AT last it seems that politically there is once again hope for Scotland (“SNP divided on strategy over independence after by-election thrashing”, The Herald, October 7). While it is just one by-election, this has been the first election we have had for many years where arguably independence has not been the decisive, and indeed overwhelmingly divisive, issue.

No matter where you stand on Scotland’s place in the UK, it has been unhealthy to see Scotland supporting a government at Holyrood that has demonstrably failed us on such a wide spread of the areas for which it has responsibility.

Now it appears many previous SNP supporters have grown tired of its leadership’s failings, and no longer feel duty bound to support them. Most long-standing governments start to look short of innovative ideas, and the SNP has been no exception, it just seems to have taken a very long time for the many empty promises of the SNP hierarchy to have been fully exposed.

Humza Yousaf must rue the day that he went along with the idea of being the continuity candidate as it sees him inextricably entwined with every misstep, failure and shortcoming that the SNP has built a reputation for over the last decade and a half of nationalist domination.

Now there is a huge challenge facing those hoping to eventually replace the SNP in government. While redressing all the harm done across our public services will require immense focus and dedication, there is also the need to release Scotland from the self-imposed purgatory of pretending that on every critical issue we are a country of them and us. In truth on so many issues we can be broadly in agreement. Perhaps we can dare to hope that there is a future where Scotland finds itself again, preferring to be together rather than apart.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

An apology is in order

THE latest news from Police Scotland should make the people of Scotland shudder in horror. We are being told recruitment is being temporarily halted, officer courses are being cancelled, training staff at Tulliallan being redeployed, many crimes will no longer be investigated and there is a £19m shortfall ("Police cut back on recruits in attempt to save cash", The Herald, October 6). On top of this, according to Federation General Secretary David Kennedy, approximately 60 experienced officers are retiring every month.

Police Scotland was the creation of the then SNP politician Kenny MacAskill, established according to him, to create efficiencies and save millions. In reality, the nationalist regime only wanted political control over one Chief Constable. Now we witness the evidence of another SNP failure. Mr MacAskill has bolted, Nicola Sturgeon has bolted but the disorder, the disarray remains. An apology is in order.

The excellent result from the Rutherglen by-election will hopefully hasten the demise of the incompetence of this SNP Government which has trashed virtually every aspect of Scottish life.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.

We should be grateful to the Tories for rescuing the country

Labour not the answer for Scots

THOSE who remain unconvinced of the merits of independence and the capabilities of the people of Scotland (aided with our vast energy resources) to emulate the economic success of many of our neighbours should not rely on thinking that their democratic representation will not be lessened should Labour win power at Westminster.

The Labour Party argued against Brexit but has not only enthusiastically acquiesced to this ongoing tragedy for Scotland, it has raised hardly a whisper of opposition to the UK Internal Market Act which day by day is further stripping Holyrood of its limited powers as the Sewel Convention is “no more”. But what should we expect of a party that conspired with the Tories, both in 1998 and 2016, to limit the devolved powers to such an extent that the Scottish Parliament cannot even consult the Scottish people via a constitutional referendum?

The only way decades of under-investment in Scotland’s infrastructure can be significantly reversed and good quality long-term jobs created, without diminution, or destruction, of our public services, is for the people of Scotland to determine their own path in a challenging world. Clever sound-bites accompanying what are effectively political bribes may appear appealing in the short term but these will not solve the harsh realities of a London-driven cost of living crisis or NHS issues experienced throughout an increasingly failing and undemocratic UK.

Future generations will not thank us if we are diverted from restoring Scotland’s independence.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.

Green fascism in action

HUGH Noble (Letters, October 6) criticises the Prime Minister for his pro-growth agenda, which he claims is incompatible with net zero. Furthermore, he says that "to hold an anti-green position is a pro-human extermination position". This is climate alarmism of the worst kind.

I am pro-growth because economic growth thanks to coal power and the Industrial Revolution economic growth has revolutionised human life from being "nasty, brutish and short" to one where economic growth has dramatically increased life expectancy, conquered many diseases, allowed machines to replace back-breaking labour, and given the majority of the population a standard of living of which kings and queens could once never have dreamed.

I am opposed to net zero because the target of 1.5C is simply an arbitrary number (why not 1.78?) because it will cost trillions, because it will undermine our economy, because no-one voted for it, because it was never debated in the Commons, and because the industry which has been built around it, does not tell the truth about its viability and cost. A new video on the Spiked website by Fraser Myer, The Net Zero Con, describes all this in factual detail.

One of the most dangerous things about the net zero project is its totalitarian nature. It's green fascism in action.

William Loneskie, Lauder.

Letters: The worrying Rishi Sunak speech line that went overlooked

Dash for growth is wrong

ECONOMIC growth is measured in the increase of GDP. To date that largely means the steady consumption of the Earth's natural resources and many believe that this cannot be sustained. Only relatively few nations have benefited from growth in the realisation of a better quality of life for their populations and the wealth emanating from growth is hideously badly distributed with the richest one per cent globally owning around half of the world's wealth. Here in the UK the richest one per cent are now wealthier than 70 per cent of the population combined.

It must be at least debatable whether the dash for growth with the most powerful countries competing with each other (how often have you heard government ministers trumpeting about being world leading and endlessly quoting positions in comparative tables as if we were competing in a football league?) is the right way ahead. During the last half of the second millennium, but increasingly over the last 200 years, the developed countries have systematically taken resources from those countries they controlled. The British Empire became the Commonwealth, a name which gives a very rose-tinted impression of the distribution of wealth which actually took place. It is little wonder that the much-maligned economic migrant wants a slice of the benefits that the UK and others accrued from the days of Empire.

It was interesting to read that the Pope, in a document intriguingly titled "Praise God", has lamented that once again the world's poor and vulnerable are paying the highest price as climate change, fuelled by the dash for competitive growth, reaches a "point of no return". He called for "a bold cultural revolution to correct a structurally perverse economic system where the rich exploit the poor, turning Earth into an immense pile of filth".

I am not religious and cannot accept the basic tenet of all Christian sects that a supernatural entity has been responsible for creating the infinitely large and violent hell of the Universe - in which our destruction is inevitable - that the James Webb telescope is daily revealing. If they are right and this God is benign and loves us, he, she or it, has an odd way of showing it.

Jim Proctor, Paisley.

We must stand up to bullies

IN her plea for the preservation of Ukrainian freedom Margaret Baisden (Letters, October 6) remarks that Churchill said the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Many others have said the same thing, but the first expression of the idea came not from an imperial hero but an Irish lawyer devoted to civil, political and religious rights; John Philpot Curran (1750-1815). His wording was: “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt”.

However, having said that, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance” is a more snappy way of getting the idea across. And it is an idea worth getting across because bullies are only empowered by failure to stand up to them. If Czechoslovakia had been defended would Poland have fallen?

Peter Martin, Perth.