THE proposed “vote of confidence” in Nicola Sturgeon was announced at the “Scottish” Tory conference on Monday, March 15, days before the disgraceful leak from the Salmond inquiry – playground constitutional politics in the middle of a pandemic.

Sir Keir Starmer joins in the witch hunt, calling for Ms Sturgeon to go if she has misled parliament ("Sturgeon facing no-confidence vote over claims she misled MSPs", The Herald. March 20). Why is he not calling for Boris Johnson to go? The Prime Minister, and several of his Cabinet ministers, have repeatedly breached the ministerial code. In just the last few weeks Mr Johnson has misled Parliament over Northern rail funding; on all coronavirus contracts being published; on Labour voting against nurses' pay awards. Yet Sir Keir is silent. Is it a different rule for Scotland?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


YOU quote Ruth Davidson as saying "no First Minister is above the fundamental principles of honesty and trust”.

Does she not realise what she is saying? The obvious question your readers will wish to ask her is “but you think it ok to serve under and accept a peerage from a man widely recognised as being a serial liar. Almost the entire world knows the Prime Minister lacks principles. Do you have none yourself?”

John Milne, Uddingston.

* THREE cheers for Teddy Jamieson's column on the apology for a Prime Minister that is Boris Johnson ("This loathing. It feels almost thrilling", The Herald, March 19). I could not have expressed my sentiments better.

Eileen Michael, Ralston.


I CANNOT help but wonder if Bill Eadie (Letters, March 20) is missing the point when he states that Nicola Sturgeon is calling into question the integrity of the committee?

I also wonder if committee members – of any party involved – would have considered leaking a selected or whole report if they had any integrity to begin with.

Moira Love, Cumbernauld.


IT is quite something when a spokesperson for the First Minister declares: “Sadly she [the FM] is not the first woman let down by a man she once trusted to face that charge and regrettably she is unlikely to be the last” ("Sturgeon’s future on the line over Salmond probe crisis", The Herald, March 20). Yet again the focus is on our “poor” First Minister and not on the women let down by the shambolic and inept handling of their harassment claims.

It is also worth noting the alleged culprits in this failed process – the First Minister herself, Sue Ruddick, Chief Operating Officer of the SNP, Liz Lloyd, the FM's Chief of Staff and Lesley Evans, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government. What do they have in common? Yes, they are all women who badly let down the women they should have been protecting. No amount of “deflection” away from the findings of the committee will hide this simple fact. Their clear and obvious failings had nothing to do with being let down by a man.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh.


IN today's Letters Pages (March 20) I find myself in agreement with views expressed by three regular correspondents from different points on the political compass.

James Martin correctly suspects that voters motivated by a desire to achieve self-determination for Scotland – I would describe these as rationalists rather than Mr Martin's choice of nationalists – are unlikely to be deflected by a sideshow which has no bearing on their support for the only major party which is committed to their cause. They, like me, will be experiencing deja vu as the allies of 2014's "Better Together" exercise perform an encore in the Salmond v Sturgeon show. Ruth Marr's commendable support for our First Minister confirms Mr Martin's suspicion. My old colleague Ian W Thomson provides a refreshing change of topic by calling for an end to the anachronistic unelected House of Lords.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

* RUTH Marr regards Alex Salmond as “someone I used to respect” . Does she realise that Nicola Sturgeon is evolving into “someone I used to respect”?

I have regarded Ms Marr’s opinions as set in stone, but she has now discarded her favour for both Margaret Ferrier and Mr Salmond. Work in hand.

William Durward, Bearsden.


DOUGLAS Cowe (Letters, March 19) writes: “I don’t recognise my country compared to the days of my youth and middle age” and proceeds to regale us with a litany of the wrongs of xenophobic Scottish nationalism with all its ills. I make two points from this: first, like myself, Mr Cowe appears to be beyond middle age but unfortunately his powers of recollection are decidedly rose-tinted as I will demonstrate below, and secondly, in an independent Scotland he will be able to vote for a party of his own choice and get the government Scotland chooses – a new democratic experience for all of us.

It is here I must apologise, for there is simply insufficient space to record the peace-loving harmonious existence of the people living in the homogenous United Kingdom of Mr Cowe’s memory. From 1960 onwards we have had many protests, some very violent – CND, the Winter of Discontent, the miners’ strike, Greenham Common, Toxteth riots, dockers' strikes, London riots with civil unrest, Northern Ireland troubles, fuel protests, the poll tax, anti-Iraq War demonstrations and so on. What is it Mr Cowe yearns for?

Some would of course wish to argue that the Scottish independence referendum of 2014 was a nasty, violent affair but the bald fact is, one politician got hit by a single egg much to the chagrin of Better Together, who likened it to something altogether more unpleasant, although no one was injured and no one died in the entire two-year violence-free campaign.

Clearly a British nationalist and nothing wrong with that, Mr Cowe and his fellow nationalists are quite withering about Scotland, yet seldom stop to think that in accusing others of xenophobia, the removal of the UK from the EU is in itself an act of narrow-minded isolationism. Loosely quoting from the Queen’s comments at Balmoral during the 2014 campaign, Mr Cowe concludes: “Voters need to think very carefully where to put the X in May” and I could not agree more. It is time for something much better than the travails our poorer members of society have endured and will return to under the “care” of the UK.

Alan M Morris, Blanefield.


I AM disgusted to see that George Galloway's latest venture, the bizarrely-named Alliance for Unity, is adopting what looks very much like the famous red white and blue roundel as used by the Royal Air Force on its election material.

My late father served in the RAF and I am sure he would turn in his grave to see this emblem linked to a political carpetbagger like Mr Galloway. What right does someone who throughout his eminently forgettable political career has in my view served no one but himself to purloin a symbol we associate with many brave airmen and women who served in the RAF, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice?

Mr Galloway should hang his head in shame. His hijacking of this symbol shows what he and his new best pal Michael Gove think of our armed forces.

Billy Gold, Glasgow.


FRIENDSHIP and consideration are two constituents of neighbourliness, but just what is Westminster's position? Having pulled up the drawbridge to Europe and having rejected any consensual position within the four UK nations during the Covid pandemic that would seek to bring everyone together in the one direction but insisting that the UK Government approach is the only direction of travel, we now find ourselves wrapped in the red, white and blue flag that flew over the British Empire and somehow seeking to initiate a second version and which Mr Johnson describes as fulfilling Britain's historic mission as a force for good.

Is a reversion to the Far East and the Pacific really the way forward for Global Britain?More nuclear warheads and less developmental aid? We should be seeking to be a major player where our influence can be focused towards different perspectives: education, science, engineering all addressing the dangers of climate change and the impacts on land and particularly the world's oceans. Building a society of friendship and consideration where the motive is not for financial profit but for the health, wellbeing and care of all people. Why can't we just be good neighbours?

Tom Macpherson, Stewarton.

Read more: The tragedy is that SNP voters won't care about the lies