HAVE we ever had two more bizarre candidates to be Prime Minister standing at a General Election? ("Corbyn and PM trade blows on Indyref2 in first debate", The Herald, November 20). The description of "trading blows" overstates, I think, the actuality by exaggerating the drama, information and entertainment value associated with the debate. Julie Etchingham, the hostess, spent much of her time trying to stop Boris Johnson over-running his time and speaking over Jeremy Corbyn.

What a choice we have to make. We have Mr Johnson with a background including being sacked as a journalist for making up a quotation; using the words " piccaninnies" and "watermelon smiles" in his writing as a journalist; dismissed from a Shadow Cabinet for lying about an affair, and reports pending on the propriety of his dealings, when Mayor of London, with an American entrepreneur, Jennifer Arcuri. He was once described as "a unique figure in British politics, an unprecedented blend of comedian, conman, faux subversive showman and populist media confection". Just the man for Prime Minister then.

Mr Corbyn, prior to becoming leader of the Labour Party, was a backbencher egregious for voting against the Labour whip; he invited Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and a few of his associates to London several times, notably not long after the IRA's bombing of the Conservative Party leadership at Brighton in 1984; several MPs who nominated him in 2015 for leadership of the Labour Party said they had done so to ensure that he had enough votes to stand in order to widen the political debate rather than desiring that he would win; he has been faced, during his leadership, with having to sack many Shadow Cabinet members and to accept the resignation of others, and he has had to address many Labour MPs exiting the party to form an Independent Group. Added to which, we have had some former Labour Ministers advocating "vote Conservative".

It had been said that we get the politicians we deserve. All I can say is, looking at the top of our main parties, we must have misbehaved badly at some point.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

IN the so-called "Leaders" debate on TV between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, the most vocal reaction from the audience was when Boris Johnson referred to honesty and trust, when they burst into spontaneous laughter .

Mr Johnson discussing trust is a joke for most people in Britain. How sad it is that politics at Westminster has now reached such a low level of respect.

Yet while the programme was on air the Tory Party was contribution further to the disrespect for politics by setting up a false on-line account pretending to be an honest "fact-checking service". This conduct was after having earlier distorted a TV interview of a Labour opponent in order to imply that the speaker had not answered a question when he quite clearly had.

If this is the level we have arrived at in Westminster politics, then we have reached the absolute gutter. Is it any wonder that many of us want nothing further to do with Westminster politics we see it as broken beyond repair?

Andy Anderson, Saltcoats.

THE head to head debate was a close-run thing.

Boris Johnson, bouncing with his usual brio which is losing the novelty of its shine, is beginning to sound like a tired old act. Jeremy Corbyn sounds more measured but is enmeshed in the minds of people with the festering sore of anti-Semitism.

It is going to boil down to which one seems more trustworthy and has a sound vision of how to recalibrate Britain and Brexit.

All Mr Johnson has to offer is bringing the country back to where it was before the crash and his tiresome mantra of "Let's get Brexit done". Mr Corbyn is presenting a way forward which aims at a fairer Britain where excess is no longer available to the loaded top crust and austerity is no longer the price the people have to pay to keep the profits rolling in for the fat cats hoovering up at the expense of the less well off as they make off, smiling, with their loot to offshore banks and the struggling workforce trudges off to the food banks, grim-faced and worn, searching for their next crust.

Currently the political narrative has not been running in favour of Labour but does seem to place its hopes in the bold Boris Johnson.

That could all change over the next three weeks as events unfold to trip one or the other up.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

IN last night's ITV debate Scotland's First Minister was mentioned, by name, 10 times. The SNP was mentioned seven times and a potential independence referendum was mentioned 12 times. Yet the SNP, the third biggest party at Westminster, was excluded from the debate. That is a democratic outrage.

Scott Rorison, Dumbarton.

WHAT a waste of TV time. Questions not answered, especially by Boris Johnson, who was allowed to waffle and criticise Jeremy Corbyn instead of answering the question.

TV debates only work with a heavyweight interviewer such as Andrew Neil.

More great promises, a few lies and attempts to con the voters make these TV debates irrelevant. Maybe in the next debate a candidate will promise free Greggs sausage rolls for the over-fifties by 2025. Great.

Malcolm Rankin, Seamill.

Read more: Johnson v Corbyn ITV debate was just a phony war