REBECCA McQuillan says practically all that needs to be said about this Westminster Government and its standing in Scotland (“Would disavowing Johnson save Scots Tories? Backing him could sink them forever”, The Herald, November 12) .

However, I have always asserted that our democracy is ultimately in the hands of the “citizens”, the greatest threat to it being the indifference and consequent non-involvement of the “subjects”.

I therefore welcomed Neil Mackay’s article ("Johnson and Tories need to fear our rage ... it’s time to start putting them in jail", The Herald, November 11) in which he suggests that “politicians need to fear us. They need to fear our wrath and our vengeance” and that “change starts with ordinary people and their small acts of rebellion”.

This piece followed on from his equally welcome Unspun article of November 5 in which reminded us that “democracy has always lain in the hands of the people and it is up to ordinary Britons to stay alert to prevent a slide into something ugly and corrupt” and that “our vocal anger is the chief defence standing between our Prime Minister and democracy”.

Following on from these articles I suggest that those who voted Conservative in the 2019 election reflect on the consequences of the way they voted. After all they knew that Boris Johnson was capable of “shameful, wrong and unworthy” behaviour ("Government’s behaviour branded ‘shameful’, The Herald, November 7).

The Scottish tragedy is that our political debate has been hijacked by the independence wrangle, as a consequence of which I have to assume that large numbers of Conservative voters were voting against independence. I find it inconceivable that nearly 700,000 Scottish voters put their faith in Mr Johnson.

The rest of us have a duty to make sure our “vocal anger” is heard loudly and clearly. Otherwise we are mere facilitators of the “slide into something ugly and corrupt”.

READ MORE: COP26: Sturgeon tells world leaders and negotiators 'don't fail'

John Milne, Uddingston.

* IT is said that Mark Twain once wrote anonymously to a number of local politicians saying: “All is discovered. Flee immediately" and that more than half of them hastily left town.

That apocryphal tale somehow comes to mind in the current sleaze-gate (maybe that should be “sleaze-sluice”) revelations. At least we know that the current (at time of writing) PM has free access to comfortable accommodation in sunny climes and a private jet to get him there.

Grant McKechnie, Glasgow.


AMONG many of the grandiose soundbites favoured by Boris Johnson as he travels his new green utopian Road to Damascus we are grandly told that "green is good, green is right, green works" even though a few years ago he pronounced that wind power "couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding". He has now declared that we are on the threshold of a Green Industrial Revolution, which is another strange choice of words when we consider that the very words Industrial Revolution, for all its myriad benefits, conjures up images of impending climate catastrophe.

His new-found revolutionary zeal for all things green will do little or nothing to alter the immensely more powerful natural forces of nature that determine our climate and conveniently ignores the reality that even green policies have many unseen, under-reported and damaging negative consequences.

Neil J Bryce, Kelso.


IT is disappointing that David Caldwell (Letters, November 12) exposes his “inner Trump” by describing Greta Thunberg as a “wee lassie”. She is an adult who constitutes a “bogey man” for the politicians of this world, as she understands the climate problem and refuses to capitulate to their spreading of manure. However, I totally agree with him that taxation (a carbon tax) should be imposed on food, produce and goods transported across the globe, when it should be produced locally. No agricultural produce from Australasia should be cheaper than the equivalent from Ayrshire.

You can also see it in the BBC, which has transported a vast number of staff to Glasgow, when many could do their jobs where they are based, or could better utilise staff in Scotland. And if the BBC in Scotland is not up to the task, why have we got it?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

* HOW refreshing to read David Caldwell’s letter. He retains the sense which seems to no longer be part of our genetic make-up – common sense. The amount of carbon (not to mention hot air) that this COP26 conference has generated must be huge.

Elaine Honeyman, Largs.


I'VE lost count of the number of Climate Dialogue, Climate Justice, Citizen, Youth, Indigenous, Beyond Oil and Gas, coalitions, alliances, funds and assemblies Nicola Sturgeon has signed us up to in her past week of furious virtue signalling and selfie-ing.

If she had a car sticker for all of them she wouldn't be able to see out the back window. Which is a pity, because I suspect she'll have to quietly back out of many of them.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

* I UNDERSTAND Nicola Sturgeon, over the last nine days of COP, has posted in the region of 65 selfie-style photographs with the global great and good – or those she could cajole into posing with her – all for self-interest and self-advancement. She did not deem it a priority to attend First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, leaving her hapless and deeply out of depth deputy to fend off critics.

The hypocrisy of Ms Sturgeon is astonishing but not unexpected and supporters follow like sheep.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.


I NOTE that John Prescott has sold his two Jags. ("Then or now? Attitudes to car-free life stuck on repeat", The Herald, November 12). This means simply that others are driving the Jags, that is no net advantage to climate change.

An example of publicity without substance; a skill perhaps learned from Nicola Sturgeon, who is an expert.

William Durward, Bearsden.


PERHAPS it is unsurprising at a time when sleaze is squirting out of Westminster that we hear accusations of MPs being drunk on a trip to Gibraltar ("Sturgeon dismisses Tory claim that SNP MPS were drunk on armed forces trip", The Herald, November 12). Whether the allegations are factual or not, what cannot be denied is that 15 MPs were on “a jolly” to Gibraltar funded I believe by the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme. You may not have heard of this organisation, I hadn’t, but it’s a longstanding scheme funded by “industry” designed to familiarise MPs with our armed forces.

A cynic, and there are plenty of us about, might even come to the conclusion that President Eisenhower’s “Military Industrial Complex”, the one he warned us about, is using all-expenses-paid trips abroad to influence our elected representatives to look favourably on government expenditure on the military and its hardware; surely they wouldn’t be so venal and manipulative, surely our politicians wouldn’t be so gullible as to fall for such schemes. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that when it comes to influencing Parliament those with the least power to do so are the very people the institution is supposed to serve.

READ MORE: Are our politicians too corrupt to be trusted with the fate of the planet?

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


THERE has been a heavy price to pay in terms of acute diseases during Covid and this will continue long beyond it. Locking down so completely and diverting medical staff from areas such as cardiovascular and cancer treatment has meant that patients were not seen, diagnosed, treated. No doubt some with symptoms did not bother seeking help because they despaired of accessing it, storing up trouble for their future. Whatever the truth about GPs' duties, accessing them has been difficult. And we know only too well the problems that there are with ambulances.

This is a personal issue for me. I have given thanks several times that my two cancers were diagnosed and treated in 2011 and 2015, and not in 2019-21. A friend with a serious heart condition was told her case was "urgent" in early summer 2021 but was kept waiting and waiting and waiting for a heart bypass operation. This she received when she was eventually rushed into hospital with a heart attack. Thankfully, she is making a good recovery.

But what about the people whose treatment was interrupted or put on long-term hold? With Covid receding and vaccinations now widespread, why is it not a priority to treat those with life-threatening conditions? What proportion of health service resources is devoted to non-urgent matters, such as health authorities becoming Stonewall champions and wearing rainbow badges? How much does the equality and diversity bureaucracy cost in terms of patient treatment and recovery?

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.


I FULLY agree with Bill Findlay (Letters, November 6) that the future survival of the Church of Scotland depends on the ministry of Readers who are fully trained to conduct services and also carry out pastoral duties.

As a retired Reader of 16 years of service in the Presbytery of Buchan I can testify to the fact that many churches in the north-east of Scotland only survive because of the ministry of Readers.

Norman A Ogston, Johnstone.


AL Cowie (Letters, November 11) appears to be unaware of the genesis of the phrase “no mean city" in its application to Glasgow. This was the title of an infamous 1930s novel about the city’s razor gangs in the Gorbals, and as Wikipedia points out, “for many years, it was regarded as the definitive account of life in Glasgow, and its title became a byword”. As knowledge of the novel fades, perhaps the soubriquet will assume the positive aspect observed by Mr Cowie, but I can assure him that certainly until comparatively recently, the connotations were entirely negative.

R Murray, Glasgow.


ROBIN Dow's letter (November 12) on discrimination in 1975 brings to mind the tale of an East of Scotland golf clubhouse with a sign that read "No dogs, no ladies".

The order of the words "dogs" and "ladies" might, however, be interpreted as meaning that ladies were slightly less unwelcome than dogs.

David Miller, Milngavie.

Read more: Our national literature has long backed the cause of independence