Sir, –

From a rural perspective, we might imagine First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as a flockmaster charged with the care of her Scottish flock.

Assisted by her faithful collie dogs, John (Swinney), Ian (Blackford) and Fergus (Ewing) she guides her charges to Europe's 'Land of milk and honey', where the fresh green pastures are uncontaminated by English parasites and where myriad diseases and disorders will be no more.

Over the years, as she has gazed myopically at the vista of her flock grazing amidst a depleted landscape crowded with subsidised wind turbines and the ever-expanding dead zones of coniferous forests, many of them have become painfully lame and exposed to debilitating diseases and malnutrition.

Her canine helpers have become snappy and thickset. Because of inprudent budgeting, lack of forward planning or a proper health plan, her once thriving charges have become victims of a woeful dereliction of duty.

When she enters the marketplace with her motley ovine offerings, that jaunty air of confidence will quickly evaporate as the buyer's indifference translates into economic disaster.

A fine legacy, wilfully, myopically, carelessly and ruinously squandered.

Neil J Bryce

Gateshaw Cottage,


Kale Valley,