DOMINIC Cummings was surely out to wreak revenge on his old boss for sacking him when questioned by MPs on how the UK Government handled the pandemic ("Cummings: Johnson is not fit person to lead country", The Herald, May 27). Those whom he felt to blame were mercilessly savaged and he did apologise for his own part.

My final thought on the questioning, however, is a fervent wish that there is a whistle blower somewhere in the Scottish administration also; someone with Mr Cummings’s breadth of knowledge of what was going on, who can supply the people of Scotland with the background to, for example, the inexplicable transfer of the old and vulnerable from hospitals to care homes where many died as a result, and many other matters that need investigation and disclosure. My only fear is that Scotland, as it is politically at present, is held in such a tight vice by the party in charge that those having the courage to speak out will need steadfastness and courage.

Methinks the SNP leadership is praying there is not anyone brave enough to tell and any Holyrood investigation that may come about will surely match the powder-puff Salmond inquiry for banality. Never thought I would be a wishing for a Scottish Dominic Cummings.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.


I FOUND it difficult to accept readily the proposition made by Alison Rowat – "It is as yet unclear how much of what Mr Cummings alleges applies to the Scottish Government’s handling of the crisis ("Cummings ripped through his old boss like a hurricane", The Herald, May 27). Will we have to wait until a public inquiry for such insights by an insider on the Scottish scene? Perhaps the erstwhile Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, might be tempted at some point to outline her pandemic experiences now she is in retirement.

In the meantime, some questions arise: are we supposed to believe that the Scottish Government was any better prepared for the pandemic? What did the Scottish Government in substance do differently from the UK Government in dealing with the crisis other than giving certain processes and guidance instructions different names and titles?

What are the chances of persuading the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives in care homes in Scotland as a result of untested patients being transferred from hospital that such actions were justified? When are we likely to hear the First Minister give fulsome praise to those who are responsible for the extensive availability in the UK of the vaccinations?

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

* IT is now clear that the Downing Street wallpaper was so mind-bogglingly expensive due to the size of the cracks they were trying to paper over.

After Dominic Cummings’s explosive evidence, the term “Scottish Tory” will surely become an oxymoron before too long.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth, Perthshire.


I CANNOT have been the only one of your readers to greet the news that both sides blame each other for the failure of the all-UK Covid summit to take place (" Downing Street blames Scottish Government for cancelled Covid summit", The Herald, May 27)with a despairing “for God’s sake”.

Devolution was meant to create better governance and accountability. Instead, in a pandemic where Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson are both responsible for thousands of unnecessary deaths, we get just more animosity and bickering.

I really hope these two clowns meet as soon as possible. They deserve each other.

Peter A Russell, Glasgow.


I FEEL certain that the Faustian bargain which the SNP and the Scottish Green Party are concocting is bound to end in tears (“Sturgeon raises prospect of Green MSPs in Cabinet”, The Herald, May 27).

Nicola Sturgeon seems to think that if the SNP courts the Greens close enough it will strengthen her case for a second independence referendum. However, I consider the fusion of fantasies which would emerge from the marriage would not be a strong alloy of allies but a tense hotchpotch of undefinable ad hoc policies.

The Greens must realise that it was the Scottish public who voted for a devolved parliament and in 2014 reaffirmed that it was a devolved and not an independent parliament they preferred. Are the Greens willing to hold democracy in such little value as the SNP displays?

I expect that both Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, who lead the Greens in Scotland, are not so incredibly naive as to imagine they would have any meaningful future in an independent Scotland if the controlling SNP has its way. After all, the real SNP aim is gaining total power through divorce, not marriage.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.

* SO there you have it: if you voted for the Greens you actually voted for the SNP. Well, that is something that anyone who follows politics in Scotland knew in advance.

As the SNP’s grip on power slips a little it reaches out for a lifebelt and finds it in the form of the Green Party.

The First Minister seemed pleased with herself as she made the announcement, but maybe she should ponder on the decision a little longer, for I am sure that many genuine Green voters will not be very enamoured at being used as political pawns.

W MacIntyre, East Kilbride.


FURTHER to Dr Douglas Pitt's plea to ease up on anti-Tory dogma (Letters, May 27), I would say that this will be accomplished as soon as Conservatives display some compassion, empathy, sympathy, kindness, pity, humanity, instead of their usual arrogance, scorn, egoism, conceit, disdain. I refer him to a Prime Minister who would prefer to spend untold thousands on decorating his living room,than on feeding children during school holidays.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


I WAS lucky enough to have had a letter advocating home rule for our island communities published some time ago, so I welcome Brian Wilson's devolution “awakening”, as he has been a fanatical opponent of that policy for decades ("Faroes model offers islands more than rule from Edinburgh and Gourock", The Herald, May 26). As he states, it is a liberating experience for culture, self-reliance and the economy.

I trust, if he follows his own logic, that he will be on the Yes side for indyref2, when full devolution for Scotland is on the ballot.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


THERE was not much need for Rosemary Goring’s infantile spite about the Earl of Strathearn’s tour of Scotland in the company of the Countess ("Battle royal looms as William and Kate are deployed to bolster the Union", The Herald, May 26)

The man is Lord High Commissioner this year to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, an office his aunt has also performed. Their family have homes in Scotland.

The Earl's grandmother is head of state in Scotland and might remain so in the event of independence, so it’s nonsense to moan about the constitution in relation to this stravaig.

The Earl and Countess are doing what the Queen and her representatives have always done, encouraging, participating, listening and helping. It’s what those people are paid for. The Earl’s grandfather was appreciated for doing the like and was an energetic organiser of programmes of help and development.

It’s not necessary to be either a unionist or a monarchist to recognise that the Earl and Countess are doing their job with flair and engagement. If Ms Goring’s problem is one of institutional scale and cost, it’s worth mentioning that the royal brand earns millions for the Exchequer.

It’s perfectly legitimate to want a different kind of constitution. But some features of democracy may be the things that need improving. And genuine republicans have respect for the consent of most people in allegiance to high heid yins.

Perhaps Ms Goring believes the recent visit of the Earl and Countess to the Republic of Ireland was sinister imperial diplomacy.

Tim Cox, Switzerland.


WITH a tenuous link between Henry VIII’s "rough wooing" to what she sees as a modern-day charm offensive on the part of current royals, Rosemary Goring reminds us that some nationalist grievances can still be deployed even if they are nearly 500 years old.

At this time when we have all been facing individually and collectively some of the toughest times in recent memory, many will draw comfort from the compassion and genuine concern expressed by the royal couple as they go about their work. They seek to encourage us all and recognise the commitment of those who have helped others through the worst of times.

Yet with breathtaking cynicism, Ms Goring chooses to dismiss the Earl of Strathearn as “a Trojan horse to convey a message of unity”. Some, it seems, can find grievance in every act, word and gesture.

Keith Howell, West Linton.

Read more: Lockdown delay blame lies in London, not Edinburgh