IN your article on Friday (New legislation will “shatter the glass ceiling” on public boards, The National, January 6) it has become patently obvious that, in the blinkered, dogmatic pursuit of equality, Angela Constance and her colleagues are unwittingly trying to enshrine a new version of discrimination.

While I support totally the principle of equality, I am totally against the surreptitious slide into another form of discrimination now resulting from the mistaken idea that “equal” means “same” or “identical”.

If the current proposals are carried forward, It will mean that, in future, when a position becomes available, the final criterion for selection of a candidate will be gender. As a result, many influential positions may be filled by people who are not the best suited but are the best that fit the perfect gender balance required, and someone better qualified or suitable will be rejected. In other words, suffer discrimination.

If this scenario occurs more than once within a reasonable timescale, the quality of the body in question will obviously diminish over time, to the detriment of the operation involved.

L McGregor, Falkirk

IT was with mounting anxiety that I read SNP NEC member Toni Giugliano’s latest article in favour of holding a second independence referendum in which the choice would be “between two unions” (Scotland is facing a choice of two unions, The National, January 6).

As recent pronouncements of both Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale have indicated, this is exactly how both of these Unionist politicians would intend to fight the Better Together cause in such a referendum – presumably because in their not altogether unjustifiable judgment, victory would once again be theirs in that event. This in itself should have set the alarm bells ringing in Mr Giugliano’s ears – despite the fact that as a consequence of his own virtually uncritical enthusiasm for EU membership he seems to imagine that converting the Scottish Remain majority into a pro-indy majority would be a relatively straightforward matter.

But this is simply not the case, as a moment’s reflection would have confirmed: the majority of Remain voters – sadly – voted against Scottish independence in 2014, while approximately one-third of Yes voters also voted Leave, and in the six months since the Brexit vote there is no sustained polling evidence to indicate that there has been a significant shift of opinion in that regard or in either direction.

In consequence and in these circumstances it could arguably be reckless to call a second independence referendum, as in my view there would be a realistic prospect that the result would be an even more decisive rejection of independence than in 2014 – with the further consequence that the constitutional issue would be kicked into touch at Westminster for yet another 20 or 30 years.

Ian O Bayne, Glasgow

AT last! Wee Ginger Dug comes out and says what what I (and hopefully others) have been thinking for a long time (Rescuing Labour? Just why would we? The National, January 7).

I for one am tired of journalists’ features and readers’ letters saying that Scottish Labour should get back to their socialist roots and that Scotland needs an effective opposition. Me? I say no. I want Scottish Labour to collapse and fail because, as long as they succeed, they will continue to be a nuisance element and to try to stave off Scottish independence like their erstwhile Tory allies.

Scottish Labour are not a socialist party. For that, voters should look to Solidarity or the Scottish Socialist Party, which are pro-independence. Meanwhile, support for the SNP as the main party of independence should continue. Let’s get independence first, then we can do what we like, including taking control over our own resources and economy.

I raise my New(ish) Year glass to the downfall of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Tories, indeed of all Unionists from the Scottish LibDems to the Orange Order, until after independence.

Jeff Fallow Windygates, Fife

WHAT a sad state of affairs politics in Scotland today has become. It’s now almost daily in The National that we read about some complaint from Scottish Labour about the Scottish Government.

There’s obviously been various meetings for MPs and party members to ensure that something negative is publicised on a regular basis to maintain the SNP Bad campaign.

What they don’t realise is that this is such a sad Tory tactic that they have adopted. When you have nothing positive to offer then all you can do is attack the opposition. This will not make SNP voters turn to Labour, and since they are not actually offering solutions or stating what they would do differently it’s not much help in their efforts to sway the electorate in general, is it?

Scotland needs change. Things might not be perfect in the future but the best way forward would be for at least an end to petty squabbling by people who really should and could do better.

Marie McIlwham, Crookston

IT’S a bit rich of Westminster politicians to be demanding that those who come to live in UK must learn to speak English. Around here there are a number of British expats who don’t have a syllable of French to their name and apparently have no intention of doing anything about it.

We have had neighbours come to our door asking for translations of official forms and even to conduct phone calls on their behalf with local businesses. Luckily for them in banks, post offices and the like can usually be found able to rustle up sufficient English to cope. I suspect this courtesy could not be extended in a similar situation in the UK.

Tom O’Hagan Felletin, France

RUTH Davidsom has asked the Makar for a poem for the Baby Box reflecting Tory values.

Here it is:

F*** off ye wee tyke
Ye wee scrounging bastird
Haund oot for a haund oot
And yir jist o’er the bloody door
Hard working families bawbees
Buying a bairns box o’ baubles
Something fir nothing
Johann Lamont wis richt

Get tae f***, ya wee shite
The hale wurld despises ye
Lying in yir “Free” box
In Gorbals, Muirhouse, Fintry or Coatbrig
Waiting for yir free nursery, education, healthcare
When we could be spendin’ it aa
On Trident, HS2 and Buck Hoose
I never kent hatred like this

Bruce Naughton, Edinburgh