Nicola Sturgeon is now denying the entire existence of her predecessor Alex Salmond in an attempt to save the SNP from further embarrassment. 

When questioned on this she responded: ‘I can categorically say that I have never seen this man in my life. I have absolutely no idea who he is. I don’t even think he was a member of the SNP, not that I can keep track of these things. You should ask my husband, he deals with membership enquiries’.

However, an image of the two of them together during the independence referendum in 2014 seemed to jog her memory. ‘Oh, yeah. I met him once. Big guy, liked golf if I remember correctly. Enjoyed swinging that club. Fed that young woman an ice lolly in Stirling. He did some contractor work for the SNP. Bit of public speaking. Contributed a few pages to ‘Scotland’s Future’, those sorts of things. That was all though. Why?’.  

On being shown evidence that she was, in fact, his deputy from 2007 – 2014 and her party owes the bulk of electoral success to the man, she tersely responded: ‘Look, I worked under him, er, I mean with him for a couple of years. So what. Apart from almost daily contact, deputising for him during absences, constant meetings, being considered his political protege, inevitable successor and taking his job in 2014, I barely knew him at all’. 

NOW that the local elections in England are going ahead, I think it would be a safe bet to say that the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May will be cancelled just to give Nicola Sturgeon another opportunity to be different from the rest of the UK. David Bone, Girvan, Ayrshire

Devolution in its current form has been a disaster. Sadly, this nation is a hollow, welfare democracy that will soon be devoid of any meaningful institutions and traditions. Policing and teaching are mere branches of social work now, with the real jobs a secondary concern. We have an obnoxious, overbearing, paternalistic state that seeks to `help’ us while insidiously desiring the policing of our thoughts and habits in case we ‘offend’ someone or make the wrong dietary choice. The link between taxation and services is shattered to the point that a sizable minority of Scots see all services as ‘free’ rather than having economic, environmental and social limits that have to be paid for. And we are governed by an ideologically driven, nepotistic political class who have given us (so far) nothing but a decade of constant political uncertainty, even during the Great Recession and Covid-19 pandemic -two of the defining moments of my generation’s lifetime. I thought devolution was supposed to result in something better. Is this what Donald Dewar had in mind? DAVID BONE, Girvan, Ayrshire.

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