ONCE more Neil Mackay prompts me to write to the Letters Pages ("Let’s not kid ourselves, US far right extremism is coming here", The Herald, September 3).

I frequently ask myself what the consequences could be of so many of your contributors so frequently attacking our First Minister. Although independence is one of the major issues for our times there are many other issues such as climate change and the likelihood of regularly recurring pandemics requiring your readers’ attention.

The effect of that obsession is that attention is drawn away from these threats but equally significantly away from those posed by Johnsonian Conservatism not only to our democratic institutions but to our shared sense of decency.

I do not need to repeat Neil Mackay’s justification for his being fearful that “that the rest of the West may soon follow America towards dystopian extremism”.

But there surely can be little doubt that, while there is legitimate debate as to whether Donald Trump is a fascist, he is using its techniques and thereby preparing the ground for its appearance in America. History suggests that populism can easily evolve into neo-fascism both of which embrace national exceptionalism, a longing for the glories of the past, authoritarianism, nativism, xenophobia and opposition to immigration, as well as opposition to parliamentarianism.

And of course ultranationalism is at its core. “Make America great again,” says Mr Trump. “I’ll make Britain great again” said Boris Johnson during the 2019 election campaign. “Rule Britannia” my foot.

The silver lining on the gathering clouds of right-wing extremism is that we still have time to heed the danger.

John Milne, Uddingston.

I AGREE with Neil Mackay on the rancour and bitterness that is increasingly prevalent in the United States. In the UK we have attitudinal change driven by a media ownership and commentary pattern, indistinguishable to that existing in the United States. We also have a Prime Minister, who I doubt could ever have attained that high office at any other period in my lifetime.

Boris Johnson has a documented history of racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments over the years. Now his Government is to elevate to the Board of Trade, Australian Tony Abbott, who shares very similar opinions to those expressed by Johnson. Ruth Davidson has accepted a leading role in her party, thereby “collectively” linking herself to the views of Johnson and Abbott. “Elevation” to the House of Lords is to win the “Golden Ticket”; a gravy train for life. Ms Davidson must ask if the prize is worth the reputational damage.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.