THAT Boris Johnson et al at Westminster should now propose forwarding refugees to Rwanda ("Johnson’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda branded 'inhumane'", The Herald, April 15) is quite the most despicable action, and that Priti Patel and Mr Johnson claim this is possible because of Brexit is utterly shameless.

Perhaps the large sums of money now going to Rwanda could be sent instead to Scotland, which would surely be glad to receive these unfortunate people, along with those refugees from Ukraine who manage to get past Ms Patel's visa requirements.

Hugh Morton, Gauldry, Fife.


IT'S possible that I may not have the intellectual horsepower of those at the heart of government in Westminster so I just want to see if I have got this right.

If someone flees from a war-torn country and makes a lengthy, hazardous, perilous journey to northern France; pays people traffickers their life savings and make an incredibly risky, frightening journey on a flimsy rubber boat to these shores, then a worse fate now awaits them.

At a cost of hundreds of millions of pounds to this Government, they will be flown several thousands of miles to Rwanda to be “resettled”. Rwanda is a third world African country with high levels of poverty and a poor history of genocide and corruption at all levels of government.

However, if someone makes the perilous journey out of Ukraine they will be taken by plane or minibus to this country. There they will be welcomed with open arms into someone’s home and paid a decent monthly allowance.

Is this correct? A racist policy? Perish the thought.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.


I TRULY believe that the outcry over the so-called Partygate is beginning to verge on hysteria ("Clock is now ticking on the futures of Johnson and Sunak", The Herald, April 15). In my opinion the gatherings at Downing Street were in no way a party.

Boris Johnson has not had the best start to his premiership, first Covid and now Ukraine. The pressures have obviously been extreme, so any breaches of the rules regarding gatherings were to me not deliberate. Indeed they should not have happened, but some of these were in places of work. For goodness sake, the Government was trying to run the country at a time of unprecedented crisis. They should have thought about how it would look but everyone is human and in stressful times I do not think the breaches were intended to deceive.

I fully appreciate the feelings of those who were not allowed to visit loved ones but to say Mr Johnson was taking people for fools is a bit extreme. I would understand if those involved had said "we could not care less if people are affected, we will please ourselves", but it is my belief that any gatherings were simply an oversight and those involved should have been better advised.

The rules were found to have been breached, fines given and apologies made; but for the opposition parties to accuse Mr Johnson of being a criminal is extreme in the least. Those fined will not have a criminal record. He has been accused of lying to Parliament but I honestly believe that he did not think he had. In accusing him of being a liar Ian Blackford should look closer to home with regards the Salmond/Sturgeon debacle. Someone must have been lying; they cannot both have been right.

The opposition has for years been looking for a reason to call for the Prime Minister’s resignation and this is the opportunity for everyone to jump on the bandwagon. I often get the impression that the pompous Mr Blackford would call for a resignation if he thought Mr Johnson was wearing the wrong colour of tie.

Mr Johnson can sometimes appear to be a loose cannon but he has been a breath of fresh air compared to previous PMs and the work he has done to get Covid vaccines has to be commended and the support he, on behalf of the UK, is giving to Ukraine is unprecedented.

Let us not get carried away and let us look at the big picture and focus on those things which are really important.

Gordon Bannatyne, Milton of Campsie.


IN May 2020, my family, friends and I briefly celebrated my 80th birthday outside my home in accordance with the rules introduced by the Prime Minister and his colleagues. Disappointing as it was to be unable to have a proper party, many other decent citizens made much greater sacrifices during the pandemic.

Jane Lax (Letters, April 14) tries to trivialise the actions of Boris Johnson and his underlings but that is not the way that we little people who did our best see it. Worse than the PM's blatant disregard for his own rules is his claim that he did not realise he was doing anything wrong. This means that either he is completely incompetent or he was blatantly lying. Whichever way, he is clearly completely unsuitable to lead the United Kingdom and, if he has any decency, he should resign forthwith.

Gordon Evans, Glasgow.


NICOLA Sturgeon – like many of your correspondents – is of course completely right to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister and his colleagues who have broken the law. However, it would also be useful to ask her what she would do if one of her ministers broke the law and then attempted to wriggle off the hook with the excuse that he was unaware that he had been acting illegally. Perhaps he might have committed the offence of driving without insurance.

Would the First Minister (a) sack him or (b) promote him to Justice Secretary? (We already know the answer.)

Peter A Russell, Glasgow.

* WITH all the fuss about whether Boris Johnson should resign or not over Partygate, has the solution now materialised? How about sending him on a one-way ticket to Rwanda?

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.

* SO ... exactly how is Boris Johnson going to teach his children that it is wrong to tell lies?

Sue Wade, Ayr.


THIS is a letter I hesitated to write but I thought the record should be put straight. It is sad to see someone like Iain Macwhirter, who was a serious and thoughtful commentator, deteriorate in my view into the "shock jock" category ("Common ground between Sturgeon and Le Pen", The Herald, April 15).

To suggest that until 1990 the SNP was an "anglophobic band of cultural romantics who hated the EU as much as they hated English people" is outrageous. I will be personal: does he include his mother, Chrissie Macwhirter, who was a highly respected left/ liberal SNP National Secretary during the 1970s? Does he include Margo Macdonald, George Reid, Winnie Ewing, Margaret Bain, Billy Wolfe, George Leslie, Tom McAlpine? Does he include me? Does he include the 100,000 people who joined the SNP during this period? Does he include the 30 per cent of the Scottish electorate who voted for the party in 1974?

Does he base this on the extensive policy work carried out at this time which would certainly be considered today to be innovatively social democratic? Yes, the SNP then favoured EFTA rather than EU membership but this was for democratic reasons, certainly not xenophobic, and this was similar to the position of many on the left in England.

Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.


WHAT a surprise Brian Wilson is not in favour of a Margaret Thatcher Day ("A Maggie Thatcher Day? Here’s why it should be resisted", The Herald, April 12, and Letters, April 13 & 14). He trots out the same old negatives and like many of the failed politicians in his party he cannot really see anything to praise her for.

There are lots of areas where Margaret Thatcher was head and shoulders above every Prime Minister we've had in the last 50 years. For starters she wasn't a public schoolboy from Eton who had never had a real job in the real world and she had guts and a backbone. Defeating Argentina in the Falklands conflict raised the profile of this country at home and abroad, she saw off Arthur Scargill who sought to bring down a Tory government (again), she dragged nationalised industries into the 20th century and she won three elections in a row.

Not a bad effort and whether people like her or not she was one of the best prime ministers we have ever had. That said, I cannot see the value in a Margaret Thatcher Day so sadly I have to agree with Mr Wilson, much as it pains me to do so.

Iain Harrison, Millport.

* I AM totally opposed to having a “Margaret Thatcher Day” for many reasons. One of them is the risk that, if the proposal succeeds, it acts as a catalyst for “Nicola Sturgeon Day”. The idea just isn’t bearable.

Duncan Sooman, Milngavie.


SCOTTISH seafood is rightly considered to be up there with the best, we have some amazing people running some inspiring companies, supplying fantastic products to Scotland, the UK and the world (unfortunately in a currently difficult exporting market, but that's another letter).

Mussels are ever popular and grown here in Scotland's waters, in huge quantities, to keep our appetite for them sated. My favourite way to eat them is after they have been smoked and packaged in a little oil; I can hoover them up to a band playing. However, my delight in consuming this product may be curtailed as believe it or not, the food miles involved are off the scale.

The label on the tub of my preferred brand revealed a small detail about the origin of the mussels contained therein: wait for it, Chile. I contacted the company concerned to confirm this. I did a quick online search for other companies' smoked mussels; all of the leading Scottish brands that one would look for came up with the same statement in their product description: "Chilean mussel meat".

The reason is we apparently don't have a "mussel meat processing" facility to hand, so instead, for all those niche, boutique, value-added mussel products, we import in vast quantities frozen blocks of cooked mussels which are sold on by the importers to the sort of companies mentioned above.

In the current world view I am sure I can't be alone in finding all of the above an astonishing state of affairs for a seafood country like Scotland.

Stephen Henson, Glasgow.


AFTER reading Calmac managing director Robbie Drummond's article ("Calmac doing its utmost to deliver lifeline services", The Herald, April 15), I was wondering if you are able to report what his trumpeter died of?

James M Arnold, Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran.

Read more: I am so angry and ashamed at what our country has become