WHAT'S wrong with providing facilities for people to take illegal drugs "safely" ("UK Government will not block Scottish drug consumption room pilot", heraldscotland, September 13)?

1: It's not safe. The drug is just as harmful wherever it is taken.

2: It gives the impression that the only or main danger of drugs is unhygienic consumption.

3: Implying that drug abuse can be "safe" takes away a deterrent to people experimenting with drugs and takes away a motivation to stop.

4: It implies an expectation that illegal drug abusers will continue to be illegal drug abusers.

5: It communicates that our society doesn't really have a problem with illegal drug abuse.

6: It implies that the only danger of illegal drug abuse is to the user, while the harms are actually also inflicted on family, friends and wider society.

7: It is a step towards the legalisation and social acceptance of dangerous addictive drugs.

To sum up, "safe" consumption rooms will, in the longer term, lead to more drug abuse, more drug addiction, more drug deaths and more fear, hurt, injury, loss and death among the law-abiding citizens who cross their path.

The ideal site for any "safe" consumption room is the forecourt of the Scottish Parliament. At least then some of the negative consequences would be felt by the MSPs who supported it and visitors to Scotland would better understand what sort of nation they are visiting.

Richard Lucas, Scottish Family Party, Glasgow.

Rayner could not have delivered

SOME 50-plus years ago, the estimable Anglo-Scottish journalist James Cameron gave a BBC lecture in which he asserted that Scottish independence was not attainable because the media “opinion formers” were all unionist.

Scotland has been described in recent years as a “one-party state” but for many in Scotland’s media that one party is eternally Labour. Perhaps there is a flavour of this in Alison Rowat gushing over Angela Rayner (who trails blithely behind her boss as he veers ever rightward, dumping policy after policy). Alison Rowat then gasts our flabber by claiming that if the SNP had elected her (Rayner) as their leader, independence would have been won ("If Rayner were SNP leader indy would be here by now", The Herald, September 13). Really?

How would she have overcome the constitutional veto imposed on Scotland by a succession of Prime Ministers and UK party leaders (all English) after repeated electoral victories by the SNP? Is Ms Rayner a more inspiring figure than Nicola Sturgeon was in her prime (who was admired right across the UK), and who couldn’t move the dial? Scotland is in a constitutional hole without a democratic exit, and poorly-expressed opinion pieces don’t help.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

Read  more: Stop picking on teachers and put pressure on the parents

What's wrong with Aberdeen?

WELL said, Moira Love (Letters, September 13), regarding Kevin McKenna's use of adjectives, but what struck me in Mr McKenna's latest whinge about all things SNP (“The SNP’s timidity is costing the Yes movement dear”, The Herald, September 12) is that he even has a view on, and complaints about, where the party has chosen to hold its annual conference.

I was startled to read Mr McKenna declare that delegates will have to "make the long journey north" and for one ghastly moment thought party bosses had booked Ice Station Zebra for the occasion; what a relief to find it is being held no further than cosmopolitan Aberdeen.

Mr McKenna goes on to moan about the cost of train fares to Aberdeen, and the Event Complex venue being "far out of town, the addition of taxi fares makes the cost even more prohibitive"; I can assure him that there is an excellent, regular, bus service from Aberdeen bus station to the airport which calls at the Event Complex; I've booked into a very nice, inexpensive hotel, just across the road from the bus station, so no worries there.

As the SNP is Scotland's largest political party it is difficult to find venues big enough to accommodate all the members who want to attend conference, but no doubt if the SNP had booked a venue in Glasgow or Edinburgh, Mr McKenna would have complained about that too, and accused the SNP of only being interested in the Central Belt.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

Unionist parties should aim high

IF Robert IG Scott had qualified his forecast (Letters, September 11) by saying the SNP "should be" thrashed he'd be spot on, but Derrick McClure (Letters, September 12) accurately listed the current weaknesses of the pro-UK parties.

Surely they can up their game in the next year to look like they want to win and have the policies to do it?

A current example is childcare. Many parents know about Humza Yousaf's plans to accelerate care expansion for two-year-olds which won headlines last week, but few are aware that in England from April next year the Government will phase in 30 hours childcare per week for children as young as nine months. Sir Keir Starmer supports the policy and equivalent funding will be made available to Scotland via the Barnett Formula.

It seems the Conservatives will be delighted to hold on to their six Scottish seats and Labour should fall heir to at least 20 SNP seats but in 2017, when voters were jaded by the SNP's indymania, the Conservatives won 13 seats. These days a lot more people have seen through the SNP so surely the pro-UK parties should be aiming at a minimum of 40 seats.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

Give us facts and figures

IT seems SNP politicians and supporters of independence have only one economic case for a successful independent Scotland. Day by day, week by week, disciples of separation such as Leah Gunn Barrett (Letters, September 11), remind us we have “resources”. No facts and figures, no statistics, just “resources”.

It seems the minority are prepared to risk the future of Scotland on some airy-fairy, debatable case for breaking up the best union in the world as opposed to providing “the people of Scotland” with certainty.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.

Read more: Reports of the death of the SNP are greatly exaggerated

Follow the ferries money

I NOTE Martin Williams' excellent report on the lack of clarity over the obscene financial overrun in the building of the ferries (“Scots ministers urged to lift secrecy over ferry millions", heraldscotland, September 13). The view of the Scottish Government has been to try to block any real investigation at every turn. I recall this question being kicked into touch some three years ago with the promise that "there will be a full investigation when the ships have sailed".

It would seem that to reach the necessary milestone payments, in one instance, £83.25 million of the £97m contract was paid, despite the fact the usual accompanying general work was not done. This would suggest that in order to cross the legal contractual definition and get the money, all the back-up work that is usually done beforehand was simply ignored. This then created a huge ongoing problem that mushroomed into an even worse situation as the next milestone approached. The fake windows et al on launch day might just have indicated the catastrophic chaotic future problems.

It is surely essential that there has to be a very full forensic investigation as to where the money went, and those named should be held to account, no matter who or where they are.

Robin Johnston, Newton Mearns.

Admit it, it's all about cash

WE now have parking meters sprouting up on every corner of the street where parking was never a problem. We have speed cameras masquerading as some sort of road safety measure. We have bus lanes monitored by cameras, dressed up as a means of facilitating traffic through our roads. Now we have Low Emission Zones, disguised as a means of tackling air quality in our cities.

While councils dress up these courses of action as being necessary, the only true course that runs through the above is the rich vein of revenue collection.

I read with disbelief that those who run a charity ambulance have to raise £20,000 to purchase a new vehicle because theirs does not meet the flawed criteria of the LEZ, that flawed criteria being, regardless of any vehicle having passed its MOT and legal emission test, if the vehicle was made prior to 2006, the owner faces a penalty if it enters an LEZ ("First aid charity’s ambulance ‘blocked’ by city’s LEZ", The Herald, September 13).

It truly infuriates me when I come across unaccountable council figures trying to justify these abhorrent measures without revealing their true purpose: revenue collection. Nothing more, nothing less.

James Simpson, Erskine.