I’M not sure the SNP MP stars should move Holyrood, as suggested in George McKnight’s letter (February 11). I do agree so much of our talent is wasted in London, but like it or not that’s where the real power lies and has been since 1707! It’s so frustrating!

Despite limited resources, Holyrood in true Presbyterian style manage to stretch out our begrudged pocket-money and still achieve better results in many areas of public service than south of the Border. As James Maxton, the famous Clydesider MP, said in the 1920s, “With Scottish brains and courage ... we could do more in five years in a Scottish Parliament than would be produced by 25 or 30 years’ heart-breaking working in the British House of Commons.”

READ MORE: The SNP's brightest stars should be at Holyrood, not Westminster

So I do share Mr McKnight’s point to a certain extent. The frustration our MPs must feel in Westminster, and thank goodness there are so many to give each other support. But wouldn’t it be great if tinkering around the edges with our economy could stop and we could use all those talented MPs to produce a fairer society to decide our own destiny here in Scotland? But that’s in Joe Soap’s hands. We the public are the ones to make it happen. No-one else.

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

TERRIFIC contributions in the National yesterday from Kevin McKenna, Alyn Smith and Tasmina (best yet), and I was enjoying it all till I got to the Long Letter.

What we appear to have now is a lot of contributors and commentators who know very little about SNP positions or policy, take their opinion about those from our enemy media and then attack the SNP government on it all. I refer to the remark in it from John Drummond suggesting the SNP has “no coherent policy on currency!”

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The SNP has a very coherent policy on currency. It is that we will (sensibly) continue using sterling initially and then at an appropriate point (presumably when the independence negotiations are concluding) move to our own currency. Couldn’t be more coherent in fact.

Of course had Mr Drummond read the White Paper he would have noticed that the SNP had detailed comprehensively four “coherent” currency options drawn up by four of the world’s eminent experts in this field.

David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

THE green light for HS2 is great news. However, there is a prima facie case for extending HS2 to Glasgow/Edinburgh and to Belfast via a north channel fixed link.

The Conservative manifesto pledged to reverse some of the Beeching cuts. May I suggest that these should include Carlisle-Edinburgh Waverley line and the Dumfries-Stranraer Port Road line? In fact the latter would be necessary anyway for freight and passengers to board trains at Belfast and then proceed direct to London.

All this would be good for transferring more freight into rail. Why not fully complete these projects by the mid-2020s? Chinese have done bigger projects and in tighter timeframes.

John Barstow
Pulborough, West Sussex

I WAS pleased to read about the bus companies working together with regard to climate change. However, the area in which I live is serviced by one bus company only which has pushed out competitors and created a monopoly. This means the fares are higher than in other areas where there is some competition. It is far cheaper for me to take my car to the next town, pay for a day’s parking and drive home again than it is for a return bus fare. Possibly a review of fares would encourage more folk to use the service and not their cars.

Alan MacDonald

IT was good to read an article on the ReFLEX (Responsive Flexibility) Orkney project (Orkney a step closer to being carbon neutral, February 9). There is just one thing which needs clarification, namely that renewables in Orkney produce more than 100% of the energy needs of Orkney. Renewables on average produce more than 100% of our electricity requirements, but this is only circa 20% of our overall energy usage, which is provided mostly by various types of fossil fuels. The excellent ReFLEX project aims to eat into this 80% shortfall at the same time as tackling the huge levels of fuel poverty in Orkney.

As a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum (OREF), we are staging the Sustainable Orkney 2020 conference from March 20-22. The aim is to collate all the low- and zero-carbon projects ongoing in Orkney and in the pipeline and then map out the areas which are not yet being tackled. Attendance is restricted to Orkney residents as we feel that for carbon reduction and sustainable community projects to succeed, they are best designed and implemented by local residents. We are not aware of any other communities carrying out similar self-assessments, and we will be happy to share a report with The National on the outcomes of the conference.

Jon Southerington
OREF Board member
Deerness, Orkney