LIKE a moth to the flame, Nicola Sturgeon is drawn to any issue about which she senses feelings are running high, trying to make it her own, and hoping in turn that those strong emotions will be won over to the independence cause which for her transcends all else ("It’s the message that matters in the climate-change fight", The Herald, September 3).

Yet the evidence of failings and missed targets suggests that neither education nor the NHS are our First Minister’s top priority, whatever she has implied in the past. Equally, stopping a No Deal Brexit, or Brexit as a whole, is also simply another SNP device, a means to a very different end, that for at least the medium term would leave us out of both the UK and the EU.

Now with her new programme for government, Nicola Sturgeon claims that she will put tackling the climate emergency and inequality at the centre of her Government’s agenda for the coming year. She remains silent about the likely impact on these and other initiatives of the expected decade or more of austerity required to restructure an independent Scotland’s public finances, if the SNP eventually gets its way on the ambition it prioritises above all others.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

AFTER declaring a climate emergency at the SNP conference, the First Minister claims she'll make Scotland carbon neutral by 2045, a predictable five years before the rUK.

But she has the problem of getting the Scottish people to make huge sacrifices for a nebulous "good" and isn't helped by green celebs in private planes, ludicrously apocalyptic environmental groups, and Climategate's disreputable scientists.

I'm sure Ms Sturgeon will continue to wave the "flag of virtue" but the fact is this will be the most expensive and socially disruptive public policy since the Second World War, putting the most vulnerable at risk and making fuel poverty the "Scottish disease".

Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.

IN the event of an early General Election, will the UK Government’s £100 million “Get Ready for Brexit” (chaos) campaign not fall foul of election rules?

The Brexit shambles is down to those Tory MPs, supported by the bulk of Labour MPs whipped by Jeremy Corbyn, who voted in February 2017 to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU before any deal was agreed. Theresa May couldn’t get the support of her own MPs for any plan and Boris Johnson still has no deal.

The SNP has done more than most to try to save the UK from itself. Scotland voted to remain in the EU yet Nicola Sturgeon proposed genuine compromises for two years, including remaining in the single market and customs union and seeking freedom of movement which is essential for Scotland. Each attempt was met with a complete refusal to engage by the Prime Minister. Additionally, when Piers Morgan screams at our First Minster that Scotland’s votes don’t count and London tells Scottish civil servants they are banned from attending EU meetings then it’s time we took back control.

An independent Scotland will be a democracy with a written constitution and proportional representation in its parliament. That means it will be considerably more democratic than Westminster where Boris Johnson is an unelected dictator who makes it up as he goes along.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh EH11.

HOW ironic that your headline of September 3 "Sturgeon contrasts Holyrood stability with Brexit meltdown" was sandwiched between two other other brewing scandal headlines, "Ferry boss hits back in row over Clyde shipyard" and "Salmond probe MSPs rebuke Scottish Government’s top official".

Andrew Lapping, Glasgow G3.

THE continuing flurry of articles and subsequent correspondence about the departure of Ruth Davidson has surely left at least some onlookers puzzled and frustrated, as we have been for several years now – ever since Ms Davidson sat astride a tank gun and then began to strut the boards as Scottish leader of the Conservative Party.

Right to the very end, her performance has been accommodated by what seems to have been a most peculiar, pathetically servile trance throughout Scottish media. Despite the jolly, hearty delivery of her lines, Ms Davidson’s endless repetition of a ridiculously short script – “no second referendum” – vied, in terms of embarrassing inanity, only with the dark comedy of Theresa May’s “strong and stable”. And nobody – not even The Herald – has ever moved to interrupt.

Not once during this outrageously calculated performance, lasting several years, has she been successfully pinned down to answer for the evils of Universal Credit, the rape clause, fracking, the Hostile Environment, the privatisation of the NHS, the railway chaos, Brexit chaos or spiralling personal debt – to name just a few of her Tory Party’s policies which are, with absolute cynicism, still driving the whole of the UK to imminent economic, social, environmental and political catastrophe. Her chanting, quite miraculously, has kept accountability well away.

Therefore, abandoning this ghastly stage this week, just as the curtain is truly about to come down on her own party’s dark farce, does in fact seem horribly appropriate.

In my opinion, however, there should be no applause – her audience, especially the fourth estate, has been duped.

Frances McKie, Evanton.

Read more: Margaret Taylor: It’s the message that matters in the climate-change fight