The establishment grandees of the SNP are knifing their candidate by endorsing him.

More of the same means continued deterioration.

Problems do not get better when they get bigger. Are three children in four living in poverty going to be better than one in four?

Transport improved from half a service to none at all is a challenge for islanders trying to get their messages, but the real measure of success is how much public money you can trash in the endeavour. Millions upon millions.

Foreign firms are being paid to take free natural energy away, but are they being paid enough to do that?

What could be more glorious than a new record in A&E waiting times?

And what is the answer of the anointed one? He’s the only possible candidate because he’s acceptable to a destructive minority party which wants to make the economy more miserable than it is.

As if a new leader of the SNP could not, if necessary, obtain a more creative coalition.

Other parties in the Scottish Parliament do not fear a good leader of the SNP, because they all know that work is needed to serve the people. They all fear Humza Yousaf because more of the same is more completely squalid incompetence. Most MSPs are not so petty as get their kicks from Schadenfreude, the joy of watching failure.

A really good leader in the largest party could even inspire more constructive creativity in the second- and third-largest parties. The leader capable of that is Kate Forbes.
Tom Cox, Bern, Switzerland

IN all the rhetoric of the SNP leadership election, the only palpably obvious truth came from the contender who stated there is "no path" to breaking up the UK "without persuading No voters".’ In other words, posturing and promising what can never be delivered is self-defeating. She went on to say that "bridges needed to be built to convince more people". Her two opponents have lost sight of that obvious truth if even they considered it all.
Instead we are regaled with fantasy plans and projects, regarding which many thinking supporters must ask: why did we not do or at least make a start on these wonderful things in all the years we have been in office?
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

The new Lady Grey

I'D imagined Liz Truss, with her brief tenure as Prime Minister, would alone be assigned the title of the Lady Jane Grey of the 21st century – yet if Ash Regan, with her unorthodox views on the economy, wins the SNP leadership contest and becomes First Minister, then maybe Ms Truss will have to share this dubious accolade?
Martin Redfern, Melrose

Supermajority is an indy must

WATCHING the SNP hustings, I am concerned that they seem to think a referendum winning margin would be 50% plus one. Regardless of whose side you are on, this is not wise. Not wise because any referendum needs to be emphatic, so that the result will be accepted by all, and there will not be a repeat.

Fifty per cent plus one means that 49.9% did not vote for it, and a result that will not be accepted, so the issue will drag on. This is why we need a big winning margin to be met – to produce a result beyond doubt, a stable long-term result. This is also before we get to the possible problem of a low turnout.
William Ballantine, Bo'ness

Read more: Yousaf and Forbes are giants compared to the UK Tories

The origins of Labour

I HAVE belatedly come across an article in the Irish Times which describes Gary Lineker as being “a voice for the voiceless”, a man who “talks with humanity and decency about the world around him.”

In describing him as “a voice for the voiceless” he is being merited with drawing our attention to those who are truly at the margins of our society, the long-term mentally and physically ill, the disabled, children in poverty, those who are “born to fail”. Who speaks for them, the truly voiceless? Surely only the Labour Party.

While we recognise that he who pays the piper calls the tune, we tend to forget that the origins of that party lie not only in the trade union movement but in the non-conformist churches, especially the Methodists. This is not surprising given that a special and intentional care for the most vulnerable members of the society, the poor and the dispossessed, those without an adequate economic and social support system, is one of the primary themes running through the Old and New Testaments.

Thus Keir Hardie himself was a Methodist lay preacher.
John Milne, Uddingston

Growing pains for the economy

THERE are green buds on the lilac bush and the daffodils will soon be in bloom, but it will be a long time before spring comes for the economy.
Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife

Face facts on renewables

I NOTE your report on the claims of so-called climate campaigners ("Appeal to halt £20bn funding for carbon capture technology with ‘legacy of failure’", March 12). This is a pompous fallacy. Is it possible that our people are so deluded by climate change propaganda that they can give a moment's credence to such nonsense?

This group is trying to tell us that all the achievements of the oil industry, on which our modern industry, transport, health and prosperity has rested for the last 10 decades, are in inglorious. As well as an insult to all the great leaders of our advances in that time, it is an insult to our intelligence for them to foist such unfounded aspersions on our public discourse.

Is it not the attempt to place our reliance on fickle wind turbines that has forced Scotland to import huge quantities of power from gas and coal power stations over the Border during long spells of calm, cold weather recently? How glorious is that? Are we no longer willing to face facts?

Surely this brings the whole environmental campaign, which is forced on us daily, into doubt. Let us call out the validity of this possibly-fake programme, before our economy is reduced to ruins.
David S Fraser, Stornoway

Read more: Why on earth is the SNP top brass pushing for Yousaf?

Hydro scheme is most welcome

YOUR article on the proposal to build a pumped hydro scheme on the Ardverikie Estate ("Fears for scenic TV location over major new hydro project”, March 5) came as a very welcome lift during these times of unrelenting miserable news.

A large pumped storage scheme like the one proposed is exactly what is needed to continue Scotland's progress on the renewable energy front.

Using spare wind generation – for example, during the night to pump water to an upland dam – means that water is then there to be used as and when peak demand calls for it to be brought back down through the turbine generators.

Let us hope that nothing stands in the way of getting this marvellous project up and running.
Alex Dickson, Lochinver

Switch off to help the planet

THIS coming Saturday at 8.30pm, millions of people around the world will again unite and take part in WWF’s Earth Hour.

In Scotland, and around the world, nature – our life support system – is in crisis. We all need nature, and nature needs us to stand up for it every day.

I know it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the challenge we face, to restore our natural world and prevent catastrophic climate change.

That’s why this year we’re asking people to switch off from distractions and take some time to connect with the amazing nature Scotland and the rest of the UK has to offer. Why not put your phone to silent and settle down to watch an episode of BBC’s Wild Isles, or read a wildlife book or nature-inspired bedtime story by torchlight?

Beyond the hour, search online for our Save our Wild Isles campaign for more actions you can take at home, work, school and in your community.

Together we can make small, positive changes. We all have a part to play, and WWF’s Earth Hour is a great place to start.

I hope you’ll join me on Saturday, March 25 and spend an hour to reflect on what nature means to you.
Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland, Edinburgh

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

The real cost of Covid

ONE thing omitted from comments on the Covid lockdown, and in the Covid vaccination investigations, is the tragedy of those who lost their businesses – often a lifetime's work – and their livelihoods. In spite of Government rules to the contrary, the banks also called in personal guarantees and homes were lost. People were divorced and people committed suicide in despair. All that is overlooked.

The real cost of Covid is far greater than thought. Our entire economic base was damaged.
Malcolm Parkin, Kinross

Our depleted Royal Navy

IT was fitting that the Devonport-based Type 23 Duke Class frigate HMS Montrose this week made her sixth and last visit to the Angus port with which she shares her name, attracting large crowds before, sadly, she is decommissioned next month.
Not as famous as larger warships such as HMS Queen Elizabeth or HMS Ark Royal, in recent times this frigate has been indispensable, based in Bahrain and operating in the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the last four years in the Gulf. The Royal Navy has confirmed that since 1992 she has sailed 420,000 miles. She was involved in £80m of drug busts destined for our streets and intercepted illegal shipments of Iranian drones and cruise missiles destined for Ukraine. She has escorted numerous merchant ships through the dangerous maritime choke point of the Strait Of Hormuz. HMS Lancaster has taken over.
As these adaptable, though obsolete, frigates, which were designed for anti-submarine warfare, humanitarian aid and anti-piracy missions, come to an end of their working lives, it highlights again how dangerously small the Royal Navy is. On the day the Falklands War broke out, in 1982, we had a fleet of 164 warships. Today it is 72, from which we can soon deduct the 12 Type 23s.
The eight much larger Type 26 frigates are being built on the Clyde by BAE systems and the five Type 31e Frigates at Babcock Rosyth. Ben Wallace has admitted we may not see HMS Glasgow join the fleet for another four years. The suggestion, as AUKUS was announced, that the Royal Navy should be involved in patrols in the Indo Pacific region, against this backdrop, beggars belief.
John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing


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