CONGRATULATIONS are due to Kevin McKenna ("JK Rowling should not be villified", The Herald, April 16) for his tribute to JK Rowling on the implications in Scotland of the Cass Report. His worthy accolade describes the compassionate approach and practical measures that she has delivered to those in need of help and understanding.

He then performs a pretty neat demolition job on those academics and, more worryingly, those politicians, whose naivety beggars belief. Shame upon them for their timidity and turpitude.

Keep up the good work, Kevin.

Bob Scott, Drymen.

• AS usual I enjoyed Kevin McKenna's article. His last line was interesting: “This is much worse: this is wickedness." To quote John Calvin: “When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers." Well, we’ve certainly got incompetent ones. I wanted to write stupid ones but you probably wouldn’t print that .

Michael Watson, Glasgow.

• I COULD not agree more with Kathleen Nutt ("Humza Yousaf faces new leadership test over Cass review", The Herald, April 16) and Kevin McKenna in their articles commenting on the impact of the findings in last week's Cass Report on the current and now-discredited treatment of our young people who find themselves in gender confusion.

This is a complex area and Nicola Sturgeon and her acolytes should be hanging their heads in shame for the obloquoy which they poured on the heads of JK Rowling, Joanna Cherry and others for having the temerity to express a different view on the terms of this now "stranded" Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

Alan Ramage, Edinburgh.

Scots parents must be vigilant

THE Cass report is damning in its assessment of gender clinics and their activity. It applies, however, in England, but not in Scotland. The Westminster Health Secretary, Victoria Atkins, has strongly welcomed the Cass report and undertaken to implement measures deriving from its recommendations, for example, the cessation of the use of puberty blockers and hormones on children.

In Scotland, the SNP regime likes to do things differently from what is being done in England, often simply to assert its separate authority. That means not closing or restricting treatment at the Sandyford clinic in Glasgow, which focuses on children’s gender issues, even though its counterpart in London, the Tavistock, has been obliged to cease this kind of activity.

Scotland's Minister for Mental Wellbeing, Maree Todd, is confident that gender clinicians in Scotland "are practising to a very high standard". She will hold a review of Cass’s findings, but she has said that involving trans rights activists with "lived experience" is "good practice".

Dr Cass criticised the American methods used by clinics such as Sandyford as "lacking developmental rigour". It seems, however, that the Scottish Government’s capture by lobby groups such as Stonewall, Scottish Trans, LGBT Health and LGBT Youth Scotland, which receive funding from Holyrood, will continue to exert significant influence over government policy in Scotland.

This is a time for parents to be ever more vigilant about what is being done to their children in the name of "progressive" policy.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

READ MORE: JK Rowling was right with her Hate Crime Act tweets

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Scotland has a trade surplus

POTS and kettles come to mind when reading James Quinn’s letter (April 16). The Scottish Government does not have a fiscal deficit and it is obliged to balance the books each year with very limited borrowing powers Last year GERS charged Scotland £9.1 billion for notional interest payments on the UK National Debt. The Bottom Line think tank pointed out that “two-thirds of Scotland’s notional current account deficit in 2022-23 was due to two aspects of poor UK economic management: the cost of living support that was necessary due to inflation in the UK that was higher than other advanced economies, and the significant increase in the cost of servicing public sector debt. These result from UK policy mistakes including Brexit, and its impact on inflation, greater exposure to global oil and gas prices than other countries and the decision to index-link a much higher proportion of government debt than any other country, increasing the exposure of UK public finances to inflation”.

Scotland has a balance of trade surplus and there is no logical reason why Scotland couldn’t be a successful independent nation. Scotland’s GDP per capita was £38,622 in 2022 and, based on World Bank figures, is around the European Union average and higher than in Italy, Spain or Portugal. With our vast energy surpluses, including £10bn in oil and gas revenues, plus £4bn worth of electricity transferred south last year, it is not in England’s interest to impose a hard border with an independent Scotland which is England’s fourth largest trading partner.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

• SO James Quinn wants discussions absent of falsehoods.

First of all, when he writes about "nationalists", is he referring to British or Scottish nationalists?

Secondly, there are always two figures produced in any calculation over Scotland's deficit, one with a geographical allocation of the oil and gas money, and one with a population share. Which one did he use for his deficit figure?

Thirdly, Scotland's deficit is not based on revenues received, but on a statistical calculation of the money Holyrood receives plus an estimate of the money Westminster spends on Scotland for unallocated costs and retained matters. Not all of that money is spent in Scotland. So it is not all money Scotland receives.

Finally (and I'm sure I've pointed this out to Mr Quinn before), there are no fiscal transfers between UK economic regions. The system doesn't work like that.

Iain Cope, Glasgow.

Why has our share fallen?

PERHAPS instead of attempting to mislead with selective figures around North Sea oil and gas tax revenues, James Quinn might like to focus his writing skills on justifying why Scotland’s share of UK Government spending, via the so-called “block grant”, has fallen to only 3.5% for 2023/24, the lowest level since devolution.

At less than half of our population share the claims that Scotland is effectively “subsidised” by our more populous neighbour ring extremely hollow. Deceptive boasts made around partial GERS figures and higher numbers of spending per head for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales than the South-east of England do not disguise the fact that the southern end of the island of Britain receives the bulk of the UK’s infrastructure spending on which long-term economic growth depends.

Perhaps unionists could look at the Chancellor’s most recent UK Budget and try to justify why “consequentials” allocated to Scotland amounted to £295 million while Canary Wharf, at the heart of London’s affluent financial market, gained £242m in supposed “levelling-up" funds?

Stan Grodysnki, Longniddry.

The Herald: Maree ToddMaree Todd (Image: PA)

Young enhance our democracy

THE research about youth disillusionment with politics in England ("Bid to boost youth vote as polling suggests widespread disillusionment", The Herald, April 16) is a worry; they have 10 times as many potential young voters as Scotland has. That 4.3 million young voters under the age of 34 have not even bothered to register to vote is a serious threat to the functioning of our democracy at a time when the world is in a terrible place.

Lessons can be learned from Scotland, because in October 2014, we granted 16-17-year-olds the right to vote in all Scottish elections. My petition to the Scottish Parliament was taken up by the SNP and astonishingly was in law in just six weeks. All Scottish political parties voted without any dissent.

Over 90% of 16- and 17-year-olds who could register to vote did.

In the independence referendum 94% of the new young voters took part. And they didn’t all vote for the SNP, or Scottish independence.

With as few as 45% of adults in the UK voting in all elections, it is essential for the continuance of our democracy that the next generation of young people understand just how important it is to use their votes. It is the young people of today who are going to have to sort out our mess, of climate change, poverty, homelessness, fuel costs, serious mental health, the cost of Brexit in workers and food prices and drug abuse.

Scottish democracy is enhanced Scotland because we have the Children’s Parliament and a functioning Scottish Youth Parliament which are always consulted on issues affecting children and young people. The uninhibited, can-do, creative nature of our children, will ensure that they will bring ideas and solutions that few of the politicians would have.

Max Cruickshank, Glasgow.