GILBERT MacKay (Letters, June 11) seems to take a romantic view of the emerging use of the Gaelic language on signage in the Lowlands of Scotland). It had most certainly died out as a spoken language in most of the Scottish Lowlands during the life of Robert Burns, who himself could not speak Gaelic.

I view the recent use in the Lowlands as inappropriate at best and being as controversial as the proposed re-introduction of wolves and beavers to Scotland; yet many people are completely apathetic to the significance of its spread in the South of Scotland.

I consider the fact to be that an essential feature of any nationalist cause is forms of cultural homogenisation of the people. This has been in fact, the beneficial case for centuries through many obvious examples with the formation of our strong and interdependent United Kingdom. I consider that Scottish nationalist independence sympathisers, learning from this, are now trying to reverse the process to meet their own separatist ends.

I view supporters of the re-introduction of Gaelic after many centuries to areas where Lallans or Lowland Scots was, and indeed to some extent still is, the spoken form of English are being hoodwinked. Considering that only one per cent of the Scottish population can speak Gaelic, I am convinced that the drive to spread it in signage cannot be anything other than political subterfuge.

Scotland should be celebrating its cultural diversity through extending the use of Urdu, Cantonese, Polish and so forth – not trying to rewrite history through a disregard for the Auld Scots tongue.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.

IT is only toward the end of Stephen Kerr and Luke Graham’s endorsement of Michael Gove ("‘We must keep Union fit and robust – and Gove is man to do that’", The Herald, June 10) that we learn their primary aim– that all the proposed changes are to act as “a bulwark against nationalism by bringing people together in collaboration”.

Collaboration is of course a “good thing”, but the difficulty with it is the basis on which it takes place, and certainly not if it is compelled. Regarding the UK, it could be based on a Union of nations, or "one nation, one vote", in which case the current bourach that is Brexit would have been avoided. The difficulty of course, is that this would have meant 11 per cent of the UK (Scotland and Northern Ireland) dictating to the other 89 per cent (England and Wales). Instead decisions are taken by representation in the House of Commons, which is almost 85 per cent from one partner to the Union, England.

In 12 of the 20 elections since 1945 Scotland voted for the “winning party”, but eight of those 12 were before 1979. Of the eight where Scotland voted for a party other than that which took power at Westminster, no fewer than six have been of the 10 elections since 1979. I think this is a clear indication of a significant and growing political difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK, which must surely be a major challenge to the Union.

The UK’s main response has been to get the Supreme Court yo reaffirm, lest we forget, the sovereignty of the House of Commons. This makes Messrs Graham and Kerr’s support for collaboration seem even more hollow, when the House of Commons is not only sovereign but utterly dominated by one part of the Union. The United Kingdom increasingly is being exposed as an unbalanced and unequal political entity that warm words, such as “collaboration”, “compassionate”, and “co-operative Union” are increasingly incapable of concealing. The problem is not only one of attitudes, perceptions or even policies, but of the very structure of a Union dominated to the degree it is by a one part.

Nor is the gap restricted to voting behaviour, as on almost every index of economic well-being – GDP per capita, economic growth, employment rates and so on – London and the south-east are often so far ahead that it is not uncommon for these regions to be the only two with scores better than the UK average. This economic imbalance has not only existed for many years but has accelerated in the last 20 or 30 years. Governments have come and gone making the same arguments about “[delivering] for Scotland and the entire United Kingdom” to “promote and realise the benefits of the Union in every aspect of government at every level”, but actually changing very little. How much credence can we place on Messrs Graham and Kerr’s claim that things will be different this time, but only if the 124,000 members of the Conservative Party (8,895 in Scotland) elect Michael Gove?

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.

IF the SNP does not like the idea of taxation levels being higher in Scotland than England then why does it not reduce taxation here too ("Boris tax pledge could widen UK-Scots pay gap by £8,000", The Herald, June 11). Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has tried to increase the tax take from Scots by raising taxes and all the signs are that it will actually reduce overall tax take. Land and Building Transaction Tax has shown the way that ill-thought-out tax rises are counter-productive.

The SNP has concentrated for too long on trying to narrow the "attainment gap" by simply redistributing wealth. This is unsustainable. The only way to close the attainment gap is through growth and productivity. The problem is this avenue has effectively been shut off by SNP zeal to be a "world leader" in climate change policies.

Boris Johnson is simply exposing the true SNP position, that of being out of its depth. All the SNP can do is claim " outrage" and "independence now" when the actual answer is to reassess its own taxation policies.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.

THE SNP rightly castigates Boris Johnson for his tax plans to "give away’’ to the rich.

But with the lack of irony and hypocrisy that is now endemic to the party, the SNP fails to mention its own contributions to the pockets of the rich and super-rich in Scotland. Baby boxes; free prescriptions; scrapping of bridge tolls, we could go on and on. The goodies on offer were not targeted on the poor. All of it was being handed out willy-nilly to the wealthiest among us.

When that anomaly is sorted out, perhaps it can lecture Boris Johnson and others on propriety.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

YOU report on Michael Gove’s taunts towards his rival Boris Johnson ("Gloves are off as Gove taunts rival Johnson: Don’t pull out", The Herald, June 11). I found Mr Gove’s demeanour during that taunting episode odd in the extreme and wondered if he had been taking some of the substance that has caused him some embarrassment in the media over the last few days. There was something slightly unhinged (as well as unsavoury) about the whole episode.

As for Mr Johnson’s proposed tax cuts; they are nothing other than naked pandering to the very people who will vote on who our next prime minister will be. He doesn’t even try and hide it.

Willie Towers, Alford.

Read more: Gaelic spread