I WONDERED what country Keith Brown, deputy leader of the SNP, has been living in for the last 12 months when it was reported that he said Humza Yousaf 's first year had seen the SNP taking "bold actions" to create a fairer society for everyone in Scotland ("FM Yousaf is branded ‘weak and out of depth' one year in", The Herald, March 27). Such comment by Mr Brown strikes me as being from the same school as Nicola Sturgeon, when First Minister, seeing fit to launch the Glen Sannox some seven years ago at Ferguson Marine.

As one would expect, Keith Brown’s view is not shared by Opposition leaders Anas Sarwar and Douglas Ross. Of more importance, however, are the views of those of the people of Scotland who are entitled to vote. It is anticipated that their judgment at the next General Election of Mr Yousaf’s leadership and of his party is likely to be a harsh one.

The SNP was found wanting at the independence referendum in 2014 and has fallen drastically short in its efforts to run an efficient devolved government. Its time has come and is now in the process of going.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

The SNP has blown it

IN the wake of Mark Blyth’s accurate attack on the financial impact of Scotland becoming independent ("'Ex ministerial adviser has demolished economic case for independence'", heraldscotland, March 25), sure as eggs is eggs SNP deputy leader Keith Brown takes issue. “The evidence is overwhelming that other independent countries in Europe like Ireland, Norway and Sweden are all fairer, wealthier and more productive than the UK,” he says. This is all that SNP politics is based on, no facts and figures, no evidence, only emotion.

But the countries Mr Brown mentions are not like Scotland. They are proud nations with enviable cultures, self-reliance and patriotism. The SNP, with its strategy of division, blame, anger, hatred and its priority to destroy the United Kingdom, has ensured its politics has had the opposite effect in dividing its people and communities and destroying pride.

It could all have been so different had SNP politicians acted on behalf of all Scots to create harmony and pride by its leaders. They have blown it.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.

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This misguided government

SINCE the establishment of devolution has there ever been a more dislocated or misguided government than the one that Scotland is burdened with at the moment?

First, we have a minister who initially lied about his expenses, then threw his kids under the bus and who has been found to have broken the code of conduct, continuing to brazen it out while his boss refuses to do the proper thing and sack him.

A well-intentioned Hate Crime Bill which looks unworkable and may, through unintended consequences, make the police even more political and indeed cause more hatred within our society continues to be pushed through.

And lastly a political debate, which could have shed some transparency on a controversial sacking linked to the ferry debacle, has been stifled in a cackhanded manner with the apparent intention of preventing the truth from coming out.

These are not the actions of a government in which the people of Scotland can have confidence.

W MacIntyre, East Kilbride.

Put ferries in context

AGAIN, the ferries (Jane Lax, Letters, March 27).

Can we please see this in the frame. Great contract management? No: but at least the Scottish Government has ordered six new ferries after decades of neglect. Two have gone wrong in terms of cost in millions, agreed. The ferries' over-run is however a bagatelle in comparison to the £35 billion squandered in quantitative easing (QE) in six weeks under Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss.

Then we have the £35bn on wasted PPE. The £35bn divorce bill from the EU. The £75bn in QE to support the pound in the weeks following the Brexit vote' the £7.6bn over-run on Crossrail and the £45bn in annual lost revenue due to a shrunk economy due to Brexit Then of course there is the £500 million the Tories have already spent to send no one to Rwanda.

So please, let’s start seeing the ferries against the utter profligacy of the Westminster/Brexit waste which has so added to UK inflation and is assisting in the necessity for higher UK interest rates.

Michael Luck, Bearsden.

Michael Matheson's thick skin

MICHAEL Matheson must have the hide of a rhinoceros to insist that he will remain as an MSP having been found to have misled the Presiding Officer and to have broken code of conduct rules ("Defiant Matheson refuses to resign as MSP despite breaking code", The Herald, March 27). Can it be any more obvious that this "man of integrity" (in Humza Yousaf's words) is in it for the money -£72,000 as from (ironically) 1st April 1 - and whose constituents have no right of recall?

Isobel Hunter, Lenzie.

The rights of the foetus

BILL Stewart (Letters, March 26) argues that a woman’s choice to have an abortion is entirely hers to make. But surely the problem is at what stage does the growing foetus have a right to life? This is a different (but related) question to the discussion as to when life begins.

The state has a duty to protect those unable to defend themselves and does this through the criminal law. This is why arguments for the wholesale decriminalisation of abortion are problematic. The present time limit on abortion is largely influenced by a generous assessment as to when life for the foetus is possible outside the womb: although where significant handicap is present or suspected termination is permitted even where the foetus could survive.

At some stage in the pregnancy a woman’s right to choose must be balanced against the rights of the foetus/unborn child.

David Mumford, Dunbar.

The Herald: Michael Matheson has refused to resign as an MSPMichael Matheson has refused to resign as an MSP (Image: PA)

An honest use of language

I AM glad that Rosemary Goring ("When praying resembles little more than bullying", The Herald, March 25) has drawn attention to two facts: that a pregnant person is already a mother and that the person in the womb is an unborn child.

The phrase Ms Goring uses, "the life of your unborn child", emphasises that the mother is a life-giver to her unborn child, who would have grown from a child to take their place in the world if the pregnancy was not interrupted. Using the word "child" and not "baby" strongly demonstrates the loss to humanity when an abortion takes place. The use of the word "mother" also shows that there are two lives to be considered.

Those who have liberal views on abortion have in the past omitted to mention that motherhood starts at conception or that this is a child in the womb, to which any obstetric radiographer will testify when they measure head circumference at eight weeks in utero. Ms Goring has not let her opinions on abortion influence her to use liberal dehumanising terms like products of conception, bundle of cells, or foetus. I am impressed with her honesty in choosing words which emphasise the truly "upsetting and emotional experience" of a crisis pregnancy.

Irene Munro, Conon Bridge.

A solution to QEUH disruption

I BELIEVE I have a possible solution to the issue regarding protesters lining the west side of Hardgate Road outside the QEUH. This is a wide street, but is a dead-end giving access to relatively few premises other than the QEUH. At present there are parking and unloading restrictions on Hardgate Road. If these restrictions were removed, and controlled street parking set up, it could solve several problems.

It could ease the severe parking problems within the QEUH; parking charges could bring some revenue; it would allow individuals to silently pray and display whatever they liked on the pavement on the west side of Hardgate Road. Of course with parked cars lining that same side, such actions would be unobtrusive to anyone entering QEUH. But is this not the issue?

Donald MacRae, Paisley.

Rainbow worrier

I AM puzzled by a few of the assertions made by Jacq Kelly ("'All we want is acceptance': Shame on Holyrood for ban on rainbow lanyard", The Herald, May 26). Being a member of a trade union is generally the result of pragmatism in the workplace rather than “political bias”. Any lesbian seeking time off for her wedding has rights protected by the Equality Act. And staff members at Holyrood should be treating all visitors with respect, with no need for a lanyard to pick out any specific group.

Joan Hoggan, Blanefield.