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BORIS Johnson has rattled the cage of the SNP. What the SNP fail to acknowledge is that they don’t actually want devolution to work. If devolution were a success, their argument for independence would be weakened. The last 13 years under the nationalists have seen them doing all they can to show devolution as ineffective. They have had the powers to improve life in Scotland, in our education system, health system and local authorities, yet they have failed to do so. Without devolution, who would the SNP blame for their own failures? Jane Lax, Aberlour.

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.

SCOTLAND doesn’t have to look far for an “unlucky omen” – just look and listen to Deputy First Minister John Swinney when he appears on your TV screen. He reminds me of the late Rikki Fulton as Reverend I M Jolly in Scotch and Wry with his dryness when explaining anything to the Scottish public. He seems to be the Government messenger in breaking bad news, whether it’s anything to do with the coronavirus pandemic, educational issues or the handling of university students’ Christmas break. His latest escapade is dealing with the Scottish Government’s failure in handing over legal documentation on the botched complaints against Alex Salmond, which Swinney said he was not doing at this time. I am confident that Rev I M Jolly would have made a better job of it than this motley crew. Amen to that. Hamish Leishman, Kilsyth, Stirlingshire.

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