THE woman who bravely led us through the Covid pandemic resigned with grace, dignity and even humour, and it is to their credit that political leaders in Scotland and the rest of the UK responded graciously, with the exception of Scottish Tory leader, Douglas Ross, whose snide comments on the day ("Tory Ross under fire for lack of class over remarks", The Herald, February 16) showed him to be nothing more than a narrow, mean-minded man.

Nicola Sturgeon's legacy of policies such as baby boxes, free childcare, and the Scottish Child Payment are proving to be of real benefit to families, and I hope and believe that she will continue to play a significant role in public life.

Nobody knows what the future may bring for Scotland's first woman and longest-serving First Minister, who is admired and respected across the UK, Europe, and the world, but one thing that is a cast-iron certainty is that Ms Sturgeon, unlike some other Scottish politicians, will never, ever, accept a seat in the unelected, undemocratic, House of Lords. Douglas Ross, please note.
Ruth Marr, Stirling

A mark of her stature

SO let the glee be unconfined amongst so many of your unionist SNP/Sturgeon-hating correspondents. Nicola Sturgeon's resignation has caused comment all around the world, which is a mark of her political and moral stature; she even achieved that greatest of all accolades – a nasty comment from Donald Trump.

I seem to remember a couple of years ago when Richard Leonard resigned, even the Scottish press hardly noticed, and so it will be when Anas Sarwar and Douglas Ross leave office. In the meantime, Ms Sturgeon has raised Scotland's profile all around the world in a positive and admirable way, and especially in Europe, is admired for her leadership. For those unionists who now think that it's game over; be careful what you wish for, it isn't.
John Jamieson, Ayr

READING today's Herald (February 16) and the myriad views of journalists and readers alike, I am left with a distinctly jaundiced view of humanity when it comes to public figures. People are fickle and I can only wonder at the bravery and steadfastness of those who are willing to put their heads above the parapet and voice their beliefs with conviction, despite the probable onslaught of criticism. For some, nothing will please.

By her own admission, Nicola Sturgeon is a human being and, as such, is prone to the strengths and weaknesses we all experience in life. Whatever her achievements or shortcomings, I am convinced that she did her level best for the people in our country. What more could we ask?
John O'Kane, Glasgow

A model leader rightly admired

AS an Englishman living in Scotland most of his adult life, I’d like to say I've always had much admiration for Nicola Sturgeon, always articulate, fluent, on top of her brief, concise and to the point. She stands head and shoulders above other UK leaders and that includes those going back a decade or more and, like Jacinda Ardern, whose own words of resignation are strongly echoed in the First Minister's resignation address, she was a model politician and leader and rightly admired.

Attitudes to politicians are always coloured by prejudice, politics and most probably downright misogyny, but what the opposition or even her own party have to offer in her stead are small fry.

A little more generosity of spirit rather than spite from Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, was called for. A "decade of division and decay" is exactly what his English counterparts have achieved south of the Border.
Trevor Rigg, Edinburgh

Ross was right not to pretend

IN comparing the remarks about Nicola Sturgeon's resignation by Anas Sarwar and Douglas Ross ("classy" versus "classless"), Adam Tomkins is surely paying too much heed to the maxim about speaking only well about the (politically) dead. Mr Ross said what he thought ("division and decay" is harsh but certainly pithy) and others may agree with him. Why should he pretend admiration now when he clearly has none?

Anas Sarwar may just be a nice chap, but his comment was anodyne: he could have been talking about anyone. The human aspect is important, as Mr Sarwar properly recognises it's not a time for gratuitous insult, whatever one's views of the departing First Minister or her achievements (and managing the pandemic surely deserves real credit).

It's hard to believe, though, that Mr Sarwar has no view of the problems of governance and infrastructure from which Ms Sturgeon is walking away. Perhaps a reading of Alison Rowat's trenchant article ("Feel sorry for departing First Minister? Oh, do gie’s peace", The Herald, February 16) might help adjust his view.
Brian Chrystal, Edinburgh

It's time for maximum terms

WITH the resignation of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon any honest person will pay tribute to her consummate handling of the various crises which have beset our country over the past eight years. This was perhaps best exemplified by her willingness to take personal responsibility during the Covid-19 pandemic. Her daily broadcasts underlined her honesty and openness and her genuine compassion for those who were suffering which was in stark contrast to the behaviour of Boris Johnson and his cronies in Westminster.

It has been a popular quote from many post her resignation that politics is too vicious in Holyrood. It is certainly not solely within the chamber that this thrives. All one needs to do is read your Letters Pages to see time after time correspondents attacking Ms Sturgeon personally. It appears that the political theory of opposition is to attack and demonise the individual rather than the policy and certainly not to enter into reasoned debate.

There have been accusations of misogyny levelled against her critics but from personal experience I have found repeatedly that the most aggressive, critical and downright unacceptable comments were made by women. I have no idea why this should be the case, but it is perhaps no coincidence that many of them still admire politicians like Boris Johnson.

However surely this resignation should encourage us to have maximum terms for our politician. It became obvious that Ms Sturgeon should go when she started calling those who disagreed with her insulting names. For example, people like myself who argued against the Gender Reform Act due to its effect on women's and girls' sport, the impact of drugs and surgery on children and the absurdity of reducing the age to 16 while sentencing in Scottish courts must take cognisance of the offender's age being under 25 (the age at which the human brain is fully developed) were called "transphobes and homophobes".

I wish Ms Sturgeon well in whatever she chooses to do next.
David Stubley, Prestwick

An eternity on not very much

IN contrast to the short, snappy resignation speeches of PMs Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, it took a seeming eternity for Nicola Sturgeon to give her usual overly-long sermon announcing her intentions to leave office as head of a mere regional executive.

In the time it took her to talk, the removal firms had already moved into No 10 and the SNP had demanded a General Election rather than allow Tory succession. A Holyrood election was not part of her speech. Thank goodness these rambling presentations will soon be a thing of the past.
Ken Currie, Edinburgh

Quotes to sum up the times

THE entire front page of The Herald today (February 16) clearly illustrates the national interest, as does the plethora of letters, of different political hues.

It is suggested that two quotations sum up the entire situation.

The US President, Harry S Truman, had a sign on his desk: "If you cannot stand the heat, get out the kitchen". Earlier Adam Smith opined "all political careers end in failure."
Robin Johnston, Newton Mearns

The human touch

GROWING up my late mother Agnes often reminded me to take people as you find them. I was most fortunate then to meet the First Minister in the most unfortunate of circumstances. She provided the eulogy at my late father Hugh’s memorial service at the Govan Town Hall in early 2014. She found the time to prepare, attend and sympathise with our loss on a Friday evening in winter. And for that I and my family will be eternally grateful.
Roddy MacDonald, Ayr


Letters should not exceed 500 words. We reserve the right to edit submissions.