WHILE watching First Minister's Questions last week ("Sturgeon insists she has nothing to hide from Salmond inquiry", The Herald, October 9), I realised that Nicola Sturgeon is having to deal with grown-up politics for the first time, instead of populist policies, grievance and grandstanding. She has now got to make hard decisions that will have serious consequences for the whole of Scotland, and while I don't doubt her sincerity, her ability or lack of it is there for all to see. She lurched from telling us how hard it all is for her (but she wasn't looking for any sympathy) to being outraged that anyone would ask questions about her false statement to parliament re the Alex Salmond inquiry.

I have supported the SNP in the past, and voted Yes in 2014, but Ms Sturgeon is not the person to either lead Scotland to independence or to then take charge. I'm afraid she is just a talker and people are starting to realise that.

David Crawford, Bonhill.

IAN W Thomson (Letters, October 9) is indulging in a spot of wishful thinking if he believes that the SNP will pay a heavy price at the ballot box due to the First Minister's conduct regarding Alex Salmond. Nicola Sturgeon has been accused simultaneously of colluding with Alex Salmond and of conspiring against Alex Salmond; I think most voters can work out for themselves that these accusations against Ms Sturgeon are politically motivated, and I would also suggest that most voters, like the First Minister, have more important things on their mind, and couldn't really care less as to whether or not Ms Sturgeon remembered a meeting.

In the midst of a deadly world pandemic, and with the country about to come under new restrictions, for Ruth Davidson to devote her allotted time at First Minister's Questions to the subject of Mr Salmond, showed desperation and just how out of touch with reality she really is. Small wonder Ms Sturgeon ended her reply to Ms Davidson by asking "What is she thinking"? I think many voters must have been asking the same question.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

I NOTICED that, in a break from her schedule of recent months, the First Minister chose last week to announce the latest Covid-19 restrictions on a Wednesday and not her usual timing of Thursday.

Was this in any way connected to the fact that certain revealing facts potentially of huge embarrassment to her in relation to Alex Salmond were also being made public on Wednesday – or was there simply some diary confusion, as she seems to have become somewhat forgetful in that regard?

Robin McNaught, Bridge of Weir.

CAN this really be happening? I know that the pandemic is upon us: no-one could have predicted that, nor could the catastrophic outcome for the whole world have been predicted.

But we live today in a world which has amazing communications, media systems, telecommunications, online connections which even the most switched-on people find hard to use or keep up with because of the continuous progress – and of course in the United Kingdom we have the superb National Health Service, working on our behalf – so what is causing this second plunge into possible chaos?

We have two unique leaders with totally opposed visions, trying to control the virus, the country, and of course their own parties. The Prime Minister increasingly becomes more incompetent and ignorant every day, because he has no clue what he is doing, and should not be in the position of PM of our great country. The First Minister is from the opposite end of the scale from the PM - she knows what she is saying, but even that has become a repetitive drone, so much so that when last Tuesday's daily political broadcast took place she spent just over 30 minutes telling us what she would tell us the following day.Her training as a lawyer, of course, is to the fore, and she certainly can talk for Scotland, but this is now becoming her downfall – as the nitty-gritty of the rest of her duties is coming to the fore: schools, the police, the Alex Salmond case, fisheries, education; Willie Rennie has spent months in the Scottish Parliament pleading with her to explain exactly what was going to happen when universities returned. And, of course, like her opposite number in London she rules a yes-man/woman cabinet, who refuse to speak out about anything which may or not happen.

Why, oh why, was a National Government of some sort not, at least, discussed from March or April this year, when the leaders of the UK Government, the SNP, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats could have met daily / or at least weekly, with their chosen experts from their cabinets, to work as one to deal with this awful pandemic. We know that it worked during the Second World War, and that normal political relations after that dreadful period returned very quickly indeed, because the general public knew that a crisis should bring people together; normal life is the time to propose and implement different political messages – think Atlee and Churchill after the war.

Walter J Paul, Glasgow G42.

FOLLOWING the First Minister's recent comments to Parliament ("Sturgeon insists she has nothing to hide from Salmond inquiry", The Herald October 9), the Scottish Government should move to quell the media rumours that SNP senior party officials were abducted by aliens and probed before being returned to Holyrood with no recall of the event. This needs to be addressed lest the Scottish electorate are likewise, unwittingly duped into believing what our leaders tell us as fact.

Allan Thompson, Bearsden.

JOHN Brown (Letters, October 5) calls me astoundingly naive for contending that, with independence, Scots will be able to elect the party of their choice, based on its manifesto. He further asserts that we are "almost living in a one-party state".

The SNP currently has 47 per cent of the seats in the Scottish Parliament, whereas the Conservatives have 56% of UK seats, so I assume that he also thinks that the UK is currently almost a one-party state.

I'm afraid that Mr Brown does not appear to understand the basics of democracy. We do not suddenly become a one-party state because the majority of the voting population votes for one party.

To address his other point, l did not say that anyone would "rush" to vote for other parties. One of the main planks of the SNP manifesto is achieving independence. Once that is gained and, therefore, removed from the manifesto, its appeal may diminish and allow other parties to flourish. Given that we have a democratic electoral system based on proportional representation, it is highly unlikely that any party would dominate to the extent of us being termed a "one-party state".

John McCallum, Glasgow G41.

BY the same post I have just received pamphlets from both the current and former Tory Party leaders in Scotland, namely Douglas Ross MP and Jackson Carlaw MSP. Both wax lyrical about their dedicated interests to our welfare in these troubled times. Notably neither makes even a fleeting far less complimentary, reference to one another. Even more strange is the new leader's slogan "Let's unite to take Scotland forward" when there is obviously a continuing rift.

I would suggest the former comrades carry out some necessary "make do and mend" work internally before entreating the public at large to consider what is on offer.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.