DEVOLUTION was a damp squib between 1999 and 2007, a major reason why Alex Salmond's "new type of politics" won that year's election. But the writing was on the wall when the Scottish Executive became the Scottish Government, made worse by Gordon Brown's fag-packet "Vow". I am also aware of several current and past MSPs who despair at the paralysis of Holyrood.

It therefore seems seems incredible that pro-UK party leaders haven't at least used Lord Frost's comments ("‘Roll back Holyrood powers’ says peer", The Herald, April 21) to acknowledge that Holyrood needs a drains-up review and if they win in 2026 they'll create an all-party commission, including outside experts from the UK and abroad, to investigate, report and recommend improvement to powers, processes and accountability.

They won't lose votes from that, more likely whoever steps up to the plate will gain support from the thousands sceptical of the whole project as well as those who support devolution but want it fixed and improved.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

How can we trust them?

THE SNP is a party which is currently under criminal investigation for the alleged misappropriation of more than £600,000. Auditors appear not to want to touch the party with a bargepole and it is widely rumoured to be facing bankruptcy. What lurks behind all this has not (yet) been revealed.

But in recent months the following have all resigned: the Westminster Leader, the Westminster Deputy Leader, the Leader and First Minister, the Deputy First Minister, the Head of Comms, the CEO, the First Minister's Chief of Staff, the party treasurer and the SNP's independent auditors.

Nationalists are supposed to trust this lot to deliver independence. The rest of us are supposed to trust them to run the country. Me? I wouldn't let them organise a village fête.

Linda Holt, Anstruther.

Read more: Politicians must honour the promise they made to rural communities

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Spot the difference

AND so it goes on.

In Westminster there remain numerous unanswered questions covering many examples of rule-breaking, law-breaking, the PPE VIP lane recently declared illegal, a failed £39 billion track and trace project where no one is called to account, profligacy, unanswered Partygate questions, breaches of the ministerial code and now proven ministerial bullying with zero remorse and zero admission of guilt.

This must be the first government where there are routinely multi-billion-pound overspends on various projects such as HS2, House of Commons renovations and the London sewer project, all with no questions asked. Then there is the new military tank, cost £5.5bn, which doesn’t work and the recently-built £3bn aircraft carrier which has to go off-service for up to a year in order to undergo £25 million of repairs.

It is a cesspit of sleaze, financial mismanagement and there is a proven disregard of the rules and laws. Yet many of those of a unionist persuasion cannot see a problem and they will say this is all claptrap, nothing to see and move on.

Meanwhile, here in Scotland, there has been a relentless campaign by some sections of the media against the SNP, both the party and the Government. Those in favour of independence can see through these unrelenting attacks and the very latest poll is still showing a remarkable 48% in favour of independence.

In a Scottish tabloid on Sunday there was yet another lurid headline taking up the entire front page where the “SNP cops” are looking at the purchase of – wait for it – “designer pots and pans and a fridge freezer”.

Notice the difference? No further comments needed.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.

How committed was this donor?

THE fact that James Gardner asked for, and received, a refund of his donation to the independence movement ("Ex-SNP supporter gets back £480 of donations", The Herald, April 24), raises two questions: one, how committed was he to independence that he has now gone off in the huff, and, two, perhaps more importantly, how would all the UK’s charitable organisations cope if we all ask for our donations to be refunded?

A case of "it’s ma ba’ and Ah'm gaun' hame"?

Francis Deigman, Erskine.

• I MADE a donation to the SNP referendum fund – and I don't want it back. I believe many other donors are in the same position. So if the matter comes to court, how does the Procurator Fiscal decide on the sum involved for prosecution purposes?

Christine Anderson, Linlithgow.

Unionists need to wake up

MONDAY morning and I have just read David Leask's article ("It is time to scotch myth of a rich UK. We are getting poorer every day", The Herald, April 22). It should be compulsory reading for everyone who basks in the reflected glory of the UK monarchy and the notion that Scotland can rely on the broad shoulders of the UK to keep us all in good physical and financial health.

The UK is doomed under the current Government in Westminster and its notion that Britain can keep its place at the centre of the world. The days of Empire have gone and now that we have so stupidly left the EU, we are sinking fast. I am astonished that only around half of us in Scotland think we can have a better future outwith the UK; the other half need to wake up and, if they can still afford it, smell the coffee, as they say.

Patricia Ford, Glasgow.

Read more: There is more than one option for the M8

Tackling poverty is tackling drugs

BRIAN Patterson (Letters, April 22) has raised, importantly, the high number of drug deaths in Scotland as being a missing element to the new First Minister's missions over the next three years.

Drug deaths and poverty are inextricably linked, and in order to tackle this worrying trend in Scotland there needs to be a greater focus on public services along with addressing factors that deepen the poverty crisis in Scotland. Therefore Humza Yousaf has very clearly included drugs deaths as being a priority, along with many other areas of inequality where poverty plays a central role in the outcomes of young lives in Scotland.

Trish Grierson, by Castle Douglas.

Roll back on bullying fad

DOMINIC Raab was forced to resign following a lengthy report that concluded he was guilty of bullying ("Sunak accused of dithering over Raab bullying report", The Herald, April 21). Mr Rabb, in his resignation letter, said that from his perspective he was only guilty of holding his civil servants and others to the same high standards that he himself employs. The report into his behaviour dismissed more than 30 complaints against him and upheld two, one of which was from an ambassador. Again, the report confirms no physical violence on the part of Mr Raab, only that in their opinion he was too confrontational and direct in his language.

In terms of the ambassador, one would have thought that to reach that exalted level one would have to show some backbone, have the ability to stand your corner and if shouted at, respond accordingly.

Unfortunately, in today's world there abounds many who are forever slighted and offended at anything they disagree with or which makes them uncomfortable or where they are intellectually threatened, leading them to hold up their hands in horror and claim that whatever it is that offends them is affecting their mental health, which in itself is insulting to those who have real mental health issues. Universities are a good example of this spurious mindset with their no-platforming response to visiting speakers with whom they disagree, rather than maturely debating the issue in question as happened in the not-so-distant past.

Bullying has been around since time immemorial and was almost exclusively physical in nature. Only in recent years has the B-word morphed to also include verbal exchanges and in this respect one is reminded of the age old truism that "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me".

Time for everyone to take stock, for the perpetually offended to be marginalised, and this to be reflected in how the media in general report and comment on such issues.

James Martin, Bearsden.

Testing times

I THOUGHT the Government's plan to trigger alerts on people's mobile phones to warn them of fires, floods and pestilence was hare-brained. Am I surprised that the Government failed to make it work? My wife's phone received a text message but no audible warning that either of us heard, while I'm still waiting.

Not that it bothers me; I was planning to let the test alert through and then to disable the app. But now it seems I won't need to.

Stewart J Brown, Largs.