HAS Nicola Sturgeon got the easiest political post in the world? When her party gets things right (on a very occasional basis) she takes the plaudits. When she often gets it wrong it is either the Tories, the Westminster system or her own "lack" of powers that is to blame. This has resulted in a ridiculous level of approval in the polls whereby her party is doing well simply because of a lack of an effective opposition rather than the efficiency of her party's policies.

Ms Sturgeon cannot resist decrying her opponents at every opportunity as demonstrated by her unnecessary digs at the Westminster "track and trace" system in her media briefing on Wednesday with no hint at all that any fault lies with Scotland's own version. This spin technique has led to this undeserved lead in the polls.

Can it last? Really intractable problems are stacking up fast and a poll lead can quickly turn her job from being easy to difficult, as she now has the most to lose if it goes down.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow G77.

WRITING to The Herald used to be a pleasure, but since the advent of the movement to dismember the United Kingdom, I have stayed my hand lest I add one more inanity to the many which adorn your pages, including those soundbites classed as "Your views online".

However, I can no longer stay my hand, having been stunned beyond measure by the report that Keith Brown, deputy leader of the SNP, still believes in the concept of "the settled will of the majority of the Scottish people", on the basis of figures of 58% for and 42% for Scottish independence – this on the basis of some opinion poll or other ("Support for independence at record high of 58%, says poll", The Herald, October 15). If there were a "settled will" on any issue whatever, we could forget having elections and referenda anywhere for all time to come.

People's views fluctuate all the time, but on an issue so major as the abolition of one of the finest nations on earth I submit that a minimum turnout of 95% (on the basis of a compulsory vote with heavy penalties for non-compliance) is essential. Anything less would be a further example of the perilous fantasy that the modern concept of "democracy" has become.

I refuse to stoop to the suggestion that the flu jab shambles is a dire separatist plot to get rid of the mainly pro-UK aged and leave the field wide open to street-cluttering saltire-waving near-juveniles who will support any anti-establishment novelty; it is an unfortunate coincidence of poll and shambles – no more than that, but set against current Johnsonism it would serve the separatist obsession well.

That is my inanity for the present. I await with interest further inanities from those who disagree with me.

James McIntyre, Bearsden.

APPROXIMATELY 558 people in a poll say they will vote for independence and Keith Brown says that independence is now the settled will of the people. This is the same logic that dictates that once in a generation is actually six years, only believed by independence supporters. Based on this logic then presumably if independence is achieved then another poll can be held quickly if the economy does not flourish as predicted by the SNP, or will the definition of a generation be revised to the 20 years that many of us believe to be the gap for a new generation?

Alternatively we could have legislation for a second poll once the negotiated terms for independence have been agreed, although I suspect that the SNP would not want the full impact of independence to be known before a decision is made by the public. That would be taking democracy too far.

Bill Eadie, Giffnock.

KEITH Brown states that a recent opinion poll shows that "independence is now the settled will of the majority". I have several issues with this claim.

"Settled" implies permanent and this must be incorrect. We are not informed of the size of the poll or the distribution of the sample which may have excluded, for example, Orkney and Shetland. We are not informed of the date of the poll which may have preceded realisation that Covid-19 is not being handled well in Scotland, the eroded credibility of Nicola Sturgeon and her husband vis a vis the Salmond inquiry and the unresolved Margaret Ferrier issue.

There is an inference in the phrase "settled will" that if a future referendum favours independence, and if independence then follows (a very big IF), no future independence referendum, which may reverse that decision, will be permitted; indeed no opinion polls concerning reversal of independence will be allowed.

William Durward, Bearsden.

THE grave of Donald Dewar must be rumbling. His vision of devolution and of Scots looking after their own domestic affairs and improving Scottish lives within a wider UK setting have been shattered.

Mr Dewar’s contemporary, Tam Dalyell, disagreed with his colleague and forecast exactly what would happen once the Pandora’s box of nationalism was opened. In fact, under the SNP it has surpassed I am sure even his worst nightmare scenario.

Nationalist division, hatred and rancour, unimaginable to these two political giants, has torn Scotland apart.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh EH6.

Read more: Bombshell new poll puts support for independence at record high of 58 per cent