BY coincidence, we have in The Herald today (May 17) several articles which lead us to the same conclusion.

The first such article is your report on the view of Andy Cliffe of Glasgow Airport citing the city's massive but unfulfilled potential ("Airport boss says Glasgow is missing out on huge potential"). The second is the letter from Colin Green of Dumfries regarding the state of Scotland's high streets and what might be done to rectify it. Finally, and what draws this and many other issues together, is the stark warning from Tim McKay of the Accounts Commission that radical change is needed if Scotland's councils are to avoid a bleak future ("Councils’ deal is ‘overdue’").

From its very inception, there was never any pretence that the Scottish Parliament would be a champion of local democracy and indeed it has transpired that local councils and councillors are seen by the Holyrood establishment as part of the problem, and not part of the solution. The latest iteration of this is the SNP Minister Joe FitzPatrick telling us that he wants "a New Deal for Local Government that promotes empowerment and provides greater flexibility over local funding with clear accountability for delivery of shared priorities and outcomes”.

The whole point of local government should be that it does not have to share the priorities of central authority. The outcome of doing so is a monoculture of policy and practice which is unresponsive to local needs and deeply conservative in nature. For example, if there had been no plurality of policy formulation in Glasgow, there would have been no tenement refurbishment and community-based housing associations; likewise the city would not have seen arts-based regeneration and there would have been no Miles Better Campaign and no 1990 City of Culture and no tourist industry and probably no International Financial Services District. It is no exaggeration to say that Glasgow was saved from a slow death by the district and city councils, led by Michael Kelly, Jean McFadden, Pat Lally and many others – all of whom were working against the grain of central government.

Today, we have the call from Mr Cliffe for Glasgow to once again live up to its potential, and we have need for towns and districts around the country to have their local voices in the form of councillors and provosts to speak up for their high streets. And as pointed out by Mr McKay, they need the financial means to do the job that Holyrood is so clearly unable and unwilling to do. A good start would be a programme of double devolution from Holyrood to local councils, and a flexible menu of local taxes and charges supported by no-strings-attached redistribution across Scotland from more prosperous areas to less well-off councils.

Peter A Russell, Glasgow.

Read more: Councils need 'radical change' and new funding deal amid strain

Time to have some pride

I FAIL to understand the attitude of so many of your unionist correspondents to the alleged inadequacies of the Scottish economy. James Quinn (Letters, May 17) appears to find it acceptable for it, along with those of the other English regions and the Welsh nation, to be dependent on London and the south-east of England for financial support.

Mr Quinn and his fellow travellers do not appear to be concerned as to why so much wealth and opportunity is confined to one corner of his beloved United Kingdom. Do they never question such a state of affairs? Do they have no backbone or pride in their own country?

There are a number of reasons that I have for wishing to see our country becoming independent once more, one of which was the Scots regularly being called "subsidy junkies" while I was growing up. I for one have no wish to be looked down upon in this way. You only have to view Scottish Questions at Westminster or the responses given to Stephen Flynn at Prime Minister's Questions to be aware that little has changed over the years. Sadly, too many Scots seem to be willing to swallow their pride and accept the situation.

Gordon Evans, Glasgow.

Yes, it is the economy

JAMES Quinn opines that Scotland is not viable as an independent nation. Indeed we should simply remain as we are and be grateful for the extra bawbees gifted by Westminster.

Norway’s wealth fund is now valued at some 5.11 trillion crowns, making everyone a theoretical millionaire. Ireland has no oil, but its politicians are debating how to distribute or invest an anticipated €65 billion surplus over the next four years.

Meanwhile, we in Scotland, although blessed with oil and renewables, are advised by the Bank of England, an institution tasked with promoting the good of the people, that we must accept becoming poorer.

“It’s the economy stupid” and yes, indeed it is.

When all you have to offer is that we are less poor than some of our immediate neighbours then surely it is time to stop worrying about what you might lose and start focusing on what we have to gain?

Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.

The pot and the kettle

ERIC Melvin (Letters, May 16) gives a withering critique of the current UK Government as he claims that support for Scottish independence “remains strong”. He ends with the words “All of this is the responsibility of a government characterised by dogma, incompetence, sleaze and duplicity. Scotland can surely do better than this.” Interestingly, someone favouring staying in the UK could use exactly the same quote in reference to the shortcomings of the SNP Scottish Government.

Mr Melvin also mentions Brexit, doubtless believing this strengthens the case for independence. Yet equally, the typical rationale of those who voted Remain in the 2016 European referendum can be applied, but doubly so, to the case for Scotland staying in the UK. Unless of course you have a special preference for Brussels over Westminster, or for continental Europeans over our fellow British citizens.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

Read more: With or without the SNP, the economics of indy will never work

Westminster's stonewalling

PERHAPS Guy Stenhouse ("Scottish Government needs to grow up and work with the UK", The Herald, May 17) would be wise to check some facts before pontificating about the need for cooperation between Holyrood and Westminster.

He would then be aware that Holyrood has made many attempts to establish just that, but these have been rebuffed by Westminster. Many meetings have been proposed by Holyrood ministers, some postponed several times before finally being cancelled and others being rejected outright. A prime example is the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, regarding which Westminster had knowledge of the proposals and the chance to influence them long in advance, before resorting to a Section 35 once the bill had been voted through by members of all parties at Holyrood, including Tories.

For cooperation to take place, both sides have to be willing to participate. It cannot work if one side is willing and the other merely talks about it.

P Davidson, Falkirk.

Shame on Tories for ID deceit

SO Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Member of Parliament for the 19th Century, has quite recently admitted in public that the introduction of voter ID was actually nothing to do with voter fraud (which most people believed was actually minuscule) but a blatant and unashamed attempt at gerrymandering ("Voter ID ‘upset a system’ working well", The Herald, May 16).

It would have been reasonable to assume that given the demographics of the various political parties, such a move could only have helped the Tory Party. However under the guise of preventing voter fraud it was construed as being apolitical and sailed through Parliament. Even if it could have disadvantaged another political party, it would have been difficult to argue against it.

However, Mr Rees-Mogg admitted that it had spectacularly backfired and it had it in fact actually disadvantaged the Tory Party. No tears from me there then.

This is a serious matter and no one seems to be batting an eyelid. We hear almost daily of serious acts of rule-breaking and law-breaking and sleaze within the Tory Government and this is equally reprehensible.

There should be extremely serious repercussions for those who knowingly misled Parliament with a false cover story. To cynically do it in the first place and to then to compound it by publicly admitting the real reason is despicable.

Once again it is a case of nothing to see here, move on.

This lot do what they want with total impunity and zero repercussions.

I am sure that in many other countries acts such as this would be construed as a national scandal and might even bring down a government.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.