NEOLIBERAL Kate Forbes is promising to sell off more of Scotland to foreigners. This is the woman who as finance secretary pushed onto Scotland two “green” freeports – vast, regulation-free playgrounds for private companies to skim off even more money from Scotland’s hard-pressed communities.

Forbes sounds just like English Labour’s Rachel Reeves when she claims she wants “to get the economy firing on all cylinders.” This is meaningless verbiage. The “growth” she’s talking about won’t benefit the Scottish people because Scotland doesn’t own and control its land and resources, and without a central bank doesn’t have the power to create needed investment in public services and infrastructure, the real engines of economic growth.

READ MORE: Jonathon Shafi: We shouldn't place blind faith in ‘new’ SNP leadership

Between 1998 and 2021, Scotland lost £277 billion to foreign companies who repatriated their profits and shareholder dividends to England and overseas. These people don’t need encouragement to buy more of Scotland. It’s proven so lucrative that they’re baying for more, and Swinney’s administration will satisfy their insatiable appetite by continuing the mass sell-off of Scotland’s assets. Grangemouth is one recent example – the Scottish administration hasn’t lifted a finger to save the refinery from closure. The cabling of £600 billion of renewable energy to England in 2021 for zero compensation is another, as is the underselling of ScotWind offshore leases by £16bn, foregoing £60bn in revenues.

Scotland’s wealth loss is, according to Common Weal, bigger than that of any other developed country and is the real reason for Scotland’s depressed economy. Had our assets remained in public hands, the wealth they generated would have stayed here, providing jobs and much-needed revenue for investment. The Scottish administration, a Westminster tool, won’t stop the plunder. That’s up to the sovereign Scottish people, who must unite to call time on this fake Union.

Leah Gunn Barrett

THE bitter verbal attack at First Minister’s Questions from Patrick Harvie towards Kate Forbes was both predictable and personal. Mr Harvie was keen to talk of “taking us back to the repressive values of the 1950s”.

Oddly enough Mr Harvie seemed to have had no problem sharing a Cabinet table, for several years, with Humza Yousaf, a member of a religion with very traditional values and stretching back to the seventh century. Mr Harvie made no mention that I heard of Mr Swinney’s religious beliefs in a church founded more than 2000 years ago.

READ MORE: If anyone has dogmatic, unforgiving attitudes, it's Patrick Harvie

Mr Harvie’s own religion seems to be founded only in a belief in himself being always right, with a moral compass which spins around like the wind turbines he worships. He is rather selective in his scientific beliefs – climate change is real and fixed but gender and sex are as

fluid as you want to make them with some assistance from the pharmaceutical industry. The Greens’ policy failures have led to a massive decline in the popularity of, and faith in, both the Scottish Government and the SNP. Uncosted heat pump schemes and failed recycling schemes are the only legacy of the Greens’ time in government.

I sincerely hope that when it comes to voting on the regional list ballot papers in 2026, independence supporters do not continue to see the Greens as a second choice. They have already expressed a willingness to work with the Unionists of the Labour Party, presumable in the hope of regaining their seats at the Cabinet table.

Brian Lawson

DEAR oh dear oh dear. Anyone expecting a political reset at John Swinney’s first FMQs would have been sorely disappointed. Would Honest John set new standards for decorum and honesty? No. Would Patrick Harvie, freed from the shackles of ministerial responsibility, cut loose and re-establish his party’s grand vision and commitment to preserving the only planet we have? No.

John Swinney limped through FMQs lamely fobbing off perfectly reasonable questions from both Douglas Ross and Anas Sarwar on education. He personified what our American cousins colourfully refer to as an “empty suit”. Quite what his own back benchers were cheering about I have no idea.

READ MORE: I am a gay man – but I welcome Kate Forbes’s return to the Cabinet

And if that was underwhelming, then Patrick Harvie quickly demonstrated that he too knew how to blow an opportunity for a political reset. Did he ask why there was not a Cabinet post for a minister tasked with climate action? No. Did he demand that the government reinstate interim climate change targets and bring forward a detailed programme on achieving them? No.

Instead, surprise surprise, he was once again playing to the LGBT constituency within his own party and beyond. While no-one I have ever met in the Green party is anything but supportive of securing LGBT rights, it is not, or at least should not be, the primary focus of the party. The Greens need to get their act together on core ecological issues, while not neglecting their commitment to social justice.

Does the parliamentary party and leadership understand this? Doesn’t seem like it to me.

Michael Collie