THE First Minister cannot be surprised that she was pressed on the fracking moratorium in First Minister’s Questions (“Sturgeon ‘highly sceptical’ of fracking as industry fears missed opportunity”, The Herald, March 4). After all, there are many doubters of what her Government’s position really is amongst her own supporters and MSPs, as well in the ranks of her opponents. The suspicion is the SNP leadership has already made up its mind in advance of getting the results of the research study that it has commissioned, and is simply unsure before seeing its conclusions how these will be spun to best effect.

Those who are in favour of exploring the potential of fracking, such as Ineos, which has been encouraged by the Scottish Government to invest so much in Grangemouth, must be wondering whether the reassurances received are simply politicians stringing them along or if it is the public at large that are being misled.

The only thing that is clear is that the First Minister has no intention of telling us what she really thinks before the May election.

Keith Howell,

White Moss, West Linton, Peeblesshire.

THE First Minister's scepticism about fracking may be pragmatism rather than scepticism, with the sub-plot being a switch to enthusiasm after elections in May. There appears to be no hesitation in permitting the products of fracking elsewhere (that is, the United States) being imported into Grangemouth, such we are informed being necessary to keep the Grangemouth refinery financially viable.

This Nimby decision reeks of hypocrisy, parallel to importing by the National Grid electricity generated by nuclear means outside Scotland and the lucrative export from Scotland of an addictive drug (ethyl alcohol, whisky) which causes massive damage to the Scottish people.

Recommended reading: Holy Willie's Prayer (Robert Burns).

William Durward,

20 South Erskine Park, Bearsden.