Readers' letters: Sturgeon might be an unwelcome guest in the United States

I am sure that US congressmen and women who hear Nicola Sturgeon speaking about Scotland's future next week will be more than a little puzzled because they will have assumed that Scotland understands the norms of democracy, which are to abide by a political decision which has been specifically addressed and a decision reached.
Nicola Sturgeon is visiting the United States next weekNicola Sturgeon is visiting the United States next week
Nicola Sturgeon is visiting the United States next week

After Donald Trump’s supporters attempted to ignore democracy and overthrow their legitimate government, congressmen and women will be very wary of entertaining the First Minister of a devolved part of their staunchest ally advocating breaking up the UK only a handful of years after being told in no uncertain terms that Scots want to remain British.

The Americans will also be very worried that she is advocating the removal of the UK’s nuclear deterrent. Americans know that it is the nuclear deterrent which keeps Putin's Russia at bay. It has guaranteed Europe's freedom for over half a century. Ukraine was invaded because it relinquished its own deterrent.

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Of course, anyone can travel out of the UK and speak to whoever they wish, as long as it is not beyond their remit. However, Nicola Sturgeon intends to breach that remit as Scotland’s First Minister, so I am hopeful that the Government will ask her, or her party to reimburse the Treasury for squandering millions of pounds which could otherwise have been spent on Scottish nurses, or doctors, on Scottish food banks, or even on the potholes which cover Scotland's roads.

Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh

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Magical thinking at heart of government

The government claims that its strategy of facilitating growth is the essential way of dealing with the cost of living crisis.

This is magical ideological thinking: just encourage oil companies to invest in green projects by giving windfall taxes a bodyswerve and private enterprise will transform the economy.

But does the UK encourage inward investment? No! Leaving the EU has been an impediment to investing as trade has fallen.

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Instability also discourages investment. Inflation is a huge force for instability. Can a rates hike reduce it? Not with the pound losing value (as that makes imports more expensive). Can the threat of a trade war with the EU help? Certainly not.

Government needs to spend big on levelling up, not tinker with it. And living standards need protecting as well-off consumers encourage growth. Progressive taxation can help reduce inflation, and having a generous immigration policy can increase the workforce at a time when the lack of certain workers is causing problems.

Andrew Vass, Edinburgh

Labour right to steer clear of SNP coalition

Anas Sarwar is absolutely right to confirm Labour will not be in coalition with the SNP. The last five years have been disastrous for the city of Edinburgh with the SNP dominating and no proper budgeting for road or street repairs.

Not only the outskirts, but the centre of our city is a disgrace. For example, Frederick Street, which is a complete hazard to traverse on foot, never mind by cycle or car.

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To cut off George Street from buses which many rely on, and remove disabled parking is to ignore the majority of the population of Edinburgh.The ratepayers of Edinburgh deserve a more democratic city council which takes into consideration the views of all.

Elizabeth Marshall, Edinburgh

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