THAT the election of a new leader of the SNP should lead to a renewed bout of Nat-bashing from regular Herald correspondents and columnists is entirely predictable. However, it is also a time for some home truths to blow around the dusty canyons of the opposition benches.

Allan Sutherland (Letters, March 28) poses the question "Surely they (the pro-UK parties) can't fail again?" as regards to the next Holyrood election.Well, if recent Scottish political history is anything to go by, yes, they can. I am personally unaware of the raft of sensible policies emanating from the Labour and Conservative parties that he suggests, as any election material that has popped through my door in recent elections has merely consisted of variations on the theme "The SNP is rubbish. Vote for us".

Even if such policies exist one wonders why it has taken them so long to come up with them and when they will stick them above the parapet to face critical fire. The continuing tactic of trying to convince the electorate that things have gone disastrously wrong in the hope that they will win by default as everything falls into their laps has been notably unsuccessful.

Mr Sutherland is right to look for election-winning policies, but if opposition supporters are serious about ousting the current Scottish Government from power they will need to start by being more critical of their own parties' performances, demanding that the promises of sensible policies become reality and urging them to abandon their echo chamber politics and actually try to win an election for a change.

Robin Irvine, Helensburgh.

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A chance to bring us together

CONGRATULATIONS to Humza Yousaf ("Humza Yousaf takes charge of divided SNP", The Herald, March 28). As an SNP member, he was not my first choice. However, he has won and I wish him all the best.

From today we must, as a party, unite. But not just unite the party, he and the party must bring the country together. Scotland is a great country, but could be so much better and he needs to address the issues that affect so many – poverty, deprivation, NHS and more. If he does so, the country will back him and will gradually understand that independence will benefit us all.

Those readers thinking that they might just change and move your vote back to Labour, think first. Labour did nothing for Scotland for decades, only being in existence to prop up the party down south. The Labour Party still does nothing for Scotland. The Labour Party took us Scots for granted, including me. But never again.

The SNP was and is not perfect. However, the party gives Scotland the best chance to be great, to be successful, to be a country that looks forward, looks after all, especially the most vulnerable.This is a new beginning, a chance, a great chance to bring us together, for the good of all in Scotland.

Paul McPherson, Newtonmore.

Read more: A message to Yousaf: Keep left and you'll do Scotland proud

SNP won't stand aside

HUGH MacDonald’s recollection of his childhood and the dreams of the SNP pioneers ("As a lifelong member of the SNP, I wish Humza luck", The Herald, March 28) was genuine and very entertaining, even for a unionist like me. He makes a key point that has been raised before but is quickly glossed over by the SNP.

The key point is that the SNP never intended to form a government but would strive for independence then step down and allow Scotland to elect a government of Labour, Liberal, Tories and maybe even some Greens.

Whilst I tend to agree with Mr MacDonald’s recollection it’s quite absurd to think the current crop of Yes voters are not made up of 90 per cent or more SNP voters. The idea that the various MSPs of the SNP will surrender their positions and stand for election as a candidate of another party is quite simply unbelievable, it would not happen.

Mr MacDonald also defended Nicola Sturgeon from accusations of divisive behaviour, saying politics by its very nature is divisive. I also agree with him on this point.

However, I believe the biggest mistake the UK made was allowing the SNP to phrase the question in the referendum as a Yes for independence and a No if against. This allowed the SNP to portray No voters as negative their side of fighting a negative campaign. Indyref 2 should ask: "Do you wish to remain in the UK, Yes or No?"

Then I’d be a Yes voter watching Humza Yousaf leading a negative campaign, if he’s still around by then.

John Gilligan, Ayr.

The same old same old

SO it’s the “same old same old” continuity candidate and career politician Humza Yousaf who has won the SNP leadership contest – albeit by a narrow margin and with a relatively poor voter participation. In other words, more of the same old failed policies which have bedevilled the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon's stewardship. It would appear that the new First Minister is also to cement the disastrous agreement with the Green Party mainly responsible for the gender-obsessed policies and the highly unpopular costly bottle return scheme.

Unless Mr Yousaf can come clean about the true state of the twin deficits (as detailed in Gavin McCrone's After Brexit: The Economics of Scottish Independence) in an independent Scotland, the future currency, pensions, hard border with England and the impact on trade outside the UK internal market and the EU, the SNP will still have no credibility with businesses and the majority of voters. I will give him six months before he is ousted – after all, history tells us leaders voted in by the members doesn’t bode well for their future prospects.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen.

Read more: Now is surely the time for Scotland to have a reset

What about small margins now?

ONE can recall the howls of outrage from the SNP when the Brexit referendum produced a Leave decision on a result of 52 per cent v 48%. One might also recall the howls of outrage from the SNP when Boris Johnson was elected Conservative leader with 92,153 votes, equating to 66.4% of the vote from Conservative members. The SNP demanded a further Brexit referendum and on Mr Johnson’s appointment, an immediate General Election as "he had no electoral mandate".

Humza Yousaf has been elected leader of the SNP and therefore First Minister on a vote of 52% v 48% with 26,032 SNP members' votes, equating to circa 0.4% of the Scottish population. A further 23,000 SNP members did not even bother to vote. It now seems somewhat unsurprising that the SNP has gone a little quiet on its demands for Brexit referendum re-runs and leaders’ electoral mandates. The only benefit for the Scottish people following Mr Yousaf’s victory is that he will no longer be the Scottish Health Secretary.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh.

• ON winning the SNP party election to become leader and hence First Minister, apparently Humza Yousaf declared himself the "luckiest man alive". For once I totally agree with him.

Duncan Sooman, Milngavie.

Scotland's trade problem

THE excitement around the elevation of a new leader of the SNP appears to have encouraged nationalist supporters to repeat some of their economic misapprehensions.

George Archibald (Letters, March 28) asserts that “Scotland is a net exporter and would certainly flourish and prosper economically ... as an independent country”.

Scotland does, in fact, export more to the rest of the world than it imports but more than 60% of Scotland’s trade is with the rest of the UK and this causes the overall balance to be negative. In the last 10 years, Scotland’s trade deficit has doubled to £20 billion. That is about 12.5% of Scotland’s GDP (similar to Albania). Any search of ScotGov’s own data will confirm this.

Hopefully, Mr Yousaf as First Minister will study all Scotland’s economic, fiscal and trade statistics before embarking on a new campaign for independence.

James Quinn, Lanark.

Compare and contrast

AS the Scottish Parliament made history with the election of the first ethnic minority First Minister of Scotland, the Government at Westminster was demonstrating why there is a huge gulf between the two parliaments.

At the very time of the election of Humza Yousaf, the Westminster Government was discussing the Illegal Migration Bill, which effectively wants to ban asylum, ban refugees, regardless of the circumstances. It contravenes international law on the rights of the refugee.

Mr Yousaf’s elections sends a clear message to the world from Scotland: all are welcome.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

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