I’VE read and heard a lot in the media regarding who is or isn’t going to support/vote in favour, or not, of the Assisted Dying Bill. I wonder how many of those voicing their opinions have actual experience of a family member or friend coping with a painful terminal illness?

I have for two years been living with lung cancer, COPD and a laryngectomy. I’ve been pretty much bedridden for nearly a year now and have not been able to get outside in that time.

My groundhog days consist of consuming 17 pills plus morphine just to perpetuate my now pretty much pointless and uncomfortable existence. Why shouldn’t I have the right to legally end this suffering for myself and my family? Why should mostly unqualified and inexperienced people have the right to force me to continue in this inhumane situation? If I were a family pet I would have been put out of my misery long before now. This unnecessary situation makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Politicians especially should take a walk in my shoes and consider very carefully what they are voting for. It’s not complicated. Vote to continue the unnecessary suffering of those that you represent or vote to end this inhumane situation. Shame on you should you choose the former.

Robert Taylor, Newton Mearns.

The right to pray

IT really is quite incredible that some of our MSPs have made the preposterous claim that silent prayers "can still be intimidating" to those seeking abortion services ("MSPs reject calls for silent prayers to be allowed outside abortion clinics", The Herald, April 22). How can anyone ever know if a person's silent prayers are intimidating and how do you police them? Are we really about to have legislation introduced that will criminalise silent prayer?

If any of these MSPs have a clear and concise answer to these questions then I am all ears. I wonder how they feel about me praying to end abortion from the privacy of my own home? Or whilst in church? Or how about a few prayers on Edinburgh's Lothian Road during the annual pro-life chain? I wait in anticipation of these MSPs sending the thought police to my door.

Meanwhile, over 16,000 children are killed by abortion in Scotland every year and that number continues to rise. The truth is that abortion is an act of violence against our children. Bodily autonomy doesn't give women a licence to kill and abortion is fundamentally anti-women. It is important to know that to be pro-life means to be pro-woman. The pro-life movement is mostly led by women and is comprised mostly of women who work steadfastly in order to reject abortion both culturally and legally. Praying is not a criminal act, nor is offering help to vulnerable women. The sooner the buffer zone bill is rejected the better.

Martin Conroy, Cockburnspath.

READ MORE: Assisted dying: let the people decide through a referendum

READ MORE: Call themselves Greens? Harvie and Slater must resign

READ MORE: The standard of politician at Westminster is truly pathetic

Don't scupper this Government

THE Scottish political focus has switched from the looming Westminster election to matters at home. The Bute House Agreement is now the focus; should they stay or should they go is the question for the Greens ("Party leaders feel pressure as Greens debate coalition", The Herald, April 22) but it could also be one for the SNP.

Last week’s announcement from the Scottish Government regarding climate targets did not change the ultimate target for 2045 Net Zero, it just announced the removal of interim targets.

The SNP has not threatened to leave the Bute House Agreement despite the failure of the Greens' Deposit Return Scheme because it knows the importance of having an independence majority which allows it to continue to mitigate the damaging austerity policies of Westminster. Should the Greens decide to leave the Government the implications for the many who have been lifted out of poverty here in Scotland by the socially just policies of the SNP will be under threat from a unionist majority at Holyrood. That must be taken into consideration.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

It's game over at Holyrood

THE debate in your Letters Pages over which Government is "worst", Westminster or Holyrood, has been answered.

Holyrood is tearing itself apart over who is to blame for a never-ending series of very poor legislative and policy decisions. Whilst the SNP and Greens have vied with each other to come out with the most divisive plans possible ordinary Scots have simply looked on with increasing apprehension.

Westminster came to the rescue over the gender reforms and it might well need to intervene over the hate crime or the upcoming misogyny legislation too. The SNP frequently quotes statistics saying that a subject is worse in England. Nowadays it is worse in Scotland no matter what the topic. Game over.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.

It could have been different

IT would appear the SNP is imploding. It could all have been so different had its masters been magnanimous enough to govern, as Nicola Sturgeon vowed, for all and in co-operation with Westminster. As it is, they engaged in a blame game which fostered hatred, anger and division to split our country, families and communities.

Leaders should hang their heads in shame as we see week by week that their ideological, independence drive has ruined virtually every precious Scottish institution and made us a laughing stock.

Perhaps the obscenely expensive Holyrood experiment should be reassessed.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.

• DERRICK McClure's letter (April 22) on inept and mediocre politicians brings to mind the quotation from Ecclesiastes that there's nothing new under the sun.

Ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote that those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

David Miller, Milngavie.

The Herald: Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie on August 20, 2021, the day the Bute House Agreement was signedLorna Slater and Patrick Harvie on August 20, 2021, the day the Bute House Agreement was signed (Image: PA)

The state has lost its nerve

A LEADING paediatrician, Dr Hilary Cass, the author of a major government report, is advised not to take public transport for her own safety. A man is threatened with arrest for being "visibly Jewish" in our capital city. A teacher is still in hiding three years after having offended Muslim activists. What has our country come to?

To ask the question is to answer it. The Government, the civil service, the police, the courts, in fact the entire state has lost its nerve. As leading politicians don’t have the will to confront trans, ecological, hard left and Islamist extremists, then neither will the police nor the courts.

The attitude we need from those tasked with protecting us is best summarised in words attributed to the controversial one-time Spanish interior minister, Manuel Fraga: “¡La calle es mía!”, or in English: “The streets are mine!”. Instead, not just the streets but all public spaces have been surrendered to extremists.

The police require a mindset which deters extremists so the rest of us can go about our lawful business without fear. Our politicians must give a lead and then the courts must back the police rather than the forces of chaos and evil.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.

We must promote tidal power

THE discussion about renewable energy on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg this week (BBC1, April 21) left me so frustrated that yet another politician, this time Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shabana Mahmood, missed the point on the matter of baseload. She rightly pointed out that no power is generated by wind turbines or solar arrays when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine, but she wrongly inferred that hydrocarbons (oil or gas) were the only means by which a baseload could be provided to keep power flowing in such an event.

Is she unaware of the huge potential for tidal stream generation? We in Scotland are blessed with a number of locations round our coasts with high tidal current speeds, four times a day during peak ebb and flood. With the MayGen project in the Pentland Firth, we are already a world leader in the development and deployment of tidal stream energy technologies, hosting the world's largest tidal stream array and the world's most powerful tidal stream turbine. The point is that these flows are predictable for centuries to come. Of course, between peak flows, there are short periods when current is not generated, but as the time of high and low water differs round the coast, the tidal stream is always running somewhere, providing thereby a reliable baseload so long as the disparate sites are connected to the grid. While the rate of flow varies over the 14.8-day spring neap cycle, the lower rate of flow and generation potential at neap tide will provide a guaranteed baseload.

To illustrate the huge potential, it is estimated that Scotland alone has around 32 TWh per year of reliable and zero carbon potentially exploitable tidal stream resource (Crown Estate, 2012). Why was this not mentioned, not to say extolled, in the programme? Indeed, why is this world-beater not being promoted as a strategic priority?

Roy Pedersen, Inverness.