AMIDST the lies, cronyism, corruption and unchallenged massive fraud presided over by Westminster, an SNP leadership candidate is castigated for being frank and honest with her opinions.

While in the rest of the UK train disputes continue, the largest police force (London’s Metropolitan Police) is condemned for institutional racism and misogyny, the NHS continues to lag behind the Scottish NHS on nearly every measurable metric, another leadership candidate (with limited powers in these areas of ministerial responsibility compared to his Westminster counterparts) is claimed to have failed Scotland.

READ MORE: Poll: SNP voters split between Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf

Context is everything and regrettably many opinions recently expressed, either deliberately or naively, lack the objective provision of essential background information.

Watching the BBC’s Debate Night on Wednesday evening, one could be forgiven for thinking that the decline of shipbuilding on the Clyde commenced following devolution and with the SNP coming into government at Holyrood. This is a gross distortion of the truth that at no stage was corrected by the host, Stephen Jardine, during more than half an hour of debate on this subject.

As with the high number of drug deaths in Scotland, the root causes of this decline which has driven many families into poverty lie in decades of under-investment, either in infrastructure spending or in de-industrialisation transition measures.

READ MORE: Tommy Sheridan: Ash Regan victory could tempt me to join SNP

Of course the media seek simplistic headlines to boost ratings, but serious analyses demonstrate that the SNP Scottish Government has done a laudable job through difficult circumstances brought about through factors beyond its control including austerity Budgets from Westminster, a highly costly hard Brexit, a worldwide pandemic and more recently the tragic war in Ukraine.

The public in Scotland know where blame fundamentally lies for the cost-of-living crisis and other challenges currently facing the Scottish Government and will continue to vote for honest and competent government at Holyrood ahead of Scotland taking control of its own destiny.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

FURTHER to my comments about the STV debate the other night. I have been fighting for Scottish independence for well over 50 years. Even with my advancing years I still believe in our cause, not for myself but for my children, grandchildren, their peers and for current and future generations of Scots.

I’m so afraid that the debate on STV, and what our three candidates said, has damaged our cause to the extent that I fear I will not now see Scottish independence in what is left of my lifetime.

Why oh why did the three candidates criticise and down each other to the extent they did? They acted as if they were members of the opposition parties.

Thanks, to everyone involved in this debacle, NOT!!!

Robert Cumberland

WATCH: Nicola Sturgeon rejects claims SNP could split after leadership race

REPORTS on the British BBC about Tuesday’s STV debate suggested a far more divisive debate than at least I observed actually watching it. Yes, there were clear policy differences between the candidates –they are, after all, politicians.

My instinct is to support the candidate less concerned with biting lumps out of their rivals and more with advancing the positive case for independence, and the purpose behind that aspiration.

This is after all Scotland, and we don’t need to stoop to Westminster levels.

John McGowan
via email

AFTER watching the STV debate on Tuesday night, I was very surprised that Kate Forbes has been depicted as wrong to challenge Humza Yousaf’s three separate roles in the Scottish Government.

Surely she was within her right to challenge him? I’m sure many of us would like to do the same.

Lyn Stewart
via email

WATCH: Kate Forbes and Ash Regan call out 'serial hustings attendees'

HUMZA’S three-word slogan, five-point plan .... modern politics in a nutshell, worked out by an algorithm with no human input, based on what works in the USA.

After the nonsense peddled by Humza supporters (aka SNP activists) in the media and the “Kate Forbes bad” trope running in The National and other media, he can forget my vote.

Oh, and different MSPs and MPs saying Humza’s their man on a trickle basis, day by day, simply hardens my view that folk at the heart of the party’s political machine want this stitched up in Humza’s favour.

If my SNP branch is anything to go by, the membership at Wednesday night’s meeting are not buying the SNP’s great and mighty’s Humza “pig in a poke” offering.

Peter Thomson

I WISH to remind SNP members that it isn’t obligatory in a single transferable vote system to rank each candidate in order of preference. You can vote for as many or as few as you wish.

Rosalind Davis
via email

GIVEN the ammunition supplied to the opposition parties by Kate Forbes, I feared the worst at FMQs. I needn’t have worried. A typical barnstorming performance from the FM put her enemies to flight.

A lass unparalleled. We shall never see her like again.

Alastair McLeish

CHRISTOPHER Bruce of Taynuilt was complaining about something in Thursday’s letters. It is nothing to do with me. Perhaps he should read things before going in a strop.

Ian Richmond