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Readers’ letters: More reaction to Sturgeon resigning and the future of Scotland

Readers have had their say on Nicola Sturgeon's reign as first minister. Image: PA
Readers have had their say on Nicola Sturgeon's reign as first minister. Image: PA

Readers of the Press & Journal and the Evening Express discuss the issues that matter to them the most including Sturgeon’s legacy and the selfie-friendly Aberdeen sign.

Sturgeon will be a hard act to follow as first minister

Sir, – I write to express my deep regret that Nicola Sturgeon is stepping down as SNP first minister.

She has, in my opinion, acted responsibly and honestly for the last eight years in the post and, significantly, was praised by women in the UK during the last general election as the most trustworthy politician in the UK.

Given the actions of the current bunch of Tory politicians over the last few years and before, I would suggest that she has served Scotland responsibly and consistently while enduring the constant and undue criticism from the unionist machine in Scotland and Westminster.

I am 72 years old and debated at high school in 1965 for independence for Scotland. I’ve never been a member of the SNP although I have consistently supported the party and voted for them at every election.

I never trusted Alex Salmond and his fall from grace was fully justified. Gordon Brown had his ‘vow’ and now, like Salmond, continues to denigrate Scotland with antics on the sidelines.

Whoever takes over will need to be ready and able for the job and show the same grit and determination as Nicola to have independence achieved in my lifetime as a necessity to ensure the future of Scotland is in the hands of our next generation of young voters.

They seem to be keener than many of my generation who maintain an “it’s aye been” attitude and, for some reason, believe in the status quo of subservience to the “Great” Britain rules the world theory.

Archie Finlayson, Croft Road, Forres.

FM’s independence focus fails Scotland

Sir, – Back in 2014 when Nicola Sturgeon succeeded Alex Salmond as first minister, she inherited a Scotland that was reeling from the after-effects of an independence referendum.

As she now prepares to leave office, time has not healed those old wounds and Scotland remains as divided as ever.

As first minister Ms Sturgeon could have chosen to accept the result of the referendum with a focus on bringing the country together and working with the UK Government for the benefit of all the people of Scotland.

Instead, during her time in office everything has been viewed through the eyes of independence with maximum effort being placed on manufacturing grievances against Westminister to stir up support.

In education the attainment gap is still as wide as ever, and perhaps instead of providing free school meals to all, more focus should have been placed on improving standards in maths and reading which in turn can reduce poverty levels as a good education is a way out of it.

In health the NHS is in crisis with waiting times for treatment at record levels and drug deaths being the highest in Europe.

While all efforts post-Covid should have been focused on getting Scotland’s economy back up and running, Nicola Sturgeon chose to enter a coalition with the Greens who firmly don’t believe in business growth or capitalism and, as a result, we are not only the highest taxed but also have an economy which lags behind the rest of the UK.

As she prepares to leave office after eight-and-half years Ms Sturgeon will be remembered as a divisive politician for whom independence really was the be all and end all – leaving behind a legacy of domestic failures.

Mhairi E Rennie, Finlayson Street, Fraserburgh.

Resignation timing could not be worse

Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon is leaving her job when the nation is in the worst possible state of uncertainty given the rudderless direction of her SNP government, with judgments from the Supreme Court thwarting her referendum attempt, and flawed gender reform plans which have now hit the buffers as has the badly- framed bottles deposit and return scheme, causing angst and huge operating and implementation costs for small business.

Also impacting the daily running of the nation are the long-running strikes by teachers and health workers, creating problems for parents and hitting the patients on an already increased backlog of appointments for operations or treatment.

Nicola Sturgeon always maintained she would do her utmost for Scotland, but as we have a cost-of-living and energy crisis, as well as a financial disaster to deal with – including funding all of Scotland’s councils and public bodies – she chooses to throw in the towel three weeks after her BBC interview assuring the nation she had plenty left in the tank and a desire to carry on.

More problems with SNP MPs and MSPs not toeing the party line has undermined her authority lately with her preferred Westminster choice of replacement leader being ignored in favour of Stephen Flynn by a majority vote in the Westminster group, and also with her MSPs reneging on the gender Bill at Holyrood.

These distractions, as well as the unsuccessful neverendum pursuit, have taken their toll and Scotland suffers the consequences of a lack of effort in doing the day job.

As polls reflect no clamour for separation, it is probably this fact alone that has made her give up and hand over the mess to someone ambitious and keen to grasp a poisoned chalice.

Angus McNair, Clochan, Buckie.

Plans have been submitted for giant letters spelling out Aberdeen – similar to those seen in Amsterdam, Toronto and other famous cities across the world. Image: Aberdeen Inspired

City promotion very welcome

Sir, – A long time coming but the penny has dropped for those trying to promote our city.

A photo shoot of an Aberdeen sign surrounded by granite buildings, not a glass cube to be seen, is a huge step in the right direction in promoting the Granite City.

We await the follow-up to this sign, remembering that one swallow does not mean summer is here.

Michael North, Lang Stracht, Summerhill

SNP’s new broom must sweep clean

Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon is going and whoever takes over cannot just carry on.

She is leaving owing to her policies. Bottle recycling, the gender Bill, attainment, education and health are either not popular or not working.

We need change.

Get rid of the toxic Greens in government, put independence on the back burner and sort out Scotland’s problems but I fear it will continue as it is with whoever takes over – more years of grievance, constitutional fights in the courts with Westminster, failed policies and everybody else to blame.

Ian Gray, Mosstowie, Elgin.

North-east benefits are not easy to see

Sir, – May I take this opportunity to contest your reporter’s article on the so-called benefits that Nicola Sturgeon delivered for the north-east?

As far as the bypass is concerned, in my opinion Alex Salmond did all the heavy lifting and remember taxpayers had to pay 20% of the cost which didn’t apply to any major infrastructure projects in the Central Belt.

The claim that £40,000 per year to reinstate the Buchan rail line is a success laughable.

What about her half-baked idea to centralise our police, fire and ambulance services which has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster?

May I suggest your reporter should take off her rose-tinted glasses and report the facts.

James Noel, Leggart Terrace, Aberdeen.

Brief list of successes

Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon performed her usual slick and sincere job in her long resignation speech, only briefly making reference to any successes during her eight year reign as first minister of Scotland.

The speech would have been much longer if she had included the list of failures over the last eight years to include education, health, drug deaths, the economy, poverty, etc.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Mugiemoss Road, Bucksburn