ONE can but chuckle watching Scottish Conservative MSPs line up to condemn their leader and call for his resignation over something that happened two years ago and had no direct impact on anyone. It appears they see Boris Johnson as their biggest hurdle to electoral success in Scotland in May, completely blind to the fact that the biggest barrier to the Scottish Tories in Scotland is themselves.

Jacob Rees-Mogg rightly called Douglas Ross a "lightweight" – 2021 provided endless open goals for Mr Ross to bring down Scottish Government members on a series of extremely serious matters, and failed on all counts. The lightweight Mr Ross failed to land any punches last year, to the disservice of our country.

As the Tories look to haemorrhage more support in May, it's time they accepted that the real problem with the Scottish Tories is the Scottish Tories – no vision, no new ideas to counter existing dogma and unwilling to stand up for anything they really believe in.

If they truly believe that their electoral success will improve with Mr Johnson gone, then it proves simply they have nothing to offer in their own right and their success is dependent on the UK party they appear to so despise. Mr Ross should consider his own position before anyone else's.

Jamie Black, Largs.

* I HAD the honour some time ago of being appointed to work at the Arts Council in London by William Rees-Mogg, whose son Jacob on occasion tripped into the office with his father. The son’s reputation after those occasions, I’m afraid, was as an over-indulged and precocious brat. As William Wordsworth observed, "the child is father of the man".

So, when the child calls Douglas Ross a "lightweight", one has to take account of the gravitas of the name-caller. Certainly, I would be reluctant to call anyone who has regularly served as a referee at Scottish football grounds a "lightweight".

As to the suggestion Mr Ross has less gravitas than the current Secretary of State for Scotland, I have to say it is difficult to judge the relative weight of someone who is prepared to face the public and speak his mind openly and honestly with an invisible man.

Ian Brown, Giffnock.


IT’S hard not to draw parallels between the increasing public concern regarding the extra-curricular activities of the Duke of York ("Judge refuses to throw out sexual assault civil lawsuit against Duke", The Herald, January 13) and the behaviour of Boris Johnson. Both are from privileged backgrounds and from what one can glean, both have led shall we say colourful lives. Their joint response to their activities being questioned has been much the same, one of denial and obfuscation and an assumption that their status allows them a degree of latitude denied others further down the social scale.

The situation in my eyes is the embodiment of the “us and them” nature of British society where the “haves” matter and the “have-nots” can be ignored. The situation was summed up nicely in an interview with Jacob Rees-Mogg, the archetypical upper-class stereotype and bastion of the Establishment. While unequivocally supporting Mr Johnson, Lord Snooty condemned the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party as “lightweight” and declared the unanimous opinion of all Scottish Conservative MSP to be irrelevant.

Mr Rees-Mogg appears to think that as long as the Westminster-appointed Scottish Viceroy (whose name at the moment I can’t even remember) supports Mr Johnson then what anyone else north of Hadrian’s Wall thinks is irrelevant. That is UK society and UK democracy in the proverbial nutshell. The problem is not Boris Johnson but the whole rotten system.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


THE attacks on Boris Johnson from the media and from within and without the Tory Party would seem justified. His time in power seems to have been chaotic at best and bumbling and stumbling haplessly from one mess to the next can only go on so long, even for the up-to-now Teflon-covered Boris Johnson.

However, what disturbs me is that the attacks on the Prime Minister from the Tories in Scotland, as well as from other opposition parties, are particularly fierce. I despair that the real enemy for Scottish-based politicians is surely the SNP, yet it does not receive anywhere like that opprobrium. The opposition parties in Scotland have never shown the same ferocity in their attacks on the First Minister and her administration, who are equally, if not much more, inept. Of course I am aware that many think that with a stronger Tory leader and Prime Minister, the nationalist dragon will be slain, but that is surely wishful thinking.

If they – and the media – would only put Scottish nationalism under the same microscope and pressure they exact on the Tories in London, this country would perhaps begin to find a way out from under the dead hand of perpetual grievance, rancour and mind-blowing incompetence that is an administration of Scottish nationalists.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.


I BLAME the Conservative Party.

Anybody with any interest in politics knows that Boris Johnson is not a fit person to be Prime Minister. He has a long history of irresponsibility, mendacity, indolence, promiscuity, entitlement, self-interest, and more.

Yet the Tory Party, a party which would claim to be the party of honesty and decency, ignored all of this, and put him in place because they thought that he could help them to achieve their aim of leaving the EU, a cause which most sensible people, who are not rich, or likely to benefit directly, knew full well would be a disaster.

Yet, for their own advantage, the Tories disregarded the national interest, and put this disreputable, discredited individual in charge.

Their rich friends and donors have benefited hugely, whilst the country has become a laughing stock internationally, with a large section of the population living on the breadline, even those in work.

Mr Johnson should never have been entrusted with any responsible position, and certainly not leader of the nation, and the Conservative Party put him there in the full knowledge of his character and competence.

It’s time they accepted responsibility and took the appropriate action.

Les Mackay, Dundee.


IT looks as if Alison Rowat ("A sorry excuse for a Prime Minister, yet still he clings on", The Herald, January 13), along with most others, wants Boris Johnson to go, whether willingly or unwillingly. I am not in any way a fan of our dear leader, but getting rid of him leaves the way clear for somebody worse. There is nobody with any empathy or compassion in the Conservative Party. To look at the worst-case scenario, we might get Priti Patel, who believes desperate migrants should be pushed back into the Channel and left to drown. This despite her family being welcomed into Britain herself when Idi Amin was throwing Asians out of Uganda.

I say let's keep Mr Johnson, at least we know what he is likely to get up to – have parties and tell lies and get Tory donors pay for his new sofas.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


SOME obvious and pertinent facts are being overlooked in the explosion of indignation over the "garden party".

A country will not run itself; that is the job of the Prime Minister and his advisors, and must be conducted however grim the circumstances.

Downing Street is unusual in world terms: Numbers 10 and 11 house the private residences of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Unusually, however, they are also the workplaces of members of the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister's office.

In other words, Boris Johnson more or less lives in the shop, and the entire building has access to the garden.

He has to consult on a daily basis with his work staff. After all, he is the Prime Minister.

Given the stress that his office was under at the time, it seems sensible that his work bubble was invited into the garden for a little fresh air relaxation. And yes, why not a drink as well?

During the Covid crisis not everyone could isolate: Royal Navy ships went to sea, Army battalions were in a state of readiness, hospitals worked at full capacity, and the vital business of government had to continue.

Working from home, lockdown, isolation rules and so on were necessary during the worst of Covid, but there are valid exceptions to most rules.

Bruce Walker, Largs.


WHY didn't Boris Johnson bring a carry-out to Prime Minister's Questions?

It might have helped to convince us all to believe that a BYOB do is normal working practice, if he had turned up with a couple of screwtops in his jacket pockets.

David Hay, Minard, Argyll.

Read more: The UK deserves a far better leader than this