NEIL Mackay is assuredly correct (“There can be no indyref while Putin is murdering Ukraine”, The Herald, March 8). And Tom Gordon points out the propensity of the SNP for delaying a second referendum ("SNP’s Indyref2 delay over Ukraine won’t be its last,” The Herald, March 10).

The SNP’s current excuse not to inflict a second, unnecessary, divisive referendum on Scotland follows similar postponements because of Brexit and Covid. If a project has to be cancelled three times because it would be unwise, foolish and dangerous to proceed then it is reasonable to conclude the project is fundamentally flawed.
If Scotland, truly was oppressed by being part of the United Kingdom and there was a genuine appetite by the majority to separate Scotland from family and friends in the rest of the United Kingdom then the SNP would proceed regardless of other factors.
It is over for the SNP separation project. The United Kingdom will stay united.
Bruce Halliday, Dumfries.


RUTH Marr (Letters, March 8) is right to say that now is not the time to go for a second independence referendum. I would go further and say that there is no right time in the foreseeable future. 
The Ukraine crisis, along with pandemic recovery, climate change, Brexit fallout, NHS waiting lists, rampant inflation, ageing population, housing shortages and falling education standards are just some of the myriad problems governments and elected representatives will have to deal with at international, national and local level over the coming years and decades. They will all lead to more demand on council services and fewer financial resources to deal with them. 
Local council elections may seem trivial in comparison, but whatever your political views we should vote for candidates who are motivated by something other than separatist ideology. Use all your single transferable vote choices to elect people who will concentrate on solutions and not those who would add further distraction, complexity and uncertainty to an already difficult situation.

Ms Marr quotes Martin Niemoller’s famous reasoning that bad things happen because “I did not speak out”. The council elections are our next chance to get our voices heard. 
Mark Openshaw, Aberdeen.

YET again, Scotland’s First Minister simply cannot resist offering her opinion and even advice to Nato over the Ukraine crisis. She completely ignores the fact that she and her Government have no role to play in foreign affairs as this is not a devolved area of responsibility, but no matter, in she dives again. Quite why those involved in the decision-making process within Nato would take a blind bit of notice of her “advice” is anyone’s guess, particularly when her “advice” is seriously misguided and potentially disastrous. 
Does she not believe that Nato would already have introduced a no-fly zone over Ukraine if this was practical? Does she not understand the implications of Nato forces shooting down Russian jets? All this from a First Minister and a party that not long ago wanted to leave Nato, still wants to remove nuclear weapons from Scotland and in effect be defenceless against any Russian aggression but of course then remain a beneficiary under the nuclear defence umbrella provided by Nato. Perhaps Ms Sturgeon might want to concentrate on everything in Scotland that is and has been broken under her watch.
Richard Allison, Edinburgh.

THE United States has intimated that Poland’s cunning attempt at mission creep around what is in effect a redeployment of its Mig-29s to the USAF base at Ramstein in Germany has been, quite rightly, vetoed by the US.
It ill behoves the First Minster to add her own to the voices suggesting that the option of a no-fly zone be kept on the table. A no-fly zone is precisely the sort of mission creep that could lead to a limited nuclear exchange. In case those who advise Ms Sturgeon on matters military have not pointed this out, tactical nukes in the Russian arsenal do exist. And as insane as it sounds, “escalate to de-escalate” is part of Russian doctrine.
Bill Ramsay, Convener SNP CND, Glasgow.