IT was wonderful to watch Nicola Sturgeon unveil her government’s plans for the next session of the Scottish Parliament.

The programme that Nicola Sturgeon laid out was, in many aspects, very adventurous and progressive, showing that they have not lost their desire to improve the daily existence of all Scottish citizens and not just the few as Westminster does.

This was evident in the implementation of “Frank’s Law”, the “Turing Law” and the removal of the oppressive pay cap on public service workers’ pay.

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These, along with the environmental bills such as speeding up the eradication of petrol and diesel cars, and the ban on child smacking, which incidentally was proposed by Greens MP John Finnie, shows that our government is looking forward, looking outward and looking damn impressive to the outside world!

This is a government that is far from moribund and lacking in ideas as the opposition parties would have you think. This is the mark of a government that is brimming with talent, ideas and drive.

Contrast this, if you will, with the sad, grey and sickly Westminster Government’s proposals which have been diluted, reneged upon and U-turned so often it is hard to decipher exactly what they intend to do. Oh, that is apart from destroying the UK with their insane Brexit death wish.

With this set of proposals it has in effect thrown down the gauntlet to the opposition parties to get behind our government and work with it to better the quality of life for all citizens.

It has also sent out a clear message to Theresa Maybot and her cronies that our devolved administration plans to stick around for some time to come, and she should desist from any seditious power grabs she may be contemplating.

Mundell should also take note that we intend to fight for the retention of all devolved powers and he, along with the Colonel’s famous silent 13, should stridently oppose all attempts from Westminster in this regard.

One could almost hear Davidson’s teeth grind as she sat, with her usual po-face, listening to the SNP government “getting on with the day job”, and in the process, neutering her usual nay say responses.

She was even forced to admit that her party would back some of the proposals – God, how that must have stuck in her craw! Couple this with the reasonably positive response from the other parties, it must have made Nicola quite faint!

I sincerely hope that these bills will get the backing of progressive-minded MSPs in order to drive our society, economy and nation forward, whilst relegating the negative politics of the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour parties to the waste bin.

It is an opportunity for these doom-mongers to put up or shut up, and raise their game and show that they can look beyond their narrow-minded agendas and nit-picking politics and do something that will benefit our nation and our citizens. One lives in hope!

Ade Hegney, Helensburgh

THE National, September 6, gives graphic images of South Korean warships conducting live-fire exercises.

The United States ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, follows on from her claim that North Korea is “begging for war” to state “the time has come for the Security Council to adopt the strongest diplomatic measures”.

New further details of what the might entail are not given, but then she adds: “Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited.” Is it diplomacy or war she is advocating? Her rhetoric also flits between references to the US and the UN.

We can take issue with her contention that the US never wants war given the invasions it has conducted since the end of WWII.

Over 100 years ago the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire decided it had “lost patience” with Serbia and saw an opportunity to neutralise it militarily to secure its hegemony in the Balkan Peninsula and put an end to Tsarist Russian pan Slavic influence.

It received the backing of Wilhelminian Germany and a European wide conflagration arose, dubbed the war to end all wars, which would be over by Christmas of the same year, 1914.

In the end it led to the collapse of Austro-Hungary, Wilhelminian Germany, Tsarist Russia and the beginning of the end of the British Empire post 1918. We see a similar scenario in the Korean peninsula today.

Major powers are involved, smaller states like the Westminster-led Brenglish UK are eager to join in and the situation is reaching crisis point with irresponsible rhetoric from all sides.

As the military arsenals in South Korea are about to be upgraded in response, which does not seem to cause the US to “lose patience”, there is concern that misinterpreted action by either side will unleash conflict.

It seems that the actions of the US and South Korea are “begging for war” also, to quote Nikki Haley in reverse.

In 1914 it was the final rush to mobilise, especially by Tsarist Russia, which unleashed an unstoppable chain of events which bound the various countries to commit to their mutual defence alliances.

The tragedy, if hostilities were to break out, is that the civilian populations in the two Koreas will be irreparably harmed.

John Edgar, Stewarton