LAUNCHING the latest of the SNP's pro-independence pamphlets, First Minister Humza Yousaf declared that he would tear up his British passport if Scotland became independent ("FM would rip up UK citizenship under ‘inclusive’ indy blueprint", The Herald, July 28). A bold statement indeed, but the bravery of his intent was somewhat undermined by the fact that few Scots were listening and fewer care. The whole event had the air of amateur night in the village hall where only the performers' relatives, the caretaker and the cleaner had shown up, and even they were surreptitiously scrolling on their phones or knitting jumpers for their nephews.

It seemed to have escaped the FM's attention that, to have a passport, you need to leave the UK. And to leave the UK you need to convince Scots that it would be a wise course to take. Neither of these conditions being met, all talk of passport is futile and pointless. I suspect the whole thing is an exercise in deflection and distraction, designed to keep the faithful worshipping at the altar of the imaginary Church of Indyref2. Not politics but performance art.

The First Minister did reveal that the passport, if it ever happens, will definitely be EU pink. Medieval theologians spent years debating the ontological puzzle of how many angels could balance on the head of a pin. I do hope we Scots aren't going to similarly waste our lives debating the colour of an imaginary and never likely to exist passport.

Alex Gallagher, Largs.

A matter of identity

FIRST Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf has stated that under his citizenship proposals for an independent Scotland, he would not keep his British citizenship. He describes himself as “a proud Scottish Pakistani”.

The SNP claims its nationalism is not identity-based, not based on Scottishness, but is a “civic” nationalism based on fairness and social justice. Mr Yousaf is Scottish, British and of Pakistani origin, but he seems to be rejecting his Britishness. Isn’t this identity-based politics?

Dr Nick Williams, Auchenblae, Aberdeenshire.

• POST-INDEPENDENCE (if ever) the First Minister’s back-of-a-fag-packet proposal is that citizenship and nationality will be offered to “ all people ….who were born here…". That will include those Scots living elsewhere who, contrary to the established practice in many other countries, were excluded specifically from voting in the 2014 referendum, and presumably would be excluded similarly in any future referendum.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

• HUMZA Yousaf must be excited beyond belief with the prospect of Donald Trump applying for Scottish citizenship.

Lord help us.

Peter Wright, West Kilbride.

Read more: Shame on the SNP for wasting our precious cash on useless indy papers

Scotland and the deficit

I REALLY need to be more of a lion and less of a tiger (read the fable of the lion, the tiger and the donkey), for the sake of my mental health, but I'll have another go.

James Quinn (Letters, July 28) repeats the usual rant about fiscal and trade deficits and currency plans.

Scotland's deficit comes from a combination of what it is charged and what is spent here. The government of an independent Scotland could choose to simply spend a similar sum to what is spent here or increase spending to what it is charged, decreasing the deficit either way.

Running a deficit, however, is not a sign of economic health, and it is Westminster rule that has put Scotland there. Scotland has a deficit because it's underdeveloped and it's underdeveloped because of a lack of investment, so what's the Union plan for addressing this?

I would invite Mr Quinn to look at a blank piece of paper. What he is looking at is a list of countries that have gone independent and failed to find a currency, sometimes with very little planning beforehand. What is uniquely bad about Scotland, that will make it the first to fail?

Finally I've written all this before. Could a Union-supporting correspondent tell me what's wrong with it? Not just ignore it then repeat the same old mantra in the future?

Iain Cope, Glasgow.

Do we want the status quo?

WHAT Scotland needs right now is strong government, and if that entails a return to overall control from Westminster then so be it.

The SNP/Green alliance has imploded, and there can be no recovery under the latest administration with Humza Yousaf at the helm. His latest policy paper is even more unclear than the SNP's previous one, especially in the areas relating to the crown, currency, a hard border, defence and demographic challenges.

What is needed right now is sound government at Holyrood, and that can only be achieved by instigating an election to determine if the electorate in Scotland really wants the status quo to continue. Immediate action in this matter is absolutely essential.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife.

The big carbon question

I NOTE Jill Stephenson’s frustration (Letters, July 25) that nobody told her she could be penalised for having a gas boiler, perhaps the Insulate Britain protestors weren’t vocal enough, or the media didn’t cover enough stories about global warming. Perhaps her gas fitter wasn’t trained in electrical heat pump installation or didn’t think that the new boiler will last long enough to be affected by changes in regulations.

However, if she lives in a house with good insulation and solar panels, it is likely that her house will have an energy certificate that is well above average, rather than below. The penalties that she faces for having a gas boiler would come from selling her excess solar power back to the grid at a discount instead of using it to heat her water.

The UK Government plan is to tax carbon emissions out of existence with the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, copied from the EU ETS, that increases the price of burning fossil carbon fuels. Neither currently covers domestic gas usage, but the EU plans to extend it to cover domestic users in 2027. This will shift the burden of CO2 reductions away from EU industry, and the question is whether the UK Government will follow suit to protect UK industry, or will expect UK industry to make disproportionate cuts because industry doesn’t vote.

Finally she asks why the Scottish Government hasn’t built any nuclear power stations. Considering that the UK has completed no nuclear power stations since Scottish devolution, why would anyone build a nuclear power station in Scotland when they could build one in England and have lower grid connection charges?

Alan Ritchie, Glasgow.

The Herald: Should David Goodwillie be allowed to play for Glasgow United?Should David Goodwillie be allowed to play for Glasgow United? (Image: SNS)

Club right to back Goodwillie

I WRITE with reference to the threat by Glasgow Council to prevent Glasgow United FC using their training ground if they sign David Goodwillie ("Goodwillie club: He deserves a chance", Herald Sport, July 20). This is the same Glasgow Council which prevented Franklin Graham in 2020 from holding a gospel festival in a city auditorium.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association took it to court and won, and Glasgow Council was fined £100,000 for discrimination and breach of contract and ordered to pay compensation to the Billy Graham Evangelisitic Association, which came out of public money.

When a woman taken in adultery was brought to Jesus by the Pharisees to test Him if He agreed she should be stoned, which was the penalty for adultery in Jewish law, Jesus said: "He that is without sin among you let him cast the first stone." They all went out convicted by their conscience, leaving Jesus alone with the woman. Jesus said to the woman: "Where are your acccusers, has no man condemned you?" She said: "No one Sir." "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8 3-11). David Goodwillie wronged the woman who accused him of rape, which he denied but was given a large fine as a result of the civil court case, but in his own words, he is "trying to be a better person" and to clean up his act. Glasgow United should be commended for being willing to give him a second chance to play the game he loves instead of being threatened by Glasgow Council.

Norman A Ogston, Johnstone.

Read more: Let's all stand tall in praise of us short folk

It's a small world

ON reading Rosemary Goring’s column ("Join me, my fellow shorties, and stand proud and tall", The Herald, July 27), I felt driven to make comment from the other end of the height spectrum.

It is not easy being tall, let me tell you. At 6ft 5in I am extremely tall by any standard and whilst I can hardly say that my life has been one of acute suffering or indeed that I have been traumatised by my height, being extra-tall does have some distinct drawbacks both mentally and physically.

At school I was always the tallest in class and in fact when I left secondary school in 1979 I was tallest in the school, including the teachers. I was subjected to relentless taunting, attracting a number of epithets such as “lanky” “lofty” “Lurch” and worse... I lost count of the number of times I was asked what the weather was like up there. This at the stage of life when you just want to blend into the crowd rather than stand above it.

Some readers might now say they were only teasing, and that may well be the case, but as a16-year-old all I was hearing was "freak”, "not one of us".

In this modern age I would no doubt have been offered counselling and my tormentors rebuked and that may have helped but it was a miserable time.

In the intervening 45 years I would appear to have got over it but there are daily reminders that this is in fact a small world designed by small people for small people. Trips to sporting events, theatre or cinema involve two hours of “manspreading” or with my legs stuck out in the aisle with consequent back ache the following day.

Forget economy class seats on aeroplanes: my femur is longer than the space between the two seat backs.

A more painful reminder of my otherness is regularly smacking my forehead against door lintels and, unlike Ms Goring, having to navigate my way round chandeliers and pendant lights.

It's not all doom and gloom however as a number of surveys have confirmed that women are disproportionately attracted to tall men.

I, of course, couldn’t possibly comment.

Keith Swinley, Ayr.