AS Dr Gerald Edwards (Letters, November 7) ploughs his way through his diatribe against the SNP, it never seems to occur to him that the party was handed power by the Unionist parties on account of the latter’s own ineptitude. On the basis of the evidence he himself provides, it is a safe bet that he yearns for Unionists to be in power at Holyrood. However, it is likely that whichever one was successful, it would also have to rely upon support from, say, the miniscule Greens that he ridicules in his letter, given that the electoral system was forged to prevent any single party, ie, the SNP, from gaining overall control.

So, the question for Dr Edwards is: which party would he prefer? He would have to bear in mind that it would be thirled by what happens south of the Border – a constraint that restricts the SNP. Would he care to identify for the Unionist parties the remedies he would expect them to implement, or would that be an embarrassment too far – for them, and for him?

I can never understand why vehement opponents to independence baulk at the party they support from achieving full power with independence, instead of compliance within the confines of a Scottish Parliament, which Tony Blair once likened to a parish council. After all, independence does not necessarily mean the SNP would win power. What do they have to fear?

Douglas R Mayer,

76 Thomson Crescent, Currie.

IN your TV section I see a mention of Location, Location, Location. In one episode I recall, a man had gained a promotion to London. He was expected to relocate from a detached house with garden (in Leeds I think) but all Phil and Kirstie could offer for his budget was a small one-bed flat. This sprang to mind with the fuss about tax levels between England and Scotland, and the supposed exodus of “middle earning” Scots ("Middle-class Scots could see tax gap with England hit £1,300", The Herald, November 7). Going south costs money. It is also more expensive to live in general: housing costs; transport; health and education. So good luck with your flit.

Murdo Fraser also has a whine about it. A problem is, that he and his party, have not actually won a Scottish election in some time, nor look likely to. Scotland is at an interesting juncture. Higher taxes on higher earnings with higher social provision. Not quite the “Nordic Model” (we don’t have enough tax and welfare powers for that), but moving away from the “Anglo-Saxon Model”. Mr Fraser will need to argue that high income inequality is a “good thing”, when most economic studies find the opposite is true. And egalitarian societies also tend to top the annual happiest country awards. So fair and happy. What’s not to like?

GR Weir,

17 Mill Street,


I AGREE with John Jamieson (Letters, November 7) but would also like to point out that the statement that five per cent contribute 50 per cent of tax revenues while 44 per cent pay nothing is misleading. The poorest pay a greater proportion of their income in taxes than the richest when taxes such as VAT, council tax and national insurance are taken into consideration.

Tax should not be seen as a burden but as a joyful way that we contribute to the needs of society as a whole. I am glad that Scotland is at least attempting to address inequality through using the few levers it has under its control and I despair over headlines that suggest that the middle classes will find a £1,300 gap between Scottish income tax and that of England insupportable.

Joyce Taylor,

Kirk House, Kingsbarns.

I WAS intrigued by the assertion that the bottom 44 per cent of people, in respect of income, do not pay tax. It must be assumed, therefore, that this group has been granted exemptions from making national insurance contributions and paying Value Added Tax (between them some 37 per cent of total revenue). If so, where might I apply for similar relief from the tax burden I currently shoulder?

Benny Timpson,

26 Ardlui Street, Glasgow.

YOUR front-page lead headline ("SNP slated for decade of delays on crucial projects", The Herald, November 6) symbolises all that is wrong with the Scottish press by intoning the usual litany that we are too wee, too poor and too stupid. You give a list of Scottish Government projects that are behind schedule or delayed – the underlining message being that our Scottish Government and the nation generally is incompetent and that any delays are just what you’d expect from the SNP who are all talk and no substance and we’re all a pretty useless lot anyway.

Let us take the case of the Queensferry Crossing: when you buy a new house you expect to get an NHBRC Certificate which indemnifies you against the inevitable snagging list of minor problems which accompany the completion of a new build house. A fortiori, in the case of a huge and innovative contract such as that for the Queensferry Crossing (which was delivered on time and within budget by the way) there will inevitably be snagging list.

The blog Wings over Scotland constantly draws attention to the way the Scottish media close ranks when their journalism is criticised instead of exercising some honest self-examination. Our national motto, Nemo me impune lacessi has been lampooned as "Wha’s like us? Damn few and they’re a’ deid". The correct translation of the Latin is "Wha daur meddle wi’ me". Perhaps a little more of the latter spirit in our papers might not be amiss in lifting the national morale in these bleak times.

Alexandra MacRae,

8 Jubilee Park, Letham, Forfar.

SURVATION conducts a poll on UK attitudes to Brexit. SNP headquarters extrapolates from that poll to claim that a majority of Scots (51 per cent) have been driven to support separatism because of Brexit. Survation points out that there was no separate poll on support for Scottish separatism ("SNP under fire for saying majority would vote Yes", The Herald, November 7).

But the damage has been done. SNP HQ has ensured that word about its claimed majority has gone out electronically to its supporters, who obediently parrot the fake figures at anyone who will listen. It’s the old story of a lie being halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on. And this is where the real talent of SNP HQ lies – in propagating fake news to its faithful acolytes, who broadcast it uncritically. No wonder Scotland is as divided as it is.

Jill Stephenson,

Glenlockhart Valley, Edinburgh.