IS the Lord Advocate’s journey to the Supreme Court a fool’s errand? If the non-consequential referendum she is arguing for occurs, it will be boycotted by those who cannot face the unpleasantness of another campaign and vote. Most of us didn’t want a vote in 2014, but we fought the good fight and won. The nationalist side has never accepted that result because it believes that Scots made a terrible mistake and should be given the chance – or forced – to vote again and get it right this time.

But hearts have hardened, as a result of incessant nationalist agitation, and pro-UK Scots will not play the SNP’s game again. The result of that would be a continuation of the current stalemate. Some commentators argue that the logjam must be broken, but why? We can continue without having a vote, and the frothing separatists can continue to froth. It won’t do them any good, and it may even do some of them harm, if they get overheated.

The SNP’s problem is that it has no case for leaving the UK. All it has is "we could be like Denmark", which has been ridiculed by Nicola Sturgeon’s economics adviser, Professor Mark Blyth. And, in addition it has "look at our resources", without the slightest idea of how to utilise and monetise these resources. From the way the SNP boasts about our "resources", you would think that no other country had resources – especially not England.

The stalemate is caused largely by the SNP not having a case to put before Scots that shows unequivocally that Scotland would be better off outside the UK. That is manifestly not the case, and most Scots either know that or suspect that it might be the case.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.


TOM Gordon ("Sturgeon’s court case is the start of her long goodbye", The Herald, July 28) may be right that the Supreme Court will rule that the wording of the 24 year-old Scotland Act gives Westminster total control over Scotland. Yes, it might be the swansong of the present First Minister (I thought she should have gone before the 2021 election, to reboot her party), but the new SNP leader, faced with no option other than “muscular unionism”, in an increasingly insular and imperialistic UK, may become more explicitly “nationalist” in their campaigning: heightening, rather than diminishing, expectations.

This brings us to the serious matter that Mr Gordon doesn’t raise: the point made by Ciaran Martin that “the formal position of the UK Government appears to be that there is no lawful or democratic route by which to achieve Scottish independence”. When the ballot box is no longer pertinent to the democratic change hoped for by fully half of the population, then other darker, methods may emerge, and in Scotland we don’t have to look far for evidence of this (historically, for the same London Refusenik reasons). For goodness sake, let’s have a national referendum and get this over with, because the next one will undoubtedly be the last.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


NOT being one to agree with Adam Tomkins on many counts, I have to say he hit the nail on the Tory head this week ("Truss will be a puppet PM on strings pulled by the lunatic fringe", The Herald, July 27).

I have long believed that Scotland would be a better master of its own destiny, and begin to wonder how much worse things have to get for even the most ardent unionists to think again. You do not need to be a member of the SNP to see the merits of this wonderful country ploughing its own furrow, at the same time remaining a geographical part of the British Isles, but not subservient to any one part of it.

The word "independence" has such divisive connotations now that there is a need to offer "middle of the road" people like me a more palatable option, which takes account of a total disillusionment with the blinkered London-centric system. The present arrangement simply validates the SNP raison d’etre, and will not go away by a refusal to understand Scotland’s undoubted assets and aspirations.

The starting point has to be an acceptance that the present relationship is not working, and there can be no future in an increasingly awful and autocratic UK Government persisting in enforcing the status quo.

Anne Shackleton, Kirkcudbright.


GUY Stenhouse writes: “The SNP are so chippy that the allure of any arrangement with no English people in it is just irresistible" ("SNP ‘democratic deficit’ line is for the terminally stupid", The Herald, July 27).

I am not especially pro-SNP, but what a complete load of tosh, bordering on almost suggesting racism. What is “sad, really" is that he thinks this way. He is the only one who does, I am certain.

In the last paragraph he writes: “We should increasingly realise that actually the English are our friends and that Britain ain’t that bad.” Well the English most certainly ARE our friends and currently Britain IS that bad.

Sorry Mr Stenhouse, but I hope that the forthcoming independence debates and conversations and discussions will be at a far higher level of courtesy, common sense and intelligence than this.

George Archibald, West Linton.


TWO politicians, neither voted in by Scotland but who have held high offices of state, compete to inform us that the Government in which they served has led Britain into multiple crises. Live on television they advise that energy bills are doubling, inflation is at a 40-year high, highest tax for 70 years, industrial unrest, growth is anaemic and some of our hospitals are falling apart, one in Kings Lynn being held up by stilts.

Now, about that compelling case for the Union?

Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.


THE decision to sack shadow transport minister Sam Tarry for staying true to his principles and beliefs and joining striking rail workers on their picket line ("Scottish trade unionist quits Labour over picket line sacking", heraldscotland, July 28), may come to be seen as the moment when Sir Keir Starmer snatched defeat from the jaws of a possible victory, and provided respite to the warring Tories. A number of unions have condemned the sacking of Mr Tarry, and Sharon Graham, leader of Unite the Union, is right to declare that Labour is "becoming more and more irrelevant to ordinary working people".

This spectacular own goal will haunt the Labour Party and help it crash to defeat at the General Election now that Sir Keir has revealed himself in his true-blue colours.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

• THE headline on Denis Bruce’s letter (July 28) mentioned “...pernicious Tory attacks on trade unions”. The really significant movement against trade unions is not by the Conservative Party but the very party the unions themselves created, the UK Labour Party. When a right-wing coup within the Labour Party can result in the purging of “socialists” and the disciplining of shadow ministers who have the temerity to publicly support striking workers one has to question who is pulling the strings and why.

Like it or lump it, if you have to go to work every day to put food on the table you are a worker whether you are a brain surgeon or stack shelves in a supermarket. We live in an era when the percentage of GDP that goes on workforce wages has dropped by 10%, where the rich have got richer while the rest of us have suffered through decades of deliberate austerity policies. We are currently experiencing a period of unprecedented inflation and financial expert Martin Lewis is predicting a possible mass refusal to pay outrageous increases in utility bills unless there is some form of government intervention.

I am left asking myself if the Labour Party appears to be turning its back on those of us who are forced to work to survive, who is going to look after the best interests of the overwhelming majority of the population, as the Conservative Party obviously won't?

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


JOHN Macnab’s suggestion (Letters, July 26) of making voting compulsory is an interesting one, and I would agree with him, as long as there’s an “I abstain” box against which I can put my cross. Better still, call it the “I wouldn’t vote for any of this lot” box, and watch the stampede to the polling station.

My ol’ dad once told me that you shouldn’t vote for the party you think will do most good, you should vote for the party you think will do the least harm.

Wise man, my dad.

James Gracie, Sanquhar.

Read more: We must resist the Tory attacks on trade unions