YOUR reproduction of Nicola Sturgeon’s speech (How to build a better country, July 31), is a timely addition to our knowledge of the shape of things, hopefully, to come.

READ MORE: TED talk – read the full text of Nicola Sturgeon's

I do not have the wisdom of such things apparently available to all sorts of members of our society; just the experience of having run a reasonably successful, although at times somewhat financially unrewarding, business to keep the largest wolves from the door!

My first practical encounter with this sort of thing was pre-Thatcher when I was offered a “product” by my friendly local insurance man.

He failed to get the point when I suggested that his company had not in fact “produced” anything, other than thinking up an idea to make themselves some profit.

Surely that is the problem with GDP. Anything and everything is shovelled into the figures to give an unrealistic impression of the success of the country. It seems that if I buy a stamp to send this to The National offices it becomes part of GDP; if I email it, it does not!

Presumably all the billions being dished out by Chancellor Javid over the next couple of months to alleviate a No-Deal Brexit, are going to become part of UK’s GDP, and the country will then be seen to be hugely successful.

This of course brings us to the appalling waste of national resources at a time when millions, really millions, of citizens are suffering all sorts of hardships through not having enough income to pay the bills, despite in many cases being in employment.

Leader(!) Boris and his henchmen are busily telling us of all those wondrous high-cost schemes which are going to go ahead and transform the lives of the country, bringing smiles to all faces – virtually all in England of course.

How opinions can suddenly change; Boris is no longer apparently going to lie down in front of the bulldozers when they start work on the new runway at Heathrow. That is now a desirable way forward.

I also must confess to being hugely puzzled as to how our, no doubt extremely well rewarded, civil servants can quantify the amount of “benefit” to the national economy which will accrue as a result of these wondrous improvements.

How will train passengers getting from London to Birmingham some 15 minutes sooner than otherwise would have been the case, bring in a suggested nearly £700,000,000 per year to the national income?

Save 20 minutes on the journey time from Manchester to Leeds by spending billions on upgrading the railway line; saviour of the Northern Powerhouse! One of the most depressing points about that statement was the glee by which it was welcomed by Andy Burnham, the local high-heid-yin, until recently a Labour MP. He should have known better.

The next item on the news bulletin tells us that the icefields of the Arctic region are melting and “something has to be done – now”.

Where is the sense in any if this? Half of the unlucky inhabitants of Yorkshire are today underwater. The whole unrealistic spoutings of this volatile Prime Minister are a complete disaster for all.

No time should be wasted in getting the way forward to an independent Scotland progressed, when we can then live in a sane and sensible fashion and control our own destiny.

George M Mitchell