Readers' Letters: Sturgeon is the biggest bar to independence

Nicola Sturgeon has allegedly said that there will be no draft independence Bill put in front of Parliament before the local elections.

Is First Minister Nicola Sturgeon deliberately delaying the call for Indyref2? (Picture: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)
Is First Minister Nicola Sturgeon deliberately delaying the call for Indyref2? (Picture: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

This act of betrayal should be her last as First Minister. It has been obvious for years Sturgeon has no intention of ever holding a new plebiscite. Instead she has strung the movement along with nebulous announcements and ever shifting timetables.

Sturgeon has, quite frankly, behaved like American fraudster Bernie Madoff, forever promising the gullible more returns from her well of credulity. Under Sturgeon the SNP is a Ponzi scam. A racket intended to keep the very mediocre Sturgeon loyalists in employment at the taxpayers expense.

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Sturgeon’s call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine was embarrassing. Her desire to virtue signal and brandish her “woke” credentials could have lead to World War Three.

In truth, the biggest barrier to Scotland getting independence isn't the Tories or the corrupt media. It’s Sturgeon and her cult cronies. The job of the Nationalist movement should be to remove her and the hangers on from office.

Alan Hinnrichs, Dundee

Good luck

As a supporter of the Union, the more I read Scottish newspapers the more I think independence must occur. The resentment and vitriol they contain against the Union, or more precisely England, goes beyond mere comment on the situation. Anything that goes wrong in Scotland somehow always seems to end up as a fault of the Union. One regular correspondent to various Letters Pages constantly uses statistics to show how Scotland is the poor relation.We seem to forget it was a Scottish king who created the United Kingdom and a Scottish Parliament that sought Union to gain access to English markets at home and abroad. Let’s not mention the Darien fiasco.When devolution occurred it was a golden opportunity for Scotland to show how fiscally competent it could be, instead it has a national debt. I’m sure pro-independence supporters will find it is the Union’s fault. The blame game is in full swing, a fall guy having been found for the ferries debacle; who, I wonder, will be held responsible when nationalising ScotRail goes the same way.I wish my country of birth well for the future, I live elsewhere as that is where life has taken me, just as it has taken others to live in Scotland. I just hope the Utopia it seeks turns out as green and fruitful as they dream.

C Lowson, Fareham, Hants

Blame game

Surely the time has come for we Scots voters to give serious thought to the gross inadequacy of Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP ministerial colleagues in their attempts to govern Scotland? One can scarcely pick up a newspaper these days without reading about some form of criticism of this SNP minority administration.

This problem takes on a multitude of shapes and forms, and highlights the major problems faced throughout Scotland's administration, be it at parliament level, or within the realms of the local authorities. Just how well is Scotland really faring in the key areas of education, health, welfare, public transport, Police Scotland, local authority services? The list of discontent seems endless, and quite recently it has even been extended to raise the question over “missing” SNP membership funds. Then there are the well-publicised hiccups pertaining to West Coast and Hebridean Ferry services, coupled with the disastrous related shipbuilding contracts.

Just how much more have the good folks of Scotland got to put up with from this feeble excuse for an administration, the political case of which is built entirely on historical emotion, and grievance against the UK? One thing they are good at is adoption of the blame game – to quote that auld Scots expression: “It wisnae me!”

Robert I G Scott, Northfield, Ceres, Fife

Buck unstopped

It's welcome news that Derek Mackay intends to set the record straight on the ferries fiasco (Scotsman, April 4). Presumably Nicola Sturgeon thought she was safe after her weaselly claim that the buck stopped with her – except it was Derek Mackay to blame! A reappearance from his bunker of the disgraced former minister to claim he has been "scapegoated" must have been the furthest thing from her mind.

Ms Sturgeon does not seem to know how buck stopping works. Mr Mackay states the obvious that “something of this size would never have happened without prior approval at the highest levels” and that he was “behind the main players – Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney and Keith Brown”. Ms Sturgeon clearly thinks the buck stops on the way down, not up! Mr Mackay “will seek access to the necessary papers and information [he] is entitled to as a former government minister”. Good luck with that, considering the Auditor General cannot lay his hands on them! Will the SNP's talent for secrecy suppress the truth yet again or will the First Minister finally get her comeuppance for her grandstanding dissimulation?

Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh

Secret state

An interesting article by John McLellan (Perspective, April 2) on the culture of secrecy in our society and institutions. He mentions Edinburgh Council, the inquiry into Shrewsbury and Telford NHS, and one could mention the Post Office computer scandal. Sadly, in this country, it is not hard to predict that no individual will be held responsible for any of them!

William Ballantine, Bo'ness, West Lothian

Deliberate delay?

In January 2022, having exhausted the internal complaints procedure, I submitted a complaint about a Scottish Government service to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Although the Customer Service Standards say “we will deal with your complaint in a timely manner” the Ombudsman advised me that the earliest that my complaint can be allocated to a Complaints Reviewer is December 2022. Meanwhile, the Scottish Government service concerned continues to operate unchallenged.

Is it unreasonable to think that it serves the Scottish Government's interests to deny the Ombudsman the resources to deal with complaints against them “in a timely manner”?

Hamish Johnston, Balloch, Inverness

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Time to change

If the unthinkable happens and Marine Le Pen is elected French President, she will be perhaps from being the only western politician to admit aloud she got it badly wrong about Putin.Amid the cacophony of platitudes and humbug, all refuse to confess either that they were hoodwinked or simply turned a blind eye to events like the Salisbury poisonings which made it plain the price of cheap fuel and materials was bankrolling a gangster's empire – and now the world is paying the price. No wonder even far-left French voters are preparing to hold their noses and lend her their vote this once.However the Ukraine crisis ends, there needs to be a massive sea change in the cynical materialism of our global politics where for too long we've accepted the unacceptable so long as it was happening to someone else.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

Covid pain

It is doubtful that the families of more than 20,000 people (based on latest JHU CSSE figures) who apparently lost their lives in England as a result of the less cautious (read tardy, misdirected and at times irresponsible) actions of the UK Government would agree with Brian Monteith’s summary (Perspective, 4 April).

In his article on Monday he made the statement that “Scotland’s outcomes are at the best the same, quite possibly worse” which clearly, with reference to mortality, is “at best” misleading even if attempting to objectively consider the more complex determination of relative “excess deaths”. While it is difficult to separate out the economic damage, we do know that through the pandemic the UK economy also suffered the biggest decline among the G7, although admittedly the UK also had, and continues to suffer, the economic self-harm of Brexit. Even with an acclaimed fast initial vaccine roll-out relative to our European neighbours, many countries have since overtaken the UK in vaccinating their populations and overall experienced significantly fewer deaths on a population basis than the UK, which has suffered amongst the worst coronavirus death-rates in the world.

It is disappointing that Mr Monteith prefers to use the opportunity he is provided to accuse other parties of playing politics rather than aim some of his seeming ire at his Tory pals in Westminster, who are still failing many people across the UK, especially our poorest and most vulnerable.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry, East Lothian

Bottom of class

Recently, the Auditor General in Scotland, Stephen Boyle, reported that there had been little progress towards closing the attainment gap between better off and poorer children in Scottish schools. After 15 years of SNP government, and now under a First Minister whose avowed top priority is education there is still a glaring difference between achievement in schools on the part of children from better-off neighbourhoods and those from less favoured ones.

The contrast between this failure, while SNP ministers are chauffeured around in style, and the philanthropy of David MacMillan is stark. Prof MacMillan is a Scottish Nobel prizewinner in chemistry who works at Princeton University. He has announced that his share of the prize, £400,000, will be used to help underprivileged children access higher education. Prof MacMillan’s gift is both welcome and the mark of an utterly decent human being. It is just sad that there is in Scotland such a need for his philanthropic action.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

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