AND so, now we know, the King – the man whose childhood dream was to become King of the World, had such a vacancy actually existed – is dead, long live the King.

That the young Boris Johnson's burning ambition of global power and privilege was never an option, but, in his childlike mind, an unelected and entitled prize, perhaps reveals much about his personality at that time (and indeed ever since). He had a burning lust for power and control and an assumption of authority without the necessary checks and balances of responsibility and accountability, traits that were to lead to arguably the clearest manifestation of the Icarus effect in living memory.

History will rightly view Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson's three-year term as the 77th Prime Minister of Great Britain & Northern Ireland harshly, a narcissist who viewed the highest elected office in the country as his personal fiefdom, right to the bitter end, wriggling, ducking and weaving to hold on to the post he considered was his as of right, clearly – and arrogantly – of the opinion no-one was remotely as capable, competent or qualified to run the country.

However, careful observation of the man's character and conduct reveals a weak narcissist with a powerful requirement to be liked and admired. fused with second-rate political judgment from start to finish, unable to differentiate between fact and fiction, reality and aspiration, truth and lies.

Ironically, one of his final acts this past week whilst still legitimately residing in 10 Downing Street was to write to Scotland's First Minister insisting: "Now is not the time for another independence referendum," a haughty edict from on high by a man with no electoral legitimacy whatsoever north of the Border.

But now, as the sun sets on a chaotic and catastrophic premiership, Mr Johnson's eventual replacement as Tory Party leader and UK Prime Minister will be decided by around 200,000 Conservative Party members UK-wide, significantly fewer than 10,000 of them based in Scotland – a mere fraction of the rank and file membership of the SNP – thus ensuring that Scotland must endure yet another Prime Minister the country did not vote for and who has no remotely legitimate democratic mandate to decide Scotland's future going forward.

Mike Wilson, Longniddry.


THIS present Tory Party has invented a new low in hypocrisy.

Certain members have not wasted any time in speaking to the media uttering words like “honesty” and “integrity”, trying their hardest to distance themselves from the self-serving liar they handed the premiership to, and then kept him in office when it was clear very quickly that he was totally unsuitable for the office of Prime Minister.

Not one of those in high office who propped him up time and time again has come forward to say they were wrong in forcing this buffoon onto the nation in the first place.

Everyone with a modicum of intelligence knew that this man’s past showed him to be someone who was totally self-serving, a habitual liar and deceiver who could not be trusted even by his wife and children. What did they expect when they gave him the top job? Did they honestly expect him to change?

You would expect when the removal of someone of this calibre was finally reached it would end there, but no, here we are still stuck with this incompetent encased in the highest office in the land. You could not make it up.

Michael Tolland, Glasgow.


IAIN Macwhirter ("SNP realise Sturgeon's legal route will lead nowhere fast", July 3) is wrong; the Supreme Court will add certainty to the independence debate: whether there is a legal and democratic route for Scottish self-determination within the confines of the UK.

If there is not, it is incumbent for British nationalist politicians and commentators to inform us as to our constitutional options. Ireland tried for 30 years, without success, to get a Home Rule parliament (dominion status) within the Empire through Westminster. Sinn Fein announced an abstentionist manifesto in 2018 and swept the board, and the UK lost Ireland through its intransigence. The UK is either a democratic country, where the rules are transparent and mandates apply equally to everyone, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, or it isn’t.

The Supreme Court will soon give its verdict: “British nationalism rules", forecast most pundits, but they don’t tell us what comes next.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


IN bandying around statistics and complaining about the "discredited first past the post system" I note that Jane Ann Liston (Letters, July 3) fails to mention that the Liberal Democrats won only 23 per cent of the vote at the 2010 General Election, but that didn't stop them dumping their principles and their promises, and joining with the Tories to form the infamous Coalition Government, with their leader Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister.

Not surprisingly, at the 2015 General Election, the enraged voters made their feelings clear about that.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.


DR Gerald Edwards (Letters, July 3) asks: “Do Scots really want all this disruption from a political force that wants nobody to notice its serious everyday failings in favour of a utopia that does not exist?".

I give him Boris Johnson, a Tory Government and a Brexit with not a sunny upland in sight.

The good doctor appears to have erased the past and wishes us to reject the evidence of our eyes and ears.

We may not know what we will get with independence but we certainly know what we have now.

Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.


THE biggest downside surely of all these years of SNP rule in Scotland has been in how we are regarded by the rest of the world.

In their eyes we must be seen now to be hopelessly incompetent. A census, of all things, conducted every 10 years, and proving no problem to even Third World countries with minimal infrastructure, was turned into a nationalist shibboleth. The first census priority above all others by the SNP minister in charge was differentiating Scotland from the rest of the island we share. The results were catastrophic in putting together a true record as well as in financial and other senses and the single day snapshot it was supposed to record was a total shambles.

In any other country on this planet, the minister responsible for such a result would have resigned in shame, without any pushing. But that does not happen in nationalist Scotland, does it? For anything. I doubt if any minister in the present administration has even an idea of what resigning on principle and having integrity even means.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.


REGARDING the correspondence on immigration (Letters, June 26 & July 3), illegal immigration is the history of these islands. Most of us are their descendants. Her Majesty the Queen is proud to claim descent from William of Normandy, who paid no regard to the Anglo-Saxon legal authorities when he made his trip in 1066. Some of my ancestors were Vikings, who came over before that. Their possession of longships and big lads with axes meant they could ignore any feeble judgements of what then passed for a legal profession. Far smaller population in those days, of course.

I stand to be corrected on this one, of course – but only by those who can prove they have ancestors who got here before Hadrian built his wall. If what drives people to come here, at risk to life and limb, is fear of being killed by their neighbours or their government, the only sanctions we could impose to deter them would make us worse oppressors than their original ones, or those who traffic them.

Norrie Forrest, Kincardine.


THOSE who are not concerned about immigration should consider the figures.

In 1975, the UK population was 56.2 million, and in that year the native birth rate fell below replacement level. This was welcomed, as work by the Ecology Party had revealed that 40m was a desirable number.

By 2005 the UK population had risen to 60.4m, and now it is 67m, while the native rate has remained below replacement. So it is logical that immigration has increased our population by about 11m.

Many immigrants have a birth rate in excess of our native population, so it continues to expand, and as more immigrants arrive, there is a danger that the increase will become exponential and we will be unable to provide the services and governance needed to maintain social order.

The UK is simply over-populated, and for the good of all immigration must stop.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross.


P DAVIDSON and Andy Stenton (Letters, July 3) do not like my views about those crossing the Channel who I say are not asylum seekers but are economic migrants. Why, if they are bona fide asylum seekers, do these migrants destroy any identification and passports and throw their incriminating mobiles into the sea? Why do so many mature men claim to be children?

All 28,526 who landed in 2021, and the 11,643 so far this year should be deported as well as the tens of thousands who are milking the legal aid system to remain in this country. Why should taxpayers fund them and their migrant-chasing lawyers? Murderers, people traffickers and other criminals are avoiding deportation because legal aid lawyers are milking the system.

There is an acute housing shortage in the UK with 96,060 households in temporary accommodation, including 121,680 dependent children. Charity should begin at home but perhaps your correspondents will offer to house, feed and clothe some of the Channel chancers until their fate is determined.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.