NOW that Nigel Farage has taken over the leadership of Reform UK ("There he is, regulars would say to any stranger, good old Nigel", The Herald, June 5), will the party pursue the agenda "it says on the tin”? It is clear that even with a Hard Brexit that Mr Farage and his followers are still not content.

In spite of UK politics having veered so far to the right that even the Labour Party now seems like a right-of-centre party and the UK Government now has “full control over immigration”, the UK is still not the right-wing state that Mr Farage and many in England desire. The truth, which he is still apparently not prepared to openly admit in spite of the name of his latest adopted party, is that he and his followers will not be content until England is free to pursue the right-wing nationalism that the SNP and the general public in Scotland reject.

Reform UK is not aiming to end the undemocratic first past the post voting system for Westminster or to abolish the House of Lords, nor is it seeking federalism. The ultimate aim of Nigel Farage through Reform UK is to dictate an English right-wing agenda without the interference of democratic socialists in Scotland and Wales (while retaining access to their resources for as long as he can continue to deceive the populations of both countries that the UK Government is also serving their best interests).

Brexit Britain is already broken but unless Scotland takes control of its own destiny, things could get much worse. Not only would we initially be subjected to more austerity as even a Labour Party at Westminster would continue to pursue a Thatcher agenda to appease Middle England, the cost of living crisis could be exacerbated for many and Brexit could become even “harder” if we were to be taken out of European Court of Human Rights jurisdiction. Wake up Scotland: a better path lies ahead for you and yours when the people of Scotland are free to determine their own future.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.

Don't let us regress

WHILE I understand there is disaffection with the SNP I cannot comprehend the attraction of either Labour or the Conservatives.

There is not a cigarette paper between them and their arguments are a thesaurus of political speeches.

With Labour parachuting in candidates from England to the Scottish seats and the Tories leeching MPs to Labour who can now tell the difference? Who, also, remembers why devolution was set up in the first place which was due to the disaffection of the Scottish people to the ignorance and lack of appreciation by Westminster?

We are hearing "vow" and "promises" again, none of which came to pass following the Brexit referendum.

Let's not go down the route of regressing Scotland to its previous lowly-ranked position in the UK.

Ken Mackay, Glasgow.

Yet more SNP fairy tales

TO keep their spirits up, and in contrast to opinion polls pointing to a starkly different outcome, both First Minister John Swinney and the SNP leader in Westminster, Stephen Flynn, say they are confident that the SNP will win the most Scottish seats in the General Election (“Grim news for SNP as poll shows many former voters now turning to Labour”, The Herald, June 5). Yet as this election campaign unfolds it is clear that despite his moniker, the one thing "honest" John Swinney cannot afford to be is honest in relation to how the SNP has so badly failed Scotland over the course of the last 17 years of its missteps, missed targets and scandals.

As a consequence he is relying, like his predecessors, on the political equivalent of fairy tales. These enable a big bad ogre to be demonised for all that has gone wrong or might go wrong in the future, calling it "Westminster", "the Tories", or "Labour", to suit. Then we are encouraged to dispense with reality and imagine a future utopia where leaving the UK is the only way to cut NHS waiting times, improve education, reduce drug deaths, get more ferries and roads built, and attract investment into Scotland to grow its economy. The fact that the SNP leadership’s combined efforts over so many years have fallen so far short on each and every one of these, and almost every other matter for which it has been primarily responsible, does not fit with the story that John Swinney is trying to spin.

While on one level this election is about electing a UK government, here in Scotland we can also demonstrate we have had enough of the SNP’s political fairy tales and use our votes to signal that its days of dominating our lives are now numbered.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

READ MORE: Open your eyes and you'll see what a disaster the UK is

READ MORE: Using private healthcare makes things worse for others

Labour and the economy

I AM old enough to remember Harold Wilson’s “the pound in your pocket” quote after sterling had been devalued from $2.80 to $2.40 in 1967. Interest rates were raised from 6.5% to 8% and the defence budget was cut.

1976 saw Jim Callaghan borrowing $3.9 billion from the International Monetary Fund to prop up sterling. It seems such an almost trivial amount now.

1979 saw the Winter of Discontent and "crisis, what crisis?".

Fifty years of oil revenues have been squandered by successive Westminster administrations.

Roll on through so many economic disasters and crises and the pound is now worth $1.28.

Peter A Russell (Letters, June 5) writes: “Labour is there to repair the economy that the Tories have broken, and to restore the virtuous circle whereby effective, efficient and equitable public services and infrastructure support profitable industries and well-paid jobs, resulting in government revenues to invest in those public services.”


Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.

Where would the left go?

ISOBEL Lindsay (Letters, June 4) condescendingly suggests that “what remains of the left” in the Labour Party should leave and goes on to repeat a selection of Scottish nationalist lies about Labour policies.

Where does she think the lefties should migrate to?

Perhaps a nationalist party that has lost all credibility through its incompetence in government, its nepotism, its arrogance and its lack of integrity? A secessionist party that has never produced a coherent policy on currency or reducing Scotland’s crippling fiscal and trade deficits? Or a separatist party that can’t implement environmental policies because of electoral considerations?

Ms Lindsay’s anti-Labour rant was entertaining but merely serves as a support for those wishing to re-elect a Tory Government in Westminster.

James Quinn, Lanark.

Starmer claim seems unlikely

FURTHER to David J Crawford's informed response (Letters, June 5) to Alexander McKay's justification for jumping the NHS queue, although I couldn't face the prospect of watching Tuesday night's Leaders' Debate on ITV, I found the reports and analysis helpful ("ITV Leaders' Debate: Starmer and Sunak avoid screwing up too much", heraldscotland, June 4).

I was particularly struck by Sir Keir Starmer's assurance that he would not pay for private health but would wait for NHS treatment, however long the queue might be. Hmm, I wonder if that claim will come back to haunt him in future or, as Prime Minister, will he and his family simply get "priority NHS treatment"?

David Bruce, Troon.

The Herald: Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak during the ITV Leaders DebateKeir Starmer and Rishi Sunak during the ITV Leaders Debate (Image: free)

Greens should dump indy

THE Greens are now in a good position to dump their policy of supporting separating from the UK and winning back many of the electorate in Scotland who would vote for them but refuse to vote for independence.

There is a distinct danger that the SNP will take the Greens down with them at the General Election due to the failed coalition arrangement and being tarred by the same brush.

A new policy of not supporting the SNP on independence would be widely welcomed.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

Alarming call on nuclear weapons

IT is with alarm that I observe Sir Keir Starmer triumphantly announcing that he will use nuclear weapons to keep the country safe ("Shadow cabinet backs me on nuclear weapons, says Starmer", heraldscotland, June 3).

This is alarming talk and it’s obvious to me that Sir Keir is uneducated on the principles of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and the role of deterrence in defence policy.

Sir Keir seems unaware that rather than keeping the country safe nuclear weapons will be used when the country is in peril and that probably 95% of the population are either already dead or dying.

If he plans to use nuclear weapons in future as a first strike weapon (his language is dangerously unclear in my opinion) then Sir Keir should be clear that a principle of MAD is that those he launches the weapons against will in turn retaliate with their own nuclear weapons again resulting in the deaths of around 95% of the UK population.

He needs to be challenged on either his shocking use of uneducated language or his lack of understanding of nuclear deterrence.

Alexander Lunn, Edinburgh.