I THINK I’ve heard everything now. A well-known journalist and ex-editor of The Sunday Times, Mr Martin Ivens, gave an opinion piece for Bloomberg that was recently printed in the Japan Times. In his opinion, our First Minister changed her tune and emphasis to react to the wishes of the electorate prior to the recent Scottish Parliament election.

To quote what was reported: “Sturgeon steered the SNP strategy away from the constitutional question.” Good for her, it’s not often a politician, never mind a leader will listen to what the people want, never mind act on it. If the polls say that they want her to concentrate on the pandemic, and she does, is that not a good thing?

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It just leaves me to say that if Mr Ivens is unused to this behaviour, it can only be due to being a staunch Unionist. We all know how much they listen and react to what the citizens want, unless they have a financial interest in where the policies are going. Therefore he should be applauding this sea change in politician’s behaviour, not complaining.

Ian Rankine

SO what exactly did the country hear from the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as she presented to Holyrood the Scottish Government’s Priorities for Government, focusing on the first 100 days?

Recovery from the pandemic was the main priority, just as the First Minister campaigned on during the election, and this was followed by the announcement of massive investment in our NHS.

Taking back ownership of PFI hospitals back into public ownership is certainly the way forward and the First Minister demonstrated this by announcing that the East Ayrshire Community Hospital will end its PFI agreement, which came about during the time when Labour were in government at Holyrood. Added to this is the aim to permanently end car parking charges in PFI car parks at hospital facilities.

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The massive increase in NHS investment included £10 billion investment over the next decade in NHS estates. Further health announcements were made, culminating in the aim of the Scottish Government to abolish dental charges for all.

Increased investment was also announced for other public services and housing, but it was the announcement that plans will get under way to investigate a future “minimum income guarantee” that added to this bold and ambitious plan for government. A minimum income guarantee has been aired for some time and supported by the First Minister, but unfortunately the powers to legislate on this matter lie with Westminster. However, the SNP in government are demonstrating boldness by going ahead with plans on this matter. I am sure it has been the harrowing experience of so many hard-working families of having no secure income during the pandemic that has brought this about.

Catriona C Clark

THE long letter by Victor Moncrieff on the Union Jack and Glasgow Rangers fans took me back to East End Park in Dunfermline in the olden days of my boyhood.

Standing near the corner flag in the terracing I remember throwing the ball back to Jim Baxter, and my memory is that in those days the club colours were just blue and white, I do not remember any red at all. I stand to be corrected, but it would be interesting to know when this red appeared, first on socks and club ties, then a bit more here and there until we have the present glorification of the Union Jack.

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In those days too they (I won’t mention their nickname) just stuck to the old faithful sectarian songs and the thought of singing the national anthem while waving the Union flag would have been laughable. I would love to see how this PR exercise (or politicisation) gradually happened and to know which personalities were responsible for what is now more than just supporting a football club.

Richard Easson

I REFER to the letter from Maarten de Vries in The National on Wednesday in which he discusses evolutionary biology versus the existence of a higher intelligence – called God.

Surely, according to quantum physics, ALL possibilities exist in the universe simultaneously. So if evolutionary biology is possible, the existence of God is is also possible at the same time. So creationists AND evolutionary biologists are BOTH right.

Margaret Forbes

HAVING seen a good number of police officers stationed around Holyrood, with more inside the grounds I expect, not to mention a few secret service bods, I wonder how much this goodwill visit is costing the people of Scotland. Who is paying for the travel costs and the sanitising of all the venues they will visit? All the manhole and access covers around the palace were inspected and sealed by squads of police over a couple of days which must have dented Police Scotland’s budget as well.

Andy Pearson