I am pleased that Holyrood’s Public Audit Committee has reported on the Ferguson Marine ferry fiasco before Nicola Sturgeon left office. The report highlights Ms Sturgeon’s major role in initiating a flawed process prematurely for political gain, resulting in unnecessary financial costs to the public purse and economic problems for island communities.

Other ministers were also involved in the shambles but I am sure that Ms Sturgeon’s dominant position within the Cabinet ensured that her views held sway.

I sometimes see similarities between Ms Sturgeon and her arch enemy Boris Johnson in the way they approach issues. Namely grandstanding, paying insufficient attention to detail and deflecting any criticism and accountability. Perhaps it’s best that they are both gone.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.

• NOTHING to see here implies Nicola Sturgeon as she blithely suggests the SNP is not in a mess and that she is leaving her successor “a brilliant foundation”. The reality is that the SNP leadership campaign has broken the spell of pretence that has kept it in power for so long. The list of failures is now just too long, the depth of shortcomings too obvious, for even the SNP’s core support to ignore.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

Read more: Reports of the death of the SNP have been greatly exaggerated


I WOULD like to congratulate Michael Russell on his admission last week that "it's all a terrible mess". For once I am in 100% agreement with an SNP politician.

Like most voters who voted Better Together at the last referendum, I could only be persuaded to vote Yes after a period of sustained good government. By this I mean a joined-up health and social care system that tackles prevention as well as cure, education standards to match the best in Europe, reduced child poverty and increased life expectancy, a sensible energy strategy which ensures that the profits of the renewables bonanza are filling the Scottish Government coffers instead of the pockets of foreign government-owned utilities, and a balanced budget (and a credible approach to the currency and national debt questions).

The continuity candidate, Humza Yousaf, has had ample opportunity to demonstrate his competence and unfortunately has failed every test.

Ash Regan may have many qualities, however the only competence demonstrated so far has been in management doublespeak.

I doubt many people will agree with Kate Forbes's religious views, and I certainly don't, however she is the only SNP candidate to have demonstrated that she has mastered her brief as Finance Secretary.

It is ironic that the 30,000 missing SNP members are most likely her natural socially-conservative supporters. I would plead with the remaining 70,000 to vote for Kate Forbes as the only candidate who can represent the whole of Scotland as First Minister.

(Or even better put Michael Russel on the ballot where he could add the title "Bean Spiller in Chief" to his many other roles).

G Duncan, Stonehaven.


AT the point of resignation, or dismissal by the electorate, political careers always seem to end in failure. The judgment of history then represents a constant, imperfect process of revision.

History will probably be kind to Gordon Brown and to Donald Dewar, even to Theresa May and Ted Heath.

But what are we to make of Nicola Sturgeon, having now taken her last First Minister's Questions, and her brooding, combative predecessor? Their only hope of rehabilitation is to become almost mythological "founding fathers" in a future independent Scotland. If that never happens these two once would-be emperors will be seen to be without merit.

If it does happen they would rely, for their future reputation, on the destruction of union between people and the creation of generational turmoil and sadness that would make Brexit seen like just a little local difficulty.

The mood is improving at Westminster, with a decent Prime Minister in place and a potentially even better one on the opposition benches. It's so depressing that the three contenders to replace Nicola Sturgeon seem to be joyless, fixated on one issue, rather than confident consensus builders who can see life in the round.

John Gemmell, Wem, Shropshire.

Read more: It was typical of Sturgeon to seek to avoid the hard questions


IF a man shouted and screamed outside his partner or his ex’s home in the middle of the night and woke the whole street, we would consider him selfish and unreasonable. His neighbours would rightly think that he should have thought about the effect of his behaviour on them, before he opened his mouth. They might very well make their feelings known to him.

Why then, when it is not just one person, nor just one night’s disruption, but thousands of people causing disruption to the entire nation for weeks or months by striking, are they not called out for their selfish and unreasonable behaviour?

For example, by striking for five weeks the passport workers will prevent many people travelling abroad for business or for foreign holidays they have worked hard to afford. They will risk the jobs of workers in the travel industry. They will likely cause some businesses to fail. More fundamentally, they will interfere with the rights of British citizens to leave and re-enter the country as they please.

Striking belongs in the past, not the 21st century.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.


UNITED Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for scientists to serve up "cold, hard facts" to push governments into making policies that curb climate change. Well here are some "cold, hard facts".

Only five countries have legally-binding climate change acts; the other 188 countries only made promises which they are breaking as they ramp up their use of coal, oil and gas.

Mother Nature has and always will create emissions with her destructive earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.

Wars create emissions and there are 27 live conflicts right now. Manufacturing tanks, submarines, aircraft and bullets all create greenhouse gases. What is the quantity of emissions from the Russia/Ukraine war? Could China be about to invade Taiwan? China and Russia have already held joint military exercises. Why are China and Russia having talks? Peace talks or strategic talks?

The UN's primary purpose is promoting peace and security so it should stick to the day job, where it is failing abysmally, not climate scaremongering.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.