and the Scots too stupid to understand currency, banking & finance is both insulting and wrong-headed.

I agree most of our politicians know little or nothing about the subject but that is as true here as it is in Westminster or Washington – and if there’s to be any hope of displacing the financial lobbyists and fixers from our corridors of power, then an independent Scotland presents a unique opportunity to do so.

RF Morrison, Helensburgh.

A VERY interesting letter from John Jamieson (September 3), followed by the one from William Loneskie. Regarding Mr Loneskie's statement that we are all £2,000 better off per year because of the largesse from the UK's Government, can I ask a question? Where's mine?

Since retiring at 70 I feel financially punched, having seen my pension pot reduced by the financial mess of 2008 and even last year my annuity provider reduced my pension. What is lying ahead because of Covid-19 and the possible modifications to the triple lock on the state pension worries me stupid.

I frequently use comparison sites to ensure my insurances and utilities are affordable, among other budgeting activities and I am really very tired doing this in the so called five-wealthiest country on the planet: oh yeah?

That £2,000 per year would really help; where do I apply to get it and can it be backdated?

Ian Gray, Croftamie.

YET again Ruth Marr (Letters, September 3) trots out free tuition, free prescriptions and the like in her support of the current Scottish Government. While these things may be "free" at the final point of delivery, money has to change hands to allow universities to provide the student places, pharmaceutical companies have to be paid for the drugs that pharmacies issue against prescriptions. The supposed "free" is actually being paid for by Scottish taxpayers such as myself.

R McMurtrie, Currie.

Read more: Scottish Labour grandees call on Richard Leonard to resign as leader