I HAVE never felt so powerless. Regardless of one's political leanings, the performance of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister has been a shoddy display of half-truths, prevarication and dithering. He appears to lack any sense of morality. He shows no signs of ethical awareness ("Johnson vows to stay in office after breaking lockdown rules", The Herald, April 13).

His supporters suggest he stays in post because we need strong leadership in these challenging times. I'd suggest we also need honest and fair-minded leadership; neither of these adjectives spring to mind in relation to Mr Johnson.

Or they argue that he stays in post because it will in some way help Ukraine, apparently failing to realise that Mr Johnson's pursuit of Brexit has relegated the country he leads – and misleads – to a tiny island with limited and declining influence on the world stage.

Then there is the shifting to his advisors of the blame surrounding distinguishing parties from business meetings. Really? An intelligent man needs advisors to identify what sort of gathering he's attending? On these grounds alone he is unfit for office.

I'm saddened more than angry. That a man lacking moral fibre has the support of his party and his MPs – more interested in their jobs than in taking a stand against the insidious effects of Mr Johnson's behaviour – leaves me fearing for a future where lying is the new norm and nobody cares.

Stewart J Brown, Largs.


IAIN Macwhirter ("We will not help Ukraine if we dump its greatest ally now", The Herald, April 13) paints a picture in chocolate box style. The Prime Minister is a member of a party elected by British voters, not Ukrainian ones. If he goes to the polls with his grubby little record, the party he represents will be tarnished for years by the smell that hangs about him and his coterie and will suffer, as a whole, the anger of the public who have been so badly let down.

Mr Johnson's "cojones" don't measure up well when the Polish, Czech and Slavic heads of state visited to show solidarity whilst the Russians were in occupation and besieging the capital; he chose to visit once they were safely out of the way. Make no mistake, all his posturing and posing is entirely for the camera. Ukraine will not suffer for his absence any more than Britain suffered when Chamberlain was ousted in 1940, making way for Churchill.

For the good of this country and our reputation, we need him and his cronies gone.

Angela Fotheringham, Stow.

* IAIN Macwhirter’s grovelling paean to Boris Johnson the day after he was found to have broken the law is nauseating. He calls him “the leader of one of the world’s great democracies”. What a load of nonsense. The UK has no written constitution and an undemocratic voting system that entrenches minority rule. Mr Johnson wasn’t “elected by a very large majority”, but by just 43 per cent of the electorate. He doesn’t represent Scotland, which hasn’t voted for a Tory government since 1955.

Mr Johnson’s record is horrendous. His Government is rotten to the core and filled with third-raters. The UK Covid excess death rate is one of the highest in the developed world. He openly hobnobs with Russian oligarchs and elevated one to the House of Lords over objections from the security service. He’s cavalierly standing by as millions face ruinous food and energy bills. He’s dismantling the National Health Service. He has profoundly isolated the UK from its closest trading partners and supposed allies. He’s using a war in another country to shamelessly prop up his dictatorial regime. He lied to Parliament, the media, broke the ministerial code and has treated the people with utter contempt. And still he clings to power, the only thing he cares about.

It’s tragic that Labour doesn’t have the spine to call for a vote of no confidence in this travesty of a Government or to form an electoral alliance with other parties and support reforming a deeply undemocratic voting system.

Scotland must get out of this decaying Union.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

* AS ever, a lucid and thought-provoking article by Iain Macwhirter. On balance, although I have absolutely no time for Boris Johnson or his Government, Mr Macwhirter might be correct on this specific issue and occasion.

But I do wonder if the UK would have behaved in the way we have if we had been as reliant on Russian gas and oil as say Germany is. I know we are not but we could so easily have been. And let us not forget that the Tories have cosied up to the Russian oligarchs for some time and we are in no way blameless for the current situation.

Willie Towers, Alford.


IT is striking to note the spurious argument that because there is war in Ukraine this means that the Prime Minister should remain in office and not be replaced.

This is a man who has broken the law, the first Prime Minister in office to do this, as well as lying to Parliament. History highlights that on numerous occasions we have replaced the Prime Minister in wars we have been directly involved in.

For instance, in May 1940 Neville Chamberlain resigned after the failure of British efforts to liberate Norway. In December 1916, at the height of the First World War, Lloyd George replaced Herbert Asquith. More recently, Margaret Thatcher resigned in November 1990, with Iraq invading Kuwait in August of that year, which led to the Gulf War.

Add to this, changes to Prime Ministers during the war in Afghanistan, the Second Boer War, the Second Opium War and the Crimean War. Changing a Prime Minister in a time of conflict is clearly not unprecedented.

Those who make the law cannot be seen to be breaking the law and it is scarcely credible that Mr Johnson, who has now lost the final fragments of any moral authority he did have, can carry the confidence of the country and remain in office.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.


THE SNP is over the moon that the Prime Minister has been fined for, heaven forbid, being presented with a cake on the day of his birthday in his place of work. I really must remember from now on to refer to a “birthday party” I’ve had at work rather than just saying there was cake.

And of course the SNP will be glad to make political hay out of this, distracting from the more important headlines such as the fall in cancer diagnoses of around 2,800 in 2020 compared to the year before ("Plunge in detection at early stage as Covid pauses tests", The Herald, April 13). Covid has had and continues to have a disastrous impact on people’s health, firstly the infection itself and on our mental health but also missed opportunities to diagnose and treat cancer and many other conditions. How many of us are now walking around not aware that we have cancer that may have been picked up by routine screening? It was understandable that screening had to be delayed due to Covid but the screening programmes need to now be working round the clock to help people get the treatment they need as soon as possible.

Perhaps the SNP could put as much energy into this as it has done in demanding the Prime Minister stand down. I believe that many people will agree with me that this is much more important than political point-scoring.

Jane Lax, Aberlour.


THE BBC tonight (April 12) showed in the Six O' Clock News a series of instant interviews with residents in the north of England re the 10-minute birthday party and the Prime Minister's fine.

One lady answered that it was immaterial.

When they broadcast the News at 10pm, the interviews were re-broadcast but that particular interviewee was deleted.

I am not a supporter of Boris Johnson. But I am a supporter of honest reporting – which it is obvious the BBC is not.

Bill Batchelor, Anstruther.


I SUPPOSE we should be grateful for the current crop of political leaders of all political hues throughout the UK; after all, they provide beacons of hope to the dimwits, dullards, and dunces, who will see that lacking any discernible talent whatsoever is no bar to high office. All one needs to succeed is an incredible amount of misplaced self-belief and a nice line in obfuscation when anyone dares ask you a difficult question about your behaviour, comments you’ve made, or projects you’ve failed to deliver on.

Whether it’s an 80-seat majority, a quirk of proportional representation, or ideological zeal, it looks like we will have to endure the mediocre for some time to come.

Still, there’s always a chance to register a protest on May 5.

Stuart Brennan, Glasgow.

Read more: Just how much more of this can the British public put up with?