NEIL Mackay hopes that the woes of the SNP and the Scottish Greens will not harm the wider independence movement (“Nothing can save SNP, but Indy can still be salvaged”, The Herald, April 23). Yet surely Scotland as a whole is entitled to view the missteps, scandals, and failures of the last many years of this Scottish Government as an abject lesson of what damage they could do with the full powers they have argued for?

The SNP and Scottish Greens leadership teams truly deserve each other. Both bring a “we know best” attitude to their roles, with little aptitude, or it seems at times even interest, in ensuring that detailed implementation matches their rhetoric.

In the case of the SNP, this has led it to favour headline-grabbing targets and promises without having meaningful plans in place to deliver them. Meanwhile, the Scottish Greens have preferred dogma over reason, giving up apparently on trying to bring the public with them on environmental and other initiatives, preferring instead to tell us what we must do, with no room for pragmatism or individual choice.

The Bute House Agreement has proved to be more of a marriage of convenience than a genuine meeting of like minds. It has failed Scotland badly and has served to encourage these two political parties to bring out the very worst in each other.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

I am proud of SNP policies

DOUGLAS Cowe (Letters April 23) would have us believe that "the SNP is imploding" and blames it for fostering "hatred, anger and division". Frankly, it would be hard to beat the bile which pours from Mr Cowe's letter.

I am proud of the policies, rooted in social justice, of the Scottish Government, including the baby boxes, the Scottish Child Payment, more than 118,000 affordable homes delivered, no over-the-counter charges for prescriptions and Scottish students not charged for university tuition. Prestwick Airport saved and ScotRail in public hands. Yes, there have been mistakes and challenges to be faced; there is no perfect government anywhere in the world. But while it may be a bitter pill for unionists to swallow, my own experience and that of colleagues and friends is that voters are welcoming the SNP and their positive policies on doorsteps across Scotland.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

Leading the way in poverty fight

PERHAPS Dr Gerald Edwards (Letters, April 23) relies on the BBC (which has just apologised for failing to provide “accurate” coverage of the Hate Crime Act) for his news and therefore only hears stories of instances where matters are “worse in Scotland” than in England, not the reverse. This would explain his highly distorted view of reality.

To begin with, while the SNP has dropped an intermediate net zero target, partly due to the UK Government’s failure to adhere to its interim commitments (the Labour Party has already abandoned the necessary spending should it gain power), the Scottish Government is leading the rest of the UK in renewable energy generation (of which the UK Government likes to boast internationally) as well as other measures of progress towards net zero. On reducing poverty, and especially poverty among children, Scotland also leads the way, although admittedly figures indicate that poverty is still far too high for a “wealthy nation”. The NHS in Scotland leads the NHS in England and Wales on nearly every measurable directly-comparable statistic and while in education PISA rankings have slipped across the UK (with Wales lowest in all three primary subjects), Scotland, via the adoption of Curriculum for Excellence, has moved beyond simply focusing on test results and now has a record number of school leavers (95.9% for 2022-23) reaching positive destinations. With regard to economic growth, in spite of decades of relative underinvestment in Scottish infrastructure, only the south of England (which has gained the bulk of UK Government investment) is performing better.

Perhaps our core principles differ but Holyrood’s efforts to progress fairness and egalitarianism in our society are in stark contrast to Westminster’s “Hostile Environment” and its treatment of desperate refugees now destined to be exiled to Rwanda. Only one of these governments represents my values and it is not Westminster.

It is no secret that Scotland still struggles with high levels of drug and alcohol addiction rooted in generational Westminster neglect long preceding the birth of Holyrood. However, with the powers it has, Holyrood is endeavouring to remedy a complex tragedy which disappointingly may continue to be evidenced until there is the major investment and hope for the future that will come with an independent Scotland rebuilding its historically close relationship with mainland Europe.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.

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This Government's contempt for women

FIRST there was Gender Recognition Reform, which would have given any male over the age of 16 access to female-only spaces if he self-identifies as a woman. Men like Isla Bryson, the convicted double rapist.

Then came the Hate Crime Act, which supposedly protects vulnerable groups from prejudice. Except for women, who clearly don’t matter.

Next will come the Misogyny Bill which will protect men who believe they are women.

Just how much contempt does the Scottish Government have for women? We’re 51% of your electorate, Humza Yousaf. You might want to remember that.

A Lindsay, Linlithgow.

Harvie should step aside

WHERE is the courage of Patrick Harvie’s convictions? If he really had courage he would immediately step aside from his highly-paid Cabinet position and refuse to prop up a party that has scrapped the key climate targets that apparently mean so much to him. Instead he suggests that remaining in his post will allow him to continue achieve more ("Harvie faces fight for political life in uncertain future", The Herald, April 23).

I’m not sure what he feels his achievements have been thus far. The list of failures and missteps are well documented. However, I suppose he has achieved in annoying a great deal of his cohorts in the SNP and many of the voting public so we’ll give him that.

I suspect he may be more worried about his large pay packet going up in a puff of smoke, though not from a wood-burning stove. Heaven forbid.

Johan Wilson, Tain.

Population control is a must

I BROADLY agree with Michael Collie of Dunfermline on the parlous state of the Scottish Greens (Letters, April 20).

I was also an office volunteer in the early 1980s (no-one of us was paid), having joined what was then the UK Ecology Party due to its advocacy of "a birthrate well below the 2.1 replacement rate". At that time the Earth was entering population overshoot, measured by its bio-capacity, and such a policy seemed eminently sensible.

Around 2000, however, the policy was ditched by the meanwhile independent Scottish Greens (Lord only knows why, with the population by then well into overshoot).

As Sir David Attenborough, long a champion of reproductive responsibility, has often said, there is no ecological problem which would not be alleviated by a global population decline.

This is the elephant in the room, and until the green brigade realise that, we will continue towards "standing-room only", and the Four Horsemen.

George Morton, Rosyth.

The Herald: Sir Ian Wood has backed the new offshore wind developmentSir Ian Wood has backed the new offshore wind development (Image: Stewart Attwood)

Questions over offshore wind

IT was encouraging to read some good news about the announcement of a significant investment in an offshore wind farm off the Peterhead coastline, especially with an endorsement from Sir Ian Wood rather than just the usual sound bites from career politicians ("World’s largest floating offshore wind farm gets the green light", The Herald, April 23).

Having said that, it makes you wonder where these massive wind turbines structures will be manufactured (clearly not the defunct BiFab), which country will be responsible for the maintenance and the decommissioning and how many highly-paid local jobs will actually be created? It would also have been useful if the guaranteed strike price for the investment had been published along with the cost of the extra grid connections (more steel forests and sub stations) to distribute the energy to customers hundreds of miles away - notwithstanding the cost of the extra standby fossil fuel generators which will be required to be switched on when the wind doesn’t blow.

Furthermore (in my view), real transition away from fossil fuels to intermittent energy should not be about doubling the required capacity of electrical generation needed but must be in tandem with the successful development of large-scale energy storage that is safe, practical and affordable, otherwise we will be all poorer and colder.

To try and end on a positive note; at least the optics of the project sound good and the giant turbines are offshore.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen.