ANSWERING questions in the second part of ITV’s General Election special, Nicola Sturgeon was amazingly frank about her shifting priorities.

She has previously asked Scotland to judge her on her Government’s performance on education, claiming it as her top priority. Yet now she appears, for the first time publicly, to have acknowledged that education has come second to independence as her top priority. Worse still, she went on to imply that for the purposes of this election, climate change is her new priority.

So, does education now rank number three in Nicola Sturgeon’s priorities, after independence and climate change? Or is it simply that at any given time, the First Minister will adopt whatever issue she feels will most appeal to the populist mood of the moment?

Keith Howell, West Linton.

IN 2014, the SNP campaigned for a course of action that would have taken Scotland out of the EU, without a deal. The EU Commission confirmed that, in writing. In 2016 the SNP campaigned in a lukewarm manner for Remaining in the EU. It spent less on that campaign than it spent on a council by-election in Glenrothes. With the Leave vote winning, the SNP has constantly complained about "Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will", and has made that its reason for demanding another Scottish referendum.

Last night, an interviewer asked Nicola Sturgeon this: if a second EU referendum were held and Remain won, would that mean that there was no reason to demand another Scottish referendum? Ms Sturgeon’s answer was "Not at all". Now we can see what was suspected months or years ago. The SNP isn’t interested in the EU but made it an excuse for demanding another Scottish referendum. If that excuse were removed, it would still demand another referendum. It’s time for all Scots to register how hypocritical the SNP is and how the only thing that matters to its leadership is securing another referendum and taking Scots out of the UK – in full knowledge that a separate Scotland would not be qualified to join the EU.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh EH14.

TORY Central Office has come up with an unintended cracker of a buzz phrase which, no doubt, all candidates have been instructed to include in their responses when interviewed by the media. It was spouted by the Prime Minister in his joust with Jeremy Corbyn last night and also by Scottish Secretary Alister "Union" Jack on Radio Scotland, namely that the Brexit Deal is "oven ready". The perfect riposte from Remainers should obviously be "Aye, half-baked".

David W Kirkwood, Bridge of Earn.

DURING the 2014 independence referendum, in a radio interview, Alex Salmond stated that “this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

This has been taken as a promise. Jeremy Corbyn has stated that “this is a once-in-a-lifetime General Election”.

Does this mean we won’t have another General Election?

Ian Macdonald, Bearsden.

ANDREW McKie ("Why should broadband be free when heating isn’t?", The Herald, November 20) opens up a good point when he challenges free broadband when electricity is charged. We seem to have entered an era when money is everything and value is out of date. Politicians of all parties now seem to be judging a policy on how much will be spent over five years. This, of course, has the twin advantage of not having to do anything till year five if one chooses and is unrelated to either value for money or outcome.

My first job description in community education, covering the whole of the East End of Glasgow single-handed, was "to improve the quality of life". If I couldn't say how I had made things "better" then why should people pay for me to work out of the taxes they were required to pay?

Strathclyde Region for all its faults had a strict budgeting control. Each month I was required to account for my budget. Under-spent, the money was due to be handed back as surplus; over-spent, then either I explained how I would sort it out by the following month or where else I would make a cut to restore the balance. In contrast the former Bangour Hospital's board saw a surplus due to age demographics as a kitty for it to spend rather than pass over to another department that had a negative age demographic.

How refreshing it would be to hear our politicians stop bribing us with our money and start explaining what positive and measurable effect their proposed action would have year by year.

James Watson, Dunbar.