I ENTIRELY agree with Graeme McCormick (Letters, November 29), Nicola Sturgeon is a first-class political leader, but she needs to be better supplied and supported by her advisers if she is to meet and deal effectively with people like Andrew Neil and his type.

Neil was able to use material from the so-called Growth Commission to present Nicola with questions about Scotland’s “national debt”, our currency “confusion” and our need to raise taxes. The ammunition for Neil’s attack was conveniently provided by Andrew Wilson’s report.

READ MORE: Letters, November 29

The fact is, there is no “Scottish national debt”, nor indeed need there ever be. There is no difficulty in setting up a new currency – countries all over the world have done this without difficulty. The complication of the six tests is purely an Andrew Wilson invention and is totally meaningless on economic grounds, but it does create a good source of confusion and suspicion.

As for fiscal policy, or taxation, as Graeme has pointed out we have a perfectly sound way of establishing a much better taxation system now available to us by moving to a land-based system which would give us a powerful way to demonstrate to the Scottish people that independence could be of great benefit to the great majority of the Scottish people.

There is absolutely no basis for concern about an independent Scotland being able to earn its way in the world, once it is independent and stops subsidising the weak UK economy.

What we must do in the Yes movement is have an open discussion about the currency issue, about our ability to pay our way in the world and about public investment and taxation. Scotland is on rock-solid economic ground on all of these issues, so we need to convince Nicola and the SNP leadership of that so that we can deal with the nonsense from Andrew Neil and his ilk.

Andy Anderson

“WHY does the SNP still support the monarchy?” (Letters, December 2) My understanding is that the SNP actually supports the right of the Scottish people to decide whether to retain the monarchy after independence has been won. This is entirely in accord with the centuries-old tradition of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland.

Personally, I will vote in favour of the constitutional monarchy. I confess there may be an element of my heart ruling my head in this, but let us be clear – democracy is far from perfect, it has raised to office the likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. I confess that, as a Christian, my reasons are largely those of faith.

READ MORE: What relevance has the monarchy to a modern democratic nation?

An examination of the history of both Scottish and then United Kingdom monarchies shows clearly that they have been and remain based on, and dependent on, the Christian faith. This can most clearly be shown in the elements of the coronation. The very crown itself is surmounted by a cross, which symbolises that the power of the monarch derives from God. The ceremony is entirely Christian. The oath taken by the monarch is religious. The anointing has its origin in the Old Testament.

In our often cynical and materialist world, the monarchy – with its colour, heraldry, ritual and service – personifies and gives continuity to the nation. I personally believe that Prince Charles will make a fine king. Most importantly, however, it will be for the Scots to decide whether any monarch will reign over an independent Scotland.

Billy Scobie

I NOTE the letter from Jim Taylor in yesterday’s National. I fully realise that the majority of SNP members are almost certainly left-of-centre and probably republican in outlook. I doubt, however, that I am the only monarchist in the party and I have been a member for more than 50 years.

The party has no need to take a stance on monarchy – it is a distraction which is not needed. The party needs every vote it can get and every member it has. My loyalty to the party has been total even when I have found some of its policies distasteful, and taking an outright republican stance would tax that loyalty heavily.

I strongly suggest that matters such as this be left to the Scottish people subsequent to independence. Let sleeping dogs lie.

R Mill Irving
Gifford, East Lothian

VOTERS out there wanting to vote for the Monster Raving Loony Party but not having a candidate in your constituency, don’t worry, the perfect alternative is available as Tory candidates are standing in almost every seat.

If, on the other hand, you want to vote for a party that you can TRUST to stand up for Scotland, VOTE SNP on December 12.

Iris Graham

ANOTHER stabbing in London. More deaths right outside Boris Johnson’s front door. What’s he going to do about it?

Praise must go to he police and those who put their lives at risk here This is where your war is, just a knife and maybe a suicide belt and a deep hatred of the West.

What good are the nuclear submarines sitting at Faslane doing in a situation like this? N one whatsoever.

J Macdonald
Dunvegan, Isle of Skye

AS I observed an empty chair
I saw a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again, today
I wish that man would go away!

Michael Gove might take his place
But few would wish to see his face
Or listen to his freakish voice
He’s no-one’s first (or second) choice.

“Avoid all questions” – that’s the rule
Our Boris learned at Eton School
And since he follows this advice
I’d rather watch a block of ice!

James Stevenson