PATRICK Harvie criticises the appointment of Kate Forbes as Deputy First Minister on the grounds that she holds conservative rather than what he calls “progressive” views ("Forbes learns she’s the ‘wrong type of Christian’ at first FMQS of new era", The Herald, May 10). He should consider that while he polled less than 10% in his constituency and his sidekick about 3%, Ms Forbes polled 55% in her constituency and 48% in the recent leadership election.

Just who does he think might have the more support from the people of Scotland?

No doubt there are folks who agree with Mr Harvie’s views but equally there are many who agree with Ms Forbes, including some MSPs. Thankfully the new First Minister says he will govern for all the people of Scotland.

John Spence, Airdrie.

Greens have lost my second vote

HOW many more toys will Patrick Harvie find to throw out of his pram before his desire for revenge is satisfied?

If he truly believes that everyone has the right to live their life as they wish without hindrance or attack, including having personal views and the freedom of speech to express them, then Kate Forbes, just as LBGT folk are, is entitled to the same rights. At no time has she done anything other than express her own views when asked, nor tried to impose them on others. His attack therefore is totally irrelevant.

Sadly, this makes me now determined never again to give the Greens my second vote, unless and until they demonstrate the same respect for the views of others as they wish for theirs.

L McGregor, Falkirk.

Where is the tolerance?

SO the Green Party, which claims to stand for fairness, tolerance and freedom for all people in Scotland, refuses to vote in favour of the new Deputy First Minister, because her views on sexual ethics - shared by a large percentage of the Scottish population - don’t square with their own.

Where is the tolerance in that?

By appointing Kate Forbes as his deputy, John Swinney has wittingly or unwittingly forced the Green leadership to demonstrate that tolerance of those with whom they disagree with has no place in their self-righteous agenda.

Michael Lind, Conon Bridge.

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Indy quest is futile

ALTHOUGH I am sure that John Swinney and his deputy Kate Forbes, together with selected ministers within the latest Scottish Government, have the best of intentions, it would seem that their continuing quest for independence is futile. We have witnessed the demise of more influential figures within the SNP such as Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon so it is highly unlikely that someone like Mr Swinney will succeed where they have failed.

The SNP cause has for quite some considerable time now been dead in the water; the majority of voters are quite content to remain in the UK as we Scots have done now for more than 300 years. And no amount of campaigning, marching and rallying by the Salmonds, Sturgeons or Swinneys of this world is ever going to convince the majority of Scots of otherwise.

Surely the time has come for we Scots to return to the political scene of conservatism, socialism or liberal/democratism. Scottish nationalism will be doomed yet again to the history books with Wallace and Bruce.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife.

• THE SNP decided some time ago that to be successful it had to disguise its nationalism with the term "civic nationalism", trying to convince the voters that Scottish nationalism was benign, woke, liberal and cool and certainly not anglophobic or identity-based. Its recent travails indicate that the civic tail is now wagging the nationalist dog, much to the dismay of those SNP members who really do want separation from the English and are at best neutral on trans issues, hate crime and other woke tropes.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all the time.

Dr Nick Williams, Auchenblae, Aberdeenshire.

Celebrate devolution

AS the 25th anniversary of devolution approaches, Jill Stephenson (Letters, May 9) refuses to acknowledge Holyrood’s achievements under all parties.

Among just a few things we can be proud of are free personal care regardless of age, the abolition of tuition fees for our students, keeping Scottish Water in public ownership and of course the ground-breaking Scottish Child Payment. And the Scottish Government was the first in the world to declare a climate emergency and has gone on to have one of the most ambitious climate targets, net zero by 2045. Many are benefiting from socially just and progressive policies from a Holyrood government.

Ms Stephenson says Holyrood is a "lacklustre institution, with third-rate politicians". I assume this is a reference to the majority of party leaders at Holyrood who are unionists. We should celebrate our 25 years of partial democracy, and look forward with optimism for further democracy coming to Scotland.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

The drive to be different

NOW we know that the primary purpose of Holyrood is to ensure that legislation, reports or actions emanating from it have a Scottish complexion. The most disastrous result of this obsession was the Scottish census in 2022, which was poorly organised and achieved a significantly lower return rate than the normal UK census in England and Wales.

Now we have a similar issue with the Cass report. SNP public health minister Jenni Minto admits that it is a "scientific and evidence-based document", but her party cannot agree simply to implement its recommendations in Scotland ("Report on Cass Review due in summer", The Herald, May 9). Perhaps that is because it was a Conservative proposal, and we know that Conservatives are anathema to the SNP.

So the SNP’s amendment that Holyrood should examine the Cass review and report back was accepted. This will enable ministers and their advisers to pore over it at length and to tweak it so that it has singularly Scottish characteristics, allowing Holyrood to be "different" once again.

Because, as we all know, scientific facts change once they cross the Anglo-Scottish border.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

The Herald: Public Health Minister Jenni Minto has said it is important to “carefully consider” the Cass reviewPublic Health Minister Jenni Minto has said it is important to “carefully consider” the Cass review (Image: PA)

• INSTEAD of drawing a line under the highly contentious gender reform legislation, currently blocked by Westminster, John Swinney is trying the tightrope method. He is swaying from one side to please Kate Forbes, to the other to please the Greens.

The fall from this height is large but it seems Mr Swinney is attempting to balance the risks. His middle of the road stance is now looking very precarious from his on-high position. Can he remain upright for long?

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.

Suspending civil liberties

FOLLOWING the outrage regarding the plight of Gideon Falter, the Jewish man insisting on walking back to his home through a crowd of thousands of pro-Palestinian protestors ("Met Police chief Rowley facing calls to quit over handling of Gaza protest", The Herald, April 22), does anyone have any sympathy for the police officer who tried to persuade and ultimately stopped him from doing so?

Despite the clunky language I think as an experienced police officer he perceived a genuine threat to Mr Falter’s wellbeing if not his life and tried to intervene to preserve the peace, which is after all his prime duty.

Of course, there are genuine issues surrounding civil liberties and the use of language, but this was a real-time event happening on the ground with no time or capacity to debate the legalities in a tinderbox situation. What would public reaction have been if the officer had apologised and sent Mr Falter on his way and wishing him a good day?

Sadly, lessons in crowd control can be learned from Police Scotland’s methods of crowd control at Old Firm matches.

Imagine a similar situation arising in Govan on the day of an Old Firm match where a Celtic fan bedecked in replica top and scarf who currently can’t attend the match but decides to exercise his human rights and walk past Ibrox on his way back to Partick. Do you think the crowd of Rangers fans would have parted like the Red Sea and allowed the Celtic supporter to walk through with good grace and a hail fellow well met?

Civil liberties are the backbone of civilised society and should be observed at all times but sometimes in the real world they have to be temporarily suspended and justifiably so for the greater good.

Keith Swinley, Ayr.

Get things in perspective

THERE are climate alarmists who accuse those who express contrary views on the causes of climate change of ignoring facts and disseminating nonsense. They should instead welcome open debate on the basis that science is never settled, but is in fact a process of perpetual inquiry. Those who assert that a 97% majority of scientific sources unequivocally support the theory of anthropogenic global warming choose to conveniently ignore serious and valid research which has revealed that this consensus was arrived at through deliberately flawed methodology.

Climate zealots would do well to ponder the theory of continental drift (plate tectonics) which was first proposed back in 1912 by the meteoroligist Alfred Wegener. This created much heated debate, disbelief and and even ridicule. It took a further 50 years before this theory became accepted as fact.

Human-sourced emissions when expressed in terms of gigatonnes (a billion metric tons) may indeed sound alarming to many people but it should be realised that carbon dioxide, vital though it is for life, is a trace gas which constitutes just 0.04 of all atmospheric gases of which just 3.8% are of human origin. We should get things in perspective and accept that although the CO2 concentration has indeed increased, analysis of data retrieved from ice cores and ocean sediments reveal that there are also numerous natural factors such as solar variability, cloud cover and fluctuating ocean currents that have always had and continue to have overriding influences on our continuously variable climate. These are facts that should not continue to be ignored, but as many scientific research grants are reliant on state funding the result is the regrettable corruption and politicisation of science.

Neil J Bryce, Kelso.