RICHARD Sharp has been forced (by his conduct) to stand down as chairman of the BBC ("BBC chair resigns over Boris Johnson loan", heraldscotland, April 28). Scotland will play no role in the appointment of his successor, and no Scot is in place to make a serious contribution to the governance of this highly important broadcaster.

Broadcasting is probably the most important cultural innovation in history, and Scots are required to pay a licence fee to access any broadcaster, yet we have no say in how broadcasting is delivered in Scotland. That should change, especially with the BBC, as it is in the BBC’s name that we are forced to purchase a licence.

The BBC is overwhelmingly “English” in its output: the presenters, content and focus on its radio and TV UK-wide programmes is almost entirely England-facing, whether covering sport, news, politics, culture or history. Scotland should receive a share of the licence fee moneys commensurate with the allocation to England and Wales, and this funding should be spent on recognisable Scottish content.

If the BBC cannot properly serve a diverse UK audience, it should be split up. It is also time that the public had access to the decision-making of the BBC, from the board downwards via freedom of information.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

A gloomy forecast

LOOKING into my crystal ball, I've seen Scotland's future in the UK, and it isn't good.

Scotland will be drawn into a manufactured culture war against the "woke" and defined fake enemies. All to keep the Conservative Party in power.

This will mean being dragged out of international bodies such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the UN refugee convention.

The bulk of private and public investment will continue to flow into London and the South-east, leaving Scotland under-developed and unable to pay enough taxes to fully fund our public services.

Scotland's vast natural resources will end up in the hands of multinationals, just as the oil and gas did.

Economically the UK will continue its long slow decline, as the Ponzi scheme based on fast-rising London property prices becomes more apparent to the international markets. A world where it is 50 cents to the pound is approaching. The broad shoulders of the UK will become narrower and narrower ... and Scotland will not have voted for any of this.

Of course my crystal ball doesn't exist and I could be wrong. That also applies, however, to the doom-laden predictions by the Union-supporting correspondents on Scotland's independent future. They don't know either.

It's just that my predictions look much more likely.

Iain Cope, Glasgow.

📝 Sign up for our Letter of the Day newsletter and receive our Letters Editor's choice every weekday at 8pm.

Get insight from fellow readers and join in on what has Scotland talking. Exclusive responses to our writers and spirited debate on a whole host of issues will be sent directly to your inbox.

👉 Click here to sign up

The dark side of Douglas Ross

ANDY Maciver ("Tory MSPs need to ask themselves if they want to win", The Herald, April 28) states that Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross is “an entirely normal person with a normal life and normal views”, but this is the man who, when asked in 2017 what he would do in the remote possibility he was Prime Minister for a day, replied: “I would like to see tougher enforcement against Gypsy travellers".

If Mr Ross’s pejorative and deeply-offensive views are “normal", then Mr Maciver’s misplaced and ill-judged attempt to differentiate Mr Ross from Conservative Party rhetoric and policy fails as miserably as Mr Ross’s disparaging remarks concerning one of the country’s most marginalised and intimidated minorities.

Indeed, such remarks, for which Mr Ross issued one of his typically mealy-mouthed apologies – and one of the first of the many screeching U-turns for which he has become infamous – not only point to a dark enmity and intolerance lurking not too far from the surface of his subconscious mind, they surely call into serious question his political and personal judgment in making his repugnant discrimination public, whilst at the same time chiming with the naked prejudice frequently and enthusiastically promulgated by many of Mr Ross’s Conservative Westminster colleagues, including the abhorrent Home Secretary Suella Braverman and her anti-immigrant henchman Robert Jenrick.

Mike Wilson, Longniddry.

Read more:A tale of two Britains: the bankers and the broken

Challenging the system

I NOTE with interest Neil Mackay's recent article (“A tale of two Britains: the bankers and the broken”, The Herald, April 27). Where are the protesters who can really make a difference in the start that is needed to change Britain? I don't want to see useless protests such as those who climb bridges, or shut roads, or stop horse racing, important as all of these are to those who are trying to make their points.

Where is the radical but respected political party that will challenge the present system and gain power from voters? How can we forcibly remind all MPs and MSPs that they are in government to serve the people of Britain and that every five years or thereabouts, their coats are on a very shoogly peg? They are not really in charge, we are and they become a government because we have put them there because we have believed in their skills and integrity. When they let us down they must be voted out of power.

Is there a better, more effective way such as happens in France? Whatever, Mr Mackay's views and opinions make it very clear that something needs to be done now.

Just a final thought, if Britain becomes so weakened by the actions of its Establishment, does it become a target for a new colonial power to do what China is threatening with Taiwan and Russia is engaged in with Ukraine? Could we, would we, fight or just roll over and accept our fate as in fact is happening now?

My action will be to use the ballot box and hope that a meaningful majority of voters, such as turned out for the independence referendum in 2014 get out there, vote and make the present political classes shake to their foundations and act in accordance with the demands and needs of the whole country and not for the benefit and enrichment of those described by Neil Mackay.

Ian Gray, Croftamie.

Read more: We need a full-scale review of devolution

The energy bill time bomb

WHY has not a single opposition MSP at Holyrood pointed out that, as electricity has always been four times more expensive than gas, then once the SNP introduces a ban on the use of gas as an energy source energy bills will double? As current energy bills are claimed to be a major factor in the present cost of living crisis then a doubling of energy prices plus a decade of austerity following independence will result in penury for those in fuel poverty.

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.

🔴 Save on a full year of digital access with our lowest EVER offer.

Subscribe for a whole year to The Herald for only £24 for unlimited website access or £30 for our digital pack.

This is only available for a limited time so don't miss out.

👉 Click here to subscribe

We must boycott Singapore

SOMETIMES there comes a point when enough is enough and bold actions must replace insipid appeasement whilst looking in the other direction. I refer to your article on Thursday on the case of cannabis trafficker Tangaraju Suppiah ("Singapore executes man for co-ordinating drug delivery", The Herald April 27).

You rightly point to the compassionate and well-reasoned intervention by Sir Richard Branson, and of course there were others. Sir Richard has a noble history of opposing states that carry out horrific executions of human beings, people despite what spin is put out by so-called modern democracies indulging themselves in state-sponsored killing.

Sir Richard has form as a leading member of the the Global Commission on Drug Policy – he and they have long advocated for fundamental reform to end the failed and discredited so-called war on drugs that is anything but – it is a war on people.

Thankfully around the world there are glimmers of hope, the state legislatures across America taking bold decisions around the regulated legalisation of substances that would have been unheard of even only a decade ago. New left of centre governments in Colombia and Brazil (and for some time in Mexico) are making massive strides, aided in no small part by collaboration with the UK's own Transform Drug Policy Foundation; what a pity we see no such progressive policy positions coming from the offices of Conservative Rishi Sunak and Labour's Sir Keir Starmer closer to home. Shame on them, particularly Sir Keir as a former director of public prosecutions in England.

Meanwhile the Scottish Government, notable academic institutions such the University of Edinburgh and our globally-renowned financial institutions look eastwards to this small island state and fill their boots. Any decent person within any of those groups needs to take stock. You are either a humanitarian and a supporter of unassailable human rights or you are not.

Boycotting of Singapore at this egregious time could be as effective as boycotting apartheid in South Africa. At the time of writing not even a squeak of condemnation from Bute House. Why not?

Douglas McBean, Edinburgh.