KATHLEEN Nutt's Unspun ("SNP’s trust in its Green alliance is about to be tested as a General Election looms", The Herald, January 12) asks a number of questions regarding the looming 2024 Westminster Election and the current set-up of the Holyrood Parliament.

Can the alliance between the SNP and the Greens survive... and is it imperative for the alliance to survive?

The alliance must survive regardless of the General Election result, because there is one foundation that is currently holding it together and that is the goal of an independent Scotland. It is vital for the people of Scotland and in the interest of democracy for the Holyrood Parliament to have a working majority in favour of independence.

Time and time again the Scottish Parliament has demonstrated it will not lie down to Westminster's attempts to override devolution, something I do not think would be likely if the unionists were in control at Holyrood. After all, who within the unionist parties in Scotland would challenge their leaders in Westminster?

It is imperative for the alliance to survive if Scotland wants to continue being a socially just society, with its government presenting a socially just budget, one that is in complete contrast to Westminster’s priorities of tax cuts for the rich while cutting welfare spending for the poor.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

Read more: Scottish Labour has no chance of winning Tory seats

Consensus has been sacrificed

IN reference to my assertion (Letters, January 10) that it is the SNP rather than the electoral system that is responsible for the Greens being part of the Scottish Government, your correspondent David Bruce (Letters, January 11) accuses me of "dirty tricks". Mr Bruce or anyone else may of course disagree with the idea that the Green Party in Scotland is a "minority sect", although many others will agree with me: but to construe such a statement as a "trick" - "dirty" or otherwise - is an utterly bizarre notion.

However, the arrangements of the current Government do have the purpose of highlighting how coalitions are formed at Holyrood and how they could be improved. Above all, it might be thought that any electoral system - proportional or otherwise - should seek to bring about a government which represents as wide a range of the population as possible. The logical result would be that when the largest party lacks an overall majority, it should seek support from the next-largest party. In 2021, this would have been the Conservatives, with whom the SNP had worked in 2007-2011. Had that not been possible, the next step would have been Kezia Dugdale's Scottish Labour group, with whom the SNP would appear to share certain commitments to social justice and public services.

These options were obviously not pursued, for which the most obvious reason is that those parties are committed to upholding the outcome of the 2014 referendum, whereas the SNP and the Green Party share the objective of overturning it as soon as they possibly can. This in itself demonstrates that the ambitions of so many of us when the Scottish Parliament was set up, to create a non-adversarial politics of consensus and common good, have been sacrificed on the altar of independence.

Peter A Russell, Glasgow.

The Herald: Might the SNP have struck a deal with Kezia Dugdale's Labour? Might the SNP have struck a deal with Kezia Dugdale's Labour? (Image: PA)

PR voting is a must

THE number of voters turning out in recent general elections in the UK has been relatively poor. In 2019 it was 67%. In the USA it was 66% , the highest percentage there for 100 years.

In the USA Donald Trump was obviously upset at this huge number and his supporters were promising to so arrange matters that this would not happen next time. In the UK it has been decided by the London Government that voters will now require to produce evidence of their identity before being able to vote, although I am not aware of any evidence in the UK of any surge in people attempting to vote twice.

I consider that the right to vote is important in any democracy although I care not which party they favour. I would however support a change in one aspect, proportional representation, which I believe is essential in all democracies. The question is, will I see such a change in my lifetime?

JW Frame, Bearsden.

Questions for unionists

I FIND it mildly amusing to see more or less daily comments from media commentators and letter writers all identifying as “unionists”, exhorting independence supporters to give up the fight, “see sense”, it’s a lost cause, the figures don’t stack up and so on.

Many of those writers will be Scottish and they want us to believe that they know best. They back this up by producing spurious arguments and dodgy figures in support of their position.

I firmly believe that many Scots are canny, savvy people who are streetwise and who see through much of the so-called “evidence". The figures tend to support this assertion as I note that a very recent poll indicated 58% in favour of independence.

Perhaps it would be appropriate to turn the whole argument on its head and to ask those who profess to be unionists if they really believe they would be worse off and if they: 1. Are content to continue the denial of a referendum - never mind independence - if the majority of wish one. Is this democratic? Even if they dispute the figures and genuinely think independence supporters are in the minority, then all the more reason to allow one.

2. Wish weapons of mass destruction to remain on our shores, particularly when the results of safety evaluations are now being kept secret.

3. Are content to allow a law-breaking, rule-breaking government to continue (examples are too numerous to mention).

4. Are happy that 62% of their fellow countrymen and women have been dragged out of the European Union against their will.

5. Feel good about increasing child poverty, rising mortgages, exorbitant energy bills and increasing food bank usage.

The list is endless.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.

Failure of public ownership

LABOUR Party supporters, actual or potential, who favour a programme of nationalisation are invited to consider the conduct of the Post Office, a model nationalised industry, regarding the Horizon scandal.

Nevertheless I may vote tactically for Labour if my vote is likely to contribute to the defeat of the SNP; such vote defined as the lesser of two evils, or “Between Scylla and Charybdis” as derived from Homer’s Odyssey. The Ancient Greeks would not be baffled by modern politics.

William Durward, Bearsden.

Read more: Can't the SNP see there are more important issues than gender?

Carbon capture no great prize

IN Humza Yousaf's keynote speech last week (“FM Yousaf insists there is ‘no milk and honey’”, The Herald, January 9) he claimed Scotland would become a "world leader" in carbon capture at source as being part of the EU. Under the "European Green Deal industrial plan" Scotland would have the geological endowment under the North Sea to become the European hub for all the importation and storage of carbon capture from Europe.

This claim seems to be the paradox of being an advantage while also making our geological endowment hub a dumping ground for extinct oilfields with little advantage to Scotland as Scottish nationalists already claim that Scotland produces more oil and gas than all our previous European partners put together. So, what and whose carbon capture was he talking about? Our own diminishing resources? Or our even smaller European partner resources?

If London proposed storing billions of cubic feet of European waste carbon under Scotland's waters, how would he portray that to the Scottish public?

Allan Thompson, Bearsden.

Gaza: what we can do to help

I AM pleased that you can find some space in your Letters Pages for contributions about the inconceivable tragedy unfolding in Gaza and the West Bank. How many tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians will have been killed and maimed by the time this letter is published?

I am prompted to write this letter in particular because I have just listened to a surgeon in a Gazan hospital giving an account of children with limbs blown off undergoing unimaginable suffering because the hospital has no access to painkillers, to means of minimising the spread of infection, no water.

How low is our humanity capable of sinking? I know that your readers will be asking “but what can we do about it?” In relative terms little indeed but at least we can take to the streets and write to our parliamentary representatives. Above all we can donate to appropriate charities and international organisations whose staff on the ground are putting their own lives at risk in order to relieve the suffering of the innocents. Even if it means some financial sacrifice on our part.

John Milne, Uddingston.