I RARELY agree with Dr Gerald Edwards but do in this instance when he suggests that if a governing body is failing miserably it should be shut down (Letters, November 22).

Geographic boundaries do not concern me but the Establishment and its control of our supposedly democratic system does. I support the case for an independent Scotland simply because the Establishment, the antiquated social class system that dominates UK society, controls Westminster. It does so in its own interests to the detriment of not only the inhabitants of Scotland but also to those of the greater part of the rest of the UK and Northern Ireland.

History has shown that no matter the party affiliation of the MPs we return to Westminster, simple mathematics dictates that the voice of Scots is ignored unless it chimes with the Establishment agenda. Despite the significant number of SNP members currently returned to Westminster they may as well never turn up as their attendance is essentially irrelevant as the recent vote regarding Gaza highlighted.

Perhaps it would be more productive if our SNP MPs followed the lead of Sinn Féin, whose Northern Ireland MPs refuse to attend Westminster and boycott the place altogether. Maybe if Scottish MPs protested this way rather than simply joining the Westminster gravy train then other parts of the UK not fortunate to be “Home Counties” would decide to join in and force the introduction of the changes so desperately needed in both Westminster and its two major political parties whose almost identical policies perpetuate the inequality.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

Put devolution on ballot paper

DR Gerald Edwards makes the following statement: "Surely the next move therefore is to shut down Holyrood and put devolution in the bin. That would be very popular amongst most Scots." He then suggests that direct rule from Westminster would lead to "proper public services" and "a brighter future". Leaving aside the question of how bright the last 13 years (and many more) of Westminster rule have been and how bright the future of the UK looks, I think Dr Edwards might be on to something.

We could prove Dr Edward's theory, and settle the independence question once and for all in a two-question referendum: "Should Scotland abandon devolution and return all powers to Westminster?" and "Should Scotland become an independent country?" Put your cross in one box only.

John Jamieson, Ayr.

Politics without principle?

IN 1925 Frederick Donaldson at Westminster Abbey gave a sermon and said: “The Seven Social Sins are: Wealth without work.

Pleasure without conscience.

Knowledge without character.

Commerce without morality.

Science without humanity.

Worship without sacrifice.

Politics without principle.”

Dr Gerald Edwards suggests “Scotland could re-open to a brighter future” if we close Holyrood and put our faith in Westminster.


Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.

Read more: Stop blaming CalMac. The real villain is the Government

A sobering example

DR Gerald Edwards, in his latest diatribe against both the Scottish Government and devolution itself, ignores that we only have the current level of scrutiny over our governance because of their existence.

His sting in the tail is the optimistic claim that we might get better public services with their extinction. One has only to observe the financial difficulties being experienced by Birmingham City Council and others to realise that Dr Edwards doesn't have all the answers to Scotland's problems.

Gordon Evans, Glasgow.

Foolish backing for Matheson

YOUR correspondents who tell us that the Matheson affair has gone on long enough are quite correct. It has been established that Michael Matheson was responsible for the use of his Scottish Government device, and that it was misused on his watch. It is also clear that he misled the Scottish public and media and the Scottish Parliament about its misuse. These facts are not contested by any of his defenders.

In the great scheme of things, it does not matter that Mr Matheson's uncertain relationship with truth is a matter of no import to some of your correspondents for whom anything is excusable if they think it furthers the course of independence. However, it is much more concerning that senior figures in the Scottish Government up to and including the First Minister share their insousiance regarding Mr Matheson's lack of honesty and candour.

As long as he remains in post enjoying the full confidence of the First Minister, the already dubious credibility of the entire Yousaf regime will be undermined. The matter should be closed by him being sacked or doing the decent thing immediately.

Peter A Russell, Glasgow.

He needs to go now

THE SNP apparatchik has entered new territory for them and they just don’t know how to deal with it. Never before have SNP politicians been “hounded” by the media wanting answers. Nicola Sturgeon, when her house was searched, was able to go to ground until it suited her to make an appearance. Michael Matheson doesn’t have that luxury. He would like us to believe that he is fully focused on his brief, the minor matter of the nation’s health service.

When you become the story, when you are not able to do your job any more because of some other matter, it is time to go. The SNP PR machine has for so long been able to call the shots. The Scottish media seem to have woken up and are holding them to account. Humza Yousaf is a weak leader who seems incapable of reading the room and realising that Mr Matheson’s resignation/sacking is inevitable. The longer it goes on, the more it will show that Mr Yousaf is not leadership material.

Michael Matheson lied to the electorate, his colleagues in Holyrood and the media. He needs to go.

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

Actually, let him stay

I HAVE advocated, as have others, removing Michael Matheson from responsibility for NHS Scotland.

On reflection I want him to stay in post. Margaret Ferrier caused great damage to the SNP by remaining in post for three years after her offence. Michael Matheson remaining in post will cause substantial further damage to the SNP. Damage will be enhanced by winning a vote of confidence.

The principal problem facing the SNP is rotting from within.

William Durward, Bearsden.

The Herald: Is it time for Michael Matheson to go?Is it time for Michael Matheson to go? (Image: PA)

Compare and contrast

I HOLD my hand up: I know very little about computers, but from what I can gather the problem with Michael Matheson's iPad was a "hot spot", which I always took to be a Spanish beach.

In the interests of balance, may I point out to Neil Stewart (Letters, November 22) that Scotland is the only part of the UK which hasn't had NHS strikes, due in part to the recently-appointed Michael Matheson as Health Secretary; it wasn't the SNP who declared "let the bodies pile high", there were no boozy lockdown parties held in Bute House and regarding the SNP finances, nobody has been charged with anything. I would also direct Mr Stewart and other unionist correspondents to Ian McConnell's article "Torn-faced Prestwick critics should lose their frowns", The Herald, November 22) which highlights the success of Prestwick Airport in Scottish Government hands.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

Read more: It's not just Michael Matheson. We need to look at the whole system

Stick to the home remit

WHY is Holyrood wasting its time and our money discussing the horrific conflict in the Middle East ("Yousaf writes to Sunak calling for UK recognition of Palestinian state", The Herald, November 22)? As per the Scotland Act, all international matters are strictly reserved to Westminster. We elect MPs to speak and act on our behalf on such matters. We elect MSPs to manage such vitally important domestic issues as education, the NHS, roads, and public transport.

Many MSPs hold strong opinions on what's going on in Israel and Gaza, but they must not use Holyrood, with its wholly domestic remit, to air their views on the conflict.

Martin Redfern, Melrose.

Sign up for our Letter of the Day email.

My wish for Scottish Labour

ANAS Sarwar of Scottish Labour is clearly sincere in his call for a ceasefire in Gaza, but is hampered by his party's stubborn unionist stance which precludes him from disagreeing openly with Keir Starmer's Ukip-clone version of what used to be a left of centre party of the common people.

Many former Labour voters who defected to the SNP in the wake of Labour's shameful Better Together alliance with the Tories and LibDems during the 2014 referendum campaign would welcome the opportunity to support a centre-left Labour Party in an independent Scotland. All it needs is for Scottish Labour to break away from the UK party and declare itself ready and willing to support independence and take its place in a modern, independent pro-European Scottish nation in which no single party would be likely to hold an overall majority.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.