THE latest allegations that there are problems in the higher echelons of Police Scotland ("Insider accuses Chief Constable of ‘sidelining’ senior Scottish police officers", May 5) are disturbing but maybe not too surprising when you consider that one person has the heavy and complicated responsibility for delivering policing services to an entire diverse country.

When the idea of a single police service was first mooted many informed contributors to The Herald had letters published highlighting that it was not a good way forward. Many of the reasons given related to delivery of services but also the problems that could arise with a single service. We are a small country but we are probably the most diverse in the UK and, as the best policing is that which concentrates on local needs, the number and distribution of police services should reflect this.

In addition there are circumstances which often arise where a police service cannot investigate itself. In the case of Police Scotland this surely means going outside the country to get an objective view.

Few who knew the old set-up when we had eight forces would disagree that rationalisation was needed but moving to a single police service was a mistake made by the Scottish Government and driven by Kenny MacAskill. A move to three or five regional forces with shared specialist services would have been the sensible move that would have ensured that the Chief Officers were protected from political interference and that the local public had access to them.

Since its establishment there have been many examples as to why Police Scotland was a costly and strategic error, perhaps the latest revelations are further evidence of that. In my opinion the Scottish Police Authority needs to look to its laurels, think about the people of Scotland and recommend to its political masters that they go back to the drawing board with this matter.

W MacIntyre, East Kilbride.

Tell us truth on ferries emissions

LAST month (April 21) you kindly published my letter on the hypocrisy of how emissions are counted, or, as is the case for much of the net zero argument, not counted.

The news that John Swinney has hinted that he might reverse the ban on wood-burning stoves ("Industry lodges petition urging John Swinney to U-turn on Scottish wood-burning stove ban", May 5) clearly demonstrates that the primary role of whoever happens to be the SNP First Minister on any given day is to undo the damage caused by the previous SNP First Minister. The farce that currently passes for leadership in Scotland brought to mind the song from Oh What a Lovely War, sung to the tune of John Brown’s body.

One staff officer jumped right over another staff officer’s back.

And another staff officer jumped right over that other staff officer’s back,

A third staff officer jumped right over two other staff officers’ backs,

And a fourth staff officer jumped right over all the other staff officers’ backs.

They were only playing leapfrog, They were only playing leapfrog,

They were only playing leapfrog,

When one staff officer jumped right over another staff officer’s back.

Absurd. Pointless. Futile.

If John Swinney genuinely wants to be known by his overstated "Honest John" moniker he could do no worse than be straight with the public and give us an accurate figure for the emissions caused by the shipping of so-called green fuel for the so-called eco-ferries from a port over 8,000 miles away in Qatar to a port in England from where it will be driven north for another 400 miles. How many times is this estimated to happen each year? Will these emissions be factored into the total emissions count of running Scotland's new ferries, or will he continue to exclude these inconvenient truths? It's no doubt a complex calculation, but telling us the truth is not. You either tell us the God's honest truth Mr Swinney, or you don't.

Graeme Arnott, Stewarton.

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• I NOTE that the Stove Industry Association has lodged a petition at Holyrood regarding the Scottish Government's (or more precisely the Greens') ban on wood-burning stoves . It calls for the ban to be overturned and “to protect the people of Scotland’s right to use a wood-burning stove to heat their homes”.

It will be interesting to see what Mr Swinney intends to do. Will he be his own man or will we still be a country run by a minority who would happily see those in rural areas of Scotland suffer freezing conditions while enduring day-long power cuts?

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

Milking our taxes

IT is indeed galling to read that foreign governments are to make millions from a "world-first" Scots wind farm (“Japan and Italy to make millions from ‘world-first’ wind farm in Scotland”, May 5).

The Scottish Government has positively encouraged foreign-owned multinationals to carpet our greatest tourist asset - the finest landscapes in Western Europe - with demonstrably useless wind farms, sorry subsidy farms because that’s what they really are. The Japanese and Italian governments will make millions from our taxes extorted from the poorest bill-payers in society.

They are now handing over our pristine seas, fishing grounds and incomparable horizons to be carpeted by foreign-owned multinationals for a pittance.

To cap it all, after 30 years of eye-watering subsidies, once again, this very morning (May 5), the entire fleet of 11,000 entirely-parasitic, giant, industrial bird-mincers is struggling to provide the National Grid with 2% (reaching the dizzying heights of 1.50% to be precise).

By the way, the entire hugely damaging array will be worn-out rusting hulks and in need of replacement long before 2050.

SNP Scotland really has become a world leader in tragic stupidity.

George Herraghty, Lhanbryde.

What's happened to Labour?

THERE are, clearly, many in Scotland who just want the Tories out and are willing to lend their vote to Labour to achieve it. That has been perfectly understandable. Perhaps we need to take a step back.

I find the comfort with which right-wing Tory MP Natalie Elphike has crossed the floor of the House alarming.

On many occasions, this Tory MP from Dover has turned on Sir Keir at PMQs highlighting he has no plan for immigration. She has appeared on the likes of the BBC's Question Time as a proponent of the derided views of Liz Truss. She believes Boris Johnson was betrayed. She is a prominent Brexiter and those views do not chime with most Scots. What does this tell us about the Labour Party?

We must not leap from the frying pan into the fire.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing.

The Herald: Keir Starmer with Natalie ElphickeKeir Starmer with Natalie Elphicke (Image: PA)

A legacy of Donald Dewar

KEVIN McKenna confidently states that Glasgow would have proclaimed the Scottish Parliament and "set it on high" ("Glasgow would not have hidden Holyrood away", May 5) rather than " hiding it away in Edinburgh". While loyalty to one's town is normal and understandable, it does not justify adjusting history. If Mr McKenna consults the newspaper archives, he will find a quotation by Donald Dewar when he dismissed a very prominent potential site in Edinburgh saying that he did not wish it "to be a shibboleth for the SNP".

His comment was probably not entirely due to Glasgow parochialism but expressed his anxiety as a Labour politician that a prominent position in the capital might reinforce the image of Scotland as an independent country.

Peter Dryburgh, Edinburgh.

Celebrating the status quo?

IT was interesting to note the general lack of publicity, especially in the broadsheets south of the Border, given to the AUOB march in Glasgow on Saturday, especially when one considers there had been a similar protest the previous weekend. As usual there was a debate in some sectors of the media about the numbers attending the rally with a general attempt to underplay just how many Scots feel the need to demand freedom from the ice-cold grip of England.

It would be interesting to compare Saturday’s numbers with marches supporting the continuation of the status quo, but that would necessitate that they actually happened. Perhaps if His Majesty could find the time in his busy schedule he would consider organising a similar series of marches in various Scottish venues. He could always bring along one of his fire-breathing dragons to entertain the masses and a few Orcs to help police the crowds. Oh and one of those shiny gold coaches, he could get £100 a pop for letting plebs ride in it without having to trek all the way to Balmoral Castle.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

This is not war, it's massacre

I’M a great admirer of David Pratt’s writing, but I have to take issue with his use of the word "war" to describe what is happening in Gaza (“Unrest in the USA”, May 5). If you were out for a walk and came across a young child lying on the ground being kicked repeatedly by a burly man, you wouldn’t describe it as a fight.

Israeli jets drop 2,000lb bombs while tanks and howitzers fire volleys of shells into crowded residential areas, flattening buildings and all within; in response, there’s some small arms fire and the occasional rocket. That’s not war, that’s massacre.

I’m not anti-Semitic, but I am anti-Benjamin Netanyahu (as are many Israelis) and anti the slaughter of thousands of Palestinian children. It’s a stain on the reputations of leaders, especially in the US and UK, that they can’t even bring themselves to condemn this slow genocide. History will not be kind to them.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.