WITH reference to the letter by Stewart Falconer (January 15) it has become very evident that the supporters of separating Scotland from rUK have learned very little since they lost the “once in a generation” democratic referendum vote in 2014. Not only are they sore losers but they have clearly failed to understand the basics as to why they lost, and more importantly, recognise that they are still floundering to articulate a credible economic plan that their fellow Scots, along with the financial sector and the money market, could at least consider seriously.

Indeed, the refusal to face the hard economic facts of independence by the SNP was best illustrated when the uncompromising Growth Commission report by Andrew Wilson (SNP chief economist) was binned by Nicola Sturgeon because it spelt out the difficult choices with the currency, public sector spending cuts and the fact it could take up to 10 years to successfully apply for EU membership. Having failed miserably to publish a coherent and credible plan for independence has undoubtedly encouraged the vacuum to be filled by the barrack-room lawyer-type approach by some of the rank and file desperate to hang on to Ms Sturgeon’s “dream”. So, devoid of a plan and credibility many have resorted to misinformation in social media, grievances and intolerance more akin to a cult than a political party.

Finally, on currency: we should all know that Scotland will not be allowed to keep using the pound if it breaks away. That leaves only two options - either sterlingisation (like Panama uses the US dollar) or float a heavily discounted Scottish currency. As the late Alistair Darling once said: “Any eight-year-old can tell you the flag of a country, the capital of a country, and its currency. Now I presume the flag’s the Saltire, I assume our capital will still be Edinburgh, but you (SNP) can’t tell us what currency we’ll have. What’s an eight-year-old going to make of that?"

 In my view the whole house of cards built by the SNP for independence has become more “dodgy” by every passing day and will over time become a sad footnote of our history.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen.

Read more: The SNP-Green alliance is vital for Scotland's democracy

Can't they see the consequences?

I DO wonder if the SNP and Greens ever contemplate the consequences of their actions, or in the case of the XL Bullies, their inaction.

I am seeing reports of tenants facing insane rent increases, some being mentioned in our larger cities of 70%. This comes as no surprise to many of us who forecast that this would happen when the Scottish Government decided to meddle in market forces. Having introduced a rent freeze in September 2022 which is due to end this March, of course landlords who have not had a change of tenants and have therefore not had an opportunity to increase their rents, will be looking to do so. Their costs will have gone up in the last 18 months and there will be a fear that the SNP/Greens will at some point look to regulate the sector again. For that reason it makes perfect sense that the rises they are considering will be much higher than they would otherwise have made.

This is no different to the U-turn on XL Bullies ("Scots told not to buy XL Bullies as ban on breed ‘urgently’ considered", The Herald, January 10). Again those of us with half an ounce of common sense could see that people would bring these dogs to Scotland if we did not introduce the same legislation. That Humza Yousaf and his colleagues could not predict that this would happen makes me question their ability to understand human nature. Are they so blinded by their obsession with wanting Scotland to be a separate entity from the rest of the UK that they can’t envisage that the majority of UK citizens sees us as one country? Do they really not understand that this is exactly why a hard border between Scotland and England is unthinkable?

Who would trust a party that publishes papers on what an independent Scotland would look like when they can’t see the natural consequences of legislation they introduce or don’t introduce? I certainly don’t.

Jane Lax, Aberlour.


The Herald: The Scottish Government has had a rethink on XL bully dogsThe Scottish Government has had a rethink on XL bully dogs (Image: Getty)We must turn to Alba

ALISON Rowat ("Is Scotland buying vision of Labour Leader Keir Starmer?", The Herald, January 15) says that as Westminster Opposition leader he is "in the unenviable position of having plans but no power to put them into effect". I am not sure which plans she is referring to: shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, in true Bank of England fashion, is more concerned about the City and "the market" than she is about the gut-wrenching and obscene poverty to which large swathes of people have been confined.

Rishi Sunak announces a couple of billion more for the proxy war in Ukraine ("Sunak visits Kyiv with promise of £2.5bn in military aid for next year", heraldscotland, January 12), Keir Starmer says nothing. The United States decides to try out few of its eyewateringly-priced fighter jets to bomb one of the poorest countries in the world, Mr Sunak, unchallenged by Mr Starmer, eagerly joins in.

Surely it is clear to any reasonably informed citizen that Keir Starmer has no vision. Scotland needs a positive and radical vision - to house its people in warm homes, to assist them in escaping the confines of poverty, to offer them opportunities for education and to look after their health. It should be obvious that that is not a commitment that British nationalist parties can make. Only parties which put independence first and foremost can be seen to have the best interests of the Scottish people at heart. Unfortunately the gender fanatics are once again distracting the SNP, so that means that only Alba is in a position to put our country first.

Marjorie Ellis Thompson, Edinburgh.

Read more: Scotland being dragged into Red Sea war shows why indy is vital

When Labour turned to LibDems

PETER A Russell (Letters, January 15) writes about the SNP/Green coalition, “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”, which seems a reasonable proposition. For Mr Russell, however, the “logical result would be that when the largest party lacks an overall majority, it should seek support from the next-largest party”, which of course is just not true, either legally or politically.

The reality is that the largest party will look to find support which will give it a majority, rather than requiring a coalition of first and second which might well not be workable.

Perhaps Mr Russell has forgotten the first election to Holyrood when Labour was the largest party, but without an overall majority. The Conservatives were the next largest party, but Labour opted to have the Liberal Democrats as its coalition partner to secure the necessary majority. Given the difference in policy preferences and commitments of the Conservative Party this wasn’t a great surprise. In the same way, given the significance of securing independence to the SNP, is it a surprise that it selected for its coalition partners a party with a similar commitment?

Mr Russell will no doubt find this explanation unacceptable, citing the ambition for the Scottish Parliament to create “a non-adversarial politics of consensus and common good” which all sounds fine and well. However, there is a range of parties in every democracy because they don’t agree with each other, differences which often extend as far as what the “common good” is. Democracy is the mechanism through which at least a majority is secured for a political initiative.

This was no less true in 1999. Labour and the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition because they expected they could make a success of it, to take forward an agreed corpus of legislation for which together they could secure a majority. In short, they had at the very least, sufficient agreement to be able to govern. Perhaps, at that time, the Conservatives felt as Mr Russell does now?

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.

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Time to make Fujitsu pay up

THE Post Office Horizon computer system which has given so much grief to so many was invented and managed by the Japanese company Fujitsu. And still is. Fujitsu has received £3.6 billion from the public purse for a faulty product but has so far remained silent about its culpability. If this miscarriage of justice had happened in Japan where there is a culture of deep shame and anguish if human error leads to disastrous consequences, heads would have rolled by now.

Who are the guilty men and women? It's time we all knew. The compensation paid to the postmasters and postmistresses is also being paid from the public purse. Fujitsu made over $8bn profit last year. It caused the damage; it should be forced to pay up.

William Loneskie, Lauder.