THE hypocrisy of Nicola Sturgeon continues to astound me.

She has intimated that she intends to intervene to prevent local authorities from making cuts in their education budgets ("Sturgeon confirms plans to block councils from cutting teacher numbers", heraldscotland, January 26). Did I not hear howls of derision and affronts on democracy when Westminster interfered with her gender recognition proposals?

On radio she defended her intervention on the grounds that her Government gave councils money to be used for education and she expected them to do just that. Is it not the case that independence supporters gave her party £600,000 to spend on the independence cause which has since been spent on other things?

Is this the same Nicola Sturgeon who wants criminal sentences on under-25s to be lighter because their brains are not fully developed but wants 16-year-olds to determine their gender and vote in a referendum?
Duncan Sooman, Milngavie

Come clean on legal advice

NICOLA Sturgeon seems to have an inexhaustible supply of invective and exaggerated vitriol to throw at the UK Government. For those who value all that we share across the UK, the effect of this over time gives the impression that she is against everyone and everything British.

As regards the latest source of contention, the gender recognition reforms, the First Minister appears desperate to claim the moral high ground on this most sensitive of issues. Even some in her own party recognise all is not how Nicola Sturgeon portrays it (“Cherry dismisses claims Tories are stoking ‘culture war’ over gender reform”), The Herald, January 26).

In the midst of a cost of living crisis, in which every family and critical public service is under severe financial pressure, there can be no justification for knowingly wasting public funds in pursuing a legal contest to merely make a political point.

No matter the good intentions that arguably sit at the heart of proposed gender recognition reforms, did Ms Sturgeon receive legal advice that flagged the likelihood that the bill in its current form would clash with UK-wide legislation? If so, did the First Minister decide once again to spend public money against the weight of legal opinion, judging that another throw of the legal dice might go her way, and if not, that losing in a UK court can always be spun to play well with the SNP’s core support?

Ultimately the truth of this will need to come out, in order that not just the law courts but also the court of public opinion can judge who has been taken for a ride.
Keith Howell, West Linton

• NICOLA Sturgeon has said she hopes to write her memoirs when she finally, and not before time, steps down from her Holyrood throne. If it is as heavily redacted as the guff the SNP produces for official inquiries it should take all of 10 minutes to read it.
Ian Balloch, Grangemouth

The choices after indy

FOR once I can agree wholeheartedly with Douglas Cowe (Letters, January 26) when he says that independence supporters should take a long hard look at what Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have done for our country. That is exactly what they – and everyone else – would do in an independent Scotland and the voters of our nation would elect the government of their choice under an electoral system which would be unlikely to result in an overall majority for any party.
Willie Maclean, Milngavie

Hard to stomach

I THINK what Alison Rowat ("A job too big for Sunak and a past he cannot leave behind", The Herald, January 26) was trying to imply is that Rishi Sunak is a one-ulcer man in a two-ulcer job.
George Smith, Clydebank

The scandal of hypothermia

SCOTLAND is either part of the fourth or even (by slightly different calculations) the seventh-richest nation in the world yet this week we hear on TV news that our paramedics answer at least 44 call-outs every day to the public for patients suffering from what is diagnosed as hypothermia.

This is an emergency you might reasonably expect to encounter amongst well-equipped adventurous youth in the hills of our Highlands, not in urban houses that are poorly heated and insulated.

Our politicians – both MSPs in Holyrood and our MPs in Westminster – should be ashamed they are unwilling to prioritise their, usually older, constituents so that their lives are not threatened by the variations of winter, a season we have every year, often milder than that in Scandinavia or Canada.
Norman Lockhart, Innerleithen

We are living in tough times

WE have been living in hard times with labour strikes, industrial disputes, rising national debt and questions associated with energy provision. We now have the prospect, at least in one part of Scotland, of libraries with no books and staff ("Council plans self-service libraries – with no books", The Herald, January 24). We have already had at times in recent months hospitals with no beds available, health emergencies with inadequate ambulance response, stations without trains, operating theatres inactive due to staff shortages, classrooms without teachers, universities without lecturers, eating and heating choices and more.

Life seems to be perennially blighted with wave after wave of bad news. With background such as that and recent reports that more than 50% of the population is taking more from the state than contributing to it, matters are looking fairly grim for Britain.

It is not, of course, the first time that our country has been subjected to serious economic stress and strain. For example, the economist John Keynes advised Prime Minister Clement Attlee in August 1945 that the country "is virtually bankrupt and the economic basis for the hopes of the people non-existent".

The basis of the British economy had been eroded as a consequence of the efforts expended during the Second World War. Britain was helped to survive by a loan from the United States of $3.75 billion over 50 years. The final payment of that loan was made when Tony Blair was Prime Minister in 2006.

We obviously have to hope that Britain can again over time display the resilience, application and abilities to surmount the economic and other challenges with which it is now confronted.
Ian W Thomson, Lenzie

Social tenants can be rest assured

YOUR article regarding the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Act may have caused serious concern to tenants in social homes ("Thousands at risk over eviction ban loopholes", The Herald, January 25).

A social landlord will never evict a tenant who is engaging with them and attempting to pay their rent. Housing associations exist for a strong social purpose: to provide safe, warm, affordable homes for life. Their rents are consistently around half of the level charged in the private sector. They also support their tenants on finances, employment, health, benefits and much more. It is completely counter to that purpose to evict tenants who might be struggling: social landlords will always seek to actively support those very tenants.

During this cost of living crisis there will be more tenants struggling than ever before. Any tenant who is worried about their ability to pay their rent should contact their housing association as a matter of urgency: they can, and will, offer help and advice.
Sally Thomas, Chief Executive, SFHA, Glasgow

Danger of sending tanks to Ukraine

THE news that Ukraine will receive battle tanks from Nato ("Germany confirms it will send Ukraine tanks to fight Russians", The Herald, January 26), and that Boris Johnson wants Ukraine to join Nato now, and that various armchair generals are calling for Ukraine to be supplied with F-16 fighter jets, marks a serious escalation of the war. Nato's tanks and planes require training, servicing and maintenance by highly- trained specialists which the government in Ukraine doesn't have. British, American, and German experts will be drawn into the conflict. Not a good idea.

Nato wants its proxy Ukraine to drive out the Russians from the Russian-speaking provinces and then it will have "won" the war. Really? If that event happened, and it is by no means certain, it is likely that Russia would move to total war against Ukraine, perhaps flattening all its cities as the Allies did to Germany in the Second World War.

Russia could bring out the big stuff and then we would be on the road to WW3 after which there would certainly be no winners. What is required is a peaceful solution to the conflict, not a war which will spiral out of control.
William Loneskie, Lauder

Read more letters: Silver spoon syndrome is causing Britain to fail


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