It is Westminster acting outside the bounds of democracy

First, the SNP has been elected to government in successive Scottish elections, with a commitment to a second referendum prominent in its manifesto. Second, the longstanding tradition in the UK is that the role of the civil service is to assist the elected government in implementing its policies.

Mr Howell’s criticism stems from the fact that the citizenship paper “can in many ways appear like a political manifesto”. It is ultimately about the government and the work of politicians. For example, there is a government practice of making proposals in white papers, which in due course form the basis for subsequent legislation. The White Paper will be the product of officials, but that it was produced is the result of political work by politicians. In short, Mr Howell’s attempt to distinguish between the administration of government by officials and the political activities of politicians is naïve since the two things are routinely linked in government. Politicians set the goals, while officials advise and implement. Political engagement is associated with the territory.

Of course we know that the Scottish Government considers the Constitution to be ultra vires law. On the other hand, one justification for decentralization has been to allow the four nations of the UK to legislate in accordance with the wishes of their constituents, but current proposals to interfere in the activities of the Scottish Government do not stand alone. Westminster has vetoed the Holyrood Gender Recognition Bill passed by a majority of MPs from all parties. The Internal Market Act’s obligation to ‘mutually recognize’ food standards means Scottish standards can be undermined when another country’s government produces to lesser criteria.

We therefore appear to be entering an era where decentralized powers can only be used to effect if Westminster agrees, whatever the level of democratic support in Scotland. And they call it decentralization.

Alasdair Galloway, dumbarton

The Tories fared even worse

I HAVE news for Keith Howell (Letters, July 27) and the many of his misanthropes who tirelessly voice their grievances against the SNP; Put simply, that’s what democratically elected governments do, consistent with the electoral platforms on which they were elected by a majority parliamentary majority — deploy financial, human and emotional resources to develop their stated political priorities, and one of those is happening to the case that unionists failed to push for an independent Scotland.

I had no choice but to soak it up as the Conservative government in Westminster poured huge resources into their favorite constitutional preference – Brexit – while pursuing relentless austerity policies. Neither I personally nor Scotland at national level voted for or supported either policy and neither could be considered a resounding success. However, the big difference between the Scottish Government and the pursuit of its professed independence aspirations is threefold: first, it has a parliamentary majority and a mandate north of the border to do so; Second, no one will die as a result, and third, the cost will be a tiny fraction of the hundreds of billions of pounds the Conservatives have squandered on PPE, HS2 and much more.

If Mr Howell and his inveterate unionist minority are willing to accept such incompetence, waste and incompetence, that is fine with me, but my vision, my wish, is a Scotland freed from the punitive shackles of an ugly and unrepresentative of the British Government prefers a vote of optimism and hope to despair and dysfunction, when in truth independence can only be an improvement on the horror show unfolding in Westminster.

mike wilson, Longniddry.

Read more: Shame on the SNP for wasting our precious money on useless Indy papers

Even more fantasy

HUMZA Yousaf has released another of his papers on “Building a New Scotland” written by SNP officials. This fifth attempt on citizenship and passports would have been rated as mediocre if submitted by a sixth grader for a Modern Studies Advanced Higher project.

The SNP’s attempt to build Scottish independence with the help of a fantasy brigade repeatedly fails on the cliffs of the currency and the economy.

Paper 3 of the SNP “A Stronger Economy with Independence” has been widely denied by economists and even heavily criticized by prominent pro-independence advocates.

Until the nationalists can come up with a coherent monetary plan and honestly admit that Scotland’s crippling budget and trade deficits would require big tax hikes and painful government spending cuts, their dream of secession is indeed a nightmare.

Instead of putting out partisan white papers, the SNP should focus on the practical governance of Scotland and perhaps introduce a few ferries instead.

james quinn, Lanark.

We deserve much better

HONESTLY, I despair. How many more dark clouds are rolling over Scotland under this incapacitated SNP/Greens alliance?

A quick glance at Scotland’s track record does not bode well. In no chronological order have we had the ongoing ferry fiasco; the useless minimum prices for alcohol; the Hazardous Linked Smoke Alarms Act; the despicable children’s questionnaires; the idiotic deposit return system; the Covid lockdowns that led to the disastrous introduction of Covid passports; the stupidity of the named person; enabling discounted travel on buses without a ticket, giving bus companies just a license to print money; the highest drug-related death rate in Europe; Among other things, a shortage of general practitioners and longer waiting times in the hospital. All under Ms Sturgeon’s rule, with a little help from Patrick Harvie to enforce the hair-raising Covid passport system.

Now we have a new First Minister who has been a disaster in his previous posts as Minister for Transport, Justice and Health and is enforcing a heating system that serves no other meaningful purpose than further increasing the cost of living. Scotland really needs to get rid of this bunch of incompetents, the sooner the better. Scotland deserves much better.

james simpsons, Erskine.

Read more: The Scots have been abandoned by both our governments because of Covid

Hospital cost scandal

I note that Humza Yousaf claims that he “doesn’t mind” a leadership challenge (Yousaf declines leadership challenge, The Herald, July 27). Here’s one reason he should be concerned. Current statistics suggest that the number of clinically safe patients who cannot be discharged due to a lack of home care packages is around 10,000. A terrifying figure, especially since I’m one of them.

At around £500 a day it has cost the NHS £38,500 to keep me here as I have been here for 77 days. The last 30 of them I was able to be clinically safely discharged. Therefore, the 10,000 people mentioned in the statistic cost £5million a day to meet their needs. Appropriate care services must certainly only account for a fraction of these costs.

My understanding is that the government intends to set up a national nursing service, but MSPs won’t vote on it until next year. Why? This leads to unbelievable waste of money in the billions. Not to mention the mental health of patients and family members waiting for a loved one to return home. At least two patients on my ward are becoming more depressed by the day. Humza Yousaf should be seriously concerned.

ian smith, Symington.

Drug use will not go away

WHAT dr Edwards (Letters, July 27) is either unaware or willfully ignoring, is that since mankind crawled out of the swamp, it has often required mind-altering and mood-enhancing naturally occurring materials to overcome the adverse circumstances in which it found itself. to alleviate in. None of these substances are inherently “illegal” but have been considered illegal by a small segment of society for various ideological reasons. The same authoritarian section of society is happy to chill out with a bottle of Gevrey Chambertin and a fine Havana cigar, while vilifying the poor soul who resorts to cheap cider and a joint.

He does not seem to accept that “illegal” drug use will not go away and that all modern society’s efforts to reduce or eliminate the problem have failed. The best society can hope for is that the small fraction of the population who wish to use these substances can do so with the knowledge that the material is of a guaranteed standard and purity and that criminal involvement in the supply chain is terminated.

Any negative medical consequences of drug use could then be tackled in exactly the same way as the current and worsening obesity epidemic caused by overeating. That’s all Holyrood tries to do.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

Grace Reader

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