WHETHER Tweedledum or Tweedledee becomes the next Prime Minister, there will be no genuine attempt by the Westminster Government to seriously consider the wishes of the people of Scotland. The desire to build a close trading relationship with our European neighbours or to construct a modern democratic structure that reflects what was presented as the Union of 1707, or even what was proclaimed during the referendum of 2014, will be arrogantly dismissed.

There is no partnership, never mind a “Partnership of Equals” and in fact we now have Anglophiles telling us Scotland is no longer a country while they themselves act as if England persists as the UK. Union Flags will continue to be wrapped around the new Premier with the flag of St George given the prominence appropriate to a right-wing narrative tacitly supported by many compliant spectators as well as by the increasing number of strident voices given platforms by the puppets of the media barons.

As history repeats itself many will come to regret not having opened their eyes wider or spoken out louder when an increasingly authoritarian Government gave licence, often furtively but sometimes blatantly, to a more disdainful, unjust and unequal society. While feeding selfish ambitions food banks proliferate and the general public are encouraged to be scornful of the poor, the disadvantaged or those fleeing catastrophic circumstances in the countries of their birth. Through self-determination Scotland can show there is a better way, based on respect for one’s neighbours, compassion for those in need and equality of opportunity for all, not only for those aligned to an ideology of greed or diverted by personal privilege.

Whether Tweedledum or Tweedledee, for the sake of all the people inhabiting these islands he or she must be the last Prime Minister of the long-dysfunctional UK.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.


THE internecine Tory leadership fight to decide the next captain of the UK Titanic is a depressing spectacle. The sole issue the preening candidates discuss ad nauseum is tax cuts that favour the wealthy, as though the long-discredited trickle-down economics championed by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher will cure the UK’s terminal ills. The Tory Party is a one-trick pony whose only trick was to make the middle class disappear.

Tax cuts won’t stop exports from tanking because of a hard Brexit. They won’t halt inflation, fuelled by food and energy prices that are caused by corporate profiteering. They won’t reduce the obscene levels of inequality. They won’t create the investment needed to transition away from fossil fuels to renewables and keep our planet from burning. They won’t stop the rapid decline in productivity. They won’t help people pay their mortgages or rocketing energy bills. And the Bank of England’s interest rate hikes are not targeting the root causes of inflation but merely compounding the misery of millions.

The sad truth is that Labour won’t be an improvement as it endorses many of the same failing policies. Scotland knows this. Not only has it not voted Tory since 1955 but it also has just one Labour MP. Time for us to go.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

• AS the Tory equivalent of The Weakest Link rumbles on, leaving just two in the running, it throws up obvious concerns as to how the next leader of the Conservative Party and thereby Prime Minister of the UK is elected.

A narrow electorate of under 200,000, largely male, older, white and based in the south of England will now select the next UK Prime Minister. Hardly representative of society or indeed even of the average Tory voter.

Interestingly, this could see an interesting constitutional situation whereby the runner-up amongst MPs becomes Conservative leader and thereby PM due to the votes of a tiny electorate. We would thereby have an individual who had risen to the heady heights, without even having the support of the majority of Tory MPs.

In the absence of a General Election, to fail to secure the majority support of MPs from your own party as you enter No 10 is a deeply challenging situation to be in from the off.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

• THE Tory Government has been looking at ways of ensuring that there is no electoral fraud" at General Elections, for example voter ID.

The BBC, however, was unable get a figure from the Tory Party regarding how many members it actually has – the totals varying by 25,000 members. These members will be the ones who choose the next Prime Minister of this country, yet their party administration is not sure who they all are.

Another glass of irony anyone ?

John McArthur, Glasgow.


IT would appear there is an incompetence scandal brewing that will make the ferries disaster pale in significance. The UK Government has withdrawn its guarantees of £400 million on loans linked to Sanjeev Gupta ("Lib Dems seeking clarity on Gupta", The Herald, July 20). Mr Gupta’s business is under investigation for suspected fraud and money laundering. The SNP administration in Scotland, which feted Mr Gupta, including the standard photo-shoot with the First Minister, have given his company an "irrevocable guarantee" for £568 million of our taxes. It is in truth barely believable. What organisation gives irrevocable guarantees in these circumstances nowadays?

Those running this country should forget the obsession with breaking up the UK. They should concentrate first and foremost on administering our affairs with even a modicum of efficiency and basic competence.

When future historians come to study this period in Scotland’s history, our great-grandchildren will find it all stratospherically beyond mere incompetence and will find it impossible to comprehend the levels of stupidity.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.


DR Gerald Edwards (Letters, July 20) questions why there has been no credible challenge to Nicola Sturgeon as party leader and hence First Minister. The answer is simply that she has a cult following that would forgive her anything. She could slap a greetin' wean in the street and get away with it; particularly if she claimed there would be no more greetin' weans in an independent Scotland.

Duncan Sooman, Milngavie.


YOUR contributors (or some of them) should perhaps be aware, or keep in mind, that there is no fixed entity which might be called the "Constitution" of the United Kingdom (Letters, July 18, 19 & 20). Although some legislation and institutions have recognition for their particular significance in constitutional terms (and even those are probably not immutable), there is no single, codified version: the UK constitution has evolved over the years, and will no doubt continue to do so. The confusion may have arisen with other countries such as the United States (and in fact most countries) which do have a single, codified constitution (with various amendments).

One may regard our position as good (greater flexibility, more scope for interpretation) or bad (less definition of what is or is not "constitutional") but, like it or not, that is the position. That said, it does mean that much of Eric Melvin's historical analysis (Letters, July 18) is not rendered incorrect but simply irrelevant, in terms of how future constitutional change can or should be managed: it is up to the (UK) government of the day to formulate an approach and promulgate appropriate legislation (which in turn would become part of the "Constitution" should the United Kingdom continue to exist in a recognisable form) should it determine to do so.

We would all hope, of course, that this could be managed in an open and co-operative manner, but that seems a big ask.

Brian Chrystal, Edinburgh.


IAN W Thomson (Letters, July 20) refers to “the impact of Jack Jones and Hugh Scanlon in their time” as trade union leaders in the 1960s and 70s. Indeed yes, but positively?

Jack Jones of the TGWU was widely believed to have been on the KGB payroll, as claimed by the KGB defector, Oleg Gordievsky, who was the last KGB officer assigned to Jones, and as two biographies and many websites still report.

In retirement, Hugh Scanlon admitted that the extreme militancy of trade union leaders, particularly in the motorcar industry, was not merely mistaken and short-sighted but was a major contribution to the industry’s problems and eventual collapse.

Like many other post-war trade unionist barons such as Red Robbo and Jack Dash, they had a naïve rose-tinted view of the Soviet Union, and bear a large part of the responsibility for the relative demise of UK manufacturing industry.

John Birkett, St Andrews.

Read more: So is Scotland to be a national entity or a possession?