I HAVE read with interest recent letters from a couple of the usual “SNP bad” suspects scraping the bottom of the barrel and seeking to somehow link the conduct of the caretaker Prime Minister and that of our First Minister (Letters, June 7 & 8). Sleaze and corruption are in short supply in Scotland and a dignified silence would perhaps have been more appropriate.

Our First Minister has impeccably led this nation for an unprecedented number of years and will surely lead the country and its people into independence. I do get that there a few of a unionist persuasion who perhaps cannot stand the democratic and settled will of the Scottish people.

The now-caretaker Prime Minister is a proven liar, crook, law-breaker and rule-breaker. He has just bowed to pressure and is now no longer holding a lavish wedding reception at Chequers, which of course is not its purpose in any shape or form. It’s a mark of the man that he had even planned such an event.

The combined cost of the new tree house at Chequers and improvements to the flat at Downing Street (circa £370,000) are more than many people earn in 25 years. Both of course were funded by so-called donors. Surely he must realise that there is never such a thing as a free lunch?

To mention the caretaker Prime Minister in the same sentence as our First Minister is both incongruous and out of touch with reality.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.

•THE excellent contribution from Paul Teenan (Letters, July 9) reminds me of the saying “People in glass houses should not throw sto es” following Nicola Sturgeon’s comment relating to the Tory Government that the “whole rotten lot should go”.

This brass neck from the First Minister is her usual modus operandi as she chooses to “forget” (again) that her Finance Secretary Derek Mackay stepped down after inappropriate texts to a teenage boy and continued taking his MSP salary and expenses for more than a year without entering the Parliament building. Rotten.

Her SNP MP Patrick Grady was suspended from the House of Commons after inappropriate sexual behaviour. Rotten.

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry has been jailed for embezzlement. Rotten.

The First Minister will not release the findings of an inquiry into alleged bullying by ex-SNP minister Fergus Ewing, hiding behind data protection. Rotten.

The list seems endless but I will finish with the fact that Nicola Sturgeon was found to have misled an Holyrood committee and her party is currently being investigated for an alleged “missing” £600,000. An investigation that seems to be taking an eternity. Rotten.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh.


IN his otherwise clear exposition of Boris Johnson’s failings ("This PM was vain, selfish and deluded", The Herald, July 8) Iain Macwhirter suddenly destroyed his own credibility in the last paragraph. He claimed Mr Johnson “has much to be proud of” and then proceeds to list a very dubious catalogue of supposedly-good decisions.

First and foremost, he repeats the utter nonsense that Mr Johnson getting Brexit done was in some way a triumph. One does not have to read Ian McConnell's clear demolition of any idea the Brexit was in some way beneficial ("Starmer sounds dismayingly like Tories with his new 'make Brexit work' mantra", The Herald, June 8) to know that leaving the EU has been a disaster. To claim the botched, hardline severance of the UK from the EU in some way mitigates Mr Johnson’s lies and corruption simply beggars belief.

Shame on you, Mr Macwhirter, for perpetuating this myth.

Dr RM Morris, Glasgow.


I AM astounded that so many people seem to be taken in by the notion that shedloads of Conservative MPs suddenly became disenchanted with Boris Johnson as leader of their party. The hypocrisy on display is on a par with the hundreds of Labour MPs who voted to invade Iraq, apparently convinced that Saddam Hussain posed a threat to this country.

It was obvious to me at that time that those Labour MPs, including most notably Gordon Brown, were motivated by self-interest rather than by Tony Blair's dodgy dossier. It was equally obvious to me that the Tory Party Brexiters in 2019 were well aware of the gaps in Boris Johnson's moral compass but that they were prepared to put up with them in order to win the election. My prediction was that it would take about two years for him to become an embarrassment and an electoral liability and that he would be ruthlessly shown the door.

Why have so few of the army of "expert" political commentators in recent days been pointing this out? Surely it must be obvious to any serious political analyst.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.


JOHN Milne (Letters, July 8) concludes that nationalism is "a truly destructive force". Perhaps he does not realise the irony of joining the company of so many enormously infamous figures from history.

The Romans viciously suppressed independence movements, the Habsburgs and the Romanovs were angered by them, Napoleon hated them and the British regarded them with indignation. The Ottomans failed to understand them and the Nazis ruthlessly attacked them in France, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Norway, Denmark and any of the other countries they invaded.

All these frenzied empire builders have been swept aside by history and the independence of nations has become the accepted normal.

When people eventually began to question the morality of empire building and international plundering, imperialist sympathisers went on the defensive and, by a shameless inversion of the truth, condemned "nationalism" or "separatism" as the cause of all political problems. Any examination of history shows that, on the contrary, the pursuit of national independence is just a natural reaction to the arrogant greed of empire builders and conquerors. They all eventually discover its power but cause incalculable damage before they do.

Peter Dryburgh, Edinburgh.


IT is an indication of how absurd political discourse has become in Scotland when it can be proposed that a General Election will really mean a referendum. As Humpty said to Alice: “When I use a word ... it means just what I choose it to mean.”

This is indeed an absurd proposition but the SNP has become accustomed to the dutiful acceptance by its followers of one absurd proposition after another. However, this is surely a step too far which cannot stand up to any level of intelligent scrutiny.

At the same time there is a sinister side to this proposition. Former President Trump was able to persuade many of his followers that his election defeat was really a victory. One surprising result of that absurd proposition was the armed attack on the Capitol at Washington on January 6 and further similar consequences can now not come as any surprise.

If the SNP is able to persuade its followers that a General Election is really a referendum and the admittedly-unlikely outcome is more votes for pro separation candidates than others then we shall have constructed the perfect scenario for similar events in Scotland. The clear and non-controversial outcome of the 2014 referendum led to street scenes that were unpleasant enough.

The separatist supporters will genuinely believe there has been a referendum. The unionist supporters will genuinely believe there has been no referendum. Both sides, according to the advices of their trusted leaders, shall be correct. There shall be no further legal or constitutional means available to resolve this worst of all possible issues – one in which both sides genuinely believe that they are in the right.

We now stand in urgent need of the reasoned and clear rejection of the absurd proposition and that rejection must come from a respected level within the SNP before it becomes an absurd article of faith.

Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.


NORWAY and the other Scandinavian countries are often cited by the SNP/Greens as examples of environmental and social virtue that Scotland could emulate if it too were a "small independent country".

It may interest their supporters to know that Norway has just approved increases in production of natural gas in order to maintain supplies to Europe.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Aasland is quoted as saying: "The most important thing Norway can do in today's demanding energy situation for Europe and the world is to facilitate that the companies on the shelf can maintain today's high production. The companies are continuously assessing the opportunities they have for delivering more gas and oil."

Furthermore, the Norwegian government has used its powers to intervene and end a strike by oil and gas workers over below-inflation wage increases that had threatened to cut gas output by 60 per cent. Somehow I don't think this sort of sensible realpolitik fits with the track record of the SNP/Greens and their virtue-signalling supporters.

Mark Openshaw, Aberdeen.

Read more: The toxic SNP should look to put its own house in order