SO the First Minister has made a significant, measured announcement which chimes with the majority view of the citizens of our nation and indeed reflects the mandate upon which she and her Government were re-elected (again). It would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

Predictably the minority opposition parties are unhappy and continue with their “now is not the time" mantra along with the suggestion that the Government is taking its eye off the ball in relation to domestic matters.

We can do nothing about the minority of “SNP bad” or Nicola Sturgeon-haters who seem to be full of bile and venom. Many of them are indeed unable to raise their heads above the parapet. They are a lost cause. Calling a government to account and continually sniping from the sidelines are poles apart.

There will also be a huge number of people in this country who are perhaps not vociferous members of the Nicola Sturgeon fan club or who for whatever reason do not support the SNP but they perhaps have not considered the significance of Scotland being an independent nation and a full member of the EU.

Many of these people will be scunnered with the industrial levels of corruption, law-breaking and rule-breaking witnessed on a frequent basis down south together with our exit from the EU against our will, increasing child poverty, ever increasing use of foodbanks and the continued presence of Trident on our soil.

This whole unprecedented event is not about a single party or person. It is much, much more than that. It is about our right to self-determination one and for all, and making things so much better for our children and our grandchildren.

Ironically, when our nation gains it independence from rUK, there is an argument that the SNP will have fulfilled its purpose; its very being; it’s raison d’etre.

This is our once in lifetime chance and we should seize it. All hues and colours of the independence movement must temporarily hide their differences and concentrate on the glue which binds them together.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.


NICOLA Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that "now is the time" for another divisive referendum. No it isn't. Covid cases are increasing and it's likely this winter will see a dangerous increase lasting into 2023, when the resources of the UK will be called upon yet again. We will be in a deep global recession next year and with inflation rocketing, preparing for a new central bank and a new currency will be even more problematic. The war in Ukraine could spiral into a world war if Russia's deranged president fires missiles into Vilnius in retaliation for Lithuania's blockade of Kaliningrad, and in any case its supply-chain effects will last for years, dragging economies into the mire.

Instead of tackling the many problems Scotland has, Nicola Sturgeon is taking a wrecking ball to the Union by setting Scot against Scot and the Scots against the English. When she said "Scottish democracy is a prisoner of Boris Johnson" she omitted to mention that Mr Johnson's jaiket is on a shoogly peg and that the referendum of 2014 was a once in a generation event. Scots are getting scunnered with her "here's tae us wha's like us" comparison and her girning about how Scotland is so badly done by when the reality is that standards of living have increased exponentially under the Union.

We should be strengthening the bonds between Scotland and England, not undermining them.

The UK is the fifth-largest economy in the world, second in the Audit of Geopolitical Capability, with unmatched soft power, a military in the premier league, superb intelligence services, incredible research and development, a people blessed with outstanding skill, inventiveness, creativity and resolve, English as the international language, and close connections across the globe. Why would Scotland wish to leave it?

Let's now drop this divisive ideology and move forward together.

William Loneskie, Lauder.

* WHILE I am happy to see the SNP and its supporters waste their time chasing independence, there are a couple of aspects of this that I object to. First, this movement seems to have hijacked the Saltire. This is the flag of Scotland and, as such, is as much mine as theirs.

Secondly, Nicola Sturgeon seems to be calling the campaign for independence a "democracy" movement. We live in a democracy, we often have to live with elected governments that we disagree with, and we had a democratic vote in 2014. I would prefer it if she flew the EU flag and admitted to trying to exercise a power grab. It is anything but democratic and does not deserve to be associated with our (my) Saltire.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh.

SCOTTISH exceptionalism is just as abhorrent as the British variety. Could Lesley Riddoch ("The problem with Boris Johnson isn’t just his personality", The Herald, June 27) please explain how Scotland is any more “progressive” than any other part of the UK? Yes, Nicola Sturgeon and her minions keep telling us that her policies are “progressive ", but I’ve yet to see this in action.

Yes, Boris Johnson is the gift that keeps on giving to the secession cause, though maybe not as much as they would like as he hasn’t made much difference to the numbers wanting independence that you’d expect if we Scots hated the Tories as much as Ms Riddoch thinks we do.

She mocks him for talking about building a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland. I seem to remember her writing an article several months ago telling us how wonderful Scandinavian politics were and how wonderful Scotland would be if we only followed them. During the first lockdown my husband and I binge-watched The Bridge about a murder committed where the body was found on the bridge that connected Sweden and Denmark. Apparently Scandinavians like bridges and don’t have the problems with ferries that Scotland has.

Then we come to the elephant in the room, Brexit. Like all nationalists, Ms Riddoch tells us that Scotland didn’t vote for it. As someone who voted No and Remain can I just remind those who voted Yes that they did actually vote to leave the EU in 2014, so if the vote had gone the other way I would still have been pulled out the EU against my will.

Sir Keir Starmer was correct, unfortunately, when he said that Scotland had the worst of both worlds with the SNP in Holyrood and the Tories in Westminster.

Margaret Johnston, Torrance.


I WAS quite taken aback by Anne Keleny's assertion (Letters, June 28) that "the scruffiest shack in Scotland now costs a fortune". Here in Dumfries and Galloway there are many, many people who have moved here from England because they can get bigger/better properties, having sold a house at the higher prices which pertain down south. House prices in Buckinghamshire where Ms Keleny lives are eye-watering. I know, because we have family living in Buckinghamshire who torment themselves by looking at the price of large, detached sandstone houses here, compared to the money they had to pay for what is in effect a small, albeit extended, bungalow.

Her disparaging comments about moving to "some cold windy place up there" make Scotland seem a very unappealing place. I don't understand what the problem is – why does living in England mean she might no longer be deemed to be Scottish?

In 2014 at the time of the referendum, I was talking to a lady who had moved here from the Newcastle area and she told me: "I thought it would be just like England. But it's not." Views like this can be seen reflected in every recent election result in the south of Scotland. Indeed, there are people in this area threatening to secede, and join the North of England, if Scotland breaks away from the UK (England).

Hey ho. What a merry-go-round we are on.

Lizanne MacKenzie, Dumfries.


ROBERT Menzies (Letters, June 28) takes to task Jill Stephenson (Letters, June 24) for her criticism of the SNP Government’s perceived selling of seabed licences at less than the going rate to wind farm operators.

He quotes extensively from the magazine WindEurope, which claims that the Scottish Government by selling off our assets cheaply has pulled off a great deal for the Scottish taxpayer. What Mr Menzies fails to tell us is that WindEurope is the organ of the wind farm industry and acts for its 400 members – consisting of wind farm developers and power utilities.

It is not the first time that the SNP Government has been shown to be naive in its dealings with business – GFG Alliance, Ferguson Marine and more. The claim that as the developers got the seabed sites for a knockdown price Scottish consumers will benefit from cheap electricity is ludicrous. The product will go into the National Grid and the main beneficiaries will be the developers and their shareholders.

If this SNP Government is not naive in its commercial dealings then the jibe of Tartan Tories is justified.

Donald Cameron, Fort William.

Read more: No one could argue with a referendum followed by an election