I HOPE that Humza Yousaf will be given the chance to do his work as First Minister untrammelled by the sniping from the wings that was daily fare for Nicola Sturgeon. The rogue elements in the so-called “broader Yes movement” need to recognise that their election candidates have made very little impression at the ballot box.

The fact that they come into the equation at all is only because of the work done by the SNP. Work done under trying circumstances is made worse by constant criticism from politicians and journalists who are not themselves at the reins of government day in and day out.

The words of George Steiner in his book Language And Silence (1966) apply to all armchair critics, not just the literary ones he is referring to: “When he looks behind him, the critic sees a eunuch’s shadow. Who would be a critic if he could be a writer?”

I would ask Kevin McKenna, for example, if he would care to comment on the takeover of SSE by OVO Energy, whose CEO has donated ₤200,000 to the Tory Party.

The takeover was sanctioned by a Westminster watchdog committee and finalised in January 2020 under the Johnson government – the company’s track record with customers gives me concern, however.

I have my own addition to the catalogue of complaints that you can find online.

From 2011 to the present time, we have submitted to SSE readings for our solar panels. Under SSE, these readings were acknowledged promptly and payments were never missed. That is until 2022. Since OVO took over and our SSE account migrated, we have received no payments.

We have emailed OVO on several occasions and all we get are automated replies and excuses that they are receiving a large number of enquiries. In answer to our latest email, on March 22, OVO pointed out that we could change supplier. Still no mention of the payment due to us.

In my home city of Dundee, if we go back to the 1970s, there was at least one electricity shop/office in Dundee. Scottish Hydro closed its main shop in the city’s Whitehall when it was taken over by SSE (based in Cardiff). In January 2020, OVO Energy (based in Bristol) took over SSE.

Now we have no local base to touch and are without payment. I have pointed out to OVO that payments through the feed-in tariff help pay our energy bills but all we have is an automated reply.

The message is loud and clear. In the past decade, Scotland has established itself in the premier league of countries progressing in renewables. However, Westminster is intent on suppressing renewables in favour of purchasing an unknown quantity of nuclear reactors from the United States.

We need to bring control of public utilities to Scotland and this will not come about if we do not get behind the representatives elected with a manifesto headed by independence from Westminster. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have suffered in the past three years and before as a result of decisions made. This challenge should be directed at the Westminster government.

I was truly depressed after reading a number of the letters last week. Rather than support the new First Minister, there are several contributors who seem determined to carry on undermining the SNP. If this is the kind of opinion that I have to look forward to, I will buy no more issues of The National.
Douglas Howkins
Broughty Ferry

IN reply to Dan Wood (Letters, March 30) and others on the leadership position, I would say that the vote produced a narrow result in favour of Humza Yousaf and the election was conducted properly as far as I am aware.

So, all members of the SNP should put aside their differences on the potential candidates and show unconditional support for our new First Minister. Had the result been reversed in favour of Kate Forbes, then a great many MPs and MSPs, who had expressed support for Humza, would have been left with egg on their faces. But, I would expect they would have quickly declared their support for her as first minister.

My point is that we need to become Team SNP again and stop the bickering among ourselves. I hope that Humza now extends the olive branch to all the pro-indy movement groups.

We will never get the support of the undecided if we are seen as a divided party or movement.
Graham Smith