THE Dismal Jimmies in the unionist camp finally have something to cheer, with the resignation of Scotland’s most popular politician. This has led to press forecasts of huge gains at SNP expense. However, I seem to recall similar hubristic delight after the 2014 referendum, when unionists predicted a total collapse in pro-independence sentiment. Remember how that played out? Labour under Jim Murphy lost 40 seats.

It seems certain Labour will form the next UK government, but without a substantial representation from Scotland may struggle to claim a “mandate" here, given its dismissal of far more grounded SNP assertions. Labour will inherit a fiscal straitjacket, while the public have been told when the Tories are swept away things will be wonderful. Did I mention hubris?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

• PEOPLE will, quite rightly, want to wish Nicola Sturgeon well. But, there may be significant benefits from her departure.

One way of looking at politics is as a series of random events with sometimes catastrophic consequences – think David Cameron, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour now has an enhanced opportunity to appeal to people in Scotland, at the next UK General Election as well as Holyrood. The people might now have an new motivation to help rid us all of Conservative rule at Westminster, by returning more Labour MPs.

Nicola Sturgeon was the future once; the future could now be Anas Sarwar and Sir Keir Starmer.

John Gemmell, Wem, Shropshire.


DELUSIONAL unionist politicians think that Nicola Sturgeon’s departure makes them a shoo-in for power at Holyrood.

There is something pitiful about hearing unionist politicians dreaming of power as if the ineptness of their policies and personalities in Scotland were irrelevant.

I can’t think of a better example to illustrate their lack of comprehension about the absurd workings of the Union than the folly of Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown’s policy of borrowing £30 billion annually in its last government to employ one million extra public service staff, having previously claimed he would not borrow to fund running costs. The result was he left a £160bn deficit to be repaid by the incoming LibDem/Conservative government and to George Osborne to clear up. This became known as Tory austerity when it was no such thing, and the SNP was also blamed for the ensuing cuts and job losses when it had no responsibility for them – they were all victims of the Barnett formula. Strangely, Mr Osborne seldom referred to the deficit as “Labour’s deficit” – a case of “we unionists must stick together”. The challenge is to describe such machinations as “the benefits of the Union.

I suspect that Ms Sturgeon’s departure as First Minister will spur the independence movement on to greater efforts lest her impetus fades away.

Douglas R Mayer, Currie.


HUMZA Yousaf indicates interest in the job of First Minister ("Yousaf may make bid for leadership as unity candidate", The Herald, February 17). His CV will no doubt mention how well he handled the Hate Crime Bill and the Named Person Bill while Justice Secretary and how well he is at present handling the crisis in the National Health Service.

It seems a quality needed to be FM is a short memory. I am sure Mr Yousaf will be able to answer any questions on his successes by using phrases like "I do not recall that" or "recollections vary" or "that is not my recollection of the event".

Elizabeth Hands, Armadale.


RUTH Marr (Letters, February 17) continues her misguided praise of "free" hand-outs from this truly incompetent Government when in fact everyone knows that baby boxes and the rest come out of our taxes, which just happen to be the highest in the UK.

As for the legacy left by Nicola Sturgeon, this is one of division and rancour caused by the economically illiterate policy of independence being continually top of her agenda whilst mismanagement of the country continues at a shocking level.

Even when a divisive referendum which set families and friends against each other was held she would not accept the democratic vote, and to this date its poison permeates to the detriment of running the country for the benefit of the people.

It is to be hoped that this is a turning point and that the SNP will shortly become a footnote in history.

James Martin, Bearsden.


I AM one of the 20% or so of the Scottish electorate who has not committed to one side or the other in any future independence referendum. I am not a devotee of Ms Sturgeon nor her Government, although I support some of their initiatives.

However, I have to say that Nicola Sturgeon’s speech in Bute House on Wednesday was in a different class from those of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss when they resigned last year. They were bitter and twisted and simply refused to see and therefore admit that it was their behaviour that had forced them out of office. They were right and everyone else was wrong, in contrast to Ms Sturgeon openly stating that mistakes had been made under her watch. I have to say I therefore disagree with Ken Currie (Letters, February 17). Short and snappy resignations perhaps, but also bitter, self-centred and deluded.

For different reasons, I also don’t agree with the view of Brian Chrystal (February 17) re Douglas Ross’s response to her resignation; indeed I have yet to hear an original thought from Mr Ross and he is simply out of his depth.

Willie Towers, Alford.

• KEN Currie criticises Nicola Sturgeon for what he considered to be a long resignation speech. He compares it to the “short, snappy” resignation speeches of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

Perhaps the shortness of their speeches were commensurate with their short time in office.

David Clark, Tarbolton.


I AM dismayed to read that Adam Tomkins identifies the remarks of Douglas Ross and Anas Sarwar respectively as “devoid of class” and “classy” (“Tory Ross under fire for lack of class over remarks”, The Herald, January 16). What we urgently need now is the frankness, dignity and insight of Mr Ross rather than the meaninglessness of Adam Tompkins’s “class”.

Scotland appears likely to have paid a high price for the national paralysis arising from the Government’s refusal to acknowledge the settled will of the nation to remain within the UK. This was expressed in the referendum of 2014 and in each subsequent election, where the votes in favour of parties opposing such separation have all along outnumbered those supporting separation.

The conflict between the national will and government policy has been an idiosyncratic feature of the constitutional framework created by the populist but most unfortunate innovation of a Scottish (not really a) parliament, the future of which has to be questioned in the light of its performance to date.

Now, however, that the ruling cabal which has controlled the Government has splintered, perhaps more people will be willing to accept the clear evidence of the damage that has been caused by the national paralysis and rally round the uncomfortable truth put out by Douglas Ross and find a way back to national dignity and truthfulness. That must surely be a better option than any more of the national paralysis that has dragged us down for a generation.

Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.


AS for whatever reason Nicola Sturgeon, our Marmite First Minister, departs centre stage, does her successor not have to accept, as was voiced by Ms Sturgeon herself against the present and previous Prime Minister, that he or she has no mandate for anything as having been elected to that role by only the membership of her own political party rather than the general electorate?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.


DEPARTURES of figures in the public eye, especially when abrupt and unexpected, almost always prompt surprise and sometimes a feeling of shock. Reflections on their time in the job begin immediately with nearly everyone having an opinion on their record including achievements and failures. Often this can take the form of people who opposed an incumbent acknowledging that they had done their best and showed absolute commitment to the task.

Inevitably commentators, columnists, pundits and the chatterati at large start speculating on possible successors, who may or may not be viable candidates for the post, who best can advance the cause. It is always crucial in the interests of stability and the importance of the matter at hand that this period of speculation is as brief as possible.

This being the case, it is absolutely vital that the new Partick Thistle manager is announced soon. The Jags' push for promotion is too important for procrastination.

Brian Harvey, Hamilton.


I NOTE with trepidation the proposal to allow more of Glasgow’s pubs, cafes and restaurants to put tables and chairs on pavements without having to seek permission (“Street life: bid to relax law on pub and cafe patrons sitting outside”, The Herald, February 11).

I remember a time when pavements were reserved for pedestrians. No longer. It seems to me that the pavements of Glasgow have already been transformed into obstacle courses plagued by street furniture, cyclists, e-scooters and selfishly-parked vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Giving free rein to unregulated sitooteries would of course be welcomed by the hospitality industry but would inevitably compound what is already a highly dangerous situation for visually impaired pedestrians and those with mobility problems.

Additionally, at a time when Scotland’s ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces has become widely accepted and even welcomed, it is most unfortunate that so many of Glasgow's eateries now seem intent on reversing the trend by moving their diners outdoors on to polluted pavements.

Iain Stuart, Glasgow.


AH, memories of Blossom Lawson, our Latin teacher at Hillhead (Letters, February 14).

We loved her. One year some wit found a relevant verse for our communal Valentine card to her:

“Can’t get to sleep

Suffer from insomnia

The reason for that is because

Your amor vincit omnia."

Isobel McEwan, Skelmorlie.

Read more: Sturgeon can hold her head high – unlike some of her foes