I WAS born and educated in Scotland, though I spent by far the majority of my business career living and working overseas.

When asked, I communicated my nationality as British, notwithstanding the pride I had in my Scottish ancestry and roots.

Now living in Scotland, I could not be more embarrassed, and certainly not at all proud, to be considered a Scot, particularly given the latest piece of misguided, unthought-through, self-satisfying, potentially dangerous legislation put forward by the wholly incompetent SNP/Green administration and agreed to by too many “woke” members of the Scottish Parliament, namely this ridiculous and wholly unworkable hate crime law.

The evidence of the SNP/Green administration’s incompetence is crystal clear given its objectively abysmal track record over the ailing Scottish economy and health services, rapidly declining education standards, the provision of, or lack of, ferries, wholly ineffective drug abuse management and control, as well as ineffective management and direction of other social and welfare services and resources.

Even Police Scotland is critical of this legislation, acknowledging that it is unenforceable due to its ambiguity and will result in, surprise, surprise, a myriad of unintended consequences, not to mention a diversion of their time from far more pressing and important policing matters and responsibilities.

I would challenge anyone to disprove that the majority of Scots by far believe this new hate crime law to be a complete waste of time and resources, not at all required, divisive, and one that will only lead to more damage than it purports to prevent.

Paul McPhail, Glasgow.

Orwellian Scotland

SO it’s finally here and we are already being told the police aren’t trained up in the new law ("Police still ‘untrained’ as new hate crime laws introduced", The Herald April 1). Here’s a scenario for them to think about.

Imagine a shoplifter has just filled his boots and is about to leave the supermarket. He isn’t facing any charge because it’s only a wee crime and the police won’t react if called.

What happens if, on leaving the premises, said shoplifter spots a security guy whom he then verbally abuses referring to their size or race or gender?

Are the police then called to charge the person of a hate crime?

We are now in Orwellian Scotland where the Thought Police are real. All this whilst real crimes of theft may not even be investigated?

Stop the bus, it’s time to get off.

John Gilligan, Ayr.

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Will they be quizzing fans?

POLICE Scotland has promised to investigate every complaint made about a possible hate crime under the legislation which came into force today. In his article on Saturday about Flower of Scotland, Matthew Lindsay ("Flower of Scotland a bum note for national team - let’s bin it for the Euros", Herald Sport, March 30) reminded us that it contains words that are anti-English. Does this mean that the police will need to interview every supporter leaving Hampden Park or Murrayfield if someone makes a complaint?

Alan McGibbon, Paisley.

What defines a Labour mandate?

ANOTHER dismal poll for the Tory Party, but hey, still time for them to elect another new PM or ennoble more of their rich chums before the next election ("‘Megapoll’ says SNP to win 41 seats while Tories face wipeout", The Herald, April 1). An electoral landslide is forecast for Labour, but no one is really jumping up and down at the prospect, such is the rightward drift and policy ambiguity of the party.

Mark Smith ("Is Tory-free Scotland a good thing?", The Herald, April 1) comments on electoral reform, but that is a distant prospect as England is a two-horse race and a wider franchise would simply weaken their brand, and such is the restless mood among the electorate, would threaten to generate a rash of Reform or Corbynite MPs into the Westminster tent.

Scotland is a multi-party country, but we have no leverage with the big boy down the road, so no Tory Party representation in three out of four UK countries is highly probable, unless Ulster Unionists are included. Sir Keir Starmer has stated more than once that he requires a “significant” number of seats in Scotland to be “legitimate” and to have a mandate. How many seats is “significant”?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

Election may be a game-changer

MARK Smith makes the point that the Conservatives could become an England-only party. But, added to that, we could witness for the first time a Labour government in Westminster which does not hold a majority of MPs in Scotland; the SNP appears to be holding the majority of seats here. And that is in spite of the scenario of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock given by Mark Smith of the unionists getting together to defeat the SNP.

Politics in Scotland is becoming more interesting by the day as we approach the General Election with the prospects of no Conservatives and a Scottish Labour Party at odds with the UK Labour Party on some key policies affecting Scotland. This really could be a game-changer. And we could end up with electoral reform on the agenda. Watch this space regarding our future democracy.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

Who is Sunak trying to kid?

THE Prime Minister would have us believe that the recent fall in inflation and the closely associated fall in domestic fuel prices are due entirely to his party’s magnificent economic policies, whereas the rises that took place a couple of years ago were caused entirely by external factors.

As my mother would have said when presented with one of my more preposterous excuses, does he think we came up the Clyde on a bicycle?

Cameron Crawford, Rothesay.

• ONE really has to wonder who on earth is advising the Prime Minister at this time. I ask as the headlines blast out details of the knighthood awarded to Mohamed Mansour who just happens to be a Tory donor to the tune of £5million ("Top Labour donors would not get ‘automatic pass’ to honours, party chair says", heraldscotland, March 29).

It really does put into question whether Rishi Sunak has the political nous to manage situations, as clearly the timing of this award displays a level of naivety almost beyond belief. He also seriously needs to consider the expertise of those who surround him supposedly offering “advice”.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh.

The Herald: Prime Minister Rishi SunakPrime Minister Rishi Sunak (Image: Getty)

The Rayner dilemma

KEIR Starmer has so far backed his deputy, Angela Rayner, in the matter of the sale of the council house once owned by her. Various issues have arisen, including allegations in relation to capital gains tax and electoral law. It has been reported that he has backed her without seeing the tax advice which she maintains she had received.

He needs to approach this matter with considerable care. Life becomes difficult for politicians, particularly one in a senior position, as Angela Rayner is, when they actually become the news rather than making the news positively for their party. Unless these matters are dealt with soon, she and the allegations currently being made could become a major distraction for the Labour Party during the run-up to the next General Election.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

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Housing must be top priority

I READ last week's article by Sally Thomas, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations ("Housing crisis underlines folly of Government cuts", The Herald, March 25), with interest. Further to that, the piece on Saturday by Martin Williams ("Rough sleeping up by 50% in Glasgow", The Herald, March 30) concerned me.

In 2024 we should all be embarrassed and ashamed that so many homeless people and families living in temporary accommodation are unable to find an affordable home to live in.

I was one of those 8,000 who slept out in Princes Street Gardens in December 2017 in an event organised by Josh Littlejohn from Social Bite to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people and to raise money to tackle the causes of homelessness.

Research shows the negative impact on individual and families' health. Cutting the social housing budget is a false economy.

I was so disappointed with our Scottish Parliament with the announcement pre-Christmas of a cut of 26% equating to a slash of £196 million to the Scottish housing budget, that I wrote to my MSP asking him to persuade the Deputy First Minister to think again.

As Ms Thomas's article highlights, there is an urgent need for more affordable homes and if there are additional funds from the UK Spring Budget then I urge our Scottish Government to make affordable housing a top and urgent priority.

Mrs Teresa McNally, Alloa.