PRIME Minister Johnson instigated new laws to prevent social contact, visits to sick and dying family members in hospital, to stop us attending funerals, churches or weddings. Then Boris Johnson, his spouse, his civil service staff and other ministers who passed these laws brazenly breached them.

Can Mr Johnson survive the furore? He has flouted every rule of government and cannot be trusted over facts or money. Yet he will almost certainly survive any vote of confidence to remove him, if the Scottish Conservative Party is the template for modern political morality. This is how far the UK has fallen.

"There will be no whitewash at the White House” claimed Richard Nixon. Will “Deceit in Downing Street” be acceptable to the media and public?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


THE party's over. At least Scotland did not put a cross in the box to put such liars into office. And for Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross to suggest this is not the time to remove a Prime Minister who has been found out, only serves to promote his cowardice.

Political careers are hanging by a thread and deserve to be severed. Voters only have a short time to wait for the opportunity to give their verdict. The local elections are looming on May 5 and a clear message should be forthcoming.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

* WOULD you put it past Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking to pay his fixed penalty for Partygate in instalments? And then claim it on expenses?

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.

* IF Boris Johnson has to resign as PM for misleading Parliament, should not the same apply to Nicola Sturgeon as FM, as the Salmond inquiry found that she misled the Scottish Parliament?

Alex Gallagher, Labour councillor, Largs.


LAST autumn Nicola Sturgeon ordered 11 civil servants to prepare work on a second independence referendum – even though at the last election less than 28 per cent of the Scottish electorate voted for the SNP and Greens put together. This will cost the taxpayer £700,000.

The number of special advisers employed by Ms Sturgeon's Government has now reached 17, at a cost of £1 million.

The Scottish Government now employs 175 communications staff at a cost which must be enormous. By comparison BBC Scotland has only 34 reporters to cover the whole country.

Surely, the money spent on advising, communicating, and preparing for a referendum, which will be vetoed by the UK Government in any case, would be better spent on tackling the many structural problems which Scotland now faces.

William Loneskie, Lauder.

* IAN Balloch (Letters, April 12) asks whether SNP proposals mean that Scotland could be run by people with underdeveloped brains. Has he not considered the status quo?

David Miller, Milngavie.


BRIAN Wilson states that the idea of a Margaret Thatcher Day should be forgotten about ("A Maggie Thatcher Day? Here’s why it should be resisted", The Herald, April 12). If this project is pursued further, an opt-out should be promoted for Scotland. While she was Prime Minister for more than 11 years, she never came close to becoming an appealing personality in Scotland.

Many of her policies were ill-received and heavily criticised in Scotland. One can think, for example, of Scotland going first with the poll tax in advance of the rest of the UK, the drastic effects of the cuts in state benefits on the more needy areas of the country, and the devastating consequences for many Scottish mining communities of the draconian programme of pit closures. Her unpopularity in Scotland was evidenced starkly by her hostile reception at Hampden Park when she attended the Scottish Cup Final in 1988 between Celtic and Dundee United and thousands held up red cards directed at her.

She never quite "got" Scotland and the idea of a special day in her name is unlikely to be greeted with acclamation here.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


AS a 71-year-old feminist, mother and grandmother I feel very strongly about the remarks made by Lorna Slater ("Scots minister faces probe over trans rights race row", The Herald, April 12). What happened to free speech in Scotland? Our so-called progressive Government appears to be out of touch with the common people. Am I still allowed to say that?

I understand the trans issue but, please, let us have an open and honest debate about it.

Liz Orr, Hamilton.


BY likening women's rights activists to anti-Semites, racists and climate-change deniers, Lorna Slater has insulted a large section of like-minded Scots, not least 77,744 out of 79,473 registered voters in Edinburgh North and Leith who didn't vote for her last May yet saw her become an MSP, then a minister on a salary of £98k, plus £90k for two assistants. Perhaps one of them will report her outburst to the police under the SNP/Green hate crime legislation

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.


MANY financial studies have firmly concluded that Brexit is directly responsible for the sharp drop in living standards in the UK. Certain political groups and organisations have opposed these conclusions, probably in the main because they supported Brexit in the first place. It has recently been revealed that the Russians interfered in the vote in order to destabilise the EU. It has today been reported that the BBC deleted a reference by the head of the NFU as to Brexit being the main cause of the decline in British farming.

It seems that the Brexit plan is rapidly unravelling and that is only being held together by those with a vested interest in promoting it. Even among the chief Brexiters such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, it could be asked that if he thought Brexit was such a good idea, why then did he promptly transfer his assets abroad?

James Evans, Dumbarton.


I ALWAYS wondered why families would risk their lives on inflatable boats over the Channel to reach Britain. Now with the fiasco of visas for desperate refugees from Ukraine, I understand the desperation. How does anyone ever get here through our red tape?

The Ukrainian refugees are living in desperate situations. Many would not have brought all the documentation our Government is demanding when they fled for their lives. Yet they are expected to upload documents, photos and the like and fill in page after page of information. These are not people coming for economic reasons. The majority will want to return home if the fighting ever ends.

People are offering homes here but being told they need to upgrade them. It is officialdom gone mad. Let families in without quibbling over a newborn not having a passport, for heavens sake. Get them to safety asap.

Davina Ellis, Milngavie.


I REFER to your article where it is stated that nuclear power “must” be part of UK’s energy system ("We must not write off nuclear energy, urge entrepreneurs", The Herald, April 11).

Of course nuclear power is attractive as a quick-fix answer to the current panic about the rising demand for electricity and “global warming” ; and of course there will be interests in promoting this supposedly one-stop-sorts-it-all solution.

Nuclear power remains as highly contaminating (uranium mining and disposal of waste) and problematic in other respects as it was when it was decided not to proceed with the nuclear power programme.

Meanwhile there is a lack of commitment to a whole range of other possible parts of the UK’s energy system – for example, tidal, geothermal, combined heat and power, heat exchange, passive solar like south-facing houses) – but above all conservation.

We are expected and encouraged to feel the need to use electricity for everything we do from washing the dishes to riding our bicycles or tightening a screw. Offices are lit 24 hours and a day we work in shirt-sleeves or “summer” dresses all winter.

I have seen it estimated that by applying sensible conservation measures we could save at least a third of our usage.

There is no “must” about nuclear power. It remains dangerous and environmentally damaging. There are many better routes to go.

Clare Darlaston, Glasgow.

Read more: Beware the cynical Levelling Up move to bypass our parliament