FACED with the Greens’ membership demanding a vote on the future of the Bute House Agreement, Patrick Harvie has doubled down and said that life is greener with himself and Lorna Slater inside the Government tent. It’s a "courageous" decision, as Sir Humphrey of Yes Minister fame might have said.

I am currently minded to vote against continuing the Bute House Agreement. But I am willing to change my mind if our leaders actually show some leadership and demand that the SNP get serious on climate change and appoint a Green to Cabinet. If Mr Harvie and Lorna Slater have an ounce of political sense they will do so.

Will they? I don’t know; but if they have an ounce of political sense between them then they will see that if Humza Yousaf is willing to offer that, then it just might be worth staying in the tent. Otherwise, I expect that the Bute House Agreement in conjunction with Mr Harvie and Ms Slater will soon be yesterday’s news.

Michael Collie, Dunfermline.

Is science different here?

WHEN does science matter? It's an interesting question; never more so, perhaps, than when considering Scotland's political response to the Cass review of medical treatments for transgender young people - especially that of the Scottish Greens. See, I thought that the Scottish Greens would - being so keen on science when it comes to climate change - have welcomed the informed observations of a world-leading paediatrician. After all, if climate evidence is good enough to decide Scotland's approach towards the wellbeing of our planet, then medical evidence should be good enough for our approach towards the wellbeing of Scotland's young people, right?

It seems not. The response from the SNP-Green administration has been, at best, a guarded froideur. Or at worst, in the case of some elected members of a Green persuasion, outright dismissiveness; the Cass report traduced on nakedly partisan political grounds. Then, during today's debate on the matter at Holyrood, it was said, and at no less than ministerial level, that Scotland should carefully consider the report because it was commissioned by NHS England and thus may not fit Scotland's needs ("SNP 'sop' to the Greens on puberty blockers and Cass review", heraldscotland, April 23). That struck me as quite strange. Medical science doesn't stop at borders, does it? We're a' Jock Tamson's bairns are we not? Or do they know different?

The truth is of course, that as with so many issues in Scotland now - a land that was once home of the Enlightenment and empiricism - facts are trumped by ideology in order to serve agendas instead of people. Where once we Scots championed intellectual analysis and sober observations, we now indulge performative political posturing from people drunk on their own worldview. Fanaticism was once defined as "redoubling your effort, when you have forgotten your aim". If the true - and stated - aim of those currently in power at Holyrood is to help our nation's young people (whether transgender or not) then they ought to heed those words very carefully indeed.

Colin Montgomery, Edinburgh.

READ MORE: We've seen SNP and Greens in action, so why vote for indy?

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

Nothing to be proud of

RUTH Marr (Letters, March 24) again gives us selective little snippets that she plucked from the SNP's tree of disasters when she says she is proud of the Scottish Government's policies.

She doesn't mention the waiting times in A&E, the ferries that are haemorrhaging money, the ferry that has engines that are so technically challenging that only a select group of engineers can understand them, resulting in further delays before it eventually goes into service.

Nor does she mention the flagging education system under its tenure or the roads that are an embarrassment and not fit for purpose.

The SNP is more interested in peripheral matters, like the gender bill, the hate crime bill, the juryless rape courts, than the bread and butter matters aforementioned.

It's about time we saw some real politics from this Government.

Neil Stewart, Balfron.

Indy chance for Labour

WHY does Keith Howell (Letters, April 24) ask us to believe that the full powers of Scottish independence would be granted to the present SNP/Green alliance rather than to the people of Scotland who would be able to elect a government of their choosing - most probably a coalition - in an independent European nation. Is it the Scottish electorate that Mr Howell fears rather than the present devolved arrangements?

Scotland's independence was "sold for English gold" by the "parcel of rogues" in 1707, long before the arrival of universal suffrage and an election today under PR would surely provide a great opportunity for Scottish Labour to ditch the burden of unionism and play a leading role in the government of our nation. Is anyone in England calling for the abolition of Westminster because the Tories have lost the plot?

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

• FEW will dispute Keith Howell’s assessment of the present Holyrood administration.

However, rather than focus upon just one, he forgets that in any referendum it will be both Edinburgh and London which will be compared.

In a decade in which Westminster has contrived to produce not one but two contenders for the title of worst Prime Minister in the history of the Union perhaps Mr Howell should seek an alternative reason to remain in the UK.

Perhaps even a positive one?

Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.

Gloom is misplaced

ON net zero targets (Keith Howell, Letters, April 24), it should be remembered that the 75 per cent target was forced on the SNP by all the opposition parties, despite Roseanna Cunningham, the responsible minister, agreeing to the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation of 70%. Since then, the opposition parties have opposed almost every measure to tackle emissions in every sector.

Even without the full powers of a normal country, Scotland is in a much better position than Mr Howell portrays.

In just the last couple of days, approval has been given for the largest offshore floating wind farm in Europe located off Peterhead and business confidence in Scotland has sharply increased to its highest level for more than two years and is above the UK average, according to a recent survey by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

The ICAEW believes one of the reasons behind the spike in business confidence in Scotland is likely attributed to the growth of exports, which are up 4.4% and are ahead of all other countries in the UK. Employment growth in Scotland is also up as it increased by 2.6% in the first quarter of 2024, which is more than double the historical average, while salaries increased by 3.1%.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

One rule for them...

MY daughter and son share ownership of a house in Tarbert, Argyll, bequeathed six years ago in the will of their uncle, my late brother. My son and daughter are domiciled elsewhere; the house in Tarbert is a second home which now attracts double council tax.

My daughter and son accepted this increased tax, but are angered by discovering that MSPs who own or rent a second home in Edinburgh in order to attend the Scottish Parliament during the week will enjoy increased expense limits such that they can cover increased council tax bills from the public purse.

There is no similar perk for any other second home owners in Scotland.

It is axiomatic that the first duty of a bureaucracy, as is the Scottish Parliament, is to ensure its own survival. It appears that the second duty of a bureaucracy is to ensure its own prosperity.

William Durward, Bearsden.

The Herald: A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover on TuesdayA group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover on Tuesday (Image: PA)

No easy answers on immigration

WATCHING and reading about the happenings in the English Channel I wonder if "our" Government has a clue as to what it is doing ("Deaths in Channel 'show need for Rwanda flights': PM", The Herald, April 24).

Why has £240 million been given to Rwanda so far and a possible £370m promised; why seemingly another £170,000 per deportee? Think what that sum would fund in education or the NHS.

Then there is the question I ask when you see on TV French police standing back and apparently making no effort to stop inflatable boats leaving: why? Does this make them culpable for the sad deaths of those on board?

There is also the question as to why the asylum seekers pay large sums of money to criminals to cross into the UK when they have somehow travelled through numerous counties to get to this point, often from a different continent. Are we perceived as a soft touch here?

Yes, I sympathise with those who may be trying to escape persecution or worse but they cannot all be in that category.

Sadly it is an issue with no easy solution in sight.

Douglas Jardine, Bishopbriggs.