SO the argument seems to be that the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland shouldn’t have gone to Denmark promoting trade because the bins in (Labour-controlled) Edinburgh are a bit full.

I love Scotland, and aye, bins not being emptied is a problem. But seriously, this kind of patter makes us sound like total small-minded intellectual pessimists.

Frankly, if the leader of my country was talking about rubbish collection when there was business to be done in Copenhagen, I’d be asking what the hell she was playing at. There’s a strong element of “wha does she think she is?” around all this. Is there a Danish equivalent of “I kent her faither”, that most damning of Scottish put-downs?

I hae ma doots.

What seems to annoy people is that Nicola Sturgeon actually looks and acts like the able leader of the confident, self-determining country that Scotland will shortly become.

If there’s one phrase that gars me greet, it’s “get on with the day job”. Promoting Scotland *is* the day job, and in the absence of the elected head of state that other countries (such as Ireland) enjoy, it falls on the First Minister to do it. And she seems to be doing it quite well.

Let’s be honest, the hypocrisy is off the charts – all the folk giving her grief would be first on the plane if only their chronic lack of talent wasn’t preventing them from getting within a million miles of getting

the gig. Let the capital’s councillors sort out the bruck. And let Scotland be Scotland. Tak, gode mennesker!

Alec Ross

THE First Minister was in Copenhagen gaining international publicity by showing that independence-minded Scots want to create new economic and trading opportunities in the EU (“UK media’s image of First Minister is ‘opposite’ abroad”, The National, Aug 27).

Meanwhile a collection of MSPs from the London-based Unionist parties are in Edinburgh gaining international publicity by showing that Scotland is better off in the isolationist Union by posing alongside piles of rubbish in the Scottish capital.

Is it any wonder that foreign correspondents, who usually have considerable respect for the achievements of their own countries, have far greater respect for Nicola Sturgeon than the UK press which slavishly follows the denigration of the achievements of their own country by Scottish Unionists?

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

THE claim that the GERS figures are a Unionist “own goal” is nonsense, indeed as Ian Stewart said in his letter on Friday, the SNP leadership needs to “start acting as if you believe in Scotland, and stop publishing this self-defeating drivel”. If anyone has scored an “own goal” it is the SNP leadership. The spectacle of John Swinney drawing attention to the “huge fall” in Scotland’s deficit in the GERS report would be funny if it was not so tragic.

Scotland does not have a deficit in the real world, not one brown penny of a deficit, and if Scotland entered into international trading tomorrow it would do so without any deficit and with the real prospect of not accruing any deficit for the foreseeable future. The GERS report is not a factual document containing objective economic data of any value. It is a political propaganda document full of estimates based on false assumptions about the Scottish economy, which is being presented as an objective study.

Ian’s description of it as “drivel” is accurate in terms of its economic value.

I can understand this as an economist, from a theoretical point of view, but Ian has more practical knowledge of this from his experience as a senior banker and of dealing with business on an international basis.

What Scotland needs, and what the SNP Government is failing to provide for Scotland, is a proper independent data collecting agency, which will concentrate on collecting data specifically on the Scottish economy, not political estimates, but real facts.

Such an agency will be required when we get our independence, and will be of vital assistance in preparing for independence.

This independent and objective collection of important data will be of value to the government and to universities and business in Scotland and will be useful to our trading partners, or potential trading partners, abroad.

The SNP conference passed a motion to this effect some years ago but the leadership has done nothing about it. If the party is serious about independence it is about time they addressed this instead of publishing this Unionist drivel.

Andy Anderson

IN your article, “Police to review Perth Hustings protest actions”, (The National, Aug 26), a fundamental truth was exposed. The police said and I quote: “It is vital that people in Scotland are able to go about their lives, including participating in politics, without intimidation.” Do the police not understand that supporting our country and its government against the continuing financial attack and threats regarding food, fuel and electricity, is our reaction to political intimidation?

And who do the police suppose they support? Is it us, the overcharged, hungry, cold and politically ignored Scottish population, getting angrier day by day as the crisis deepens, and the lives of many are endangered, or their political masters in Westminster?

The police were in full attendance in Perth. They either didn’t see, or chose not to see, wrongdoing on both sides, but now, they’re going to review the tapes to try to find a scapegoat. I bet they don’t have tapes of the Tories going into the Concert Hall! That’s handy.

Christopher Bruce