READING through “Grasping the Thistle” (the Scottish Conservatives’ report) leaves a feeling that Douglas Ross has failed to grasp the basics of devolution, is unaware that the present UK Government is responsible for the highest tax burden and national debt in living memory, soaring interest rates, runaway inflation and a stagnant economy. He lives on another planet.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross completely ignores Brexit in new economic plans

However, there are some chilling reminders that these are Tory policies for Scotland if they ever have the power to implement them.

For example, education policy “should include tailoring local school curriculums and college and university courses to regional employer needs.” A root-and-branch restructuring of Scottish education based on Scotland knowing its place in the Union.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

SO Douglas Ross, putative first minister entirely in his own restricted mind, is offering to back SNP MSPs in voting against the Bute House Agreement?

It is my understanding – correct me if I’m wrong – that this agreement is between the SNP and Green parties and not the business of Tories, Labour franchisees or LibDems. Does this mean that, in order to interfere in the democratic process, Mr Ross is going to apply for membership of the SNP?

Thurled as I am to the idea that Unionists might see the light, smell the whisky and come over from the dark side, that is one application I would oppose, on the grounds that Ross could not be trusted with your macaroon bar.

Les Hunter

I LISTENED to an internationally renowned educator talking about the UK education system. In a nutshell, he said the system was designed to produce university students at the expense of all else.

To achieve this, students in the UK are taught at an early age the need to be right and not wrong, as the examination system is all about being “right” and creative answers are frowned upon.

The impact is that more than 60% of UK students produced are not “right enough times” for college or university and, conversely, have had their ability to think creatively drummed out of them.

READ MORE: Yes campaign must be full of hope to counter the fear-mongering

Weirdly, one of the first things universities have to do is undo this narrow thinking, as the further you go in a degree course the more you understand there is actually no right or wrong, only what is thought to be current best practice which may, in due course, turn out to be misguided.

Maybe folk who currently try to polarise the independence debate should dwell on this for a couple of marching paces as the current SNP policy on independence is what is thought to be “best practice” for now.

May I suggest the Yes movement need to get creative, more creative than the current assumed SNP “best practice” approach, which in turn needs us to leave the idea of “right or wrong” solutions far behind us.

Do we need to take a few lessons from ordinary French folk with their low-level civil disobedience approach, to get Westminster’s attention and achieve the referendum we desire?

The SNP or Greens will and can never condone any approach that can be deemed “illegal” by the Westminster cabal in any shape or form, though I bet they would be happy to negotiate independence on the back of civil disobedience shifting Westminster’s intransigence on this issue.

Peter Thomson

THIS is a plea to Humza Yousaf. Like me and every other SNP member, you are waking up every morning to a barrage of “SNP bad” stories splattered across all the Unionist-supporting media and any radio station you care to listen to that deals with any politics.

It does not matter how thick-skinned you are – you have to remember you only got where you are today because Nicola got to the stage where she just could not take it any more.

Our poll ratings are dropping, we are up to our ears in debt yet the support for independence is stable. Surely you must see that we are heading for disaster if you do not do something.

READ MORE: EU membership is now 'THE key factor' for Yes win, says independence rally organiser

Rishi wants to stop the boats, but in Scotland we just want to start the boats. The two ferries are becoming a millstone round our neck and D Ross must have thought Christmas had come early this year after the news of another delay.

Also still to come is the intervention before any election by Audit Scotland, who seem to be able to bring out bad news without fail.

Humza, the only thing that can get us out of the mess we are in is for you to call a Scottish election. We have nothing to fear, because the other parties have nothing to say. So please, Humza, get off the fence and make a stand for Scotland. To quote a phrase, your country needs you. It is the only thing that is going to unite the full independence movement so it is a no-brainer. Let’s get it done.

Old John

I WATCHED Channel 5's Court Martial: Soldiers Behind Bars. In episode three we saw a chap who had been absent without leave from 2 Scots for 17 years. He had been court martialled and sentenced to 180 days for desertion.

This has to be a complete waste of taxpayer money. This man is never going to return to unit and soldier on! We then learn that, on completion of his sentence, he is to be deported to South Africa and will have no chance of a meeting with his daughter before he goes! Given that listening to his accent he sounds pure Scots, I ask “how old was he when he left South Africa?”

So, adding to the stupidity of the needless and expensive detention of this man, we now see what can only be described as pure spite served up by the powers that be! What an indictment of the military legal system.

Ned Larkin