LET us take Mark Smith’s article (“The Mackay scandal won’t damage the SNP one little bit”, The Herald, February 10) at face value. He asserts the SNP will not lose support because of a “scandal”. I agree; Tories have scandals every other week and are still in business. But he gives opinions on what prevents SNP supporters from switching support to the Tories. One reason he gives is “Anglophobia”, though without supporting research or justification.

The alternative for us would be to vote for a certain Prime Minister Johnson, who has in the past published a poem calling for “verminous Scots” to be “exterminated”. He is on record as opposing Barnett; favours spending £1 in Croydon over spending £1 in Strathclyde; claimed “government by a Scot is just not conceivable”; stated Gordon Brown had a “political disability as a Scottish MP”; wants to claim our water resources (as well as our fish).

Boris Johnson has the morals of an alley cat. He has been repeatedly sacked for lying (and now Ta-dum: the fantasy North Channel bridge!); has had police at the door for a “domestic”. All this without looking at the appallingly badly run, and staffed, services in England, the responsibility of the Tory Government.

No Mr Smith, I think I will stick with the SNP: Nicola Sturgeon et al are not perfect but are superior in every way to Mr Johnson and his chums.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

ALASDAIR Galloway and Alan McKinney (Letters, February 11) raise some interesting points, but I feel that Jim Sillars’ statement in his letter of February 10 cannot go unchallenged. Mr Sillars declares that he voted “to get the EU out of the way before the next referendum” but given that the SNP manifesto of 2016 stated that there would not be a second vote on independence “unless there was a significant and material change of circumstances, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will” I am at a loss to understand how, when and under what circumstances Mr Sillars expected to get a second referendum on independence.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

THE Scottish Government is in the precarious position of needing the support of opposition parties to get its budget through the parliament (“A third more Scots now paying tax at higher rates”, The Herald, February 7, and Letters, February 11).

Looking at what was on offer in last week’s budget begs the question: what have opposition parties got to add or take away from the proposals as laid out?When we consider the issue that is dominating the agenda recently – climate change – any responsible government needs to address this issue with urgency for future generations. So it was encouraging to hear some of the proposals, an increase of some 8.5 per cent for the environment, climate change and land reform budget, a serious increase in anyone’s eyes. But more was to follow: a 27 per cent increase for rail services in an effort to upgrade stock to a more environmentally friendly and make train journeys more user-friendly. There was also a 15 per cent increase in spending to address fuel poverty and efficiency, a major issue if we are to address and tackle climate change.

This budget will need support from other parties, but in the interest of the planet and climate change, surely the opposition must recognise the importance the SNP is attaching to this major issue.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.