THE one-trick pony that is our Scottish Government has spent its time on another useless exercise in voting for independence (“Holyrood backs Sturgeon’s call for second independence vote”, The Herald, Jan 30, and Letters, January 31). I wish it would stop itself and spend more time on what really matters to the Scottish people.

We have Derek Mackay saying he will publish his own “economic case for independence” as a concession to SNP members who dislike the official statistics on the size of Scotland’s deficit. Unfortunately for him, data based on facts should not be compared to projections based on aspirations. The GERS data are factually correct based on historical numbers whether or not SNP supporters chose to believe them. Projections carried out by our SNP Government do not have a good track record when time shows the results of their proposed numbers. I suggest three other examples.

1, The future oil price which was used as a basis for Scotland’s wealth following independence in 2014. That didn’t work out too well did it?

2, Reducing the drink/drive limits would save “up to” 14 lives per year. This has not occurred. Deaths have not reduced and the only apparent results have been the closure of country restaurants and reduced takings in golf clubs.

3, The 2010 Scottish Government report on the benefits of the offshore wind sector. This offered the potential for 28,000 direct jobs plus a further 20,000 jobs in related industries as well as £7.1 billion further investment in Scotland. What has actually happened? CS Wind and BiFab are both underperforming with an uncertain future. So much for this projection.

It appears that Mr Mackay’s projections will suffer the same fate as the others which appear to be the product of a fevered imagination while looking through rose-tinted spectacles.

I am afraid that the SNP Government will have to do a lot better than that if it is to convince the majority of Scots to vote to leave the United Kingdom. Rather than relying on stories telling us of the sunlit uplands following independence where we will all enjoy the benefits of an independent country, it may be more believable if the results of the SNP’s past performance were somewhat better. We only need to point to education (we are falling down in international comparisons and employers are concerned about the decline in numeracy and literacy in school leavers), drug deaths (we are the worst country in Europe), and ferry connections using outdated boats with unsuitable berthing facilities at both Brodick (£33 million spent on a new pier which does not protect from easterlies) and Ardrossan. There are plans to spend the same at Ardrossan but without tackling the basic problem of protection from westerlies. If the storm is therefore from the west the ferry can’t dock at Ardrossan and if it is from the east it can’t use Brodick.

I have never believed that Scotland is “too wee, too poor, and too stupid” but it appears that the SNP Government is doing its best to make this come true with its failed projections, spending on lost causes, and our decline in international standards in education.

Colin Gunn, Glasgow G73.

NICOLA Sturgeon couldn’t wait to tweet the YouGov headline which showed Yes leading as Remainers increasingly back splitting with the UK ("Sturgeon to outline ‘next steps’ as latest poll puts Yes ahead", The Herald, January 31).

Interestingly our FM’s comment to this headline was that the poll “shows Yes in the lead”. Bearing in mind that there has been no Section 30 granted, this is the equivalent of stating that a horse in the Grand National is approaching the first of the 30 fences and is in the lead. It tells us nothing of who would win the race. The remaining 29 fences for the SNP include the economic plan without the pooling and sharing we have with the rest of the UK, the Barnett consequentials which give Scotland additional funding and the question of the currency.

I think Ms Sturgeon has jumped the gun and may well fall at the first.

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

PETER A Russell (Letters, January 31) expresses approval of his new leader, Boris Johnson, who now says "let the healing begin". In contrast, he predictably castigates Nicola Sturgeon who, according to Mr Russell, "has wilfully led Scotland down the road of division and bitterness". I would remind Mr Russell and others of his ilk that, under our democratic system, political leaders tend to represent the prevailing views of those who elected them rather than the converse.

Ms Sturgeon speaks for the people of Scotland and draws all her support from Scottish voters. Mr Johnson speaks for the people of the UK with only six of his party's 365 MPs being elected for Scottish seats. Perhaps Mr Russell will favour us with his choice of adjectives to apply to Mr Johnson's activities during the 2016 Leave campaign to set against Nicola Sturgeon's "wilful", "divisive" and "bitter" behaviour.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

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