HAVING read Adam Tomkins' comments, I am truly stunned by the actions of his fellow Conservatives at Westminster ("MPs back ‘watered-down’ plans to update rules amid sleaze fiasco", The Herald, November 18). The hypocrisy is truly incredible.

The Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell was happy to state in an interview that MPs needed second jobs to "maintain their standard of living". It is relevant to note that Mr Rosindell was however happy to state in an interview that he voted for the reduction of £20 in Universal Credit, causing serious hardship to the very poorest in our society.

Then we have the case of the five Scottish Conservative MPs who voted to remove the pensions triple lock and make pensioners £500 worse off (Letters, November 18). They obviously have no concern for UK pensioners who have the lowest old age pension of almost any country in Europe. However, when it came to ensuring their second jobs were protected, they watered down the bill to restrict MPs having second jobs – or even third jobs in the case of Douglas Ross ("Being an MP or an MSP is a part-time job. They should all be forced to have a real job too", The Herald, November 17).

These people are paid a very good salary yet by their actions they show that they have no concern for their constituents and every concern for their bank balances. When they are caught with their hands in the honeypot, they can rely on Boris Johnson to attempt to protect them.

One has to ask: are these MPs fit for purpose?

David Stubley, Prestwick.


ADAM Tomkins seems to believe that the undemocratic nature of the House of Lords is an asset to the country, as its membership consists of "experts" who can give sage advice to the merely elected (and presumably therefore inferior) members of the House of Commons.

It is perhaps worth mentioning to Professor Tomkins that it has been alleged that some of these experts’ only expertise is in acquiring wealth, a portion of which they have donated to a political party? And what good is the advice from the House of Lords in any case? I seem to recall a member of Prof Tomkins’ own party declaring that we have had enough of experts.

Prof Tomkins also believes that the daily allowance of £300 is "modest" and that the maximum possible annual income of £45,000 is insufficient to live on, therefore peers must have a second job by necessity.

I believe the average annual income in Britain is around £25,000.What can one say to someone who thinks a sum getting on for twice this isn’t enough to live on?

Mark Smith, in a recent column ("The Scotland factor means nothing has really changed", The Herald, November 15), told us that 20% of Scots vote Conservative no matter what. Given the views of Prof Tomkins, and considering the recent scandals, I find this incomprehensible. Are so many of us lacking in common decency that we can vote for such a party?

Alan Jenkins, Glasgow.


I ENJOY reading articles by former Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins. However, his recent contribution is one of the worst articles I recollect being printed in The Herald.

Lending his support for second jobs for MPs and MSPs is ludicrous, as is his statement that the job of an MP or MSP is not a full-time job. A cursory look at the generic job description of an MP (publications.parliament.uk) describes the workload which would require more devotion to duty than the three days stated by Adam Tomkin. In any case if he is correct, then why are MPs currently in receipt of approximately £80-£85k for a three-day week and why on their two spare weekdays are they not hard at work finding solutions to constituent problems?

The ludicrous statement that "requiring that our elected parliamentarians do nothing else is condemning them to a life of infernal boredom" offers nothing but a miserable excuse to allow freedom to take on additional paid work when already in receipt of a decent wage for a full week's employment.

Referring to Owen Paterson and his breach of the rules, Prof Tomkins states that there is no real need for rule reform since "far from his case showing that the rules need to be reformed, it shows they work". Not only did Mr Paterson argue his innocence, the Conservative Government sought to have him avoid any penalty and attempted to obtain a rules change to ensure that MPs wouldn't be caught out again as a result of any future corrupt practice. In addition, commenting on non-compliance with rules, Prof Tomkins states that Owen Paterson breached them, which is "why it was recommended that he be suspended from the Commons for a lengthy period of time". A lengthy period of time? It was merely 30 days' suspension from the Commons for non-compliance with the rules, the result of which earned Mr Paterson in excess of £100,000 per year with no additional penalty?

He states that "the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament are full of amateurs pontificating on matters about which they know nothing" – enough said, other than I note that Prof Tomkins left the Scottish Parliament earlier this year at which time he made the following statement: “Serving as one of our party’s elected representatives for Glasgow has been an enormous privilege and leaving the Scottish Parliament in 2021 will be a wrench”, which seems to suggest that he will find it a wrench not to be pontificating on matters about which he apparently knows nothing.

John S Milligan, Kilmarnock.


I SEE that the adjective “extremist” is now required before any mention of the Greens. My lot are always “separatist” of course, but that’s water off an old Nat’s back.

It seems unfair for the Tories not to be blessed in this way. May I suggest “sleaze-ridden”, or if that’s too sloppy, then “inept”?

Mike Lunan, Thurso.


SUPPORTERS of the SNP must be in despair. After two weeks of bad headlines for Boris Johnson, our First Minister has ridden to his rescue with yet another ill-thought-out move, that of stopping the Cambo oil field from being developed ("Sturgeon finally sets out opposition to Cambo oil field being given green light", The Herald, November 18).

It would appear all Nicola Sturgeon's photographs with numerous climate change activists has influenced her to abandon common sense for idealism – not for the first time. Scotland's energy requirements are the central core to our very existence and future success. Ms Sturgeon has missed the basics.

Notwithstanding this, her Government does not seem able to run functioning safe hospitals, admittedly not easy, but given a simple task such as its bottle return scheme, cannot get this to work either ("Deposit return scheme delay blamed on Covid, Brexit and VAT row with UK", The Herald, November 18). Even our criminal justice system is in serious trouble. Is all this meant to showcase a Government which claims to be "Stronger for Scotland?"

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.


SO Nicola Sturgeon has come out in opposition to the 800 million-barrel Cambo Field off Shetland. Is this just to please her new allies, the Greens, or is it simply because the decision on this matter is one for Westminster, and not Holyrood?

It would appear that some of the SNP's elected politicians in or around Aberdeen and the north-east are opposing her decision to reject this opportunity for a boost to the economy. But then, of course, it is not a decision for Ms Sturgeon or her colleagues to make anyway. Oil and gas exploration off these islands remains within the brief of Westminster.

So Ms Sturgeon can safely protest against such further exploration in the knowledge that the UK Government will take the flak from the conservationists.

Smart thinking.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife.


THE two biggest CO2 producers, China and India, were able to water down the final report of COP26 and the world's delegates were unable to do anything about it other than accept the situation in order to have any report published. That leaves it to the general public to think seriously before buying any goods produced in China and India, because these are the production processes that are generating CO2, and indirectly we are responsible for their CO2 production.

If the public stopped purchasing their goods, they would sit up, take notice and do something about it as a matter of urgency.

Richard Gordon, Falkirk.

Read more: Control of broadcasting must be handed to Scotland