IT was interesting to read the article by Chris Deerin about the challenges he faces on taking up the post of director at Reform Scotland, a think-tank ("In today's Scotland, it is time for less tribalism, more thought", The Herald, May 15).

Much of what he says makes sense – albeit his praise of Nicola Sturgeon is somewhat misplaced given the woeful track record of the SNP.

However, with a significant minority in Scotland only interested in marching, waving flags, moaning about the media and clamouring for another referendum whilst showing little regard to how our economy works within the UK, it will prove a very difficult task for him to make any real progress.

On a more positive note he correctly asks what our agenda should be for a post-Brexit Scotland with specific reference to "specialism". Fine, but in reality to get Scottish businesses cheering from the rooftops and our GDP on the right path for growth it would require the SNP Government to say that Scotland is open for business – not in words but in deeds. For example, it could lower the rate of Sottish income tax below rUK (not higher), support Ineos and get cracking with fracking, lift the ban on GM crops and most importantly honour the very Edinburgh Agreement which it demanded. These changes in policy will be essential if we want to take full advantage of Brexit, especially as the manufacturing sector will benefit by having to address the massive deficit (£80 billion) of goods trade with the EU. But again the SNP policy of pushing university education at the expense of further educational colleges (40,000 fewer places) is the wrong direction of travel to produce the skills needed.

We should all wish Mr Deerin well but until we have a government in Scotland which understands basic economics and stops pandering to tribalism and various interest groups, lest it loses votes, progress to get Scotland back on track is going to be painfully slow.

Ian Lakin,

Pinelands, Murtle Den Road, Milltimber, Aberdeen.

KEITH Howell (Letters, May 14) peddles the myth that Scottish independence is an attack on social relationships between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Scottish independence is not about this; many, if not most, independence supporters have family or friends in other parts of the UK, and do not regard this "social union" as a target for their political aspirations. Scottish independence is about political and economic self-determination and therefore is aimed at the political union only.

He harks back to the historical nostalgia of "generations of close interrelationships" and "mutual dependency", as if these alone justify Scotland being held back economically in the future, unable to rid itself of the shackles of a right-wing government in Westminster. These alone will not fend off the current attack by Westminster on Scottish democracy and its devolved parliament.

Only Scottish independence is capable of doing that.

Dennis White,

4 Vere Road, Blackwood, Lanark.

MARK Smith ("Labour's federalism plans could lead to the end of the UK", The Herald, May 14) writes that "the English could learn to love the idea".

I do remember that, in 2004, John Prescott foisted a plebiscite regarding the establishment of a regional assembly on the electorate of the north-east of England, presumably because of its very distinct characteristics which set it apart from other regions of that country.

The campaign was fronted by support from the Government, the great and good, old and bold, and so on. However, on a turnout of just under 50 per cent, the proposal was rejected by almost four to one.

On this basis, although almost a decade and a half has passed, an awful lot of loving may still be required before the English electorate shows significant sustained enthusiasm for such an idea.

Christopher W Ide,

25 Riverside Road, Waterfoot, East Renfrewshire.