LAST February you kindly published a letter from me in which I described John Swinney as one of the most decent men in politics, anywhere. It was therefore with deep relief that I listened to Mr Swinney announce his candidature ("John Swinney set to be next SNP leader and First Minister", heraldscotland, May 2), especially as I don't think I have ever before heard him speak with such authority, assurance and conviction.

John Swinney has been there, done that, and will bring a wealth of experience to the position of First Minister. And all credit to Kate Forbes who has also made the right decision to support Mr Swinney and be an important member of his team.

I am confident that the coming weeks will see a refreshed and reinvigorated SNP, as a party and as a government. This was definitely not the outcome the unionist parties had in mind, but the reality is that after a difficult few days the SNP is emerging more united than ever and stronger for Scotland.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

Cabinet is a talent-free zone

SO the SNP’s ranks have closed around John Swinney. The day before yesterday’s man is on course to succeed the busted flush. This raises two questions.

First, how could the largest party in Scotland not attract candidates of genuine ability? The SNP Cabinet is a talent-free zone, with none of its members (rightly) feeling up to the challenges that the Sturgeon-Yousaf era has bequeathed to the nation and its political establishment. The poisoned chalice Humza Yousaf gladly grasped last year is even more toxic now. The SNP’s back benches are filled with those who are similarly without merit.

Second, the image yesterday of a smiling Michael Matheson in the Holyrood chamber made me wonder what has happened to the unfinished business that is his conduct over iPadgate. Holyrood’s Corporate Body reported in March 2024 that he had breached the MSPs’ Code of Conduct and his case was passed to the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.

Perhaps there will be a new first minister before that committee makes its decision, or perhaps the decision has already been kicked into very long grass.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

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Collective delusion

BOOM, there it is! The fix is in. Another Nicola Sturgeon acolyte ascends the golden throne of SNP leadership to provide much-needed continuity with her glorious legacy. What could possibly go wrong?

I'd be surprised if John Swinney makes it to the next Holyrood election. Perhaps by then the SNP old guard (ie, Nicola Sturgeon's mates) will have got over their collective delusion and realised that they are the problem. But I doubt it. Until then we get to revel in another hopeless First Minister flogging the same tired old horse to electoral oblivion. And they don't even realise it.

John McSweeney, Edinburgh.

This is rank hypocrisy

I’M not alone in recalling the cries of democratic outrage from the SNP and the Greens as not one but two new Tory prime ministers were foisted upon the country without anything other than an internal party election amongst its 100,000-plus members. Nor am I alone in recalling the SNP’s and Greens' repetitive table-thumping “Scotland never gets the government it voted for”.

Yet here we are faced with yet another post-Sturgeon continuity first minister in the form of John Swinney without the electorate having any say in it.

To make matters worse, that new leader and his policies have to be acceptable to the economically-illiterate and sex/gender-obsessed Greens who won’t otherwise lend support to a minority SNP government.

So, Scotland gets not only another First Minister it didn’t vote for but also another government it didn’t vote for.

What is being rammed down Scotland’s throat may be legal under electoral law, but it denies voters their democratic rights and their legitimate expectations.

At least the SNP and the Greens excel equally in one area: rank political hypocrisy.

Alasdair Sampson, Stewarton.

READ MORE: SNP's big problem is it won't accept the world has left it behind

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

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf was set up to fail by Nicola Sturgeon

Disheartened by this soap opera

THE debacle that is currently Scottish politics continues with the Greens supporting the SNP Government in a “no confidence” vote without recognising any irony in having seen off the leader of that same administration ("SNP defeats Labour's bid to force FM Yousaf and his ministers to resign", The Herald, May 2).

As a result of the Greens' support, we have the status quo of an incompetent, ineffective and inept administration being propped up by the Greens who secured all of 1.3% of the constituency vote or just 34,900 votes in the 2021 Scottish election. This is an administration propped up by a group who are anti-growth, who want higher taxes, who presided over a huge waste of public money with a discredited Deposit Return Scheme and who supported the SNP’s appalling Hate Crime Bill and Gender Reform Act. Is it any wonder that those of us who are proud to be Scottish feel more dispirited and disheartened each day as this soap opera that is Scottish politics plays out?

Richard Allison, Edinburgh.

Shame on Scottish Labour

SCOTTISH Labour MSPs should hide their heads in shame. Not only did they try unsuccessfully to bring down the Scottish Government, they went on to undermine the findings of the Westminster Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO ) regarding Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women and the raising of the state pension age for those women born in the early 1950s, who were not afforded correct notification regarding the raising of their state pension age.

The SNP had a debate in Holyrood calling for the findings of the PHSO to be implemented urgently and proper compensation to be forthcoming. It was not surprising that the Conservative benches gave excuse after excuse, claiming we must not rush into making decisions on the PHSO report. But Labour abstained on this very serious issue, one that requires urgent action in light of the age of those concerned.

It is a warning: Scottish Labour cannot be trusted.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

Why I quit the Greens

LAST Friday I resigned from the Scottish Greens as I felt more and more disappointed by its performance in government.

It became the narky naive wee cousin to the boring, delusional and ineffective SNP.

We need a government which sticks to the knitting, protects its citizens and makes life better. Any takers?

Allan McDougall, Neilston.

Our mediocre politicians

WHERE are we heading as nation? Methinks to Hell in a handcart.

Politicians spend so much of OUR time pursuing personal agendas or vendettas and introducing futile legislation that is so complex and difficult to understand, never mind police.

The problem with a fair majority of people, perhaps those under 50, is they have never experienced a time when society’s social infrastructures actually worked. Of course there were difficulties, but is that not part of the human predicament? History for many starts at their date of birth.

Once upon a time (not the start of a fairy tale) politics was the art of making the impossible, possible. The current crop of politicians who mostly excel in mediocrity have perfected the art of making the possible, impossible.

Dan Edgar, Rothesay.

The Herald: Kate Forbes has expressed strong Christian beliefsKate Forbes has expressed strong Christian beliefs (Image: PA)

Christian values have served us well

ALISTAIR Richardson (Letters, May 1) is entitled to his apparent view that "the SNP members (let alone the rest of us)" may be unwilling to "countenance having someone like Kate Forbes being the public face of Scotland". In a democracy there are different views that can be respectfully debated, and Kate Forbes is widely known to be a hard-working MSP of integrity. She also has many supporters within the SNP.

Mr Richardson's idea (not fact in my view) that "notions of biblical truth rarely survive contact with empirical reality" betrays a common misconception and bias in our society. There are many proofs regarding biblical truth and I recommend attending an Alpha course with an open mind. The best proof for me, however, is that the life that Jesus offers (he said "I am the way, the truth and the life") really works and brings inner peace. Many millions have found that to be true even if they experience extreme persecution for their faith, as did the first Christians and many today.

Our country owes much to Christian values such as care for the poor, orphans, and the oppressed, and even scientific progress, and these values should not be ditched.

William Campbell, Lenzie.