AND so it begins; the emperor’s new clothes failed to cover up the deep and growing divisions not simply between Holyrood and Westminster but also within a sintering England and Wales.

Tory-voting England stayed at home, as an underwhelming turnout in the English council elections clearly established. Windsor, ever a Tory stronghold, fell to Labour and the LibDems courtesy of Tory voter indifference and apathy.

The Met Police arrested UK citizens just in case they exercised their right to protest against the regal system or call Prince Andrew a nonce.

In Tory-voting Exmouth the big coronation bash was cancelled due to lack of interest while centrally funded coronation “big screen” community events were met with a UK-wide “Meh, I’ve better things to do”.

READ MORE: The mood at Edinburgh's screening of King Charles coronation

The Tory party’s hoped-for coronation bounce was left deflated and flaccid before the big day ever arrived.

The circus was never going to be enough when the need for bread was ignored completely.

The UK Commonwealth is dissolving like a Disprin in water as states big and small look to end UK Crown involvement in their affairs.

So Scotland, are you yet ready to cut the lead weights from around our necks that manifest as a Westminster government, whether Tory or Labour, with no other interest in Scotland than to hang onto our wealth and resources?

Now is the time, now is the hour; the UK state has never been so weak and inept as it is now.

I hope the new SNP leadership is listening.

Peter Thomson

THERE are at least two things wrong with England. The major one, of course, is Westminster and its first-past-the-post voting system. Another is the class system, based on a hereditary monarchy and a handful of public schools at which only the wealthy are welcome.

This is the root cause of not only racial hatred but also the willingness of rich folk to laugh at the poor. It is also the basis of the wastage of land for “sporting” shooting. Avian flu is currently running amok, yet thousands of chicks are being reared and released to satisfy the grotesque desires of a few wealthy members of the gentry.

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I am so proud that Scotland has, for the most part, eschewed the flummery of the coronation, and I sincerely hope that we shall, in the not-too-distant future, be able to rid ourselves of the various dukedoms dreamt up, it seems, purely on the whim of a king. Maybe, if we’re really lucky, we will be able to stop huntin’ and shootin’ as well, although it’s a mystery to me why we aren’t shooting and eating more of the deer with which Scotland is overrun.

Tony Kime

IN response to a question from SNP MSP Rona Mackay, it was revealed that our Scottish Government spent almost £2 million on special advisers (Spads) in Nicola Sturgeon’s last year as first minister. (Opposition parties criticise SNP over government spending on special advisors, May 6). Outlay on the advisers rose by nearly £500,000 between 2021-22 and 2022-23, and doubled during Ms Sturgeon’s period in office to the highest level under devolution. In Ms Sturgeon’s first full year as first minister, 2014-15, the government spent £952,865 on 14 special advisers.

READ MORE: The 'horrornation' is over and now it's time to focus on environment

The cost of the 18 Spads employed in 2022-23 was £1,909,843. Two were paid more than £100,000, while five were in the £74,650-£95,019 pay range. A further 10 cost between £58,946 and £72,441. By comparison, an MSP’s salary is £67,662, while a Scottish Government minister is paid £99,516.

Given the recent policy problems including gender reform, the ferry fiasco, protected marine areas, the sale of the offshore wind licences, the bottle deposit scheme and the soon-to-be-introduced rape trials without a jury, perhaps we should begin to doubt the value of their advice.

Glenda Burns

I HAD not realised quite how draconian Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA) plans were. Absolutely no fishing, not even swimming – come on, pull the other one, it has bells on it. Creel fishing and line fishing at the levels at which it is currently carried on is perfectly sustainable within a HPMA zone. What would need to be monitored would be any appreciable increase in this type of fishing in such areas. A return to a ban on trawling within the three-mile limit is also highly desirable.

READ MORE: Ariane Burgess: HPMAs are vital to future of our fisheries and seas

Our government pays far too much heed to the noise made by the trawling industry. Trawling is a very effective fishing method and also a very destructive one. The Firth of Clyde is something of a problem, it has several small fishing harbours with a trawling fleet of small trawlers not intended for more open waters. The Clyde would merit a study.

One difficulty would be policing, and I write as a former sea fisheries officer. I believ the current Fisheries Protection Unit is in no way able to deal with the level of surveillance which would be required to make HPMAs truly effective.

The HPMA idea is good but to make it work it must be very carefully thought through to balance ecology with local needs.

Captain R Mill Irving
Gifford, East Lothian