THE voting choice for the General Election can be made simple if one is a unionist or Brexiter. It is simply a question of elimination.

For the unionists the parties that can be eliminated are obviously the SNP, Greens and Alba.

What is left? Conservative, Labour, LibDems and Reform.

For the Brexiters the LibDems have always made it clear that they would like to rejoin the EU, therefore that would rule them out. As Keir Starmer keeps changing his mind on everything, no matter what he says, he cannot be trusted not to also push for rejoining the EU, so that would rule Labour out. By the way, I would also not trust him not to make a deal with the SNP if he thought it was to his benefit.

Which parties does that leave? The Conservatives and Reform.

Whilst Reform would appear to have Britain’s interests at heart, it is possible that some of its members may be so right-wing as to be closer to the BNP. Also, I am not sure what their intentions are regarding the EU.

What then is left? Conservative. Although they have a tendency occasionally of shooting themselves in the foot, they are the only ones to be relied on to stop the break-up of Britain and maintaining our independence from Europe, besides having clear intentions on illegal immigration and plans to call a halt to this stupid woke/political correctness slowly engulfing us.

Gordon Bannatyne, Milton of Campsie.

• MARK Openshaw (Letters, June 17) calls for voters to vote tactically to defeat the SNP. But he is asking voters to hold their noses and to forget the lies, the proroguing of Parliament, the charges incurred by those in government as a result of breaking their own Covid rules, the crashing of the economy resulting in so much hardship, so much despair.

This call for tactical voting is surely a call anyone with a moral conscience could not consider under any circumstances.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

Ross is in for a shock

WHO'D have thought anyone could feel sorry for Douglas Ross? Not only has he had to wheel out former MSP Peter Chapman to help him campaign in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East, it seems the Tory MSP group have been whipped to help out too as the usual group of Tory volunteers in Banff and Buchan are very thin on the ground and nowhere to be seen, maybe because they haven't forgiven Mr Ross for betraying David Duguid?

I think the voters in the north-east are going to send the Tories a resounding message in a few weeks' time, and it won't be the one they want.

Stewart Watt, Gardenstown, Aberdeenshire.

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Looking at the SNP's record

KEITH Howell (Letter, June 18) ignores the fact that the Scottish Government faced budget cuts from Westminster, which Labour in Wales blames for its much worse NHS problems, a situation exacerbated by Brexit that the UK parties don’t want to mention in the election campaign. Over 1,000 schools have been built or upgraded since the SNP took office, we have more teachers per pupil than elsewhere in the UK and they are better paid than their counterparts. Under the SNP, 95.9 per cent of 2023 school leavers were in a positive destination three months after the end of the school year. The attainment gap is narrowing as more children from deprived backgrounds are going to university and there are no tuition fees in Scotland while Labour is increasing them to £9,250 in Wales.

David Phillips from the IFS said that Scotland’s economy is performing better than most of the UK due to higher growth than the UK average with a broad-based economy plus a well-educated workforce which is a testament to the SNP’s record in government. Scotland’s overseas offices have promoted Scotland’s interests to such an extent that Scotland remains the most attractive place in the UK for foreign direct investment outside London. However, these are under threat with Labour plans to bypass the Scottish Parliament and let London decide what Scotland’s priorities should be, including on levelling up funding.

The Scottish Child Payment has lifted 100,000 families out of poverty while John Swinney’s plans for a social tariff on energy, broadband and mobile bills which will see those on low incomes, with disabilities and the elderly pay less on their bills, is more targeted than Labour’s nebulous GB Energy plans that might happen sometime in the distant future. Meanwhile, Labour is protecting bankers' bonuses while refusing to lift the two-child benefit cap.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

We subsidise England

ANOTHER day, another missive - or several - from the doughty defenders of the failing Union. Keith Howell treats us to the familiar laundry list of the sins of the Scottish Government whilst Jill Stephenson (Letters, June 18) turns her attention to actors and celebrities of Scottish origin, saying they have no right to comment as their work takes them abroad.

She is entitled to her opinion but she is not entitled to misrepresent the facts. She asks how Scotland could afford to leave the UK and how public services would be sustained without the "support" of HM Treasury. Scotland can not only afford to leave Great Britain (which is what we will be when Ireland is united within the next decade), it must, if its people are to thrive; harnessing our highly educated population and world-class university research, along with natural resources which are virtually unmatched, particularly in energy and water to the benefit of the Scottish people is paramount.

Far from Britain "supporting" Scotland, we pay in far more than we receive, and the phony debt which is assigned to us is virtually entirely due to cost overruns on delusional Westminster projects for England. I recently had the good fortune to cruise down the Zambezi river and was explaining Scottish politics to a young French man working in the City of London. At the end of the cruise a couple from Essex said: "It won't surprise you to hear we're opposed to Scottish independence." I responded "of course not, because we subsidise you, and in a world where water and energy are commodities in short supply, England would be lost without us."

Marjorie Thompson, Edinburgh.

The only left of centre option

KEVIN McKenna's article ("I'm for Indy but what is the point of voting SNP now?"', The Herald, June 18) was so predictable from a dour, soor Scot.

Those who really want independence, and I have to say I question your columnist's credentials here, have to accept the Scottish National Party is the best bet.

Labour certainly not - Keir Starmer has made this absolutely clear - and Alba is, and always has been, out of the running.

And please don't forget, if we get control of our own country we can then decide who runs it for Scotland. It doesn't have to be the SNP.

But what we want, and we won't get from Westminster when Labour is victorious on July 4, is a left of centre government that is seeking an end to poverty, a closing of the rich-poor gap which as I write is widening, and an open invite for more immigrants to grace our land with their skills and culture and to fill our huge jobs shortages in the NHS, agriculture and hospitality.

No other party, other than the SNP, can offer that. Mr McKenna offers no solution other than getting rid of those he labels as "mediocre, unquestioning acolytes" within SNP ranks.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.

Angela RaynerAngela Rayner (Image: PA)

A lesson for Rayner

ALISON Rowat referred to the occasion when Angela Rayner had to apologise for referring to senior Conservatives as "scum " ("Scottish Labour has a friend in Rayner, but for how long?", The Herald, June 17). The use of such extreme insulting language when describing political opponents in the UK has never really gone down well with most of the electorate. This was illustrated in 1945 when Prime Minister Winston Churchill carried much responsibility for the failure of the Tory campaign in the General Election of that year because, during a party election radio broadcast, he asserted that the Labour Party would need to employ a form of "Gestapo" in order to implement its plans. That was not well received. The Tory party chief whip at the time had observed that "it is not my idea of how to win an election". In this he was proved to be correct.

Perhaps Angela Rayner has learned an important lesson on how far one can go in directing disparaging remarks at one’s adversaries in the world of politics. 

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.