UNTIL now I thought that Partygate should take second place to big national and world events, especially as Boris Johnson seemed to be handling them well. But I fear his energy-cost support response has been driven more by Partygate than a real sense of justice.

Otherwise, why is every household and pensioner to get £400 and £300 handouts when many, like me, with comfortable incomes and no debt, can absorb these rising costs, and the many millionaires won’t feel it at all?

The lesson of Covid was, as my local Co-op used to preach every few minutes, “we are all in this together”, so why was there no windfall tax on households earning, say, £80,000 or above, to help those who are desperate to make ends meet? That would not fund the £21bn but it would be an important gesture.

It seems to me that the PM has been spooked by Labour and by his desire to keep better-off voters onside, so now that it’s done, and the UK’s Ukraine policy seems set, perhaps now is the time for him to stand aside.

And he can let his successor deal with the bigger issues coming down the track, not least the danger of interest rates exploding.

The average UK mortgage loan is £138,000 and the average house price is £220,000. Every 1% interest rate rise would mean annual payments increasing to between £1,400 and £2,000. And then there is the job of somehow paying back the almost £190bn Covid and fuel borrowing.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.



I NEVER thought that the day would come when I would be able to write to you congratulating your correspondent, Ruth Marr, for her letter (“PM’s one last party at No. 10 should be his leaving party”, May 27), and agreeing 100% with its content.

To her disgust and anger with this lying Prime Minister, please also add the behaviour of his toadying and spineless Cabinet and followers.

Never before in my lifetime have I been so disgusted with and ashamed of people who are not worth an iota of respect or support, being in charge of this once-great country which is the United Kingdom.

Walter Paul, Glasgow.



INTERVIEWED on May 26, Chancellor Rishi Sunak agreed that energy producers had made windfall profits on which a new tax would be levied. He then disputed the suggestion that this was a “windfall tax”.

I wonder what label he would attach to a creature which looked like a duck, walked like a duck and quacked like a duck?

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.



I WONDER if anyone else was as certain as I was that, if a windfall tax were to be imposed, it would not happen before the end of May?

Why? Because by then the Spring dividends will have been set on the basis of the recent high profits, and I more than suspect that many senior Tories, and/or their wives and cronies, have huge numbers of shares in the relevant companies.

I am. however, delighted that Boris has accepted full responsibility for the Downing Street shenanigans. Since accepting responsibility involves also accepting obligatory remedial actions, he can now go ahead and identify the minions whom he wants to carry the can for his decisions and actions.

L. McGregor, Falkirk.



I AM pleased that Andy Stenton (letters, May 27) had an enjoyable day out in London meeting former colleagues that he had not seen for some time. I am also pleased that the train cancellation causing a delay of over an hour on his outward journey, and the delay of an hour on his return journey did not concern him.

What is unfortunate, however, that he appears to have failed to understand that these are major issues for people travelling daily to and from work. There is a massive difference between journey delays on a one-off day out for leisure and delays on a daily commute.

It is also unfortunate that he appears unable to grasp the fact that not everyone lives within walking distance of a railway station. It is all very well to crow about walking to the railway station when you live nearby – but for most people it simply isn’t an option.

David Clark, Tarbolton.


I CONFINE myself solely to carriage of bikes on ScotRail trains. Don’t even try it. The system’s a nightmare and the actual means on the trains a jungle.

Meanwhile, VisitScotland advertises “car- and care-free” holidays in Scotland using ScotRail.

Green revolution? Active travel and ScotRail remain diametrically opposed.

Gordon Casely, Crathes, Kincardineshire.



THE SNP’s response to losing control of local councils in Scotland appeared to have been prepared centrally.

In Holyrood (“Ministers urged, ‘ditch limos to share pain of ScotRail dispute”, May 27) Mr Swinney astonishingly reacted to a question about the train drivers’ dispute by accusing Labour of forming local government coalitions with the Tories.

This line is being repeated by nationalists in other media and online, despite being demonstrably untrue.

The SNP are understandably upset about the loss of control at council level. Perhaps they recognise that the political tide has turned and their incompetence is now being acknowledged by the electorate. Is this the beginning of the demise of nationalism?

James Quinn, Lanark.



SINCE he is keen on apologies for past wrongs, will Alistair McBay (letters, May 27) apologise on behalf of all atheists for the more than 60 million victims of Mao, or the 25 million victims of Stalin, or the decline in moral standards which has accompanied the rejection of Christian faith in Western societies?

Actually, no. He is no more to blame for the consequences of atheism than the average Christian is to blame for the sins of others, who may have professed Christianity but who failed to follow its teachings.

His conclusion denigrating the impact of Christianity on humanity is so wrong it would take more than the space afforded in a letter to demonstrate how he distorts history to fit his secular agenda.

John McArthur, Rutherglen.



FORGET the claims about being the first to hear the sound of a cuckoo. I have just received my first invitation to book Christmas and New Year at a favourite hotel.

But hurry.

Malcolm Allan, Bishopbriggs.



I SEE that a group of scientists are sailing off to check on the health of the Scottish seabed. A very worthy project. According to The Herald (“Environmentalists will circumnavigate Scots coast to check health of seabed, May 26) they will circumnavigate the Scottish coast. Impressive.

The stretch between Berwick and Gretna may, however, prove quite challenging. I look forward to The Herald giving us updates on this laudable, but difficult, journey.

Alastair Clark. Kirkcolm, Stranraer.



ANN Ross-McCall’s cleverly composed letter (May 27) led to thoughts of quotations and misquotations.

Sir Samuel Wotton, a British diplomat, is often misquoted as having defined an ambassador as “an honest man sent abroad to lie for the good of his country”. He actually wrote, “an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country”. In the 17th century, “ to lie” meant “to stay”.

The misquotation is pertinent to the behaviour, or perhaps misbehaviour, of our current breed of politicians.

David Miller, Milngavie.


* WHAT a handsome appreciation from Ann Ross-McCall in your letters page (“Thanks for the reference!”, May 27). Ta muchly.

Can’t wait to meet R Russell Smith. He sounds my sort of guy. Or has he snuffed it?

R Russell Smith, Largs.



I WAS amused to read that an Australian students’ club for pagans, witches and Satanists says its affiliation with Adelaide University Union has been rejected because of a single complaint that its members may summon Satan onto campus.

Newsflash: there is no Satan.

Neil Barber, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh.



AFTER reading Michael Settle’s article (“Boris Johnson will ‘believe he has got away with it’”, May 27), I thought about the fun that performers of Gilbert and Sullivan operas have in trying to update the words to reflect the current situation.

I last played Private Willis, the sentry at the House of Commons, in Iolanthe at the time when the MPs’ expenses scandal was at its height, and made fun of it in the song which starts Act two.

Were I to perform the song today, it might go something like this:

When in that House the PM speaks

Of taking all responsibility,

His Tory friends accept it all –

Alas, his flannel doesn’t wash with me.

And the windfall turnaround

Of rich, old Chancellor Rishi

Is something that a man like me

Would never dream of taking seriously.

A B Crawford, East Kilbride.



IT is very likely that A. Swanston will continue to look in vain for letters of outrage about the cost of London’s Elizabeth Line (“Why no outrage over this delay?” letters, May 27).

They might raise embarrassing questions about how it was paid for.

Similar questions might be asked about the billions spent on the Jubilee Line, Crossrail and some other investments in London’s transport system.

Perhaps the frequent references to “handouts” to Scotland by pseudo-independent think-tanks are caused by indignation that the money is not being spent on a another few metres of tunnel for London.

Peter Dryburgh, Edinburgh.