IN the 19th century some believed the source of anger was the spleen.

Today we know it is part of the brain, with some people being able to exert more self-control in their anger management than others. Regrettably it is the latter for some of your letter writers who favour the Union and are “venting their spleen” by turning analysis into an art form of pure nonsense, accompanied by real envy at the success of their opponents. Permit me to join in with some facts.

Scott Macintosh (Letters, May 13) says “democracy should begin at home. Let’s start with respecting the will of the 50.4 per cent who voted for parties opposed to another independence referendum.” It may have escaped Mr Macintosh’s notice that the Scottish Parliamentary election was not a vote-based referendum, but an election based on seats on a system imposed by Westminster – a system they dare not use themselves in Scotland. Mr Macintosh and others should currently be rejoicing that the Westminster “first past the post” system was not used, as the result would have been SNP 62, Conservative 5, LibDems 4, Labour 2.

It is high time the Scottish Conservatives played by the rules and recognised the electoral success achieved by the SNP and the Greens. The Tories were elected by only 43.63% of the UK vote at the 2019 General Election (25.1% in Scotland) which took us out of the EU. In the Holyrood election, Mr Mackintosh says 50.4% cast votes for the Union, therefore meaning 49.6% of the votes were cast for independence. This is an increase of 5.97% over what Mr Johnson achieved.

The way ahead is not going to be resolved by such actions but by mature debate. Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, whilst not a supporter of independence is demonstrating such maturity. Time for the Scottish Conservatives and LibDems to behave themselves and do likewise.

Alan M Morris, Blanefield.


NEIL Mackay raises an interesting point ("Alba, the aftermath: SNP defectors need to face by-elections", The Herald, May 13) but his point goes beyond just those defecting from the SNP.

When individuals are elected to represent a party from whom they depart, for whatever reason, they are breaching an agreement with those who voted them into office. In all of these circumstances the individuals should require to resign their seat and a by-election held. This would ensure that the democratic position of electors is held sacrosanct.

Bill Eadie, Giffnock.


I AM a voter in Airdrie and Shotts where there has been a by-election campaign. A leaflet from the SNP candidate came through my letterbox. It invited me to get in contact and so on Monday, May 3 I sent a question by email. There was no reply so I chased up a response with further emails on Wednesday, May 5 and Monday, May 10. I have still heard nothing.

Perhaps only sycophantic questions are permitted or only ones that SNP staff approve of. Or perhaps the SNP has been dominant in Scottish politics for so long that voters are simply taken for granted. It may be that horrible entitled arrogance that the SNP (as an insurgent party) used to accuse other political parties of, before becoming the establishment itself.

My question was quite simple. I am keen to see ethics prevail in politics. Why should I compromise my principles by voting for a candidate whose party leader was found to have misled the Scottish Parliament? I would feel very uncomfortable voting for someone guilty of serious deceit. There may be many responses to this, but I am left none the wiser.

I really wish candidates wouldn't ask us voters to get in touch when they have no interest in our views.

David Kennedy, Airdrie.


THE new intake at Holyrood has just started and already the problems are piling up: huge potential taxpayers bills and an essential ferry service that is not working, especially at the start of the SNP's "staycation" drive ("Customers left high and dry as ferry ticket lines go down", The Herald, May 13). The next NHS crisis is just around the corner as the virus re-emerges.

Nicola Sturgeon "promised" indyref2 in 2020 and again in 2021. Nothing happened despite the composition of the previous Holyrood cohort being pro-independence. What chance now of a slippage of this vote occurring yet again?

Does the SNP not realise that its credibility to deliver what it says is fading rapidly, be that new ferries or new constitutional wrangles? Meantime the bills pile up and the money gets tighter. Huge unaffordable pay increases for some and "free" items for others will have to mean pain for most of the rest. Welcome to a new dawn of SNP mismanagement for the next five years.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.


IAN Blackford has quite rightly put Westminster "on notice" over the desire of Scots to hold a referendum ("Blackford puts House of Commons ‘on notice’ over second referendum", The Herald, May 12). However, I fear that he is missing the point, in that many Scots were only voting to push for that event alone, and not a vote for independence.

The SNP needs to have a clear, concise and robust plan laid out in front of the electorate, prior to any referendum, as to how independence is going to operate and be funded. I have this nagging doubt in my mind, that if a referendum goes against the nationalist movement, they will immediately still behave like a dog with a bone, and never let go. Discussions must be arranged, so that vitally important and mutually agreed terms on the operation of a referendum, and its final result, can be set up.

George Dale, Beith.


DURING the election, one broadcaster described Andrew Wilson, author of the now “out of date” Sustainable Growth Commission, as “the brains” behind the SNP. On at least two occasions on the run-up to the election Mr Wilson stated that independence “will not be easy but will be worth it”. The majority of Scots whose votes outnumbered those of the SNP and Greens are earnestly waiting for evidence that the massive disruption of separation will be worth it.

Once the people of Scotland are made aware of what is in store with SNP proposals, I doubt very much if they will agree that it will be worth it. The SNP also has to explain what “will not be easy”. Since 2014, Nicola Sturgeon has failed to offer any analysis or research into the economic implications of independence. Her reluctance to push for another referendum is ample evidence that she is not convinced a separate Scotland "will be worth it”. The majority already know this.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.


SCOTLAND already had full access to EU markets when we were members of the EU but only did 15 per cent of trade, so why does the SNP think that by rejoining the EU it would be able to increase it? We would also be up against and competing with the UK, have border controls and an even more remote "union" with a 500 million population (still way behind UK with Covid jags). Our Scotch whisky trade benefited from £500m reduction in US tariffs as a direct consequence of leaving the EU.

I was a Remainer, but not now.

Allan Thompson, Bearsden.


THE Scottish Government makes much of connectivity, but the voters on the west coast and islands, dependent on connectivity, are clearly unwilling to connect their lack of connectivity with the ferry fiasco and use their vote accordingly.

James Robertson, Stirlingshire.


I NOTICE that the court order against Boris Johnson is addressed “10 Downing Street” ("Money woes again for Johnson as court order raises £535 debt", The Herald, May 13). As anyone who follows home makeover shows will know, he currently resides at No 11.

Perhaps his neighbour at No 10 hasn’t been passing on his mail or just doesn’t have a head for figures and didn’t realise the significance of the correspondence.

Grant McKechnie, Glasgow.


READING about the current conflict in the Middle East fills me with fear and dread ("Death toll rises as Israel-Gaza violence worst since 2014 war", The Herald, May 13). Of the fatalities, 13 children have been killed. In the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who will speak up for the children?

Roddy MacDonald, Ayr.

Read more: So why can't indyref2 have the same rules as Brexit?