I AM currently listening to Nicola Sturgeon declaring her commitment to absolute transparency regarding Test and Protect during today's First Minister's Questions. A hollow laugh is now ringing out in our independence-supporting household.

Everyone I know who shares the same aspirations for Scotland has responded magnificently to Ms Sturgeon's daily repeated appeals that we should adhere to the Covid regulations. We have all placed our trust in her and the restrictions that have been imposed.

Is it not time for her to reward that trust by co-operating immediately, fully and properly with the Salmond inquiry and allowing all the facts to speak for themselves, however embarrassing and compromising for her and her well-salaried acolytes?

We will be out in the spring winds and rain in May again supporting her as we push for the sunlit uplands of full self-governance. She is hanging a boulder on all our backs when we come to face the electorate on their doorsteps and try to persuade them that this Government can be fully trusted to deliver the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Peter Broughan, Alexandria.

THE resignation of Lee Cain, former adviser to the Leave campaign, highlights the need for an end to the position of special advisers ("PM faces backlash from within his own party over Leave aide", The Herald, November 12). His reportedly leaving because Boris Johnson’s partner amongst others does not like him demonstrates the power of non-elected individuals in managing the running of the UK and applies equally to the Scottish Government, as evidenced by the role of special advisers in the Alex Salmond debacle.

Proper accountability needs to be established by ensuring that government support roles are recruited through the civil service, with the application of civil service pay grades, selection procedures and disciplinary procedures where the individual fails in performing their role. There is no place in government for a Prime Minister appointing his friends or the partners of friends and MPs to important positions on inflated salaries that dwarf the earnings of senior civil servants. Is it little wonder that voters in Scotland are fed up with the cronyism and incompetence displayed by Westminster and speak out in favour of separation from the UK.

Bill Eadie, Giffnock.

ONCE again we are faced with Scottish nationalists trying to mislead us on the question of Scotland's contribution to public investment in other parts of the UK, this time in the person of your correspondent Mick McCready (Letters, November 12).

So again, it is necessary remind your readers that Scottish taxpayers are not paying for the new London sewerage system and Crossrail. And that as far as HS2 is concerned, Scotland is paying only a very small contribution, which has been agreed with the Scottish Government as reflecting its economic benefits north of the Border – and which is more than repaid though Barnett consequentials. And that Trident is deployed for the protection of the whole UK, including Scotland – it is not an "English" project, but one that contributes to the whole system of collective security under Nato, to which the SNP subscribes as well.

It is of course the right of nationalists to make their case that redistribution from the better-off parts of the UK to those that are worse off is a weakness and not a strength, as it is for social democrats like myself to disagree with that viewpoint.

However, once again, the question must again be repeated: if secession from the Union is such a good idea, why must so many mistruths about who subsidises whom be repeated so many times to justify it?

Peter A Russell, Glasgow G13.

COMING from a Scottish Secretary whose party has no mandate in Scotland, it is a bit rich of Alister Jack to tell us he thinks "people should respect democracy", and considering that he couldn't answer a question from a Conservative MP who asked him what discussion he'd had with Rishi Sunak regarding economic support available for Scottish businesses during the Covid crisis, it would appear that not only does Mr Jack not have his finger on Scotland's pulse, he can't even fulfil his basic responsibilities and answer questions put to him by one of his own MPs.

Perhaps Mr Jack is so out of touch with public opinion that he is in ignorance of the fact that more than a dozen consecutive opinion polls have shown that a majority of Scots are in favour of Scotland becoming an independent country. Mr Jack clings desperately to the "once in a generation" comment which has never appeared on any ballot paper, but he need have no anxiety about Scotland holding "neverendums" on independence; the referendum which is coming will be all we will need, and given that he is such an upholder of democracy, Mr Jack will be bound to accept the result.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.