IN an interview this week with Kay Burley on Sky News, Nicola Sturgeon talked enthusiastically about Scotland’s "leadership role" in climate matters. She claims that it was Scotland that put the issue of reparations for climate damage on the agenda at COP26, when she offered £2 million to help to deal with damage inflicted by industrialisation. Now, in Sharm-el-Sheikh, but not a participant in the official proceedings, Ms Sturgeon offers a further £5 million of our money ("Sturgeon promises £5m to nations hit by climate chaos", The Herald, November 8).

A week ago, John Swinney, Ms Sturgeon’s deputy, announced cuts of £615 million to healthcare, education and justice. I suppose that, in the scheme of things, £7 million is not that much. Just as it is not much in terms of the kind of sums being considered for climate reparation. It is merely a gesture saying "look at me". Liz Truss got many things wrong, but not her judgment of Ms Sturgeon.

The unkind thought occurs to me: how many millions will we have to pay before Ms Sturgeon achieves her wish of being invited as leader of an official delegation to a COP meeting?
Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

FM is respected on world stage

I AM disappointed but not the least surprised at Dr Gerald Edwards' letter (November 8) criticising Nicola Sturgeon for attending the COP27 summit and not a word about the appearance of Boris Johnson.

It is hard to understand the vitriol that surrounds Ms Sturgeon, who has proved to be a respected and intelligent leader. Respected not the least, it appears, by other foreign national leaders.

Perhaps before lobbing any more stones Dr Edwards might look at the glass house of the Tories with Matt Hancock off to Australia to make money; Sir Gavin Williamson denying bullying; Suella Braverman lost at sea; the British economy in tatters; and much more.
Ken Mackay, Glasgow

• LIKE most of Scotland, I really am suffering from "clim-nat" fatigue but Nicola Sturgeon's CO2 mitigation measures such as the nationalisation of ScotRail, the dismantling of the ferry service to the islands and the removal of ambulances from our roads will see to it that thousands of tonnes of CO2 are not released into the atmosphere. If there were some way the amount of hot air Ian Blackford exhales at PMQs could be used to heat Westminster it would further bolster the SNP’s already stellar green credentials.
David Bone, Girvan

• YOU have to give credit when credit is due and seeing the First Minister take this opportunity to put her message across to an international audience has to be applauded.

That said, can the fine workers of Scotland's statutory body set up to preserve and protect Scotland's environment, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, look forward to the cost of living wage increase that they have been denied for many years now?

That would be a clear and tangible action that would strengthen the Scottish Government's commitment to the environment both at home and globally.
Simon Cook, Strathaven

Labour can save Scotland

ONE tiresome feature of the political debate on these pages is the whataboutery that emanates from the nationalist side when just criticism is levelled at the performance of the SNP Government.

The latest of these is a misinformed letter from Rab Mungall (November 7). Amongst other inaccuracies, he appears to think that Scotland paid £332 million towards London's Crossrail, apparently calculated on the basis of the proportionate share of Scotland's population to that of the UK. The reality in contrast is that the cost to Scotland will have been close to zero as a result of the provision of additional funding due to the Barnett consequentials. But as ever with the nationalists, be it this or the matter of currency, borders and the apparent ease with which they think that Scotland can sail back into the EU, they never let the facts get in the way of their political objectives.

To be a critic of the SNP Government, of course, does not necessarily imply support for the present Tory Government. I am sure that there are many thousands in Scotland who share my view that Scotland has had the misfortune of being saddled for many years with two appalling, incompetent governments, one in Edinburgh and the other in London. The hope for change comes from a resurgent Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer and that is why the nationalists have of late been turning more of their firepower onto Labour.

Were Scotland to send 50 or so Labour MPs to Westminster at the next General Election, this would make the advent of a Labour Government far more assured, and it would also give Scotland the chance of again making a real contribution to national government policy, in contrast to the waste of space occasioned by row upon row of SNP members.
Robert Murray, Glasgow

Starmer will soon be PM

I MUST respond to Lesley Riddoch ("Who exactly does ‘no surrender’ Starmer think he is?", The Herald, November 7). I thought Sir Keir Starmer was excellent in his BBC interview. He was intelligent, extremely assured, knew his brief, confident in his ability and recognised the serious challenges facing Scotland and the UK at precisely this time.

I honestly believe we Scots want to see somebody who is competent and honest in their assessment of the UK economy – which includes Scotland – vying to be our next Prime Minister.

Ms Riddoch talks about people's opinions at Yes meetings but in those meetings she is getting a blinkered version of events. There is no doubt that Scotland and the rest of the UK are facing problems with the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine; however it is simply wrong to suggest that the young are somewhat different from the young of the past. When I was young I was more cavalier – I was more able to express myself without a care in the world, I was rebellious and I was less worried about tomorrow whilst living for today. Eventually I grew up, I had a mortgage, a family, a car loan and, dare I say it, a sense of responsibility.

It is that sense of responsibility that defines us as part of maturing and that is why despite the rhetoric from Ms Riddoch independence simply won’t happen: it is nothing but a pipe dream. The UK is not perfect but does offer security and stability economically, socially and politically. Independence whilst romantic to some, rebellious to others and downright daft to the majority of Scots, offers unforeseen economic, social and political problems now and into the future.

So the question Ms Riddoch posed of who Sir Keir thinks he is can be answered shortly when the Speaker of the House of Commons shouts "Prime Minister!" and Sir Keir stands to answers the questions. Then and only then will Scotland become a better, more tolerant place that exposes nationalism for what it actually is.
Willie Young, Aberdeen

Embrace Keir Hardie's principles

NOW that it is clear following Sir Keir Starmer’s latest comments that the Labour Party no longer considers democracy in Scotland important, or even relevant to his personal ambitions for the United Kingdom, will the 40 per cent of Labour Party supporters in Scotland who support self-determination finally act according to their fundamental political principles as espoused by founder Keir Hardie?

While Anas Sarwar masquerades as a "true socialist" it is obvious that the Labour Party in Scotland is in effect merely the branch office of a party primarily serving the interests of the voting public in England. It is time for Gordon Brown, Henry McLeish and other prominent long-time servants of the party to wake up to the realisation that no form of genuine federalism is going to happen and the only truly progressive route forward is to work to establish an Independent Labour Party that endorses independence.

Failing to rise above any remaining anti-SNP prejudices will simply invite more party members to join one of the already-established independence supporting parties which will likely in turn represent their socialist principles in a first proportionately-representative independent Scottish parliament.
Stan Grodynski, Longniddry

UK playing us for fools

KEITH Howell (Letters, November 7) expresses his concern that the First Minister is playing the people of Scotland for fools.

The letter from Rab Mungall (Letters, November 7) shows in detail that the UK Parliament is playing the people of Scotland for much greater fools than the First Minister ever could. His letter goes a long way towards explaining the need for independence.
Duncan Stirling, Cardross


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