IF this SNP Government can plumb the depths of ineptitude and ineffectiveness any further, then perhaps we should not actually be surprised.

We have a criminal investigation on potential leaks from the Salmond inquiry, a criminal investigation into the SNP finances, a criminal investigation around the appalling events at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow where three children and an elderly adult died, and now we have the entirely-expected announcement that the enforcement of a vaccination passport scheme will not be enforced for 18 days following its rushed and ill-thought-out introduction tomorrow ("Businesses given ‘grace period’ to enforce vaccine certification", The Herald, September 29).

It is now abundantly clear that this Government fails in everything it does and simply cannot deliver on any of its policy promises. Its behaviours are entirely driven by one single issue to the detriment of all others and indeed of the Scottish people it purportedly represents. Independence is now so far from being the right solution to Scotland’s ills that Nicola Sturgeon and her acolytes in Government must seriously consider their positions. This country needs grown-up politics and politicians to provide the effective solutions required by the Scottish people.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh.

* NICOLA Sturgeon is now desperately seeking a way out of the impasse she has brought her party into whilst the Greens are now looking like lapdogs. The vaccine passport was never going to work and rushing it through was simply wrong.

The SNP is rapidly losing any credibility with rushed legislation and ill-thought-out simplistic reactions to serious problems. How long can it be before its attitude to independence elicits far more deep and probing scrutiny than it has up until now?

Dr Gerald Edwards Glasgow.


WHAT a sorry state our Scottish nation is in at the moment. The UK media is awash with debate over the relative merits of two spin-offs from the original Ukip, one labelled as Conservative and the other as Labour. Leading figures in both these parties are united in their assertions that the supply chain/tanker driver shambles is not attributable in any significant way to the Brexit madness which was inflicted on Scotland by xenophobic neighbours south of the Border. Our right-wing media is complicit in promoting this whitewashing of the predictable consequences of the ending of freedom of movement.

The Scottish nation needs to shake off any feelings of guilt about addressing our democratic deficit while Covid is still among us. Constitutional questions should not be set aside any more than health, jobs, education or travel. The need to assert our right to take control of our nation's destiny has never been more urgent.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.


ANDREW Dunlop ("Why English ‘levelling up’ matters to Scotland", The Herald, September 28) devastatingly points out that “the UK is one of the most economically unbalanced countries in the industrialised world”. He adds that – incredibly – disposable incomes in north-east England, Wales and Northern Ireland are more than 40% lower than in London. He quotes the NIESR study stating that half of the UK population live in regions “whose productivity is no better than the poorer parts of former East Germany”.

This unequal UK situation is the reason why Scotland is moving towards independence. The “Drift South” began 90 years ago, as heavy industry faded in Scotland and northern England. The Conservatives under Alec Douglas-Home tried levelling up. They brought car industries to Bathgate and Linwood and steel to Ravenscraig. All now “no more”. Harold Wilson’s Labour UK governments likewise tried regional policies, barring industries from south-east England. This also collapsed as Margaret Thatcher returned to an economic free-for-all.

Independence is the clear solution for Scotland. Lord Dunlop should be pointing out that the three countries around Scotland – Ireland, Norway and Iceland – have all doubled their populations since becoming independent, despite all being on the outer edge of Europe. Scotland, as a peripheral UK region, has had a largely static population since 1930. Like some Hebridean island, Scotland has a disproportionately high older population and a serious shortage of young people. Ireland, in sharp contrast, has one of Europe’s youngest populations.

Given this grand sweep of reality, Lord Dunlop’s “solution” of transferring powers from Holyrood to local government is simply pathetic. Levelling up was tried and it failed 60 years ago.

Tom Johnston, Cumbernauld.


PETER A Russell's comment that leaving the UK would be even riskier than leaving the EU (Letters, September 29) is misleading for two reasons.

The first reason is that the EU is a voluntary alliance between a number of independent, sovereign countries, each of which has the democratic option of leaving the organisation if they so wish. That is not the case with Scotland in the UK.

The second reason is that it seems likely that the restoration of Scotland's independence would require the cancellation of the Treaty of Union which created the UK. Wales and Northern Ireland are in a union with the UK not with England, so the dissolution of the UK would result in these countries being in a union with a non-existent political entity. Despite the incessant use of the phrase "leaving the UK", the UK would effectively cease to exist if Scotland became independent again.

Peter Dryburgh, Edinburgh.


ALL I want for Christmas is not to have to spend it in a freezing cold garden, as happened last year. However, while it looks as though the turkeys will dodge a bullet, it does seem likely that everyone else will be served cold turkey or no turkey at all. And can Santa drive a lorry? If not, it appears our merry Christmas may depend on the seasonal goodwill of European lorry drivers, who of course will be kicked back across the Channel on December 24, in appreciation of the true meaning of a Brexit Christmas.

At least we'll still have Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey. Thank God for that.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.


I REFER to Denis Bruce's letter (September 28) regarding Angela Rayner's use of the word "scum".

I think we all must be careful in our use of words. As Michelle Obama said, "when they go low, we go high". So no matter how low the Conservative Government sinks, the opposition must go higher. Ms Rayner must do her best not to lose the head and keep her vocabulary on a higher level.

Mr Bruce says "any politician worth their salt must acknowledge that political opponents have their principles" and they deserve the dignity of respect. Unfortunately Ms Rayner's opponents have shown themselves to be devoid of principles.

There is no politician of any party who deserves respect for telling people who have lived in Britain all their lives and have paid their taxes to "go home". Nobody deserves respect for telling the Border Force to turn back desperate people in boats and put them in danger of drowning. Nobody deserves respect for taking £20 of Universal Credit away from struggling families. Nobody deserves respect for cutting foreign aid to the poorest of the poor. Nobody deserves respect for making millions at a time of crisis by moving their millions from tax haven to tax haven.

Personally, I would not have used the same word, but the word I would have used would have meant the same.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


THE United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently called on the world to “wake up”, having painted a stark picture of “unsustainable inequalities, runaway climate change and feckless leadership”.

We, the people, must insist that governments go beyond fine words and take action to tackle the foregoing crises. Take, for example, Boris Johnson’s climate speech to the UN General Assembly. In spite of his talk of “humanity growing up and finally taking responsibility for the destruction we are inflicting, not just upon our planet but ourselves” can he, given that he is the supreme example of Mr Guterres’s “feckless leadership”, be trusted to live up to his UN rhetoric?

However, if we are unwilling to put our faith in our so-called “leaders”, we have our young folk in whom we can invest our hope. We must rejoice in and encourage their idealism as they take part in peaceable, if passionate and noisy, protest during COP26, perhaps even following their example.

I was much impressed by Rosemary Goring’s article (“I don’t even like to get a parking ticket but we need folk who have guts to flout the rules”, The Herald, September 29) with her reference to “thoughtful, far-sighted people who know what they are doing, and the risks they run, and continue to do it anyway” followed up with “for society to be rendered voiceless and cowed is, to my mind, almost as frightening as being sent to jail”.

Well said, Ms Goring.

John Milne, Uddingston.

Read more: Whatever the risks, indy has to be better than this