AT best, I would say that the SNP continues very effectively to display a notable lack of consistency and rational thinking. I often take the view that perhaps the voting public really do get the political leadership they deserve as the price for not considering the facts.

One day I read “Sturgeon defends £20m Indyref 2 spending despite cuts to budgets” (The Herald, June 2). The next day I read “SNP council deputy leader and city treasurer Ricky Bell said: ‘In the current financial restraints that Glasgow City faces, spending money on a jubilee celebration would in my opinion be crass. I want to direct every penny we can to helping with the cost-of-living crisis’" ("‘Crass’ to use city’s money on Jubilee", The Herald, June 3).

Perhaps Mr Bell would be better serving the public on the First Minister’s team.

Kate Forbes, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, has revealed herself to be no more competent in pulling on the reins of Holyrood’s profligate spending than her predecessors with a reported shortfall in public finances of more than £3.5 billion. Even with the sad knock-on effects of a pandemic, everyone has known for years that Scotland has a serious issue with an ageing population.

I note that Turkey has changed its name to Turkiye. Perhaps an independent Scotland should rebrand itself as Nova Darien.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.


THE SNP Government, at a time when it is cutting public services, is going to spend £20 million on an attempt to hold a second independence referendum next year. Opinion polls continue to show that the vast majority of the Scottish electorate don't want another referendum. The UK Government has said it will veto it. And the money used could be spent on vital public services.

£20 million would buy outright 100 brand new state of the art ambulances full of the latest high-tech medical equipment. That would be a much more sensible spend of taxpayers' money – and remember only 56% of adults actually pay income tax.

William Loneskie, Lauder.


IAN McConnell's articles are consistently interesting and informative, and it was especially refreshing to read his article today ("What Scottish Government is clearly getting right on the economic front", The Herald, June 3). I entirely agree with his observation that "the doomsayers are keener than ever to talk down the Scottish economy at every opportunity". Their target of course is to rubbish the Scottish Government, but the end result of their doomy gloomy negativity rubbishes Scotland.

The Partygate shenanigans in Downing Street have tended to divert the spotlight away from Brexit, and Mr McConnell is absolutely right to point out that while the cost of living crisis has been caused largely by global factors, the problems have been exacerbated very significantly by Brexit; something Scotland emphatically did not vote for, but sadly has to suffer from, due to our current constitutional position within the UK.

Mr McConnell points out that the Scottish Government has significant influence in foreign direct investment and highlights the very positive report from the EY accountancy firm which shows that Scotland is "doing very well indeed on the inward investment front"; apart from London, Scotland is out-stripping the rest of the UK as a destination for foreign investors. EY's findings are all very positive, and show Scotland making "great strides" forward. Onwards and upwards Scotland, and pay no heed to the doomsayers.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.


IT says much for The Herald's openness to diverse opinions amongst its columnists when Neil Mackay's trenchant piece on the nostalgia for empire ("England is sick in the soul – and the illness is nostalgia", The Herald, June2) appears on the same page as Mark Smith's oleaginous and sycophantic praise of the monarchy ("Why we still need the royal family").

Mr Mackay's suggestion that we should try living towards the future rather than "dying in the past", as people do when they fawn over the current medieval circus of the Jubilee celebrations, stands in stark contrast to Mr Smith's view that the royal family is a "totem that's wrapped in velvet and gold" and "a point on the map we can return to when we're lost". Really? Who believes this nonsense?

I have never understood this notion that when we're "lost" – I assume he means psychologically – we can reassure ourselves that things will be OK and all will be well when we have the continuity and stability of the monarchy to hold in mind. Does this make us somehow more secure, the world more predictable and certain? Of course, changes and transformations in society can be unsettling and destabilising, but the idea that the monarchy is some kind of "touchstone" for re-orientating ourselves is no more than infantilising twaddle.

Dr Angus Macmillan, Dumfries.


MARK Smith is quite wrong in saying that the alternatives to the Queen would be either Boris Johnson or Nicola Sturgeon. This would only be the case if it were decided, in the new constitutional arrangement, that the president should be a figure with political power. This is of course the situation in countries such as France and the United States, but it is not the only possibility.

We could also have a president who, whilst elected to the role, would essentially be a figurehead. Examples of this include Ireland, Germany and Israel. Indeed I believe in Italy the monarchy was abolished by a referendum and replaced with such an arrangement.

It seems to me that this latter arrangement has the best of both worlds. The president is elected by the people, not born to the role and so acquiring it of right,but at the same time is above politics and can represent the nation.

Alan Jenkins, Glasgow.


I NOTE Andrew Learmonth’s article on allegations on the internet with particular reference to the First Minister (“This homophobic lie about Nicola Sturgeon should worry us all”, The Herald, June 2) . I wonder whether or not at any point during the composition of the article he gave any thought to the fact that he would be giving considerable publicity in the mainstream press to the rumours he condemned as "homophobic and misogynist" and as being "complete and utter mince". His take on it has certainly widened general awareness of it, albeit as he maintains the story is without any foundation.

Describing something disparagingly as "mince" is one thing , but the use of "k***h" is another. I am surprised that it passed the editorial check on content.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


Could anti-SNP sentiment be behind low census returns?

Could anti-SNP sentiment be behind low census returns?


THE reduced census return in Scotland ("Experts say census has a ‘solid foundation’ despite problems", The Herald, June 3) is indeed disappointing. Many jump on the fact that it was being run by the Scottish Government as the reason for this. Claims of “shambles” and “chaos” are echoed across certain parts of the political spectrum.

Now, to be fair the percentage shortfall, or difference, in returns isn’t actually that vast, so what about this? It is precisely because the census was Scottish Government-run that a small group of people decided not to fill it in. These would be the same people who would elect to follow Westminster Covid rules rather than Scottish Government rules where they differed. “Not doing anything she says” I think you’ll find is the telling expression.

I’m surprised no one has factored this in yet, nor do I suppose there is any way to find out.

Stephen Henson, Glasgow.


I WAS outraged to read that four people are being prosecuted by the Metropolitan Police for allegedly breaching Covid-19 laws during a vigil for murdered Sarah Everard ("Four prosecuted for ‘breaking Covid laws’ at Sarah Everard vigil", The Herald, June 2).

At the same time as Government ministers and advisers were having drinks parties, birthday parties, cheese and wine nights, as well as driving to Barnard Castle to test their eyesight, a young woman was being raped and murdered by a serving police officer.

When there was a vigil in London to remember Sarah, and to protest at the patriarchy raping and murdering women, the patriarchy then decided to arrest women for protesting about being raped and murdered.

The lawmakers are the lawbreakers, not the people who took part in the vigil.

Margaret Forbes, Blanefield.


ANYTHING to do with sport numbs my senses but anything written by Catriona Stewart has to be read as I am a great fan of hers. So (permissible to use as a "pregnant prefix"), on reading her article mentioning sport ("Sports fans might be daft but I do envy them their passion", The Herald, June 3) I once again thought about the writer Winifred Holtby's article in the Radio Times in 1950 where she wrote about an FA Cup tie on the fledgling BBC radio.

She wrote: "I was excited ... I have not the remotest notion what they were all doing." She heard "Goal" being shouted on the radio, but didn't know who was playing or where or why; she just wanted her spine to tingle again and her pulse to beat. Then she wrote: "that voice cried out from somewhere near our drawing-room curtains – 'Now he's got it. It's coming close on the right wing .. there it is, he's got it ... Jarvis has it .... GOAL!'"

I know exactly what Ms Stewart is writing about but I refuse to feel any great sense of loss. After growing up in a sports-loving family and being the odd one out I am happy to stay with books and trees. Yet again, when I read that "he's got it ... Jarvis has it ... GOAL!" I do experience some little tingles. I wonder why?

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


WHILE it is undoubtedly true that Glasgow Queen Street station is currently the polar opposite to the shopping mall stations found elsewhere, I have to ask: is Simon Paterson (Letters, June 3) the only person who hasn’t noticed the two coffee stalls in the main concourse? Apparently.

Robin Irvine, Helensburgh.


I NOTE the irritation experienced by Denis Bruce ( Letters, June 3) on the misuse of the words mitigate and militate. Regular BBC1 viewers are subjected daily to Alexander Armstrong's "thank you very much ...indeed " on Pointless whilst Escape to the Country participants unfailingly gasp "wow" when viewing a property. Surely the respective programme producers should eradicate such annoying and indeed pointless utterances.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

Read more: We Scots are complicit in the shameful treatment of refugees