HOW long do we have to wait for Police Scotland to conclude their investigation of the SNP's finances? The suspected illegal activities appear to be as difficult to locate as Tony Blair’s weapons of mass destruction which justified the disastrous invasion of Iraq.

The consequences for our Scottish nation are likely to be equally dire as Sir Keir Starmer pursues his relentless race to the right in his quest to convince the Red Wall voters south of the Border that his Ukip tribute act – in denial of the madness of Brexit – will be better Tories than the Johnson/Truss/Sunak version. The saddest part of it all is that all the political parties, SNP included, seem to agree that the answer to poverty is to keep the poor on poverty wages which relieve their employers from payment of wages which would allow them to pay income tax; instead they are provided with hand-outs and benefits financed by higher taxes rates on the better-paid.

With parachutes rapidly becoming the fashion accessory of choice for SNP Westminster MPs surely the time is right for the Scottish nation to take control of its own destiny by uniting behind a non-party pro-independence movement.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

We deserve much better

DO all Scottish nationalists hold the same view as self-confessed SNP foot soldier Ruth Marr (Letters, July 10), that the SNP Government can do no wrong? Whilst I cannot comment on her argument with William Durward (Letters, July 6) regarding Caird Hall numbers, I found her assertion that her new leader is inspirational jaw-dropping.

She is referring to the new First Minister, Humza Yousaf, a man who failed in every brief he held whilst in government, and now in his new privileged position, his first 100 days are highlighted for sending Nicola Sturgeon a bunch of flowers following her arrest, instead of suspending her as Ms Sturgeon would have done herself when in power. Coincidentally Ms Marr’s letter was published on a day when a new YouGov study found that 50% of Scots felt Humza Yousaf was doing a bad job and only 23% endorsed his time in office and when drilling down further he fared badly in every element, including handling the economy, where only 17% approved his stewardship ("Half of Scots think Yousaf doing bad job after first 100 days as FM", The Herald, July 10).

SNP supporters must be unique in that they never seem to find fault with any of their policies in spite of their many failures over the years including the doomed Named Person Act, the ongoing ferry scandal, NHS waiting times scandal, Prestwick Airport ownership, the Deposit Return Scheme debacle and the highest drug death rate in Europe. Voters would have much more respect for the SNP and their supporters if dissenting voices were allowed within. Any rebuttal of the above will no doubt include comparisons with Westminster, but this would be a diversionary tactic. This is Scotland in the here and now and we deserve better.

Christopher H Jones, Giffnock.

Read more: ‘Promise’ is a distraction from real issues

Why won't Labour get behind PR?

TO me, the most surprising aspect of Brian Wilson’s article (“Labour is right not to be offering up rash spending promises”, The Herald, July 10) was its first sentence. He states, as if it has the inevitability of the sun rising in the morning, that “the serious prospect of a Labour government only comes around every couple of decades”.

It prompts a few questions: why is that so? Can nothing really be done about it? Why the apparent acquiescence?

When Labour loses a General Election, it is often pointed out that the combined centre-left vote is higher than that for the Conservatives. Of course, that is not expressed in the House of Commons thanks to the electoral system. The 2019 election result has been too often described as “a landslide” but it was not a landslide in the popular vote. There is an obvious lesson here, which the Labour Party has effectively ignored for decades and with entirely predictable consequences.

Nothing terrifies the Conservative Party more than proportional representation or a centre-left electoral pact. I would have thought that few people would like to terrify the Conservatives in that way more than Mr Wilson. But on that point, he is inexplicably silent.

Alasdair Rankin, SNP councillor, Edinburgh.

We choose higher taxes

I'M afraid James Martin (Letters, July 10) is being disingenuous when he says that separatists will never learn that "free" student tuition and prescriptions are paid for through taxation. It was the present Westminster Government that first coined the phrase that the NHS will remain "free at the point of delivery". I am sure that every English voter, and indeed voters in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, know that the service is not "free", but paid for through taxation.

Mr Martin may wish to consider if it is better to live in a country with lower taxes, benefiting the rich, while the working poor pay for services that the rich can well afford. Or, you can live in a country with higher taxes, where student fees and prescriptions are "free at the point of delivery" for everyone. So far, Scottish voters have chosen the latter.

Duncan Stirling, Cardross.

Read more: Labour is right not to offer up rash spending promises

Send the migrants to Scotland

ALEX Orr (Letters, July 12) suggests our UK Government has lost humanity in acceptance of immigrants. But surely Scotland would be a fine place for these people, as we have a record of accepting those from other countries. Productive people from Poland, China, India, and Pakistan come to mind. Indeed, Scotland is presently being run by a gentleman with Pakistani origins.

Also the population of Scotland – with 32% of the UK landmass – has been stuck at around five million for more than a century, so immigration to fill us up is to be encouraged. This could provide strength for independence, as the economic benefit of more people would eventually kick in. An approach to the UK Government from Mr Orr would be welcome, as England – whose population has doubled in that equivalent century – simply can’t accommodate more people. The trains northward could start tomorrow.

This would be a constructive move for Scotland, and Mr Orr would surely be feted for his initiative.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross.

Hunt down the people-smugglers

IS anyone else as tired as I am of hearing “stop the boats” and the like when it must be crystal clear to anyone with a grain of logic that the steps proposed will do nothing to put the people-smugglers out of business?

These criminals patently do not care one iota that those who are desperate enough to pay their life savings to be put in small boats may well drown in the Channel. Even if the current crossings were stopped, all they would do would be to claim to have found “better”, more secretive, routes, where their victims will not be stopped.

Their operations will simply move to some less-policed parts of the French coast, where they will put them on the same unsafe boats, perhaps from Brittany to Cornwall, on a more dangerous route on which even more will die.

These criminals need hunted down wherever they operate, and desperate human beings should not be used as tools to discourage them.

P Davidson, Falkirk.

Move on and accept Brexit

NOT a day passes without some politician or opinion-former complaining about the harm Brexit is supposedly doing to the economy. There's nothing new there.

In 2016 HM Treasury, staffed by Remainers, published an 80-page analysis of what would happen immediately if there was a vote to leave the EU. This "analysis" stated that the immediate economic impact would be that GDP would be cut from between 3.6% and 6%, unemployment would surge between 520,000 and 820,000, house prices would immediately slump by between 10% and 18% and wages would be cut by between 2.8% and 4%. What happened? Exactly the opposite of the Treasury forecasts. GDP up, unemployment down to a 30-year low, house prices and wages rising.

The fact is that ever since we voted to leave this bloated sclerotic organisation run by unelected bureaucrats on super-sized salaries Remainers have tried to undermine the popular vote. Nothing illustrates this better than that clown Steven Bray who stands behind television interviewees waving anti-Brexit placards while receiving funds from Europhiles who support his disruption.

Surely it's time to move on and focus on the future rather than the past?

William Loneskie, Lauder.