I NOTE that Nicola Sturgeon has been nominated for Scottish Politician of the Year for, it is stated, skilfully merging the case against Brexit with one in favour of independence, and fostering a sense of inevitability about a second referendum despite UK Government resistance ("Celebrating the star players in politics", The Herald, November 7).

Praise indeed from the wordsmith responsible. There are at least some of us who believe that more of that expertise and application would have been better applied to what actually matters to the workaday lives of the people living in Scotland.

For example education, which has attracted much detailed criticism with regard to standards in spite of the bluster of John Swinney, our Education Secretary, and in relation to which the SNP have withdrawn Scotland from a number of international assessments with regard to performance. Then, of course, we have the serious ongoing problems associated with both the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Aggravating the issues around the latter is the fact that the taxpayers are paying for a facility which is still not available for use.

Turning to transport, we have the position where the much publicised Queensferry Crossing has been open for some two years to the public and is still facing a large programme of works, which in turn is causing delays for traffic. I could go on, but I think that the point has been made. Ye, I know about free prescriptions, bus passes and the position on university fees.

What is required from the First Minister is a bit less grandstanding and a bit more attention to what is, perhaps, a bit more mundane, but of more importance to the people trying to live their lives as best they can in the Scotland of today.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

LABOUR is trying to make the General Election a proxy vote on devolved issues ("Leonard rules out [act iwth SNP and promises 120,000 social homes", The Herald, November 7) and its claims of £70bn extra spending in Scotland over 10 years could be matched in an independent Scotland through taxing oil and gas companies at Norwegian levels.

Things are improving in education. In 2007, 71 per cent of pupils achieved a Level 5 qualification or better and this has increased to 86 per cent. In 2007 only 41 per cent reached Level 6 or better qualification but last year this reached 62.2 per cent. More than 30 per cent of pupils got at least five passes at Level 6 or better last year, up from 22.2 per cent in 2009/10 and the attainment gap is closing with record numbers from the poorest backgrounds getting a university place.

By any measurement, NHS performance in Scotland is far superior to that in England or Wales.

Eighty-seven thousand affordable homes have been built in Scotland since 2007 while the Conservatives failed to deliver any of their promised homes in England.

Thanks to the SNP mitigating Tory austerity, homelessness and rough sleeping is on the rise in the rest of the UK, while figures fall in Scotland; child poverty levels are increasing faster in rest of the UK than in Scotland; the use of food banks is greater in the rest of the UK; this year Scottish local authorities received a budget increase of one per cent while English and Welsh local governments faced increased reductions in funding; carers in Scotland receive £452.40 more a year than those in the rest of the UK and police numbers rose in Scotland by 0.28 per cent but fell by 14 per cent in England and Wales, while recorded crime is on the rise in the UK and decreasing in Scotland.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh EH9.

IN response to Mark Smith’s recent article about removing the SNP from power ("The 16 seats that matter and the voters who hold the key", The Herald, November 4), how about voting SNP to remove your Tory MP who defies his constituents of whom the clear majority voted “Remain”? Our East Renfrewshire Tory MP ignores a Brexit economics disaster to plug the anti-SNP Indyref in his election leaflet.

Yet again Tory candidates are fighting an anti-independence theme in this election, nothing about the wealth, trade, jobs and NHS in this country. Are they so scared we can’t go it alone when countries smaller than ours can?

Are we a country of can’t-doers? Let's show them we can.

G A Rodger (Mrs), Glasgow G44.