I HAVE no great time for religion and care little as to which version of God some people prefer to worship on a Friday, Saturday or a Sunday. However I have always been mindful of the proverb “There are none so blind as those who will not see”. It has been traced back to a John Heywood in 1546. It resembles the Biblical verse of Jeremiah 5:21: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.”

It came into my mind while reading the latest comments from Mhairi Black MP (Alba: Hundreds of new members’ since Yousaf’s victory, Mar 29) who said the Scottish Government’s gender laws are “not controversial” and Humza Yousaf would be right to challenge the UK Government for blocking them.

Speaking to Times Radio, apparently she said: “When it comes to the actual detail of what the policy does, it is really not controversial. But a lot of the criticism of it, I think, are based on misinformation or people not having an idea of what the full picture is. What this is about is pointing out that Westminster can’t just keep riding roughshod over the Scottish Parliament.”

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The problem is that most of us actually do have “the full picture”. The basic fact of the matter is that the gender legislation is very clearly controversial and is not supported, in its entirety, by the majority of Scotland’s voters. Ms Black should also read the Scotland Act (I am sure it can be found online). I am sure she will find buried in there the paragraphs which limit the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

We may not like the idea, but it is a fact that the act was designed that way by a clever lawyer named Donald Dewar. A fact that will guarantee us another embarrassing lost legal case in the UK Supreme Court.

John Baird

IN response to John Jones’s letter on polling figures in Wednesday’s National, may I point out to him that the election was held using the alternative vote method. As he will be well aware, this allows voters the ability to prioritise their choice of candidates. This means that 48% of today’s SNP members preferred the policies of Kate or Ash to those of Humza.

There is no Unionist spin on this – it’s simply a fact.

Interestingly, had the franchise been based on a March 2022 membership, before 32,000 voters had left the party, then it is highly likely that the result would have been very different.

I make this claim on the basis that people do not actively choose to leave a party whose policies they agree with and that Humza actively promoted himself as the continuity candidate.

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It seems to me that the party has two broad constituencies which need to be brought together.

This brings me to my question. Since almost 50% of current SNP members are uncomfortable with the direction of travel espoused by our new First Minister, why on earth did he not reach out and offer the role of Finance Secretary to Kate?

He would have been well aware that by offering her a publicly humiliating demotion, she would have had no option but to decline his invitation.

Instead of attempting to begin to unite the two divergent wings of the party under one over-arching independence banner, by failing to reach out across the divide he has chosen not to.

Instead of heeding the voice of almost half of the membership, as articulated by both of his leadership rivals, Humza has shown that he intends to persevere with his “socially progressive” policies.

It does not bode well for the cause of independence since divided parties are rarely successful.

Mike Power

AS if the need for Scotland to be released from the vice-grip of Westminster had not been great enough ever since the inception of the ill-devised Union (at least from Scotland’s point of view), those south of the Border felt that leaving the EU was a good idea which was duly thrust upon us in Scotland.

Unless you have a cash balance to hide from the tax man and are attracted to invest abroad then you are no doubt one of the many made poorer by the ugly-named Brexit.

Is there an industry or public service in Scotland which has not suffered significantly by the unnecessary reduction in labour force?

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Close to our new FM’s heart must be the health service and transport, both suffering acute shortages of skilled workforce creating unwanted delays to treatments and deliveries. Food production, construction and hospitality are other significant industries which have been severely hit by uncalled for staff shortages.

We need hear no more gurning on by opposition leaders on delayed hospital treatments, lack of housing, food shortages and the like which they and their masters down south brought on by their own folly.

Humza Yousaf must stand tall and hammer home for all to hear and understand that our current shortcomings are not of our making but are directly because we are tied to a dysfunctional Union.

Tom Gray

I USED to vote Labour, a party proud to be on the far left of politics. Now they are centre-far-right middle-class with a millionaire for a leader who sacks anyone on the left.

Kate Forbes reminds me of someone from the American Bible Belt – if you’re a little different, look out. I want Scotland to be a country of equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their class, colour or creed, wherever they may belong.

Come on, Humza Yousaf, show us you are a true leader of Scottish democracy.

Ian Gordon