IT seems that the only way to find out what the secretive Scottish Government is up to is through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. In addition to other recent revelations, we now learn from FOI that Scotland’s most senior civil servant, Leslie Evans, has warned the First Minister that having civil servants work on plans for a referendum on secession from the UK would lead to a "deprioritisation of activity" in other areas ("'Bombshell' secret memo wars of Indyref2 risk to public services", The Herald September 267). That is to say, having civil servants diverted to work on separatist plans means that they are not working on the issues for which they were employed – and we are paying for this.

As a taxpayer, I resent paying for employees in the public service to work to try to break up the UK. Our public services are their concern, and working on plans that would lead to the starving of our public services of funds – which is what leaving the UK would do – is highly improper. It is what happens in the kind of regime where party and state are merged. This is not a model that most of us wish to espouse.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

WHERE have they all been?

What happened in the House of Commons was as nothing to what patriotic Scots suffered during the 2014 referendum when MSPs Iain Gray took refuge in cafes from nationalist mobs who also surrounded and hounded Jim Murphy, tormented Charles Kennedy and converged on the BBC when Nick Robinson asked Alex Salmond awkward questions, then vilified No voters as traitors, Orangemen, Yoons and freemasons and more.

All this was known to the First Minister who described it as "energising debate".

If Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford get their way to call another referendum, Scotland has all this and worse to go through all over again.

Allan Thompson, Bearsden.

IT is completely unbelievable that a Prime Minister who, with his advisers, devised a scheme to stop our elected MPs scrutinising the actions of the executive can simply brush off his failures and simply carry on. This man must have an ego the size of Australia to believe that he and only he is right and the highest court in Scotland and 11 UK Supreme Court judges are wrong. He is a real danger to democracy.

The sad fact is that as bad as this Conservative Government is, the Opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn has totally failed to hold it to account. Why has there not been a vote of no confidence in this shambolic Prime Minister and Government?

How embarrassed the Queen must be to have been exposed to the manipulations of this unelected Prime Minister. He has certainly not apologised to the people of the UK or to Parliament so I wonder if he has apologised to the Queen?

The answer for the Scottish people is staring us in the face. Dump this Prime Minister, along with Westminster and as an independent nation stay in the EU.

Dave Biggart, Kilmacolm.

THE political parties, and no doubt many of the public, are pinning their faith on the outcome of a General Election to demonstrate the "will of the people". Our antediluvian first-past-the-post system, however, badly fails the electorate and will this time be more than ever a lottery, where many constituency candidates are elected on grossly minority votes actually against the wishes of the majority.

It is not difficult to imagine a result of Conservative 200 MPs; Labour 180; Liberal Democrat 80; Brexit 100; SNP 50; Northern Ireland 18 (minus 7 or so Sinn Fein); and a few Green, Plaid Cymru and Others. Where does a stable government come from such a result, and how exactly does it reflect national sentiment?

There is a great need for a UK-wide Constitutional Convention, as guided Scotland to devolution in 1999, and a new Great Reform Bill, to include the present House of Commons becoming the English devolved Chamber to join Scotland, Wales and (if it could get its act together) Northern Ireland; the House of Lords reformed into a UK Senate, all elected by proportional representation; and a written Constitution policed by the Supreme Court. This might just avert the otherwise inevitable separation of the United Kingdom into its component parts.

Where the vision and impetus for such a Reform Movement will come from in the present climate is hard to discern, sadly.

Stefan G Kay, Edinburgh EH4.