SURELY Mark Smith’s article on Labour's electoral conundrum ("‘Yellow Wall’ plan aims to defeat SNP and reform UK", The Herald, October 5) deserves nomination for a Pulitzer Prize for Magical Thinking. Labour's apparent solution is to change the political system to defeat the SNP, but it needs to defeat the SNP before it can change the political system. A kind of “Schrodinger’s federalism” where federalism exists but yet cannot exist; England has no desire for federalism; would be required to relinquish the concept of Westminster “sovereignty” for federalism to work; a change to the voting system, with larger constituencies, which would not get through Parliament.

If Labour wants to make a come-back in Scotland, it must be grounded in reality, not this nonsensical self-deceit. A substantial proportion of its voters would vote for a self-governing Scotland so why doesn't it start there? A confederation would make more sense, with each constituent part maintaining legal, economic and political sovereignty, whilst agreeing to pool an agreed portion of sovereignty (military, foreign affairs and so). Expect no change. Labour in Scotland is in a hole, and back of the envelope plans won’t change that.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

JOHN Jamieson (Letters, October 5) is right. I do have a palpable fear that the game is up for the Union and Scotland will be gerrymandered, conned, sleepwalked and deserted (by the Scottish great and good and rUK political class) into an impoverished, isolated world of scrap ferries, Braveheart border guards, dunderheid school leavers and charity shop retail parks run by sinecured, Nationalist apparatchiks and their cronies.

We're almost there now. But the real people of Scotland see what is going on around them and beginning to notice the artful, disruptive, winning politics of George Galloway and, at last, Ruth Davidson.

There's still time to scrape together an alliance of voters, campaigns and dispirited, rudderless, politicians desperate for a lead, to defeat the SNP and its bust independence project in 2021.

The key is Labour. I just hope Sir Keir Starmer read Mark Smith's article. Replace the words "Sweeney" and "federal" with "Baillie" and "root and branch reform of Holyrood" and we're on to something.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

IT really is more than bit rich for Dr Gerald Edwards (Letters, October 3) to write about moral bankruptcy when the party he so obviously supports is led by a man who is a proven liar and a serial adulterer. And perhaps all the other parties should consider why it appears that the SNP appear to be heading for "landslide" in next year's Scottish elections?

However, the sad fact is that, should a meteorite land on Nicola Sturgeon's head, there is not not one of her colleagues with the basic ability to take her place. John Swinney? Fergus Ewing? Michael Matheson? Or even, dare I say it, Alex Salmond? Don't make me laugh.

The political landscape in this whole country is an incompetent, swampy mess and I despair for what my grandchildren will grow up to.

John NE Rankin, Bridge of Allan.

THAT Margaret Ferrier and Derek Mackay have not, at the time of writing, resigned brings the morals of themselves, Holyrood and Westminster into question but most of all show their party for what it really is, a bunch of arrogant idealists putting its goal of power, independence, poverty and unemployment for all above everything else, especially inconvenient truths. A party that denies their failure in education, health and industry. A party that even invents a brand name for a referendum that is not even on the table. A party that lives a lie exemplified by the painted windows of its ferries. Best not to look through those SNP windows for fear of what you might see.

John Dunlop, Ayr.

IF ever confirmation was needed of the continuing success of the SNP’s mass irony-bypass operation, it has arrived.

The SNP’s spokesperson for Defence matters, Stewart McDonald, who recently claimed that a separated Scotland’s Navy would be ‘’the sixth largest in the world’’ and would not be included in any list of the country’s great thinkers, has celebrated the anniversary of the reunification of Germany.

The irony of this seems entirely lost on all but the most obtuse nationalist.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh EH6.