Nicola, it's time for you to go ... for the sake of the Yes cause

As an ex-SNP member but avid supporter of independence, I think it may be time for the SNP to consider a new leader and put Nicola Sturgeon out of her misery. In addition to her obvious distress with the Salmond inquiry, in relation to Covid, she has made poor decisions and misled the country on numerous occasions over the past few months, despite her assurances that she would have "an adult conversation with people".

For example, she allowed students from all over the UK and the globe to enter the country to go to university when it was obvious that this would lead to increased infections.

There are problems with infections in schools, yet she is still adamant that schools and universities will remain open during Level 4 restrictions.

There is no significant evidence to support her decision to close hospitality – and can somebody please explain why you cannot have an alcoholic drink with your meal in a restaurant?

Anyway, back to my original point, contrary to popular belief among her avid SNP supporters, she is not doing as well as she thinks she is with the Covid pandemic, and if there are members of the public out there who are unsure on how to vote in any future independence referendum, her performance in running the country during the pandemic may make them decide not to vote for independence.

I believe the time is right for a change at the top of the SNP. I don’t know who that person would be and that decision lies with the members of the party, but change is required as there is growing dissatisfaction throughout the country with her leadership style, which is now verging on dictatorial.

There is a vital election around the corner and failure to act now could result in an increased representation from the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats despite their obvious failings. This would not help the country and, on a personal basis, with my goal of an independent Scotland.

Stephen Kelly


Stop lecturing us, First Minister

It is just me who has noticed a change in Nicola Sturgeon's tone? From the beginning, the First Minister has won plaudits and widespread support for her inclusive, straightforward and honest style in tackling the virus.

However, recently it has felt like she has been lecturing us about right and wrong rather than working with us – who, let's remember put her in office and pay her wages – to get the country through this crisis. Then, this week, when she announced a full-blown attack on the liberties of nearly half of the country based on evidence that, at best, we can call flimsy, she sounded like a Victorian school mistress who's lost patience with her naughty charges.

We all admire what you've done, Nicola, but I have a quick word of advice. People's resolve is wavering, so maybe you should try a bit of encouragement and help rather than another lecture on our wayward behaviour. If you lose the confidence of the people, we'll all lose the battle against this virus.

Dave Anderson


The Covid tourism conundrum

Brace yourself, Edinburgh, for an influx of Christmas shoppers from Tier 4 areas in the west. Yes, that'll be illegal, even though wide-scale arrests will apparently be a last resort.

I'm not suggesting the severe restrictions are necessarily wrong but are Nicola Sturgeon’s enforcement measures practicable? Can our hard-pressed police force really control this, should even a small proportion of 2.3 million Tier 4 Scots choose to break the law?

Martin Redfern


Independence? Be careful what you wish for

In Scotland we have our own Parliament with tax raising powers, control of our own NHS, transport and education as well as our own legal system and it is difficult to see what would be gained by having independence. If it is membership of the EU, which is supposedly the reason for demanding another referendum, then that will come with the real possibility of a hard border with England and having to open up Scottish waters to European fishing fleets. In many affairs we would have less autonomy from Brussels than we have from Westminster.

Getting rid of Trident may count to some as an ideological gain, but the cost would be in the jobs that go with Trident. Neither would it save us from the risk of annihilation in any future nuclear conflict, since it is more than likely the whole of Britain along with most of the world would be bombed back to the stone age, regardless of where Trident might be based.

Not having to put up with Boris Johnston and his like may be an attraction, but Prime Ministers come and go and having our own Parliament shields us from the worst excesses of any Westminster Government, Tory or Labour.

There would seem to be more cons than there are pros in having independence and I wish the SNP and its supporters would accept, to quote their much used phrase “the settled will of the Scottish People” as per the 2014 referendum and stop harping on about being dragged out of Europe against our will. After all, in 2014 we voted to remain in the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom as a whole voted for Brexit, like it or like it not.

Alexander Irving,


Devolution isn't to blame – you are

Scotland's opposition parties, especially the Conservatives, profess horror at the mere suggestion devolution isn't perfect, claiming it's the SNP that has screwed up.

If they'd spent the last 13 years understanding real voters, not those in hand-picked focus groups, and created policies to use devolution to fix and transform Scotland they might be in government, not be staring down the barrel of annihilation in next May's election.

The culprit isn't in Downing street, he or she faces them every time they look in the mirror.

Allan Sutherland


Don't be taken in by these arguments

I was heartened to see the rational replies to Sir David Omand’s article on an independent Scotland’s defence (Letters, November 15), but I wish that Dr Gerald Edwards had not put forward Scotland in Union’s claims, still without any supporting evidence.

Two further arguments, however, for Scotland to be accepted into Nato are, I believe, incontrovertible. The strongest is that an independent Scotland would control those very waters that were essential during the last war for the Artic Convoys, and therefore our strategic position would be of prime importance to Nato. The second is that Nato has THIS YEAR demonstrated its willingness to accept small, non-nuclear countries by admitting North Macedonia.

It never ceases to amaze me that supporters of the Union are so adept at deliberately ignoring or not looking for information that is in the public domain in many places and forms, but simply hope that constant repetition of their “too wee, too poor” mantra will come to be taken as fact.

I hope most Scots are too wise to be taken in and will do their own research.

L McGregor


A load of rubbish

After reading your articles in last week's Herald on Sunday, I felt the need to add my thoughts.

The recycling fiasco has gone on for far too long. I queried North Ayrshire's black bin waste and was advised it was taken to an incinerator centre in central Scotland, it previously being sent to Wales, but no detail was given regarding the recyclable waste. I do not expect the waste to generate much income, if any, when dealt with properly, however I wonder if it actually creates an enormous loss instead, to the financial benefit of other councils down south, or worse, to countries abroad.

When I opened the page with the recycling scandal, I initially wondered if the accompanying photo was of the papers the Alex Salmond inquiry is looking for, on their way to a recycling depot far far away.

George Dale