IT is quite clear the SNP establishment is hell-bent on the goal of installing a continuity candidate (step forward once more John Swinney) to stop Kate Forbes getting the top job. The reasons for this are generally phrased in terms of her personal and religious morality, but to the outsider it seems there are other reasons. Above all, Ms Forbes is not the continuity candidate, and what the SNP grandees and their lackeys most fear is a radical re-examination of the party's entire project.

This is obviously an existential threat to their most deeply-held beliefs, above all, that independence is (according to the ridiculous Humza Yousaf) "frustratingly close", and all that is needed is One More Heave and suddenly the scales will fall from the benighted eyes of those horrid Yoons and all will be well and Scotland will become Denmark with mountains. The truth is that the Salmond-Sturgeon-Yousaf model is outdated and unrealistic, and that there is no prospect of a new independence referendum until at least 2039. Any honest new leader of the SNP will start from that reality and build towards a new paradigm, rather than stewing the juice of the defeats of the past.

This is the fear of the outgoing SNP hierarchy, as they desperately cling on to the wreckage of the Sturgeon years, denying that the world is leaving them behind. It is no wonder that they are terrified of moving on, and that Kate Forbes might be honest enough to demand that they do so.

Peter A Russell, Glasgow.

Too many egos in indy camp

PERHAPS there are too many idealists in the SNP but that is certainly true of the Scottish Green Party, which has effectively turned Bismarck's truism that politics is the art of the possible on its head. Humza Yousaf and others in the SNP may also be guilty of the same error by allowing the Greens so much leeway.

Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie have pushed too far the privileged position, for such a small group, allowed them by the SNP; hopefully they will pay the price from within their own party. Dogged refusal to accept that the financial costs of issues such as heat pumps and stretched climate targets were unachievable for a government with limited financial powers while operating in an austerity-driven UK, and badly-prepared policies on gender issues has only made things worse. They can be forgiven the Deposit Return Scheme's failure caused by cynical interference from Westminster, but Humza Yousaf should have told them to calm down on other issues long since. He has paid the price for not doing so.

The D'Hondt method of election was chosen by Westminster on the idea of there being only one party of independence, and there would always be at least three unionist parties against them. That idea has failed for them, but it has still managed to make it very difficult for the independence movement to coalesce round a more effective independence strategy. This will need fresh thinking from the SNP and Alba at least, and probably co-ordination on who stands in which list and constituency seats, and perhaps a rebranding as suggested by Willie Maclean (Letters, May 1).

Currently there are too many egos dancing round the independence movement, and not just Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie. We know who they are and they have a duty to us to get their act together.

John Jamieson, Ayr.

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Forbes' views can't be ignored

JUST over a year ago, I wrote that the candidacy of Kate Forbes for First Minister should be withdrawn, due to her outspoken and clearly articulated views on same-sex marriage and having children outside of marriage. Here we are again, and Ms Forbes has not made any indication that she has changed her views.

Maybe the likes of Fergus Ewing think these issues should just be forgotten ("SNP MSP Ewing warns against ‘repugnant’ attacks on Forbes", The Herald, May 1), but I doubt anyone who is on the "wrong" side of her judgment will.

Whilst Ms Forbes may be, by a long shot, the best of a bad bunch, consider that a Conservative stood to be Prime Minister, whilst espousing the views Kate Forbes holds. They would be derided and called "far right" by most SNP members and parliamentarians, and yet when it's one of their own, so many of them turn a blind eye.

It's not that her views are so-called "Christian", it is simply that those are her views, regardless of what motivates or justifies them. When they are so strongly held, I do not believe they are compatible with holding the highest office in the country.

However, who am I to judge? If Kate Forbes is appointed leader of the SNP and then First Minister, I would hope she has the courage of her convictions and calls an election to let the people of Scotland decide if they want someone with such outdated views leading the country.

Jamie Black, Largs.

READ MORE: Don't let it be John Swinney. Scotland badly needs change

READ MORE: There isn't the talent in Scotland to allow devolution to continue

READ MORE: I'm so glad the Greens are gone. They won't be missed

• ALISTAIR Richardson (Letters, May 1) suggests that when Kate Forbes is “speaking the truth” it’s a problem for the rest of us. Seriously?

Perhaps the constituent who said she liked Ms Forbes because “Kate speaks the truth" was referring to her politics and not her religious beliefs. Does he even know if said constituent was the same religion as Ms Forbes?

Religions are all pretty much based on believing something intangible as truth. It’s a personal choice and to demean Ms Forbes for her beliefs is just wrong. I don’t vote SNP but the horrible notion that a candidate's religious persuasion can be twisted and used against them it’s simply unacceptable regardless of the party concerned.

John Gilligan, Ayr.

• ALISTAIR Richardson (Letters, May 1) claims that "notions of biblical truth rarely survive contact with empirical reality", yet that Kate Forbes' views are "antediluvian".

Since both statements cannot be true, I assume his last statement, "And that's the truth", was intended in irony.

Philip Ross, Invergowrie.

A record to be proud of

I ADMIT I find John Swinney a bit boring but agree with those who say he's a "safe pair of hands". If it's a choice between him and Kate Forbes as the next First Minister of Scotland then there should be only one winner.

And please don't trot out that "SNP continuity" line again. Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and soon-to-be-former-FM Humza Yousaf promoted equality for all, prioritised tackling the poverty issue and affordable housing and ensured the NHS was as healthy as it could be under extremely difficult circumstances.

They stood for ideals and values most Scots I would hope agree with.

Ms Forbes meanwhile has some issues. She's against same-sex marriage, not so keen on single mums, and is happy for protests outside abortion clinics.

I'm sorry to see Mr Yousaf go. He was honest, decent, reliable and a breath of fresh air.

The achievements of the Scottish Government, despite the restrictions placed on it by Westminster, should be applauded not continually condemned by the media.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.

The Herald: Lorna Slater and Patrick HarvieLorna Slater and Patrick Harvie (Image: PA)

Wolf pack mentality

 NOTE that letters criticising Humza Yousaf (April 30) are all from male correspondents who call him “Hapless”, “Useless” and describe him as “having a woeful lack of focus” and how the job as First Minister was “beyond his capabilities". No wonder men have mental health problems as the wolf pack attacks from ill-conceived ideas of leadership.

The two letters of support and regret at his departure came from women. They pointed out his achievements while in office and more importantly his character traits as “decent”, “kind”, “caring”, “principled”. I would add “brave” as he stood alone as a leader in the UK in calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

No one is perfect but we need to value good qualities in our leaders. As the song says, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

Susan Martin, Glasgow.

Number's up for the Greens

I HOPE Carlos Alba is a better journalist than he is a mathematician. His article today ("Blame Blair’s voting system for power of the Greens", The Herald, May 1) claims that the Scottish Greens attracted 0.0006% of the vote at the 2021 election. This would equate to approximately 25 votes. The true percentage is closer to 6%. Perhaps he is being prophetic and is predicting their share of the vote at the next election.

Paul Teenan, Glasgow.