I AM Scottish born and bred and an enthusiastic advocate of Scottish independence. If Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP were to disappear overnight I and many others would find another way to support the cause of independence.

I vote for the SNP simply because it offers the only viable route to obtain independence for Scotland, since it is obvious that the Labour and Conservative parties do exactly what London tells them to. I am not a member of the Scottish National Party. I went to join the local party after the last referendum and left the meeting without joining, disillusioned at its content and conduct. I have never met Ms Sturgeon nor felt the need to, nor have I encountered her at independence rallies I have attended.

I concede that while in office Ms Sturgeon and her Government have made mistakes, but none of the magnitude in non-devolved matters that the Conservative Party at Westminster has made during the same period that have negatively impacted on Scotland as part of the UK. Holyrood doesn't set the rules that creates a £2 trillion national debt and allows multinational companies to make record profits while the electorate gets poorer and the economy shrinks.

I would have thought that anyone with any insight looking at what has happened to the UK since the time of Margaret Thatcher, having witnessed the de-industrialisation of the UK, the wanton sale of public assets, the progressive polarisation of wealth and the lack of any substantial difference between the two main political parties who dominate in Westminster, would support the case for Scottish independence. If not, other than it wouldn’t be in their personal financial interests to do so, stupidity is a possible explanation.

Nicola Sturgeon and even the SNP may go but independence stays.
David J Crawford, Glasgow

Legacy will be assured

ALTHOUGH surprised and saddened by Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation, I remain resolute in my belief that renewed unity of purpose for independence must be continued. As Scotland’s longest-serving First Minister, she dealt with five Tory Prime Ministers and is without doubt recognised as the pre-eminent political leader of her generation. She also continued to keep Scotland on the world map.

Irrespective of all other issues, the relentless evil of social media has taken its toll on her, much like her New Zealand counterpart. In fact the troubled start to the 21st century has been marred by an endless vindictive personalised hatred, directed at all prominent politicians.

However in the near future Ms Sturgeon’s legacy will be assured, when Scotland regains her nationhood within Europe and around the world.
Grant Frazer, Newtonmore

The lesson to be learned

NOW that Nicola Sturgeon has admitted total defeat in her quest to lead Scotland to the SNP's independence Nirvana, we can hope that the next First Minister learns from her mistakes in a way which was obviously beyond her mediocre intellect.

Above all, they should appreciate that the referendum vote in 2014 was not an aberration or a mistake or a momentary lapse in judgment. The evidence of the vast majority of opinion polls including the recent massive sample in Lord Ashcroft's poll ("New poll gives No biggest lead in three years as public question SNP priorities", The Herald, February 14) is that independence is the wish of only a noisy and fanatical minority, and is shunned by the majority.

The reason that Ms Sturgeon ran into the buffers and must now run up the white flag is simply that most Scots wish to stay within the UK. She was unable to shift the needle on that dial despite her best efforts – and despite austerity and Brexit, and the failures of PMs Cameron, May, Johnson, Truss and Sunak.

The lesson to be learned by the new FM is that he or she must serve the whole of Scotland, and not just their party, and that if in doubt, they should have the humility to respect the majority and not pander to the minority. It sounds simple – but it was obviously beyond Ms Sturgeon. We can only hope that her successor is both brighter and more of a democrat.
Peter A Russell, Glasgow

No logic in 65% benchmark

I HAVE a great deal of respect for Sir Tom Devine, and not only as a historian. However, it does seem to me that there are there is an inconsistency in his interview with Kathleen Nutt on Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation ("Tom Devine: Scottish independence is not a busted flush", heraldscotland, February 15.

The wisdom of Sir Tom’s view that “No UK Prime Minister is ever going to make the same mistake as [David] Cameron made in 2012 and agree to a new referendum because it was a close-run thing” is clear. However, elsewhere he argues that the Labour Party would not concede a referendum unless support for independence is at or above “65% in the opinion polls”.

So, on the one hand, with the present almost-equal split of support over the independence issue, no referendum would be granted because of the possibility that Yes might win. Yet, if support in the polls was at or above 65%, why would a UK Prime Minister grant a referendum when a win for Yes would appear pretty much inevitable?

Would a more strategically-informed view at Westminster not be to concede a referendum with support perhaps even a few points above 50% and seek to win from there, rather than from a higher number even if less than 65%?

This would all turn on the ability of the SNP to increase support for independence, moving up from the current 50/50 split rather than fretting about processes which might or not lead to a referendum. Such a development would be warmly welcomed by many independence supporters.
Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton

The genius of Camley

ON opening The Herald each morning my priority is the Letters Pages followed by the enjoyment of looking at Steven Camley ‘s cartoon. Today’s (February 16) is exceptional. What a talent to cover so quickly and ably without the need for any text, the question, which will likely fill many column inches in the days to come, of who will fill Nicola Sturgeon’s shoes.

Thanks and congratulations to Steven for the pleasure provide by his cartoons.
William W Park, Strathaven

Cometh the hour...

RE Nicola Sturgeon's replacement: just wondering, would Ange Postecoglou be available?
Alastair Clark, Stranraer


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