THE final two candidates in the Tory leadership contest are doing their best to beat the drum which they think will open the door to No 10 for them ("And then there were two... ", The Herald, July 21).

Rishi Sunak is pitching his message towards those who still worship at the altar of Thatcherism.

While that approach will warm the cockles of the hearts of those who still revere her blessed memory, in the northern parts of the country alarm bells will be sounding as they recall the legacy they were left with as a result of her credo. So while his theme may play well in the heartlands of Toryism, it could well backfire on him when his victory compels him to go to the country for validation of his premiership.

Liz Truss has decided to go down the route of tried and trusted Toryism with her emphasis upon low taxation, the small state and the dismantling of the Whitehall machine, all of which play well in the blue mythology, while she appears to dress in the style of our firs- ever female PM to burnish further her Tory credentials.

There should be abroad a distinct worry in the general electorate, if she comes out on top, that public services will be downsized to put more money in their pocket for splurging on luxuries and one-off holidays to Tenerife.

If they fall for her schtick, they will rue the day when they try to find a good school for their kids, a doctor or dentist to treat them and need help when their jobs disappear without adequate help available from the state in such dire circumstances.

In other words, no matter which of the two is chosen to lead the Conservative Party, that choice will have been for the rest of the electorate between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Caveat elector.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.


CONCERN is being expressed by many at the fact that the next Prime Minister, who will effectively control the future of the UK until 2024, will be elected by a mere 0.29 per cent of the population. Should we be worried? Surely the Conservative Party was elected in 2019 on the basis of a manifesto which it is duty bound to adhere to. Any new Prime Minister has no mandate to introduce his or her personal manifesto and should therefore be carrying out the wishes of the people who democratically elected his or her government.

Alan McGibbon, Paisley.

• NOW that Liz Truss has reached the final shoot-out in the Tory leadership stakes, I wonder if she has found time to refresh her knowledge of the location and political climate of Scotland where she apparently spent part of her youth as a Paisley Buddy?

I say this in response to her interview on live TV in the early days of the Ukraine war when she, as Foreign Secretary, pledged her support for "our Baltic allies across the Black Sea". I wonder which sea she thinks lies between England and Scotland? Perhaps it is the Gulf of Brexit.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

• WE now know the two candidates for the post of Prime Minister, and both are persons who for almost two years, repeatedly proclaimed Boris Johnson to be the best leader there was, and, by definition that his successor would be inferior. Which makes one wonder what to expect come September.

On the selection process, I could not get the nursery song Ten Green Bottles out of my head. Perhaps I was thinking of Downing Street "work sessions".

T J Dowds, Cumbernauld.

• STEVEN Camley's cartoons are consistently very funny but his offering on July 21, featuring Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg looking longingly at a pair of clown's shoes, is far too close to the truth to be amusing.

Ken Nicholson, Glasgow.


BORIS Johnson has obviously never heard the phrase "dignity in defeat" ("Final farewell but Boris can’t resist warning he’s not done yet", The Herald, June 21).

It was truly shocking to hear such a flippant remark as "hasta la vista, baby" from him followed by laughter of his colleagues in a country with an unprecedented peacetime death toll and our people queueing at foodbanks.

It was a disgraceful spectacle and demeans the office that he was privileged to hold.

Dorothy Connor, Glasgow.


KIRSTY Strickland ("Sunak and Truss are just as unfit to lead as Johnson was", The Herald, July 21) states the final two in the Tory leadership race are just as unfit to lead. This is somewhat premature. Surely this kind of judgment should only be made once the person involved has been in office for at least some time? If Ms Strickland wants to criticise someone who is unfit to lead perhaps she might cast her gaze upon the SNP leader and her Green backers?

The Herald has shocking headlines upon an almost daily basis regarding the state of stewardship in Scotland today. Blaming all and sundry upon Westminster and the Tories no longer has clout. Scottish politics has been dominated for far too long by a party that has grievance as its only policy. We have now reached the stage that some are openly criticising the as-yet unelected leader of the Conservative Party before a single policy is tested. The SNP has had a test lasting 15 years and counting. Is its record good?

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.

• I COULDN’T agree more with Leah Gunn Barrett (Letters, July 21). A much more edifying spectacle is for a party leader to be anointed with no one daring to stand against them and for the leader to surround themselves with under-achieving sycophants with neither the courage nor talent to be a leadership threat. This allows the leader to lack competence without fear of retribution.

There is no requirement to deliver on the many manifesto promises because the party will suppress all dissent. Local councils are starved of tax-raising powers so that all decisions can be centralised and controlled. This is Scottish democracy. Long may it continue.

Paul Teenan, Glasgow.


I WAS shocked when I read the letter (July 21) from Duncan Sooman, expressing his contempt for our First Minister and stating that, in his opinion, she considers herself to be above the law.

The vitriol expressed by those who oppose the SNP (and the wider independence movement) is becoming more and more frantic. We really need the independence campaign to start in earnest so that these keyboard warriors (on both sides, and I'll be out too) can get away from their laptops and the like and get out and converse with real people.

Patricia Fort, Lanark.

• I FOUND Duncan Sooman's letter quite offensive. The popularity of the First Minister within her own party sticks in the craw with unionists because of the discontent and squabbling within the main UK parties. Mr Sooman expresses a rather unfortunate scenario, that of Ms Sturgeon "slappin' a greetin' wean in the street and getting away with it. It is distasteful to even suggest such a scenario considering it was the SNP Government under the leadership of the First Minister who legislated to ban smacking of children in Scotland in November 2020.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.


IN the event of Labour being the largest party after the next election, Peter A Russell (Letters, July 20) claims Labour “will be supported by the Liberal Democrats in introducing PR” which will “transform” the political landscape of all parts of the UK. However, he elides gracefully past that Labour must win that election, or at least be largest party. Can Mr Russell, whose sincerity I don’t doubt, not hear the war drums already beating out the message of "strong government" rather than the "endless compromise" of coalition, or similar arrangements?

Moreover, how confident is Mr Russell that this is all the Liberal Democrats will ask for? Or looked at the other way, given that they only had eight and 11 MPs elected at the last two elections, how sure can he be there will be enough of them?

Most importantly, how sure can he be of support from within his own party? Alternative Vote, though not a system of PR, does give the voter a bit more choice than first past the post. In the 2011 referendum, however, the Labour Party couldn’t even bring itself to support that, remaining neutral.

For many years I believed, as Mr Russell does, in the power of PR. However, my own disenchantment is rooted in my conclusion that the Westminster Parliament is actually very happy with its system of governance and sees little need to change, and certainly not towards PR. I still think that and see nothing in Mr Russell’s letter to change my mind.

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.

Read more: Whoever wins, Scotland will still be squeezed out