IT is interesting that some who regularly claim the people of Scotland do not want independence, even when the polls have strongly suggested otherwise, now consider it worthwhile to spend their time writing letters to newspapers contriving exaggerated criticisms of the candidates for the leadership of the primary independence party.

Most objective commentators would agree that in terms of basic leadership qualities, such as competence and integrity, that neither Liz Truss nor Boris Johnson came close to emulating Nicola Sturgeon.

While Humza Yousaf has been focused on guiding the NHS in Scotland through the global pandemic and the most demanding period in NHS history, Matt Hancock not only appeared to be distracted at times but did not “follow the medical advice”. Successive austerity-driving UK Chancellors have presided over spiralling debt, low growth and high inflation, with Kwasi Kwarteng and Nadhim Zahawi falling far short of the performance of Kate Forbes in terms of economic competence and integrity.

Most objective commentators would also agree that Scotland has the natural resources and capable people to emulate the performances of independent European countries with similar populations and thus to make a success of determining its own future. UK democracy has become a sad joke being tied to a feudal autocratic form of government open to cronyism and corruption and which in most developed countries has been consigned to history.

If those who seem obsessed with criticising everything to do with the SNP and the Scottish Government are so convinced of the popularity of primary government from Westminster, why are they so keen to have the Holyrood parliamentary mandate provided by the people of Scotland to hold a referendum blocked?
Stan Grodynski, Longniddry

• I SEE Dr Gerald Edwards (Letters, March 15) is again calling for a snap election and I agree, with a small twist.

Let's have a UK General Election at the same time. Dr Edwards could get rid of the SNP (doubt it) and we can get rid of the Tories (absolute certainty).
Ken Mackay, Glasgow

Come clean on currency

WHAT an insight into the SNP and Scottish Government we are getting from the contest to become their leader and First Minister. The amount of criticism of Nicola Sturgeon’s tenure is astounding to the point that they have trashed her leadership.

Ash Regan’s complete failure to coherently answer about a future currency for Scotland beggars belief and her competitors are avoiding the issue like the plague ("Grilling for SNP hopefuls", The Herald, March 15). Surely a government with independence at its heart must have debated this at Cabinet level and had access to experienced financiers so should, by now, have a fixed and credible position on the matter? But no, we got nothing but spin and amateurish spin at that. Is all this cock-up or conspiracy?

There are arguments for both. The cock-up theory can be supported by the ferries fiasco, the cheap sale of wind farm sites and many more fiscal disasters to the point that my granny's old phrase “they couldn’t run a menage” comes to mind. The conspiracy theory is that they know only too well what the outcome will be but won’t release it as it is a big vote loser.

This leaves me and others to wonder what will become of my pension in an independent Scotland and what currency will it be paid in – sterling, euro, groats or bawbees? How about the sometimes refreshingly honest Kate Forbes coming clean on the matter? I think not.
Duncan Sooman, Milngavie

Read more: Tough night for SNP leadership hopefuls as candidates face public

Jardine spoiled the BBC debate

AT the beginning of Tuesday night’s BBC Scotland leadership debate, the presenter Stephen Jardine informed us that the debate would focus on three main issues that the audience wanted to discuss: public services, the economy and independence.

Having watched the one-hour programme live and been concerned about the time devoted to these important topics I (rather sadly) decided to watch it again to take some timings. The first question related to the NHS and lasted eight minutes. Then it switched to education, and we had a paltry four minutes of debate on this key service which causes so much criticism for our Government.

Then moving on to the economy, there was a question concerning the Deposit Return Scheme and the resultant discussion lasted a full 15 minutes. I realise that the DRS is a contentious issue at present, but it is only one specific policy. I’m fairly sure that in agreeing to discuss the economy, it would be the general state of our economy and the cost of living crisis that would be on people’s minds – not the pros and cons of getting 20p back on single-use containers.

Having this particular TV debate in front of a live audience seemed like a good idea, however it was spoilt a great deal by the presenter, who allowed too much repetition and waffling. Audience members had several opportunities to give their reaction to the candidates’ responses and the presenter allowed a few to speak for too long, which just served to waste more time.
Brian Watt, Edinburgh

Continuity push is a big mistake

I AM not an SNP supporter but find it extraordinary that the SNP hierarchy continues to throw its weight behind Humza Yousaf, widely acknowledged to have been a failure, and who, described as the so-called “continuity candidate”, is expected to continue with failed policies. With the SNP membership, reportedly under a degree of pressure bordering on the unscrupulous, poised, according to polls, to back Mr Yousaf, have they considered the consequences should he win?

Given that Kate Forbes enjoys twice the support of Mr Yousaf it is likely that Scots non-members but with SNP leanings, their opinion ignored yet again, will desert the SNP in droves. I await the result with interest.
J Patrick Maclean, Oban

It's like Margo all over again

THERE is more than simply a passing coincidental connection between the way the SNP’s powers that be have pronounced persona non grata status on Kate Forbes and what they did with Margo MacDonald some years ago.

They do not appear to appreciate free-thinking and feisty women, who will not play the obedient party-line-following automaton that clearly they wish to be the next First Minister. If for nothing else, Kate Forbes deserves to win on this factor alone.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

• THE fact that Kate Forbes has to explain to her audience that supporting and encouraging business is not “right-wing” tells us all we need to know about what an independent Scotland would look like.
Brian Wilson, Milngavie

Get The Herald for three months for £1 with our new subscription offer

Incompetence on offshore wind

ALAN Carmichael (Letters, March 15) challenges Douglas Cowe to "advance a credible case for continuing to entrust our abundance of assets to Westminster".

Well, the case is perhaps made by looking at our track record of managing those assets which are under our control. Has Mr Carmichael already forgotten the monumental incompetence demonstrated by the SNP Government in connection with leasing rights for offshore wind projects, with an estimated loss to Scotland of up to £60 billion?
Robert Murray, Glasgow

Starmer is not for Scotland

THANK you Ian McConnell ("Labour leader sounds a whole lot like he thinks Scotland is independent", The Herald, March 15) for dissecting with such great analysis Sir Keir Starmer's recent visit to Scotland.

Sir Keir is not a Labour leader we should have anything to do with. He's clueless as to the needs and motivations of Scotland and as far removed from the Labour movement as Rishi Sunak is from community swimming pools.

I'm surprised Labour supporters in Scotland – well there aren't many of them – still rally to the cause. I'd hoped Anas Sarwar would breath new life into the party but he seems chained to Westminster too.

And unless Humza Yousaf is elected as leader of the SNP it seems the country will be moving further to the right.
Andy Stenton, Glasgow

Still in the doldrums

I NOTE that the Scottish Government has reported significant progress in governance arrangements at Ferguson Marine ("Bonus pay for ferry fiasco managers ‘is unacceptable’", The Herald, March 15). Pity this progress doesn't apply to actually building the ferries.
Bill Eadie, Giffnock

• IT is completely absurd that senior managers have been paid massive performance bonuses for their questionable efforts in building the two ferries at Ferguson Marine which are now five years late and the most expensive ferries of their type ever built.

It seems that the SNP Government has a policy of rewarding failure in every aspect of its existence, paid for by the poor Scottish taxpayer of course.
Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen

Read more: Let's focus on the real issue: the way we treat refugees


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