EVEN before the grim inevitability of Liz Truss being confirmed as the heir to Thatcher and, by default, Prime Minister of the UK, the insults and disrespect aimed at Scotland and the country’s democratically-elected leadership that are the stock-in-trade of Conservative governments have started and, on early evidence, look certain to continue as a cornerstone of Westminster’s approach towards those of us – not only independence supporters like me but also all those, Conservative, Labour LibDem and the politically neutral – who choose to live north of the Border.

Ms Truss, in effect the UK’s PM-designate, appears to have started how she intends to continue with cross-border relationships and matters of a constitutional nature by branding the democratically-elected First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon,“an attention-seeker” whom the current Foreign Secretary intends to “ignore” ("Liz Truss's campaign steps up attack on 'always moaning' Nicola Sturgeon", heraldscotland, August 2).

Neil Mackay describes Ms Truss perfectly as "an empty vessel filled only with ambition" ("From London to Edinburgh, politics has failed the people", The Herald, August 2); she clearly loves the limelight, relishing the hordes of photographers who lie in wait as she struts from the front door of her swanky London home on the way to lapping up the glare of TV studio lights. She clearly adores playing to the crowd herself, seemingly in awe of her gargantuan political judgment and towering personal intellect.

If – and it currently looks to be a nailed-on certainty – Ms Truss becomes the 56th Prime Minister of the UK, one might have hoped that a greater degree of respect might have flowed – woman to woman – northwards from Whitehall, but, not so, based on early evidence of the behaviour and attitude of a woman for whom humility appears to be an alien concept. Ms Truss is herself an inveterate attention seeker who loves nothing more than standing in the spotlight and blowing her own trumpet.

Accusing Scotland’s First Minister of being “an attention seeker”’ is a prima facie case of the pot calling the kettle black. The soon-to-be Prime Minister’s stated approach suggests Anglo-Scottish relationships may be about to hit an all-time low, if indeed it is possible to further plumb the depths?

Mike Wilson, Longniddry.


THE Scottish Government does not answer to Jacob Rees-Mogg. The Scottish Government does not answer to Liz Truss. The Scottish Government answers to the people of Scotland.

The people of Scotland have returned a pro-independence majority in the last eight elections. If Ms Truss chooses to ignore that then she chooses to ignore democracy.

George Kay, Burntisland, Fife.

• WELL done, Liz Truss. You have said what many of us here in Scotland have thought for a long time but have felt unable to say in public. Be assured, we are not all SNP supporters, thank goodness.

Elma I Cunningham, Coatbridge.


NEVER before in living memory has Scotland been so cynical and dispirited about the broken system over which our politicians preside.

The problem is exacerbated by the shambles in Westminster, where lying, cheating and self-interest have plumbed sordid new depths. Soundbite politics and social media hysteria have made proper debate almost impossible, assaulting truth and undermining democracy.

The UK’s failing economic model, with its relentless attacks on human, social and cultural capital, heaps misery upon despair, while Scotland cleaves itself in two over independence. It would be hard to imagine a more toxic, fractious society.

It is clear now that the most serious threat to our future will not come from pandemics, or hostile foreign governments. No, if we continue as we are doing, and believe the status quo is the only way forward, the greatest danger will come from within – and we will only have ourselves to blame.

David Gray, Haddington.


BRIAN Wilson sets out very clearly why the ferry scandal has developed and why there is no immediate or even longer-term prospect of anything getting better ("Cynical calculations shape ministers’ views of ferry fiasco", The Herald, August 2). Basically, the island population is such a small proportion of the Scottish electorate that the Scottish Government thinks it will get away with it.

However, I do think that Mr Wilson is perhaps under-estimating the symbolic role of island communities, and the admiration they enjoy from others in Scotland.

If you look at the land reform riots on Skye, or the jailing of the Raasay raiders, past struggles by island communities have often caught the public imagination, and forced the government to act. Government at those times was obviously centred in London, so if ripples of discontent can reach there well over a century ago, they why can't they reach Edinburgh today?

The strategic question here for island communities is whether they just meekly accept the situation, or do something about it? At the moment, they just seem to be accepting it. The ferry fiasco is much more damaging than the Skye Bridge toll, for example, but where is the protest now? If all this is not enough to arouse people, then what would be? Is every island community group and local newspaper riddled with SNP activists, stopping discontent from being expressed? There must be some malign influence at work.

If people want to campaign effectively on these issues, they have got to stop voting for the SNP and its core objective. If they do that, mainland Highland communities will likely start to do something similar in support, and the island diaspora will do likewise elsewhere. If the Scottish Government can neglect the islands like this, then no Highland or indeed rural community is safe. We all need to support these people because tomorrow, it could be us.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy.


THE Queen's jubilee book is nothing but a shameless attempt to perpetuate monarchist indoctrination in our education services. Regardless of some dubious anglocentric content ("SNP wanted 1966 World Cup deleted from jubilee kids’ book", The Herald, August 2), the absence of balance makes it inappropriate for distribution in Scottish schools.

Perhaps inclusion of a chart showing expenditure on the Civil List compared to NHS funding or the cost of local authority services would facilitate good classroom discussions. Our children and young people could learn some maths by estimating the proportion of the monarch's hoarded wealth that would be required to replace Scotland's ageing school buildings. Probably the question of sheltering an individual who settled out of court when accused of sexual offences against a minor is best left out of a school book, but other aspects of social and moral education would include discussion about the values that underpin inherited wealth and privilege on the scale that our monarchy enjoys. If we must have reference to sporting events, why confine them to 1966 without making honourable mention of Jim Baxter's starring performance the following year?

There are quality text books on modern history available to our schools. Our children need to be taught to think freely by providing balanced viewpoints. They deserve so much better than this tawdry piece of propaganda.

Ni Holmes, St Andrews.


IT was with absolute scorn that I read your article about SNP ministers trying to get all reference to the 1966 England World Cup football win removed from the book marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. That is taking their usual grievance culture way beyond the pale.

Do they want to rewrite history now? I wonder how many SNP ministers watched the Lionesses bring home the European Championship on Sunday night? Are they now to be expelled from the party for daring to support England or (whisper it) were they sworn to support Germany as a show of unity against our perceived English oppressors?

Not only was the little book to mark the Jubilee meant to go to all primary schoolchildren, a move which the SNP vetoed, only allowing a proportion of the books to be distributed, the book was to commemorate and celebrate a very long reign by the Queen, telling of some of the historic moments during the 70 years, definitely something our children should know about.

The sheer pettiness of the SNP is truly appalling. It has had 15 years to make Scotland healthier, happier, more productive or whatever its current slogan is. It seems to me we are none of these, and there really is no one to blame except the SNP.

Celia Judge, Ayr.

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