KEVIN McKenna’s article outlining the opposition to Kate Forbes on account of her faith ("Is it progressive to knock those in politics with faith?", The Herald, February 20) is a sad reflection on the Government of Scotland. It shows clearly the pursuit of selfish expediency, rather than of virtue, by the party.

The Scottish Government is in a state of disarray because of its promotion of contentious issues of its own preference, instead of seeking the good of all the Scottish people on the major issues. The time spent on the Gender Recognition Reform Bill at the expense of more important national matters is a classic demonstration of its priorities.

Here is a great opportunity for the party to elect a leadership of integrity. A government promoting goodness and righteousness for the benefit of all the people of Scotland is much needed. Ms Forbes’ capability does not seem to be in question and her appointment would be a great opportunity to gain the support of the very many voters who wish to see reliable, honest and righteous leadership in our country.

It may even encourage the doubters that, with wise and good government, an independent Scotland can be a worthwhile objective.
Alistair Macleod, Elie, Fife

Will SNP drop down the table?

ALTHOUGH perhaps not immediately obvious, Nicola Sturgeon shares many personal characteristics with the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

Both are natural leaders, both are authoritarian and dictatorial with no tolerance for gainsayers, both are utterly focused on their goals, and both are capable of relentless constructive brutality to achieve them. In other words, they are both a bit crabbit.

Most importantly, however, they are both winners (whether it be elections or Premier League titles) who have prospered and derived their power from the cult of personality.

As the SNP looks around for a new leader, its members would do well to reflect on the fate of Manchester United after Sir Alex retired.

There was a plunge into mid-table mediocrity and loss of any fear factor in their opponents. In 10 years in the wilderness they have appointed a series of managers, some journeymen, some faded “special ones". Nothing has worked and only now are they beginning to show signs of recovery and a return to dominance.

In her resignation speech Ms Sturgeon referred to a “pool of talent" within the party from which a leader would emerge.

I am afraid that peering into that barrel, there is no Bryan Robson or Roy Keane and certainly no Cristiano Ronaldo straining at the bit to be unleashed on us voters.

This may be good news for us unionist supporters, however, as we may be able to get some proper government unencumbered by constitutional distractions.
Keith Swinley, Ayr

• THE search in the leadership contest for who can follow Nicola Sturgeon reminds us of the joke when Bernie Winters was being heckled at the Glasgow Empire Theatre when his brother Mike then appeared on the stage. A voice broke the silence and cried out: "Aw for **** sake there's more of them".
Allan Thompson, Bearsden

• I’M left wondering why it was deemed necessary to inform us of the age of Ash Regan in her candidate summary ("Two candidates declare bid to be FM... here is what we know about them", The Herald, February 20) while there was no need to include the age of Humza Yousaf in his summary.
Bernadette O’Donnell, Glasgow

Tories must ditch Ross

IN the light of Nicola Sturgeon’s departure and the ensuing media focus on the SNP as it sets about electing a new leader, I feel it is now even more important than ever that the Scottish Conservatives ditch Douglas Ross as their own leader before the party is allowed to sink any further in the polls.

Meanwhile, in addition to the SNP, the Labour Party is also attracting widespread media attention, primarily due to Anas Sarwar being extremely adept at raising his party’s profile, whilst Mr Ross is almost nowhere to be seen, except on a football pitch or at Westminster in his dual role as an MP and MSP.

Ruth Davidson found a way to restore the Conservative Party’s fortunes in Scotland, moving the Tories ahead of Labour into the position of official opposition at Holyrood before the momentum slowed when she left her post. Unfortunately, the Scottish Conservatives are in danger of sleepwalking into oblivion once again unless they replace the current leader with one who can be more single-minded, a little more charismatic and more active in promoting their party’s profile.
Christopher H Jones, Giffnock

Still all to play for

THE resignation of Scotland’s First Minister has, not surprisingly, stirred up a considerable response not just in this journal but right across the media. In the forefront are the usual proponents of Union politics as well as those with a somewhat more conciliatory attitude to the ups and downs of the Scottish Government.

Undoubtedly the controversy over the ferries fiasco and the blocked gender bill amongst other things have stirred debate, but it has become quite clear that problems here on the home heath are comparatively minimal when compared with that chaotic place of Government that is Westminster.

Ms Sturgeon in her years at the helm has seen some seven Prime Ministers come and go. Her critics generally seem somewhat weak when it comes to the historical foundations that cobbled the Union together. The four constituent entities are not equal partners as originally intended, but now fall into subservience to Metropolitan whims.

The classic example was that of the EU referendum when the UK as a whole voted to follow the Brexit road whilst in Scotland every single one of its 32 constituencies voted to remain in Europe. The social democratic beliefs of the majority in this part is, sadly, not being acknowledged.

The resurgent UK Labour Party does not seem to have registered with the Scottish electorate whilst the Conservatives' infighting and a general inability to pick the right people for a particular job has undoubtedly alienated many Scots. Politics north of the Border gets even more interesting.
Colin Mayall, Comrie

What's wrong with home talent?

I WAS disgusted that after the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon, the BBC thought it necessary to send Naga Munchetty, Huw Edwards and Chris Mason up here to report on it. Obviously they were flown up here at considerable cost to the licence payers. Do they not know that we have extremely competent journalists based in Scotland, who could easily have covered the story?
A Morrison, Glasgow

The shifting spectrum

I NOTE an excellent article by Mark Smith ("The futile ‘right-wing’ insults from politics’ middle ground", The Herald, February 20). I’m a Christian and a socialist but have no idea why this should allow people to place me on the “left or the right”.

I believe it was Jimmy Reid who said Left and Right are geometrical terms not political terms.

The political definitions are based on deciding what is “the centre” and if the centre shifts to the left you could find yourself being described as very right wing. Similarly if the centre moves to the right you could be defined as very left wing.

The key point is that persons unknown have decided the centre has shifted and despite no change in our personal position we are suddenly further away from the centre.
John Gilligan, Ayr

Don't make China an enemy

FOR a year the West has been supporting Ukraine militarily, economically and politically in fighting off Russia’s invasion. At the same time many of the same western political elites have been sabre-rattling against China, threatening to curb trade, or sending warships through the China seas. Have they no common sense?

China, using Western animosity as a pretext, is now thinking of supplying Russia with military assistance, using them as a proxy to bleed the West of money and guns. Making China an enemy at this time is short-sighted and foolhardy. The UK military, like every other public utility, has suffered under Tory austerity: downsized, downgraded, and with warships which cannot put to sea, the last thing we need is strutting jingoistic bluster expanding a serious local hostility into a global confrontation.
GR Weir, Ochiltree

Read more letters: Shame on SNP and teachers for dragging us back to the 80s


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