Andy Maciver’s article in The Herald of April 21 (“Scots urban-rural chasm is growing ever wider under SNP and Greens”) demonstrates the divide in Scotland between a Parliament in Edinburgh that only has a focus on those living in the Central Belt. It is highlighted by the fact there are no politicians representing the rural hinterland in the SNP cabinet yet two Green MSPs, one from Glasgow and one from the Lothians, have been given posts by Humza Yousaf.

Therefore, does the vow from the First Minister that his Government will not steamroll plans to decimate fishing communities in the hundreds of miles of western Scotland that are represented by SNP MSPs also extend to giving rural Scots the same rights over the SNP plans to desecrate the Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland with 20,000MW of on-shore windmills plus a myriad of super-sized pylons to carry energy to the Central Belt?

In addition, will Anas Sarwar MSP remind the voters of Govan and Pollock that their current representatives at Holyrood waved through a Green Port initiative for Edinburgh but failed to support a similar scheme for Glasgow or the West of Scotland ?

Whilst there have been several new bridges over the Forth in the past 10 years the SNP has only completed an additional 11 miles of dual carriageway on the A9. At this pace it will be the end of the century before the ribbon is cut to complete the project which raises the question over voter impact on the seats held by the former Deputy First Minister and the former Finance Secretary especially as voters in Moray are unlikely ever to see a single contract issued to upgrade the A96.

As for the pledge by Humza Yousaf over the A75 and A77 it is unlikely the residents of Springholm will expect any action from an SNP Government if there is a perception that “the SNP/Green Alliance Government is composed of urban lefties who differ only in the grape of the wine they sip”.

Voters in Durness, Ullapool, Braemar, Campbell and Kirkcudbright should note that the First Minister is to abolish peak fare pricing on ScotRail. Hence a facility that receives 13 times more cash than the bus sector is to be given even more bounty from the Holyrood budget yet the bus sector transports 775% of those using public transport thus adding to the chasm between rural Scotland and the Central Belt.

Why do politicians representing urban communities refuse to honour their pledge, given to the people of Scotland before the 2021 Holyrood election, that, as a priority, they would implement the draft Wightman Bill to devolve full financial and political powers embedded in Scots Law to local councils in Scotland ?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas

The Tories? You cannot be serious

My reaction to reading L Vint’s letter (April 21) was “you can’t be serious”. Ms Vint suggests it is time for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party to take over the centre seating in our Holyrood Parliament, but the record of the Conservative and Unionist Party at Westminster tells its own story, a story of elitism and privilege.

Education, only if you can afford the £9,500 a year to attend university, whereas further education in Scotland does not come at a cost or depend on your financial status. The Westminster Conservative Government was also shamed into introducing free school meals by a footballer (Marcus Rashford).

Health care under the Conservative Party in England is becoming more privatised through the back door and prescription charges in England have recently increased to £9.65/item, a tax on the sick, whereas in Scotland there is no charge for being sick and obtaining your medication.

The Conservative and Unionist Party in Westminster imposed the largest cut to welfare since the Second World War in 2021, plunging many into poverty, whereas in Scotland, the Child Payment has been introduced for eligible children and households, a game changer. Welfare affects thousands of vulnerable households and last year’s dramatic crashing of the economy under the Conservatives’ watch only served to intensify hardship and vulnerability.

Finally on the record of the Conservatives at Westminster, we have the “Illegal Migration Bill” going through parliament, a Bill which completely contravenes international law on the rights of the refugee. But the Conservatives don’t stop there, they have flights waiting to take off for Rwanda, a safe country for refugees in their estimation, very questionable I would suggest.

So, with a record clearly demonstrating and promoting elitism and inequality, is there any place for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party on the centre seats at Holyrood? I certainly hope not.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk

The achievements of the Iron Lady

I agree wholeheartedly with Brian D Henderson in his assessment of the “Iron Lady”. Margaret Thatcher successfully promoted the cause, ensuring that the few rich members of society who could afford to buy shares in the transfer of our public utilities to privatised companies made a quick profit when they sold their newly acquired shares at a greatly increased price.

She then proceeded to use the money obtained from selling our public companies to reduce taxes ensuring she was able to win the next two general elections before proceeding to sell more public assets to buy more votes.

The same happened with the money from the North Sea oil which was used to reduce taxes and effectively transfer wealth to the elite in the banking sector in London.

She was able to provide just enough benefit from lower taxation of the lower earners to convince everyone to vote the Tories in again while the wealthy became even richer.

She was anything but incompetent; however, what do the public have from the sale of their property? The only thing the public have from selling the family silver is higher prices and rich pickings for the CEOs and shareholders of these companies.

Our assets now sit in the portfolio of the wealthy while we pay for the privilege of buying their energy and other services at inflated prices to provide obscene profits for the rich.

Iain McIntyre, Sauchie

Brown can show us the way forward

Dominic Raab is accused of bullying civil servants by being persistent in his requests for post-Brexit actions, and has been forced to resign. In today’s world it seems that bullying means making people work to ministerial order.

By contrast - in his 1971 biography In My Way - Lord George Brown, who was Foreign Secretary for a while in Harold Wilson’s 1964-1970 Labour government, describes how he reorganised the Foreign Office to make it more efficient. Apart from improving communications, he abolished senior staff routines such as spending the morning doing crossword puzzles, but was never accused of bullying.

Dominic Raab comes across as a reasonable man, whereas anyone who met George Brown could politely describe him as unyieldingly positive.

Britain could do with another George Brown to get us back on course.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross

A judgement on thresholds

Dominic Raab opines that the body politic suffers from a low setting of the bar of tolerance of “bullying”. Surely there should be no bullying to be tolerated.

RM Arbuckle, Largs

Shambles expose the truth on the SNP

After years of seeing and hearing their populist attention-grabbing headlines this Scottish government’s short sighted one-dimensional thinking is being exposed for the shambles it is, on a daily basis.

Spending an estimated £50,000 on a ferry launching-ceremony with "fake windows, funnel and pretend engines" for a vanity photoshoot to patronise voters was insulting enough, while further up river, BAE quietly got on with the UK government’s MOD contracts worth millions of pounds to the Scottish economy

The census shambles, the Salmond inquiry shambles, the named person shambles, the GRR shambles and DRS shambles, education failings and more, are all testament to Nicola Sturgeon’s "indy transcends everything" unhealthy dogma.

Scotland cannot afford another decade of decline under nationalist ideology, in future we need to get back to left, right and centre politics as soon as possible and kick out the cultlike regime of nationalism at the earliest opportunity.

Allan Thompson, Glasgow

Scots voters know where the blame lies

Neil Mackay seems to believe that every bad thing that has ever happened is Nicola Sturgeon's fault, although he does grudgingly admit that she "will be remembered for a few good policies, like the Scottish Child Payment"; certainly, the Child Poverty Action Group has hailed Ms Sturgeon for making "huge progress putting in place the building blocks needed to end the scourge of child poverty in Scotland". For that alone, Ms Sturgeon deserves to be applauded.

Mr Mackay refers to the opinion polls showing a drop in support for the SNP; that is hardly surprising given the theatrical drama of the past few weeks, but even so, the SNP is still ahead of its rivals. And I don't think a big tent in Ms Sturgeon's garden and up to 10 uniformed police officers around her home was her idea, with the over-the-top approach being widely condemned.

In complaining about the lack of progress on independence Mr Mackay should lay the blame where it belongs, right at the door of Downing Street. Ms Sturgeon tried every possible avenue to hold a referendum, and post Brexit, allow Scotland to decide its constitutional future, but it is obvious that this so-called "voluntary union" is no such thing, with Westminster governments we didn't elect determined to deny democracy to Scotland. It is not Ms Sturgeon's fault that Scotland was forced out of the EU, it is not her fault that she did not deliver a referendum, and it is not her fault that Lord Frost wants to "roll-back devolution". It is very convenient for Neil Mackay and others to pin the blame on the former First Minister, but the polls are showing that support for independence is staying relatively untouched, which suggests that large numbers of Scotland's voters know exactly where the blame lies.

Ruth Marr, Stirling