BRITISH workers are restless. Be it in education, police, NHS, local government, civil service or national companies et al, there is a howl for increases in remuneration and working conditions. And the unions are agitating on behalf of members. It feels in fact the very fabric of the UK is in jeopardy and massive disruption and dissatisfaction is looming – the perfect storm.

It has been said the Covid pandemic has been the greatest crisis since the Second World War and in addition to the long-lasting economic and medical effects, we have to contend with global warming, the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis. All of these are having a detrimental effect on our lives and the mood of the nation. Frighteningly, the great bear of the east is showing its teeth and seems determined not to be stopped.

I was born shortly after the end of the Second World War. I remember ration books in the early 1950s, people didn’t have much and were grateful, the nation pulled together to recover form the horrors of war. In some respects we are facing the same crisis and this is a time for our nation to pull together. Whoever becomes Prime Minister has a massive role ahead to steer Britain through very rough seas and unite the country.

When I say country, I mean the United Kingdom, because in addition to us facing unimaginable problems, Nicola Sturgeon and her band of separatists are determined to destabilise and destroy the UK for no good or proven reason. In addition to “the people of Scotland” facing major cost of living challenges and unimaginable problems with medical care, we are being plunged into further constitutional crisis.

This is not the time to destabilise the UK. The issues and challenges going forward are immense, with implications for everyone, yet supporters of separation seem happy to be driven by the emotion of an independent Scotland with no guarantee of success or positive economic outcome. The First Minister stated in 2016: “Independence is more important than Brexit, oil and balance sheets.” She has proved that to be true, with virtually every aspect of Scottish life being tainted and damaged by divisive, narrow, controlling nationalism which takes pleasure in blaming anyone and everything for its shortcomings. She has provided no economic statistics to show how an independent Scotland could be successful and indeed recently stated “there can be no guarantee of success”. One of her senior advisers, Andrew Wilson, states regularly that independence will be “hard”. Week by week there is yet another Nat-crisis, today it is the continuing shocking annual drug death statistics (“More urgent action needed as drugs death toll flatlines”, The Herald, July 29).

Let’s get behind the new Prime Minister and re-energise the United Kingdom, it is the greatest country in the world.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.


SURELY by now Nicola Sturgeon must be bitterly regretting launching her new independence push? Is Covid really over when hospitals are not able to take in new patients at their theoretically least busy time of year? Have the polls given a lead at all for the Yes camp? In tandem with that, the problems continue to pile up.

Ms Sturgeon is now faced with a pathetic one per cent drop in drug misuse deaths. The 2021 figures show 1,330 deaths as opposed to the 1,339 of the previous year. Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance must consider her position as this is no reduction at all, although SNP spinners will try desperately to pronounce otherwise.

Scotland is also heading for a catastrophic summer of strikes attributable to the SNP policy of starving local authorities of funding.

It has never been more urgent to have a concerted call for this uncosted, unworkable and frankly dangerous SNP/Green fixation with independence to be binned and all that effort put into saving the lives of Scots.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.


CONTRARY to Jill Stephenson’s assertions (Letters, June 29), the case for Scotland’s self-government is overwhelming.

Due to Westminster’s control of our economy, energy, drug policy, immigration, employment law and transport any Scottish government, of whatever political hue, is severely restricted on delivering what is best for Scotland.

Thanks to Brexit, our NHS, care services and hospitality sectors are suffering from recruitment and UK visa problems. Our scientific and university sectors are losing out due to the loss of Horizon Europe funding. Our exporters are suffering badly from Brexit and the UK’s failed energy policy has caused the horrendous price increases.

An independent Scotland would be one of the richest countries in the world, as we have one-third of the UK’s natural resources, the bulk of the UK’s oil and gas supplies and we export much more food and drink than the rest of the UK.

Despite this, under the Union Scotland’s GDP per capita compares very badly with that of Ireland, Norway, Denmark and Finland. As much oil and gas has been extracted in Scotland’s waters as in Norway’s half of the North Sea, but successive Westminster governments failed to invest into Scotland’s vast renewable energy manufacturing potential and allowed Denmark and Norway to become world leaders. The Republic of Ireland’s trade hit a record €842 billion last year, with exports accounting for €451bn of that total. More than 70 per cent of Ireland’s trade used to be with the UK; a decade ago it was 17% and now it’s 8.7%.

Ignoring all the consequences, both Labour and the LibDems have given up on the EU or the single market as they fear the backlash from middle England’s voters. With independence we can always change our government if it is not performing, whereas Scottish votes have only changed England’s choice of government on two occasions since 1945.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.


BRIAN Wilson ("The petty dishonesty that now passes for leadership in Scotland", The Herald, July 28) makes several apt points on modern Scottish leadership. Of course, on taking a top-down perspective, that means looking at the thinking of Nicola Sturgeon.

It is worth considering the effects that Ms Sturgeon's comments might have on younger generations, particularly those starting out on, or developing, their political career and looking for role models. She seems to have no conception of the influence that high office has on young people. To make matters worse, it was not long ago that education was SNP core policy. If based on Ms Sturgeon's recent comments, it would seem that that also has been abandoned.

Albert Halliday, Newton Mearns.


IF my arithmetic is correct, the next Prime Minister will be chosen by one in 420 of the UK population or one in 290 of the electorate. Why not celebrate this return to the days of Rotten Boroughs a step further by reinstating what's happening in Birmingham just now as the Empire Games?

Gilbert MacKay, Newton Mearns.


AS I watch rapidly-evolving developments in the EU and the UK, it must surely be time for the UK Government to declare an Energy Emergency. Energy is a fast developing issue which will hit us in weeks and must surely take precedence over the so-called Climate Emergency stated to be a few decades away.

The UK's energy needs for the coming winter are claimed by National Grid ESO to be dependent on imports from the rest of Europe and yet the EU is itself in an emergency situation with French nuclear generation problems and the severe shortfall of gas from Russia.

This situation must be treated as an emergency by the Government, which currently seems to be in thrall of the tiresome and increasingly anarchistic green lobby.

Dr GM Lindsay, Kinross.

Is there a case for halting motor sport?

Is there a case for halting motor sport?


LIZBETH Collie (Letters, July 25) makes an environmental point about climate change and a rich man's Lamborghini.

She could have been more critical. The rich man's sport of motor racing continues untrammelled, polluting the planet; and has done so for decades without even the threat of a temporary ban.

I am surprised it is not a current issue up for debate. Is it because the motor racing industry, and the rich, have more political influence?

Jim Cook, Airdrie.


I REALLY enjoyed the reminiscences of John McNaught on the happy days of neighbourhood shopping ("Ah for the days of the great local shops", The Herald, July 27).

I recall a real genius I met as a very young housewife in 1960 ... Harry Hall was his name and he was the owner of a wee grocery shop in Prescot, Lancashire. Harry could serve three people at the same time and carry all the adding-ups of those items in his head then give the correct totals and the change. Never wrong, to me he was a genius. He wrapped and packed their goods at the same time. I loved to shop in there on Saturdays just to watch Harry.

Other shops in the main street were just as busy and efficient. The best cake and pie shop in the known world was that of Jimmy Ray which to this day is still owned and operated by the same Ray family, the baking done at the rear of the shop. They made the best beef pies ever. At the other end of the street was Whittles and the most gorgeous wee pork pies, again baked at the rear of the shop. I loved the old-fashioned-ness of Harry and Lizzie Lyon's almost-below-ground establishment with its floor covered in wood-shavings and a display of delicious potted meats on the counter, again made on the premises. I must not forget my own English grandfather who, from a place under the street level, made and mended boots and clogs and let me, as a young 'un weigh out nails in the scales as I played shop.

I often used to wonder what a certain man was doing as he wandered around the town with a notepad and pencil all those years ago, but then there appeared an excellent book of the town as it had been when the author, Arthur Roberts, was a boy and I bought a copy, much loved to this day and often perused as I remember Prescot as it was with all the wee shops.

Many thanks to Mr McNaught for disturbing the dust on my memories of Prescot. I have to add that Kelso has some good wee shops too.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


WITH my participation in football limited to home comfort viewing and giving it laldy with the old voice box I guess I am an exception to Catriona Stewart’s communiqué “When it comes to exercise, men get football – we get hoovering” (The Herald, July 29).

But you should see my natural reverse turn and other manoeuvres with my dear lady’s stoorsooker.

R Russell Smith, Largs.

Read more: Our hearts have hardened: we will not play the SNP's game again