CAN IT get much worse for the SNP/Greens?

Nicola Sturgeon resigns, no stick-out replacement has emerged, the rivets on the box marked "Scandal" are rattling loose, formerly-internal pub brawls are spilling out onto the street, many of us are having either a laugh or a commercial meltdown over what to do with the "empties" and now, after months of hard, detailed legwork and negotiation, Rishi Sunak goes and delivers the Windsor Framework ("‘We’ve now taken back control’, PM declares in NI trade deal", The Herald, February 28).

In one fell swoop he has disarmed the main nationalist weaponry of recent years, namely Brexit, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, whose deluded comeback plans are no more, laid the groundwork for more unity in his own party and established trusted, pragmatic relations with the EU which can lead to more softening of Brexit, to the benefit of the whole UK.

This on top of burnishing his credentials as a practical supporter of the Union by ensuring the Northern Irish people's interests are looked after and the likely resumption of Stormont. The Section 30 and Gender Recognition Reform missile strikes on Scottish nationalism could soon be followed by binning the bottle bank fiasco. The media were unimpressed by Mr Sunak's first 100 days, but the last 27 have been historic.

And to cap it all the support provided by Sir Keir Starmer has not only helped Mr Sunak's premiership, it his raised Sir Keir's and Labour's standing with voters and we can now anticipate the only true way to end Scotland's independence nightmare: a rout of the SNP at the forthcoming elections by upbeat UK parties.
Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven

Surely we'll see through this

I AM aghast at the deluge of sycophantic mutual back-slapping among politicians of various stripes congratulating Rishi Sunak on securing a deal which appears to defy the truth that you cannot have a borderless boundary between EU and non-EU jurisdictions without a customs union.

The very same sycophants would be quick to stress that border checks would be an unavoidable consequence of an independent Scotland rejoining the EU. We are also told that people in Northern Ireland can now identify themselves as Irish, British, both or even Northern Irish.

When was Northern Ireland ever a nation? It is a political invention of the 20th century and is not even a province, as often suggested, as the province of Ulster includes the counties of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal, all part of the Irish Republic. Britain was never a nation and never will be. Ireland is a nation and always will be as demonstrated so clearly by the Six Nations rugby tournament.

My nationality is Scottish and Mr Sunak’s new deal does nothing to alter the fact that my country has been taken out of the EU against its wishes by our southern neighbours. Sir Keir Starmer is milking the situation as only he can, hoping to convince a gullible electorate that his arm around the feeble shoulders of Rishi Sunak has put the Tories back on the right track. If politicians cannot see through this deception, surely the people of Scotland can.
Willie Maclean, Milngavie

Home nations need a veto

THE PM claims that the Windsor Framework will give back sovereignty to Northern Ireland. How can the three minor Home Nations have any sovereignty when their wishes can be outvoted by the English majority in Westminster?

Instead of arguing the pros and cons about independence, we in the affected Home Nations should be finding a way to change our governance to prevent being stuck with the mistakes of the English electorate. If we had some kind of veto in Parliament we might have avoided Boris and co, not to mention the Brexit which gave Northern Ireland all its trade problems. The representatives of all parties in Scotland should address this matter if they really have any Scottish blood in their veins.
JB Drummond, Kilmarnock

Penny must drop now

FORTY-NINE years since the McCrone Report on Scotland’s vast oil and gas reserves was deliberately hidden from the Scottish public by the UK Government, we now have a Tory Brexiter who leads the current UK Government telling the people of Northern Ireland that they are in an “unbelievably special position” having privileged access to both the UK home market and the EU single market.

Both the people of Scotland and the people of Northern Ireland voted against Brexit but only Scotland is being compelled to endure the full consequences of a Tory-dictated hard Brexit. The SNP Scottish Government attempted to ameliorate the anticipated consequences of a Tory Brexit through proposals presented in the paper Scotland’s Place in Europe, but this was disrespectfully ignored by the UK Government.

The Northern Irish Government has the possibility of conducting a constitutional referendum every seven years, which "democratic privilege" has not been granted to the Scottish Government in spite of the political party leading the call for independence winning repeated parliamentary mandates.

Setting aside blatant cronyism and corruption, how far does democracy within the Union have to collapse before the other half of the population wake up to the fact that we will not achieve our common ambitions for a prosperous and fair society in Scotland until self-determination becomes a reality?
Stan Grodysnki, Longniddry

We still have much to cherish

SINCE Peter A Russell has gone all biblical in his letter today (February 28) and puts forward the prophesy that Scotland would be a net contributor to the EU, while it is a "massive" net beneficiary of the UK, I will do the same, and quote an earlier prophet.

Professor Robert McCrone in his 1974 report on the prospects of an independent Scotland wrote: "The country would tend to be in chronic surplus to a quite embarrassing degree and its currency would become the hardest in Europe with the exception perhaps of the Norwegian kroner."

Mr. Russell's contention seems to be that Scotland's wealth has already gone, and we must now accept our fate as an impoverished nation dependent on a beneficent neighbour.

Scotland's wealth as part of the United Kingdom was squandered by UK governments in the 1980s and later, and continues to be so, as it was used to bridge the catastrophic destruction of our industrial economy while privileging the City of London.

Yet in spite of Jeremiahs like Mr Russell Scotland remains a country with a wealth of talent and natural resources that exceeds most European countries – which is, of course, why Westminster is desperate to hang on to us.

Prophets, like Herald correspondents, come and go, and at my age I might not see the promised land, but then neither did Abraham.
John Jamieson, Ayr

Why no election call before?

REGARDING Dr Gerald Edwards's demand for a Holyrood election (Letters, February 28), may I remind him that in the confusion following the Brexit referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne were not to be seen for several days, begging the question who was in charge of the Government.

Theresa May was forced to throw in the towel, followed by Boris Johnson in the scandal over Downing Street's lockdown parties, and Liz Truss's Premiership lurched from disaster to disaster from day one. However, despite all the disruption caused by Tory Prime Ministers I can't recall Dr Edwards demanding that Westminster General Elections be held to sort it all out.
Ruth Marr, Stirling

UK Government must intervene

IF further evidence were required as to the utter shambles of SNP/Green policy and decision making, one need look no further than the chaotic Deposit Return Scheme proposed by Lorna Slater. We have the ludicrous situation that all three prospective SNP leaders would scrap or at the bare minimum “pause” the scheme with Kate Forbes saying the scheme would cause “economic carnage”.

Yet with her head in the sand, Lorna Slater seems determined to plough on with a discredited and clearly dysfunctional scheme with utter contempt for the damage she and the scheme will do to home grown Scottish businesses ("Lorna Slater rules out delaying deposit return scheme", heraldscotland, February 28).

Should Ms Slater continue with this disastrous plan, one can only hope the UK Government will intervene as it rightly did to halt the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. If the SNP willingly ignores and damages Scottish businesses, others have to take the reins to offer the required support.
Richard Allison, Edinburgh

Read more letters: Post-Sturgeon SNP meltdown demands a new Scottish election


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