IT would appear that Boris Johnson has fallen into the same trap as his predecessor Theresa May where the General Election campaign is concerned. Once again he has allowed the Labour Party to steal a march with its well-oiled and slick campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn and his advisers have grabbed most of the headlines in the press and media with their crisp, concise and positive messages, such as re-introducing free TV licences for the over-75s , removing tuition fees, free prescriptions in England, closing fee-paying schools and many more including re-nationalising mail, rail and energy. Just look at the amount of exposure Mr Corbyn has had recently both in the press and on television. Meanwhile the Conservatives seem to be constantly on the defensive with only negative press reports such as the Jacob Rees-Mogg apology concerning his Grenfell Tower remarks, the announcement today (November 6) that the Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has had to resign, Philip Hammond to resign as an MP, James Cleverly’s car crash interviews and the Conservatives withholding a report relating to Russian interference in our most recent election and Brexit referendum not to mention the accusation of allowing the US drug companies to compete for NHS medical supplies thereby raising the costs of medicines here.

Effective rebuttal and sound reasons for the above-mentioned issues is a priority in order to lance the many Conservative boils that have emerged recently. Mr Johnson’s policies announced so far, including more money for the NHS, more money for schools, more money for the police and the end of the benefit squeeze are just too wishy-washy to resonate fully with voters. Appearing in a white coat washing his hands in a hospital claiming that he will get Brexit done just does not cut it in terms of projecting a positive profile.

The so-called Tory machine has not learned the lessons of the past and until it does and significantly ups its game then we are sleepwalking into another Labour government with the SNP in a confidence and supply agreement. Finally I am surprised that the subject of Trident has not been raised by any party so far; only a matter of time I hear you say.

Christopher H Jones, Giffnock.

NICOLA Sturgeon and the SNP, running true to form as having perceived a slight against them, are jumping up and down demanding that Nicola Sturgeon be included in a Sky News party leaders’ debate in the lead up to the General Election ("Sturgeon hits out after Sky News sidelines SNP in leaders debate", The Herald, November 6). Ms Sturgeon is even threatening to take court action to secure her place in the debate. I am at a loss to understand why Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP believe her presence would be in any way relevant, constructive or appropriate in the context of a UK election debate.

She is not an MP but the leader of a devolved assembly, and not the leader of the party at Westminster. The TV debate will be a major UK party debate focusing on UK voters’ interests. The SNP is a one-policy party and that policy is independence for Scotland which in Ms Sturgeon’s own words “transcends all else”. Ms Sturgeon has nothing positive or constructive to offer UK voters in terms of policies, and nor is she in a position so to do, and her presence would be a destructive, counter-productive dis-traction which she would use to subject viewers to her usual rant on independence and criticism of the Westminster establishment, all of which would be red meat to her followers in Scotland.

I’m sure having her on debates relevant to the election in Scotland on Scottish television will be more than enough for the majority of Scottish viewers.

Donald Lewis, Gifford.

ALLAN Thompson (Letters, November 6) accuses Nicola Sturgeon of ignoring the result of the 2014 independence referendum; not so. The SNP's 2016 manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections, which was held weeks before the EU referendum, plainly stated that there would not be a second referendum on independence "unless there was a significant and material change in circumstances, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will". That was the manifesto voters voted on, and that was the manifesto which returned the SNP to Holyrood for a third consecutive term.

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I don't buy Mr Thompson's assertion that "given the divisive nature of referendums pitting family, friends and neighbours against each other it is clear that for anyone who claims a true love for their country, the last thing they would wish upon it was further rancour, confrontation and division". I voted Yes in 2014, I have family and friends who voted No and we are still on excellent speaking terms; I don't know of anyone who has got divorced because of a referendum, and the neighbours in my street aren't rioting at the prospect of another vote on independence.

I would suggest to Mr Thompson that anyone who has a true love for their country wants the very best for their country, and does not throw in the towel and stand impotently by while their country's overwhelming vote to remain within the EU is ignored and the future of generations of Scots hangs on the edge of the hard Brexit cliff, hauled there by a government Scotland had decisively rejected.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.