I AM struck by the call from Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, that the next UK Prime Minister should continue to refuse a referendum on Scottish independence (Davidson in Section 30 order U-turn, April 30).

I find this curious as in July 2016 a lady, also called Ruth Davidson, commented that it would “not be wise” for the next Prime Minister to block a request by Nicola Sturgeon for a second independence referendum. At the time she noted that questions over trading markets, currency and borders were “utterly different” following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

In fact, sources close to the Scottish Tory leader argued that denying a second independence referendum would provoke a massive public backlash in Scotland that could further drive up support for independence.

With public support for independence and another referendum rising, one would argue that the response from the Ruth Davidson of 2016 is more credible than that of the Ruth Davidson of today.

Alex Orr

IN the article on April 30 on the return of Ruth Davidson she says that Nicola Sturgeon signed the Edinburgh Agreement, where she said she would respect the result of the independence referendum for a generation.

For one, I could swear I saw Alex Salmond sign the agreement, and there is no mention in it of “respecting the result for a generation”. Ms Davidson has clearly spent some of her maternity leave brushing up on her fake news techniques.

Douglas Turner

IT was entirely predictable. Ruth Davidson’s return to the fray brought her repetitive rhetoric centre stage. A compliant media and the BBC gave her the mouthpieces by which she seemingly endlessly talks down Scotland.

There was no interrogation of the Brexit position she currently (and I use that word advisedly) holds. No holding her to account for the Tory policies which are so detrimental to Scotland’s interests, and the wider UK in general, and no push for her to tell us her plan to tackle some of Scotland’s biggest challenges. Just the same old, arrogant, tired routine. No to indyref2!

So with the Scottish Government’s offer last week to join them in formulating policies to make a fairer, more equal Scotland, I guess Davidson’s contribution will be predictable too. Nothing! Nada! Nichto!

Iona Easton

NEVER forget that Ruth Davidson is not the leader of a Scottish political party, she is the leader of the Scottish branch of the UK Conservative and Unionist Party.

Should she ever become First Minister, not only would she be facing all the problems of leading a devolved government but she would be bound by Tory party policy at UK level. We could look forward to the phasing out of the Scottish Government’s funding of prescriptions, education, school meals, bedroom tax etc and of course we can look forward to free personal care being replaced by charges if Damian Green’s proposals or something like them are eventually adopted.

So far the proposal is to increase National Insurance by £300 per year for over-50s and taxation of benefits such as fuel allowance to cover basic care. Of course people could also buy insurance to pay for better rooms, outings etc by paying a lump sum at retirement, from savings or their pension fund or from equity release on the value of their homes. Whether or not Ruth Davidson ever becomes First Minister, first- and second-class personal care is on the way in the UK soon.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

MUCH of what we hear in the media relates to failure, to shortcomings by individuals and by our institutions, to the point where it seems that the only good news is bad news.

Part of the reason is that when we are the victims of incompetence or injustice, we speak out, and rightly so, but when we are treated as we expect, or even better, we rarely bother to say a word.

The NHS in Scotland is held in highest respect, but when it stumbles, the criticism is vicious. One of the areas of exposure is its out-of-hours service, where too many of us hark back to a mythical golden age when our friendly family doctor would turn out on any day and at any hour: a telephone number and an unfamiliar voice has never seemed a suitable substitute.

Well, I have in the last two weeks had to turn to NHS 111 for serious problems in the middle of the night and over Easter, and on both occasions I was astonished by the efficiency, the speed and the quality of the service provided, so I am going to tell the world about it.

The phone was answered within 20 seconds and the questions put to me about my condition were relevant, resulting in the first case with the arrival of a kind, confident and thorough doctor within 45 minutes and in the second with an appointment at the an out-of-hours clinic at the Royal Infirmary within an hour.

I could not have asked for more. I am proud of Scotland’s service.

Elizabeth Buchan-Hepburn