AS the Tory leadership debacle trundles on, it becomes clear that Liz Truss has developed the same foot-in-mouth problem that Boris Johnson demonstrated during his tenure as Prime Minister.

Ms Truss clearly has no aptitude for diplomacy and no interest in wiping the slate clean and trying to get along with the Scottish Government and the First Minister who was democratically elected by the people of Scotland; not forgetting, although Ms Truss apparently has, that the SNP holds the vast majority of Scotland’s Westminster seats.

But it is not only Scottish hackles that Ms Truss has raised. Furious MPs from her own party are also on the warpath because of her ridiculous plans to cut civil service pay outside London.

How on earth could Ms Truss ever have thought that a good idea? She has promptly dropped that hot potato, but it raises serious questions about her judgement, competence and reliability.

And yet, this is the woman who in a few weeks’ time will probably be making big decisions that affect us all.

One thing is for sure; on top of flipping her opinion about the EU, and now on her own policy proposals, when it comes to making humiliating U-turns, this lady certainly is for turning.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.


IF Iain Macwhirter (“Did anyone ever think Truss was going to listen to Sturgeon?”, August 2) watched the reaction of the Exeter Tory audience to Liz Truss’s dismissive comments directed at our First Minister, and did not deplore the blatant contempt for those of us who identify our nationality as Scottish, then I regret that his supercilious, patronising Herald columns are in danger of joining those of Mark Smith and Brian Wilson in my “destroy before reading” tray.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.


CAN anyone, anywhere, being totally honest and putting aside political affiliations, deny that present leader of the SNP is an attention-seeker?

Can anyone who has watched her and the embarrassing selfie parade at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, for example, or at Wimbledon waving a flag, or in many other places, put their hands on their hearts and deny it?

And it is certainly true and accepted that the best treatment for someone persistently seeking, if not demanding, attention is to ignore them.

So, I am at a loss to understand why John Swinney and the SNP-orchestrated chorus of disapproval are up in arms about a simple truth being stated.

Yet the SNP’s spinners have been in overdrive. The First Minister has had plenty to say about Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer and other politicians, but not one word of criticism, it seems, can be allowed in return.

In fact, there is a lot more Ms Truss could have said.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.


I WAS alarmed to see how police numbers have dropped so drastically (“Crisis fears as frontline Scots police numbers hit 14-year low”, August 3).

We see the Chief Constable struggling to get financial backing to increase the numbers. Recruitment can only work if this money is forthcoming. What is the SNP’s response? As ever, we need money from the U K Government to bail us out

How, I ask, can the SNP continually roll out the ‘independence carpet’ when it is painfully apparent that we can’t even survive without going cap-in-hand to Westminster?

Liz Truss has the right idea, to ignore our First Minister. It’s about time a lot more of population took the same approach .

Neil Stewart, Balfron.


MIKE Wilson of Longniddry (letters, August 3 ) appears to be one of those nationalist party acolytes who dutifully toe their leader’s line and has sadly become brainwashed into conflating the SNP and Scotland.

His assertion that Liz Truss has aimed insult and disrespect at Scotland and all Scots is clearly untrue, with her accurate observations being aimed not at our country, but solely at Nicola Sturgeon.

Indeed, reading his description of someone who “clearly loves the limelight, relishing the hordes of photographers who lie in wait” and “an inveterate attention-seeker who loves nothing more than standing in the spotlight and blowing her own trumpet” – I did in fact assume that he was referring to Ms Sturgeon herself.

Her focus on prioritising selfies and press appearances is second to none, only disappearing completely from public view when she is faced with any awkward questions about drug deaths, long-overdue and over-budget ferries, increasing NHS waiting times, endless road and rail failures, and falling education standards.

Robin McNaught, Bridge of Weir.


I SAW a headline about Nancy Pelosi – “Pelosi stood up to a bully. Good for her” over her visit to Taiwan, and thought of that as I listened to Brandon Lewis on Radio 4 yesterday morning. He attacked Scotland on health and education, evidence-free, and without the BBC giving correction or balance.

“Start as you meant to go on” should apply to a presumed Liz Truss premiership, but her “playing to the gallery” and her lack of diplomatic skill brings dubiety over her competence.

I agree with Iain Macwhirter that we should prepare for an early election (yes, another one), as neither Tory candidate has any plausible plan for the problems facing us, which will worsen with time.

If Labour win, we are told they would govern without a majority, daring the SNP to back them in parliamentary votes. That’s a puzzle, as poker involves more than one player.

Why would the SNP not just put down an amendment to whatever Labour Bill, vote for that alone, and leave Labour to either join them or lose? A “Game of Mandates”, as minority ruling dynasties vie for power: watch it on BBC Parliament!

As the UK sinks deeper into the mire, we have many years of fractious and unruly politicking ahead of us. Get Scotland out of here.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


LISTENING to BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, I heard an interview with a Taiwanese politician about the impact of Nancy Pelosi’s visit. The interviewer, Evan Davis, suggested it maybe wasn’t that big a deal; after all “She’s not the President, not the Pope, not the Queen of England”.

Says it all, really.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.


WILLIAM Wardle (letters, August 3) claims the Scottish Government is accountable only to itself. Perhaps it has escaped his attention that governments are accountable to the people who elect them.

J Morrow, Glasgow.



FROM time to time pressure is put on the Scottish Government to start charging fees to undergraduates.

The implication is that Scotland is unusual in treating higher education as a right rather than a privilege.

In fact, most of northern Europe provides university education free or for a nominal charge. Some – for example, Norway – still provide substantial student grants.

It is England which is out of line in saddling its new graduates with thousands of pounds of debt.

In a civilised society education, like health care, should be provided free to those who are able to benefit from it.

It should not be on sale only to those who can afford to pay.

Mary McCabe, Glasgow.



I WRITE not as a Conservative voter but I have to admit to being vexed by some of the attacks on Liz Truss. At their worst they surely amount to misogyny.

It’s not just the ill-advised use of such descriptions as ‘bonkers’. So many of the labels attached to Truss in recent weeks would not have been applied to Sunak, let alone any male candidate.

What is it about powerful women who are sure of their opinions (as Truss certainly is) that makes people so apprehensive? Did we learn nothing from the long and radical reign of Margaret Thatcher, a powerful woman who certainly knew her own mind?

A Duncan, Glasgow.