IN recent days I have noted an increasing clamour across certain media outlets and, controversially, in the Holyrood chamber itself, for our First Minister to resign. The Conservatives tell us that she has breached the ministerial code, even before we have had the opportunity to see the deliberations of the relevant investigating body, which, incidentally, is not the one in the headlines right now.

Memories of unlawful activities in another Parliament came to my mind, so I carried out a limited check of the records going back just 18 months.

I found reports that Suella Braverman (Attorney General) had defended Brexit legislation which enabled the UK to breach international law. Therese Coffey (Secretary of State, Department of Work and Pensions) admitted breaching the Universal Credit Regulations and acted unlawfully by failing to conduct a work capability assessment before deciding claimants’ entitlement to Universal Credit. Robert Jenrick (Housing Secretary) acted unlawfully by granting planning permission for a £1 billion property scheme two weeks before the developer donated £12,000 to the Conservatives; the planning decision saved the developer £45 million. Eleven justices in the UK’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the advice from Boris Johnson (Prime Minster) to the Queen that Parliament should be prorogued for five weeks was unlawful.

Your readers may be aware that in all four examples above, the ministers are still in their positions. No sackings. No resignations. Hardly seems a fair and equitable position by the Conservatives.

Dr J Toole, Comrie.


WHICHEVER side of the political or independence divide you are on, the people of Scotland through parliament and its committees must be able to hold the government of the day to account.

That has to mean all relevant information being available for scrutiny when the situation demands it. That situation is now with the Alex Salmond inquiry.

The First Minister should only have been stating the obvious when she said at the outset of the inquiry that the committee could have all the information it wanted, yet the reality has been the exact opposite.

To take the legal advice the Scottish Government received as one example, the committee has requested it, parliament has voted for it to happen and there is the precedence of three previous inquiries when legal advice to ministers was published in the interests of getting to the truth. Yet still the Government is refusing to hand it over.

This is unacceptable in any open democracy and also leads the impartial observer to conclude there is something to hide.

This cannot and must not be allowed to go on.

Steven Clark, Edinburgh.


UNTIL Friday many like me have been frustrated that the Salmond inquiry scandal wasn't "cutting through", while nationalist commentators have used this phenomenon to play it down.

Well, judging by the UK and international coverage and the Survation poll showing a fall in support for independence, it's cutting through now. I hope SNP failures on education, housing, Covid, ferries, renewables, drugs and local government will also "cut through" in time for the May elections.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.


I NOTE an excellent article from Mark Smith highlighting the poor quality of many of the MSPs on the committee investigating the Government's actions in relation to the Alex Salmond affair ("The scandal of a Holyrood committee not fit for purpose", The Herald, March 1). Given that the criticism focused almost exclusively on MSPs from the SNP, one has to question whether or not this is a party able to make Scotland a world-leading country and the capacity of the SNP to attract candidates of sufficient intellect and ability.

As a party it is happy to attack the Westminster Government's capacity, but people in glass houses should be careful about where they throw stones.

Bill Eadie, Giffnock.


THE former First Minister wants legal and committee procedures to make him important again after elections and referenda have changed him from citizen in high office to citizen with one vote.

He guaranteed the outcome of the 2014 referendum with ludicrous claims of a fictitious accord on sterling currency. His neighbours in the north-east weren’t keen on keeping him at Westminster either. It’s time for yesterday’s almost-man to step back.

Tim Cox, Bern, Switzerland.


APPARENTLY if a poll were taken in Wales tomorrow on a proposal to get rid of the Welsh Assembly, it is strongly believed that it would be gone shortly afterwards.

If you actually sit down and ask yourself as to which or what aspect of life has honestly improved here in Scotland since or because of devolution and Holyrood, I regret to say that I simply can’t think of a single thing,

So, having had our "once in a generation" vote in 2014, if we must have a vote about something, how about one on getting rid of our non-productive and extremely expensive talking-shop parliament too?

Robin Gilmour, Glasgow.


IF Labour Councillor Alex Gallagher (Letters, March 1) believes it is "time for Scotland to be governed by politicians who are focused on the real issues", why are he and his Labour colleagues so daunted by the prospect of having the opportunity to offer themselves confidently as a choice to the electorate in an independent Scotland?

The democratic deficit through which the majority choice of the Scottish nation can never prevail over the choice inflicted on us by our larger neighbour is clearly not a "real issue" in Mr Gallagher's view. He appears willing to accept this situation in perpetuity as long as he can satisfy his lust for the blood of the hated SNP. The competence or otherwise of a devolved Scottish Government of whatever political hue makes no difference to the independence issue.

As for "destroying the UK", which Mr Gallagher lists as a threat presented by independence supporters, surely the truth is that the UK has already self-destructed by taking Scotland out of the European Union and putting a huge spanner in the works of the Northern Ireland peace settlement.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.


ALL eyes are on what’s happening in a particular committee of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday – but it’s not the only show in town. On Tuesday (March 2), the Petitions Committee will once more consider a proposal to implement a register of interests for the judiciary – a matter that has been under consideration for some nine years. The petition was lodged just after I became Scotland’s first independent Judicial Complaints Reviewer. Little did I think that getting on for a decade later it would still be under discussion and proceeding at a snail’s pace, despite cross-party support and the backing of the Justice Committee.

A register of interests would be good for the judiciary, good for transparency, and good for public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system. Now would be a good time to finally take a decision on this important matter, but I shall not be holding my breath given past form.

Moi Ali, West Calder.


HEED the benefits of Brexit, says Alexander McKay (Letters, February 27), referring to the relative success of the UK vaccination programme, at least in terms of percentage population vaccinated so far. OK, so let’s call that 1-0 to Brexit, but what about all of the own goals scored by Brexit? Fishing industry, road hauliers, financial services, Erasmus, NHS recruitment, I’ll stop there. To continue with the footballing analogy, Brexit is getting gubbed, but unfortunately we are too, with more own goals to come.

Bill Stewart, Glasgow.


WILLIAM Thomson’s remark that, come independence, we will at least have our own tinpot dictatorship (Letters, February 26) reminded me of an exchange in Rothesay’s Council Chambers half a century ago.

There was general satisfaction that a certain local entrepreneur had offered to supply the tiles for refurbishment of the swimming pool at a remarkably – not to say suspiciously – modest cost.

Only one councillor had reservations about the transaction, but was promptly reassured.

Councillor one: "We know the man to be a rogue."

Councillor two: "Aye – but he’s oor rogue."

Robin Dow, Rothesay.

Read more: The SNP's real crime is its total incompetence in running Scotland