ALAN Fitzpatrick (Letters, April 15) asks the entirely reasonable question of how much the decline of Glasgow Airport relative to Edinburgh “could be attributed to Holyrood”. However, he also suggests this would accelerate “should Scotland leave the UK”, implying that an independent Scottish government’s organisation would follow the UK model.

Perhaps he is unaware that at their conference in November last year, SNP delegates voted to “support a radical distribution of government departments and civil service jobs across Scotland's towns and cities under independence in a move to reflect a German-style of decentralisation and not replicate the over-centralisation of the UK economy”.

Reproducing the UK model is not necessary. Berlin, for instance, has only one-third of the population of London, with federal government departments distributed all over Germany.

Should an independent Scotland become little more than the current UK writ wee, with the central belt, and around Edinburgh in particular, as overheated as London and the south-east are now, then independence has failed.

Decentralisation, and the resources which follow, is not an option but a necessity for all of Scotland, including its airports, to share the rewards of independence.

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.


IT'S a sign of age when the likes of a letter from a correspondent querying why Glasgow City Council should intervene over the state of Glasgow Airport, as it is not in Glasgow (Letters, April 14), brings a sigh.

I recall the battles that the airport faced in its early years when Glasgow Corporation actually owned it, and then decided to sell the family silver. There was, as another correspondent has indicated, a strong case for a central airport. This was eventually shot down as both cities realised the potential loss of tourist revenue. There was also Prestwick being supported morally and physically by the creation of the new motorway system for example, as well as being "fog-free" and having a long runway. Both of those canards were still being touted for years, even after it was shown that Glasgow had more flying "fog-free" days than Prestwick and more powerful aircraft engines did not require a long runway. The loss of its then energetic director, Ronald Read, did not help the situation.

There is no doubt that Edinburgh has stolen a march on Glasgow. Perhaps it is the lure of being the capital city and the tourist image of castles and the like. In the end it is the airlines who call the shots, and that depends, in the first place, on how they perceive the numbers they can attract. My recollection is that when Ryanair left Prestwick it decamped not to Glasgow but to Edinburgh.

Despite the frequent suggestions of major costly financial improvements over the years, getting there by public transport can only be described as "difficult".

It is also true that driving both into and out of Glasgow Airport by car, especially in the dark, is a nightmare. The signage for parking is poor and alarmingly close to turning points, and to get on to the motorway, despite its proximity, demands almost special skills in navigation.

Robin Johnston, Newton Mearns.


WITH the advent of a Scottish Executive in 1999, through the joint efforts of Scottish Labour and the Liberals, Donald Dewar became Scotland's First Minister. The subsequent Scotland Acts indicated the powers bestowed by Westminster on what was later to become known as the Scottish Parliament. Around the same era similar bodies were created in Wales and Northern Ireland.

More recently we have all been witness to demands from the SNP for Scotland to become totally independent of the UK. That was never the objective of the founding fathers of Holyrood.

This scenario may well appeal to a minority of Scots, but those of us who oppose the cause of Scottish nationalism (2,001,926 in the 2014 referendum) seriously question any claims by the SNP that it has valid answers as to how it would create such necessities for Scotland's success in a global scene as a central bank with appropriate reserves, a Scottish currency, embassies in a wide range of countries throughout the world, an effective defence policy, and – certainly key to any such thoughts of independence – a sound economy.

Without doubt in today's uncertain world any moves to try to split up the UK would be politically unwise and economically disastrous, especially for Scotland.

Robert I G Scott, Ceres, Fife.


DOES anyone really want the Union to continue? A majority of Scots clearly do not. The present Tory Government is frighteningly corrupt and Labour seems to have nothing to offer.

Brexit may suit England but it is beggaring our export industries with its inability to allow fast delivery abroad.

Poorer members of Scottish society are being forced into worse poverty, despite grants from the Scottish Government.

Pensioners who have existed on the worst pension in Europe now face serious penury as inflation soars well above the paltry rise we were given.

So what about the young? With investment decisions distorted by Westminster, Holyrood struggles to bring in new companies who would offer the good jobs for life that the young aspire to. Small wonder that younger members of our country want independence and soon.

So what about England?

My impression is that the English are also struggling to export their goods and would just as soon have Scots exports leaving from Scottish ports rather than cluttering the queues at Dover. They resent Scottish university education being free for Scots. They envy our free prescriptions and child benefits. New mothers in England do not even get a “baby box”. “Let Scotland go it alone if they want to and get them off our backs” seems to be their position.

So if only a dodgy and incompetent Tory Government wants to hang on to Scotland, it is high time we ignored that obsolete Treaty of Union which was bought with bribes anyway, and got on with making Scotland great again.

Elizabeth Scott, Edinburgh.


IT is striking but not wholly unexpected that the Tories have broken yet another manifesto pledge by failing to match billions of pounds worth of EU development funding for Scotland after Brexit ("SNP minister accuses Westminster of short-changing Scotland over EU funds", The Herald, April 14).

The Government pledged in its 2019 election manifesto that a new Shared Prosperity Fund would “at a minimum” match the EU regional funds that were returned to the UK from its EU membership contributions, and “reaffirmed” that commitment in last October’s Budget.

These “EU structural funds” were designed to support economic development and reduce regional inequalities, particularly through investment in small businesses, skills and innovation, the green economy and other infrastructure projects.

However, the recent announcement of this fund will see only £32 million allocated to Scotland for 2022-23, a staggering £151 million short of the £183 million estimated to be an appropriate replacement for EU Structural Funds.

It is clear that despite UK Government assurances, the funding promised will not be delivered and this will hit key projects and communities.

Like so many aspects of Brexit, this broken promise is yet another addition to a growing list of broken promises.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.


SO the Tories choose to leave Boris Johnson in place? One serial liar to deal with another, Putin.

Mr Johnson could not tell the truth if he tried. He is the last politician on the planet to deal with Putin. We need a person with moral force as Prime Minister. What is the point of having Mr Johnson and President Putin lying to each other and every one else? The one advantage we have is the truth, about the war, the war crimes, the barefaced monstrous invasion, after the lying that it was just exercises and now the multitude of bodies under the shattered cities.

Mr Johnson is a bumbler with no eye for detail who habitually trashes his supporters. He is not fit to be PM. Still less to be in charge of sending weapons to Ukraine: plenty of others could do the job.

William Scott, Rothesay.


LITTLE lies, unchecked, generally, like acorns, tend to grow into larger lies in due course. Lies in Parliament which are tolerated, accepted and pardoned are similar and will in the future allow the liar to create more fantasies and deception.

What is happening in Westminster and Moscow offers a chilling example of just how far this practice can go unless steps are taken to correct it at source.

Nigel Dewar Gibb, Glasgow.