JANUARY can be a trying month for many when we are beset by cold weather, post-Christmas fatigue and financial concerns. However, the news on so- called " Blue Monday" that the Prime Minister plans to visit Scotland more often in the months ahead ("PM seeks to strengthen Union with more visits to Scotland", The Herald, January 20) will have acted as a ready antidote to our midwinter gloom for our First Minister and the Scottish Government.

During the recent General Election, the Scottish Conservatives were very careful to adopt a low-key approach to mentioning the leadership of Mr Johnson, preferring instead to studiously omit any reference to him in their election leaflets and on the doorsteps. There is, not surprisingly, a good reason for this. Much has been made of his populist brand of Conservatism appearing to be unpalatable to most Scots, including those of his own party such as Ruth Davidson, who espouse a more centrist approach to our political scene. Mr Johnson's upper-class-twit style of buffoonery seems to appeal to many English voters but is viewed with scorn and disdain by many Scots who perceive his right-wing opinions as anathema to them. The Prime Minister's casual racism and sexism, in addition to his well-known serial fibbing, do not make him a figure of endearment north of the border.

Lest we forget his stereotypical, patronising view of Scottish people in general we would do well to recall his role as editor of the Spectator magazine. He made frequent references to Scottish MPs being "politically disabled" due to their race and authorised a poem describing the Scottish people as vermin who should face extermination as they pollute the British stock. The poem also suggested that Scotland be abandoned as a ghetto and is offensive and inflammatory in tone and in sentiment. The Prime Minister dismissed criticism of his decision to publish the poem and advised that it was jocular (jockular?) and "a bit of fun". Any historian of the overtly stereotypical racism practised by Punch magazine on the 19th century Irish and Scottish nations would recognise the smirking condescension and superiority complex of Mr Johnson's flippant denial of xenophobic intolerance.

The Prime Minister is most welcome to visit Scotland as frequently as he can in the months and years ahead. His arrogant tactlessness and shallow understanding of this country's political climate can only hasten the road to independence. Will Alister Jack or Jackson Carlaw dare to tell him?

Owen Kelly, Stirling.

THE news that the Prime Minister of the UK will be in Scotland more frequently has already been met with predictable derision by the SNP.

Their Scotland is part of England’s "inner empire". It helps to stoke up difference, and build the "imagined community" that they so desperately require, even though for large parts of Scotland’s existence, loyalty would have been familial rather than national. Their separatist Scotland isn’t one known to history.

However, it is quite easy to have a dual nationality of Scottish and British. Scotland has done well from the Union and the UK has benefited handsomely through our industry and inventions (at least until the SNPs "reforms" of the education system).

The PM has a bonhomie lacking in Scottish political culture at the moment. Hopefully, he can bring this North along with a gentle reminder of the benefits of the Union.

David Bone, Girvan.

SO Boris Johnson is going to visit us. I hope he is aware of our aims to cut pollution and reduce the use of the private motor car? I look forward to seeing him hurtling north on the train or perhaps, as a man of the people, he will be on the overnight bus?

Patricia Fort, Glasgow G1.

I FAIL to see how moving the House of Lords from London to York, or anywhere else, will see it "reconnecting" with the voters, considering that as it is an undemocratic, unelected chamber it has never been connected with the voters; although it is fair to say that many of the current crop of their Lordships have previously been rejected by voters at the ballot box and as failures been packed off to the House of Lords as a sort of consolation prize.

This is the time to clean out the Westminster stables and get rid of the peers once and for all, not saddle the good people of York with them. Or as an alternative, they could perhaps re-locate to Canada.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

I AM in agreement with those critics who would prefer the House of Lords to be replaced rather than relocated. But I believe there is another objection to the Prime Minister’s reported plan to move it to York. Taxpayers will shortly be expected to provide £2 billion or more for the reconstruction of the Houses of Parliament. If the Prime Minister’s plan is carried out, half the building would be superfluous.

Kenneth Fraser, St Andrews.

Read more: Johnson to spend more time in Scotland