THE Prime Minister is in a cleft stick. Either he fails to visit Scotland and is accusing of "neglecting Scotland", or else he comes here and is accused of "interfering in Scotland". Scotland is a part of the UK, and he is free to come and go as he pleases ("Johnson heads for Scotland to ‘boost Union’", The Herald, July 20).

No doubt his itinerary will have to be a closely guarded secret. Would anyone trust the nationalist rowdies who gesticulate at vehicles at the Scottish-English border, or the small nationalist mob that turned out at Holyrood on Monday, not to harass him? Sadly, Scotland has become an uncivil place. So much for Nicola Sturgeon’s "open, welcoming, inclusive" country.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh EH14.

WE have just been informed ahead of Boris Johnson’s Scottish tour that he is not going to "agree to" a second referendum on independence. Well, we’ll all have to wait and see how that goes.

We are in a curious situation in Scotland with a First Minister who has been highly praised for her cautious and empathetic approach to Scottish citizens whom she wishes to protect from the ravages of Covid-19.

Prime Minister Johnson, by contrast, has been invisible for periods of time with a range of Cabinet ministers standing in for him. He has also shown some urgency about opening up the economy while Covid-19 numbers are still high in England.

What I find extremely difficult to understand is the desire of the Conservative Party to hold on to Scotland when they clearly don’t like us very much. They are probably very keen to hang on to the tax revenues from whisky, oil, fish and Scottish beef and so on. But the party’s performance in Prime Minister’s Questions demonstrates no respect or mutual regard for the Northern citizens of "this great Union".

The other aspect of the puzzle is why Mr Johnson is making the trip? We are unlikely to get a timetable of venues and meetings because he tends to be inaccessible to the public judging by previous trips. He seems to be aware that he is not a popular figure in Scotland so, understandably, keeps a low profile. So why come? To drum up party funding from Scottish entrepreneurs?

If Michael Gove et al are getting anxious about the polls supporting independence, you would have thought that they would at least have begun to be less rude about us – if only to keep their own Scottish supporters happy.

A mystery, that’s what it is.

Maggie Chetty, Glasgow G13.

JOHN Burton (Letters, July 21) asks how we would repay “Scotland’s” £200 billion assumed debt. We would do exactly the same as rUK and other debtor countries (which is just about every country). It might be through an agreement with the Treasury, which accepted liability for all UK debt in 2014, or it might be independently. But the debt presupposes that there would be a concomitant agreement on a 10 per cent Scottish allocation of UK domestic and foreign assets, which are vast. I personally don’t believe rUK would agree to share those assets, so Scotland would start life debt-free. It is only at that point that we could evaluate Scotland’s fiscal position with any accuracy, as, disgracefully, all we have at present are guesstimates, presumptions and assumed allocations of tax/spend revenues, and those are only relevant within the UK spending plans.

The UK could, at any point, have given accurate, specific economic data for Scotland; we can only speculate as to the reasons for the secrecy. But, as the impartial civil service is replaced by Tory stooges, then we may be past the point at which we can believe any such data from Whitehall.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

JOHN Burton is correct to point out the error in my letter – the figure quoted as £200 million should indeed read £200 billion.

However, he then asks how Scotland would finance this debt, implying a reduction in NHS spending or pensions would be necessary. This appears to ignore the fact that Scotland's GDP/debt ratio would be almost identical to the current UK GDP/debt ratio.

Stewart Keir, Torphins.

“WE do not vote into office governments who learn on the job,” according to Bill Brown (Letters, July 20). That is an extraordinary statement. Of course we do – or if we do not, both we and the governments we vote for find ourselves in serious trouble. An ability to learn on the job is a necessity, not only for holders of high office with responsibility for the welfare of thousands, but for any individual or group at all whose job involves dealing with complex, changing and partly unpredictable situations.

In the unprecedented circumstances of the current pandemic, the Scottish Government has learned on the job much more swiftly and effectively than that of the UK, with results that are plain for all to see. And to extend the discussion, in the years since the restoration of the Scottish Parliament the SNP, as first a potential and then an actual party of government, has proved adept at learning on the job, whereas the complete inability, or unwillingness, to learn anything at all on the part of Labour has led to its ignominious collapse.

Derrick McClure, Aberdeen AB24.

AS a proponent of Scottish independence for all of my adult life, I despair at the lack of pride and faith that some of your correspondents regularly display with regard to Scotland becoming a nation in its own right. However, I think that two of them have reached a new low.

No doubt, the jury is very much out on the standing of a Scottish currency, but for William Durward (Letters, July 20) to place a country with Scotland's infrastructure, assets and historic trading and cultural connections in the same bracket as Albania seems to me to be ridiculous. Furthermore, the venomous contribution from Robert Howie on the same page sinks to an abysmal level in its attack on the First Minister and all the members of the Scottish Parliament. May I suggest that if he is having difficulty with the acronym FACTS he should cut out a copy of the Herald advert as a reminder.

One thing that I notice about your correspondents whom I would describe as arch-unionists is that these same people seem content to have all the major decisions taken by the UK Government. That is their choice, but all the facts indicate that it is led by a Prime Minister who specialises in playing the buffoon and who responds to interrogation with incoherent bluster and throwaway lines. In addition, he appears to be totally reliant on an unelected special advisor incapable of carrying out the Government's guidelines on public health and who is willing to put his family at risk when the quality of his eyesight is in question.

Gordon Evans, Glasgow G73.

IAN W Thomson's suggestion of Jeeves and Wooster being in residence in Downing Street (Letters, July 21) must now raise thoughts about whom of their literary counterparts is at Holyrood?

We surely need look no further that JK Rowling's novels – as Harry Potter fans will have no doubt spotted the similarity between the First Minister's performances and those of Dolores Umbridge, with her controlling need for issuing incessant and daily commands, all the time consulting away from public scrutiny in close collaboration with the elitist and sinister Ministry of Magic, in the form of SNP head Peter Murrell.

Robin McNaught, Bridge of Weir.

Read more: Letters: Twin slates on the list would be disaster for Yes backers