IF there was a world league table of governmental corruption, bungling, and other types of scandal, I suspect that Holyrood would come very near the foot. However, to read the Unionist press or listen to the BBC, you’d think the SNP government was the world champion of scandal.

On all fronts, its enemies lash out – on education, the NHS, the nationalisation of ferries, Derek Mackay – so much so, you’d think the country was falling apart and that political giants like Richard Leonard, Willie Rennie or Jackson Carlaw were our only salvation.

READ MORE: Wee Ginger Dug: Support for independence will be unaffected by SNP scandals

We live in times characterised by the likes of Putin and Berlusconi, where there is a corporate scandal in Japan nearly every week, and where lobbyists for various interests still ring Washington despite Trump’s boast that he will “drain the swamp”. To compare Holyrood and Westminster, Holyrood has yet to have an expenses scandal (David McLetchie was the only politician to resign over expenses, and his transgressions were small beer compared to those of his Westminster counterparts).

No Cabinet politician has had to resign over corruption on the scale of that perpetrated by the New Labour ministers Geoff Hoon, Stephen Byers and Peter Mandelson. Again, Henry McLeish’s “Officegate” was piffling in comparison. Nor has Holyrood ever been so foolish as, in the case of the Irish Government in 2008, to outsource such a vital service as cervical screening, with all its tragic consequences.

Apart from this Irish example of scandal, it might be said that the others I cite refer to big government which, the cynics might say, inevitably attracts more corruption than small government and is only to be expected. If so, then I would say this is a pretty good argument for small government, whose activities are much more transparent and likely to be subject to closer scrutiny. I doubt if Holyrood could be corrupt, even if it tried.

The only thing that worries me regarding the Derek Mackay scandal is that it might add to the constituency of resigned cynics; those voters to whom “all politicians are the same”. This constituency could yet damage the independence cause. If all politicians are the same, why bother with any of them? It is the apathy bred by scandal that is to be feared as much as its real political significance, which doesn’t often amount to all that much. As is oft said, no individual, however talented, is bigger than the movement or cause which he or she serves.

Alastair McLeish

IT is odd to note that according to senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove, goods coming to the UK from the EU next year will face border checks.

I describe this as odd because during the election campaign Prime Minister Johnson had promised “there won’t be checks” for goods crossing the Irish sea and claimed a leaked Treasury document about checks on the Northern Ireland border was “wrong”.

He commented that the deal allows the whole of the UK to come out of the EU, including Northern Ireland, and the only checks

required would be if something was coming from GB via Northern Ireland and was going on to the Republic. In that situation, he said, there might be checks at the border into Northern Ireland.

However, in his speech Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has now confirmed that import controls on EU goods at the border will be imposed after the transition period ends on December 31 and said border checks would apply to “almost everybody”.

The UK, he noted, will be outside the single market and outside the customs union, so we will have to be ready for the customs procedures and regulatory checks that will inevitably follow.

Yet another sad example where telling the truth, even by a Prime Minister, is totally irrelevant in a world of spin and fake news.

Alex Orr

THE recent correspondence about the “N” in SNP, National or Nationalist – and whether National needs to be changed as opponents, such as the current PM and BBC journalists, mispronounce the name – is interesting.

The answer is in the negative. The N for National has no negative connotations for the party. It must not cave in to the misuse and related abuse of the name by others who try to cause obstruction.

Nation-like terms are used constantly. After all, one could change the initial B in BBC to “Britishist” and use it to denigrate the BBC, for example.

The SNP has used the word National since its infancy and should continue to do so. It is to be Scottish and puts the national interests and wellbeing as top priority. As Scots voted to remain in the EU, our country has shown that Scottish and European are synonymous.

John Edgar

REGARDING Brian Cox’s suggested change of name to deal with the troublesome “National” in the SNP title, may I suggest “The Scottish Nation Party”? SNP is a strong and widely recognised logo and symbol, and needs to be retained.

MJ Macleod

WHILE I have some sympathy for Colin Fox’s thoughts on the road to independence – much more than I have of those of Michael Fry (from the opposite end of the political spectrum) – I would ask Colin to consider his party’s lack of success in recent elections, which would suggest that, tactically at least, he doesn’t always get it right (Nicola Sturgeon’s Brexit defeat is every bit as profound as Jeremy Corbyn’s, February 11). However, his commitment and support for an independent Scotland is not in doubt.

Andrew Sanders