A mixed bag

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As the kind of dyed-in-the-wool old unionist Nicola Sturgeon is unlikely to convert and will have to live with, let me assure her there are many parts of her general policy I support. For all the rhetoric, the SNP governs with a pragmatism unhindered by ideological baggage. 

I think Trident is idiotic, that western interference in the Islamic Crescent has been wholly counter-productive and military spending should be targeted to forces we may actually use. 

Ring-fencing the NHS was a mistake, resulting in England increasing spending by 6 per cent in real terms over the last five years compared to the SNP’s 1 per cent for almost identical ­outcomes. 

State school problems will not be solved by throwing money at them and the SNP rightly reduced spending by 5 per cent in real terms while England’s rose with no difference in results. 

However, SNP centralisation makes me uneasy and I am pretty sure devo-max is a poisoned chalice, so the First Minister should keep a tight grip on the Barnett formula. 

Finally, the abolition of tuition fees has damaged tertiary education as well as totally failing to improve poor Scots’ access and she should reconsider her stance on “shale vs windmills”.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place, St Andrews

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