ONCE again I read of the contempt a Unionist Tory MSP shows for the clear rules on declarations of conflicts of interest (Scottish Tory faces ban over new rule breach, The National, September 29). That the perpetrator is a major landowner and member of the ruling-class elite comes as no great shock.

The threat of removing his parliamentary privileges to ask questions in the Scots Parliament is derisory! Anyone seeking to gain any form of advantage from the abuse of their position as an MSP deserves only one fate. They should be stripped of their membership of our Parliament, and should also be banned from seeking or standing for any political office down to community council level.

Although wealth and privilege still have some sway in Scotland, former Etonian Alexander Burnett of Leys should be made to understand that, regardless of his great grandfather having been Czar Nicholas I of Russia, and his forebears the owners of Crathes Castle, he should be made aware that the law of the land applies to all, as should the punishment.
Sandy Allan
Newburgh Ellon

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WE are living in an era when money has become the solution to any problem whereas a little common sense and intelligence is called for in the case with the nursing crisis in the NHS (Nurses say lack of time is affecting levels of care, The National, September 29).

You could give nurses unlimited pay but it would do nothing to relieve stresses and strains faced every day. My answer, speaking as a retired RGN, would be to phase out a whole raft of management posts and to reinstate enrolled nurses (two-year training) who used to be an essential part of a ward team.

This would mean fewer registered nurses (three-year training) would be needed, thus saving on finances; and the non-essential degree course would be limited to those who wish to go on to further education for specific reasons.
Janet Cunningham

LETTERS have appeared in The National recently expressing some disquiet regarding the SNP’s current strategy for independence. May I recommend SNP members consider supporting the resolution on paid regional organisers when it is debated at the party conference (as reported in The National on August 17)?

Other resolutions on the agenda are valuable in signalling party intentions on various issues but mostly call for action from the Scottish Government or from Westminster. An internal resolution, however, calls for a policy change which is entirely within the remit of the party.

While the timings of next indyref or General Election are far from clear, any structures created need to enhance electoral and wider indy campaigning in both the medium and longer term. As a party, we want to share our core message outside the frantic vote periods. The adoption of paid regional organisers would allow for a more effective and accountable party structure. Ideally, five or six professional regional organisers working under a national organiser should be funded jointly both by area branches and party central HQ. I see a wealth of skills and experience among SNP members currently unused. We also have an urgent need to support candidates for all electoral levels at earlier stages. These are areas where a revitalised structure involving paid regional organisers can provide essential support to branches.
Mike Wallace

I SEE right-wing hate peddler Katie Hopkins is planning to visit Scottish schools. Why? Is this to give pupils lessons on intolerance, and hatred of those who are different from you, or simply on how to be crass?

I’m all for pupils getting a varied curriculum to extend their learning experience so that they can cope better with life after school but what nect? organised tours by Britain First or days out with the Ku Klux Klan? Free speech is valuable and should be respected but not at the opportunity of giving the likes of Hopkins an opportunity to poison the minds of Scotland’s pupils.
Councillor Kenny MacLaren

ROBERT Johnston asks: “Haven’t we been taken for fools [by the banks] long enough?” (Ordinary folks’ cash loses value every day, The National, September 29).

I have a credit card issued by one of the largest banks on behalf of a well-known retailer. Recently I received notification that, were I foolish enough not to repay my balance in full each month, in future I will be charged interest at just under 20 per cent. Meanwhile, another brand of the same bank advises me that, were I foolish enough to put my savings in their cash ISA, I will receive interest at one half one per cent. Nuff said?
Jim Clark

I WAS disheartened at the way the First Minister brushed aside concerns raise by MSP Richard Leonard on the future of the free bus pass (The National, September 29, Sturgeon takes aim at Labour).

These passes offer so much to people with disabilities and the over-60s. People who may be isolated and on a restricted income can travel without concern about the costs of public transport. Access to a bus journey can be a lifeline.

I have written a submission to the Government’s consultation arguing for expansion of the entitlement criteria as the social good of public transport needs to be considered, not only how much to tweak or cut it.
Scott Macdonald