I WATCHED and listened to our new FM John Swinney in fine voice giving a dignified, uplifting and relevant speech. He reinforced the need for the Scottish Parliament to work for all folks in Scotland and ensure that future policies improve lives.

In contrast, the Tories were typically unsupportive and subdued. However, Anas Sarwar and Labour came across as small-minded and totally lacking in courtesy and grace. The vindictive attitude and words from Mr Sarwar do not demonstrate a willingness to work with SNP for the good of all folks in Scotland. He continually states that SNP focus too much on the constitution.

READ MORE: John Swinney names new Scottish Cabinet – see the full list of appointments

I would suggest that the Tories and Labour in Scotland are obsessed with the constitution and have no interest in working with the Scottish Government. It suits their narrative to see Scotland held back. The Union is their priority.

As the new FM was applauded in the Chamber there was silence from the Unionists. Disappointingly their divisive attitude prevails and highlights that they are not working in Scotland’s best interests.

Jan Ferrie

ALL through the resignation of Humza Yousaf as First Minister and up to and including the election of John Swinney as the new First Minister, all we have heard from Labour, Tories and the odd LibDem is about the SNP’s obsession with independence.

Time after time we’ve been told public services are suffering due to the SNP’s obsession with independence. However, if the SNP had bothered to be obsessed with independence we may actually be closer to achieving the party’s main aim.

READ MORE: The small but potentially crucial changes in John Swinney's Scottish Cabinet

The past decade has seen the SNP focus on a myriad of issues – many of which the public vehemently disagree with – and independence is only rolled out when SNP support falls in the polls or an election is coming.

I would love the SNP leadership to start obsessing about independence and find a way to get out of this corrupt Union. It really is make-or-break time for the independence movement – it has been fractured for too long by the SNP leadership only focussing on parliamentary issues and “making devolution work”.

Devolution is a very poor second choice to independence – if the SNP don’t up their game then it will be time to replace them as Scotland’s independence party.

Alex Beckett

I AM not an SNP member, but am a totally convinced independence supporter and constant SNP voter. In a recent letter I expressed a view favouring a Holyrood election, which will not now happen until 2026. Before then a lot of political changes, events and happenings will occur, but the reasons I gave for an early election may still be relevant come 2026.

I believe the SNP will become more unified under the new leadership, especially now that it will be governing as a minority administration.

READ MORE: Can John Swinney boost SNP's General Election chances?

I make two final points.

1) Alba’s Ash Regan MSP, whose king-making opportunity was her brief day in the sun, calls herself a devotee of independence but votes with Unionists to bring down an independence-committed government. Alba’s general secretary utters the excuse that her vote was performative and irrelevant. As every person and their dog knows, if that’s how you vote, that’s what you think.

2) The abstention of Labour (on command from London) on the Waspi motion must have caused some disquiet amongst some of their more sincere MSPs, who over a number of years committed their support to the Waspi women’s fight for compensation.

Bobby Brennan

IT was very noticeable that at this week’s PMQs, Sunak graciously welcomed the appointment of John Swinney as First Minister of Scotland, whereas Keir Starmer said not a word about the FM. I wonder what he is afraid of!

It was left to Stephen Flynn to not only welcome the appointment of Swinney, but in his direct approach, and without notes, “put the boot in” with his question to Sunak. Delivered as usual in a silent chamber.

Paul Gillon

I JUST had the latest Tory General Election leaflet though my door in its Ukip colours, with no policies for Scotland and no mention of it being a Tory leaflet until the back page, where the message was “Only the Tories can stop the SNP”.

The date of the 2024 General Election has not yet been announced and already this is the prospective Tory candidate’s only purpose: “Stop the SNP”.

READ MORE: Conservative MP defects to Labour moments before PMQs

Stop the SNP from doing what? Taking Alister Jack’s current seat from the Tories? Stop the SNP policies which are effective and suit the general centre-left political consensus in Scotland? Stop the best-performing NHS in the UK or the best-in-the-UK Scotrail network?

Maybe “Forres Mump” can explain what the Tories are trying to stop the SNP from doing?

So many questions for Scotland’s Tories, so few answers.

Peter Thomson
via email

MARK Carney (former governor of the Bank of England) has written a book called Values. In it he states that “climate change is an issue that is a tail risk today but is predicted by science to be the central scenario tomorrow; and we can address it only if we act in advance and in solidarity.”

Food for thought for all those National correspondents who have critically written letters recently about the Green tail wagging the SNP dog?!

Catriona de Voil
via email