CHINA’s fury at Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan had nothing whatsoever to do with her personality: her presence, as an official representation of the USA, was an affront to Beijing’s determination to regain possession of the island it regards as Chinese territory.

The recent hostile reactions to royal Jubilee visits in the Caribbean were not personal– just confirmation that deference in that part of the world to the last vestiges of the British Empire is well and truly over.

Likewise, when imperially-minded unionists, like Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson react with the same sort of fearful fury to Nicola Sturgeon’s presence at international gatherings, they are instinctively acknowledging our First Minister’s long-term, steady, careful building of international recognition for Scotland as we emerge from a disastrous period of subjugation and London mis-rule.

Ms Sturgeon, very clearly, understands absolutely that she is merely – but vitally– Scotland’s international representative at the Arctic Nations Conference, at Brussels, at the UN.

When she accepts invitations to visit other nations and meets leaders of other nations in Edinburgh, Scotland is acknowledged as the “nation in waiting”– the next, and almost the last, British colony to re-establish sovereignty.

Relentless unionist ad hominem attacks and their obsession with the SNP, however, simply indicate their misinterpretation of Ms Sturgeon’s motivations, their absolute ignorance of the multi-faceted Yes campaign, and the inevitability of a final show-down when the sovereignty of the Scottish people – ignored in 1707 but now backed by the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights – is, at last, put to the test.

Frances McKie, Evanton, Ross-shire.


WILLIAM Thomson (letters, August 6) suggests that we need a sophisticated approach to the economic crisis. He sees the Bank of England as incapable.

He proposes that we return control over monetary policy to government control. May I remind him that Gordon Brown claimed to have solved boom-and-bust, whilst a latter-day George Osborne promised that a few years of austerity would eliminate the deficit?

The Bank must either tackle inflation or recession and has chosen the former. As Mr Thomson suggests, many of us will eat less or stop heating our homes. It is hard to believe this decision was reached without political consultation.

Unfortunately our present Prime Minister and temporary Chancellor each prioritise their holidays.

Meanwhile the contenders to be our next PM pontificate, either ridiculing one’s economic proposals or traducing the other’s record in office.

No independence supporter claims it will be easy but is it not time to go our own way?

Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.


THE SNP used to proclaim that it stood up for Scotland. Now it is most decidedly letting Scotland down.

Huge drug- and alcohol-death rates, the NHS overstretched, educational standards in freefall, no ferries to aid our tourist infrastructure, and so on.

There must come a point when the electorate start to see through SNP hype and spin. It isn’t very hard, is it?

The party conference season will soon be upon us. The SNP avoided this in spring, despite the local elections. The day of reckoning now approaches with this, numerous strikes and the Supreme Court deliberation. Rocky times lie ahead for the Scottish government.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.


NEIL Mackay (“Truss v Sturgeon: Scotland is the new front in Tory culture wars”, August 4) asks whether Nicola Sturgeon can capitalise on current economic woes, and the answer is close at hand.

Part of the current crisis is that of energy supply and costs. Surely no-one needs a particularly long memory to remember how Ms Sturgeon was going to address that very issue: her SNP Scottish Government would create a state-owned energy provider, using only green energy produced in Scotland.

A gullible SNP audience greeted her promise with a trademark sycophantic ovation, while the rest of us looked on with a sceptical “so will you now?”

I know who is feeling rather stupid now. The lesson is that in this, as in so many other things, Sturgeon is very adept at one thing: promising a lot and delivering nothing whatsoever.

Peter A. Russell, Jordanhill, Glasgow.


YET again Steven Camley’s cartoon – this time on alcohol- related deaths (August 5) – hits the nail on the head.

His ability to see through the political spin and nonsense spouted by so-called experts in the field, as reported in Helen McArdle’s articles on the subject, is second to none.

To base the success of minimum pricing of alcohol on a reduction of reported alcohol sales is rather optimistic as it does not take into account the amount of contraband booze flowing around in Scotland.

Eric R. Gardner, Pollokshields, Glasgow,


WHILE Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the two candidates for the Conservative leadership, canvas party members with promises of finance and taxes, and who is best to win the next general election, why are they not questioned about the customs border problems across the Irish Sea?

Do the English care?

Brexit was an English invention, sold to us by an English majority and promulgated by a parliament created before 1603 or 1707.

Its two Houses include a majority of English representatives who generally ignore the electorate of the other home nations.

It is fair to claim that the English invented nationalism, so why blame Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP?

The Conservatives represent big business and receive substantial sponsorship from its leaders, yet nobody is now criticising Brexit and the border delays caused in relation to commerce.

Are they frightened to admit their mistake?

Rishi Sunak is applauded for his furlough scheme, but he did not invent it. Several countries already had a similar scheme in place for emergencies.

He did, of course, raise taxes and National Insurance rates.

It was Tory business friends who sold us useless PPE items but were not forced to repay anything.

I may be being cynical when I suggest that some big businesses are doing very well by selling us the weapons which Boris Johnson has given, and still is giving, to the Ukraine.

Whatever Liz Truss says about Nicola and co. does not matter as she makes more U-turns than a plumber.

She, who once was a Remain supporter, should be asked how to resolve Brexit problems – or even to admit it was a mistake, which requires its abandonment.

J.B. Drummond, Kilmarnock.


I MUST sincerely thank Willie Maclean of Milngavie for his “Destroy before reading” letter (August 4). My thanks are for his stark reminder of how abusive and intolerant of others’ opinions many in the independence camp were during the “once-in-a-generation” referendum, and how nothing has apparently changed from those sad days.

To “destroy before reading” the writings of those, such as Herald columnists Iain Macwhirter, Mark Smith and Brian Wilson, who have, in the past, disagreed with you, seems to be the mantra and bodes ill for the fate of democracy in a, heaven forbid, independent Scotland.

Bob Hamilton, Motherwell.


AS Mr Maclean’s “ destroy before reading” tray fills with more and more of your contributors’ pieces, perhaps he will soon have little Herald left to read. This would enable him to direct his opinions elsewhere, thereby creating space for other letter-writers. Though not kindly disposed towards the SNP, I do at least afford him the courtesy of reading his letters.

David Miller, Milngavie.


JOHN Milne, writing in disagreement (August 6) with the contents of my letter, implies that I may be an undeclared paid agent of fossil-fuel firms and not a professional or academic in climate science. I should therefore, he states, be disallowed from voicing opinions on climate matters of great importance. Such disqualifications are not valid in my case. Therefore, he is opposing free, unbiased speech. Surely that contravenes the Herald’s policies?

Charles Wardrop, Perth.