I NOTE that Scotland's new First Minister, Humza Yousaf, has adopted the same stance as his predecessors in pressing for what he describes as "the democratic wishes of Scotland's parliament to hold a second independence referendum" ("Yousaf tells PM Sunak to agree to a second indy referendum", The Herald, April 25).

His plea is, as expected, representative of only one side of the argument. Surely he remembers full well that the SNP's case for independence was substantially rejected by the electorate in the 2014 referendum. And furthermore he must be aware that it was part of the agreement that the timespan between such types of referenda should be at least a generation. Is the SNP trying to suggest that a generation can be defined as a period of merely nine years?

Or is it the case that Mr Yousaf is merely trying to use this old chestnut as a distraction from the real problems faced by Scotland under the current SNP regime? It is almost impossible to highlight any aspect of the administration for which the SNP is responsible as being in any way satisfactory. Is he merely trying to ward off the electorate's concerns about the SNP's internal problems such as the investigation into missing funds and the resignation of the party's auditors?

What Scotland requires right now is certainly not independence, but it most desperately needs a change of government.

The SNP's time is up.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife.

A complete reset is needed

LESLEY Riddoch has surpassed herself ("It’s too soon to write off SNP but reset is needed", The Herald, April 24). She reminisces about the "good old days" when the SNP was a warm and cuddly organisation and laments the transformation into a controlling, centralised organisation. She then lists a series of issues which have affected the island residents in relation to the ferry issues and talks of local communities being disempowered.

I have news for Ms Riddoch. This is what Scotland has had to put up with for the past 15 years, and it's shameful that SNP members were supportive of this and did not complain, and were prepared to condone this state of affairs in the name of independence ("wheesht for indy"). Good people have been vilified for speaking out and Scotland has been greatly demeaned in the eyes of the world due to the issues highlighted by Ms Riddoch, but once again the tone and purpose of the article is aimed at SNP members and is par for the course of the SNP talking to itself.

Ms Riddoch talks of a "reset" being needed. I'm afraid that is completely understating the current situation, as it's a complete root and branch change of mindset, organisation and direction that's needed. Scotland deserves better.

Douglas Eadie, Alexandria.

Read more: It's too soon to write off the SNP

Yes campaign bigger than party

I'M sure that James Gardner, who requested a refund of his donations to Indyref2, ("Ex-SNP supporter gets back £480 of donations", The Herald, April 24) is perfectly able to defend himself, but I feel the need to respond to Francis Deigman's criticism of him which questioned his commitment to independence (Letters, April 24).

Mr Gardner, I would suggest, did not go "off in the huff" but was disillusioned with the SNP's efforts to secure independence and also not impressed with the direction of the party.

Mr Deigman, like many others, is confusing the SNP with the independence movement. The two are quite distinct.

Isobel Frize, Glasgow.

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We're England's last colony

THE new FM is ploughing the same furrow yet expecting a different result. He is asking Rishi Sunak for more devolution as Holyrood’s wings are clipped and for a Section 30 that Westminster has repeatedly denied.

Devolution is like the colonial overlord tossing a few more scraps to its colony to keep it under control. But it’s still a colony.

Devolution has failed Scotland. A fifth of Scots are poor and are unable to heat and power their homes. The economy is underdeveloped and owned by foreign conglomerates who are busy asset-stripping and profiteering, leaving nothing for the people who live here.

The second great energy rip-off is well under way. In 2021 35 TWh of Scottish energy worth £600 billion was cabled south to rUK, enough to power Scotland 3.5 times over. That amount is forecast to rise to 124 TWh by 2030, which is worth £2.23 trillion. Not only will Scots not see a penny, there won’t be any new jobs or businesses, either.

In December 2021, the Holyrood colonial administration sold offshore wind licences for 5,000 square miles of the Scottish seabed for a one-off payment of just £700 million while an area off Long Island, New York, 25% of the Scottish area, yielded $4.3 billion.

Colonialism – economic exploitation by a dominant power that exercises political control over its colony – describes Scotland in the Union. It has no control over its land or resources and Scottish MPs are outnumbered 10 to 1 by English MPs.

Scotland is England’s last colony. It’s up to the Scottish people to liberate their nation.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Read more: We need a left-wing party that will fight for independence

UK failing us on energy

BRIAN Wilson ("We need to have a serious talk about North Sea transition", The Herald, April 25) forgets that energy policy is reserved to Westminster, where successive governments have benefited from Scotland’s oil and gas bonanza with more than £350 billion flowing to the Treasury in London. Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is investing £500 million in the north-east Just Transition Fund from its limited economic resources.

Compared to Norway and Denmark, the UK has completely failed to invest in the infrastructure and renewable energy manufacturing required to accelerate the renewables boom but has imposed the highest grid connection charges in Europe on Scotland’s renewable industries, which places them at a considerable disadvantage to their nearest competitors in the North of England. Westminster snubbed the much better carbon capture storage claims in the North-east of Scotland for political reasons and has refused to fund a hydrogen hub there.

Green hydrogen is the clean energy of the future with plans afoot to pipe this to Europe where Germany is very interested. INEOS has announced plans to build a 100 MegaWatt (MW) electrolyser to produce green hydrogen at a site in Germany.

Why is there no electrolyser production in Scotland? Why is there no significant renewable energy manufacturing in Scotland? However, the Scottish Government has to reinforce that oil and gas will be with us for decades to come.

Norway has a higher oil and gas taxation regime than the UK but that hasn’t deterred continued investment while Sir Keir Starmer wants to use Scotland’s vast energy revenues to lower council tax bills in England. Some things never change.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

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Who is Slater trying to kid?

IT is bad enough that a minister brings forward a scheme that is ill thought-out and costly for those affected by it. I speak, of course, of Lorna Slater and the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

It is worse when she brushes aside producers’ concerns and rattles out pre-prepared statements in response to questions from MSPs, statements that do not answer these questions. It reaches the proportions of farce when she tries to blame the sovereign Government of the UK for this bourach ("Slater under fire as she denies not formally requesting DRS exemption", The Herald, April 22). If she really did try to gain an exemption from the Internal Market Act before March 6 this year, as she claims, presumably there is a letter or email to that effect somewhere on file? Or is this Green minister as cavalier about not keeping records as the SNP is?

Ms Slater has form. She was obliged to admit in February 2023 that she had not consulted any other country that has introduced a DRS about their experience. With her trademark arrogant self-confidence – that is probably visible from outer space – she dismissively asserted that "it would not be relevant… to speak to those operating DRS schemes in other countries". That would perhaps be plausible if her own scheme had not turned into a turkey.

Humza Yousaf has sensibly decided to delay the roll-out of the DRS, given that the original date of August 2023 is entirely untenable. It would, however, make much more sense to pause this policy until the UK’s DRS scheme, due to be introduced on October 1, 2025, is finalised. Having different schemes across our island is scarcely practicable. The problem is that being "different" – and being first – is what the SNP/Greens want most.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.