IT'S reputed that the Mafia had “sit-downs” to prevent internecine warfare between the various “families”. This appears to be the rational of the Rishi Sunak Cabinet, based on having representatives of the factions presently fighting it out in the Tory Party ("Rule-breaker Braverman reappointed by Sunak", The Herald, October 26). This has nothing to do with the good of the country, it is only to allow the Tories to limp on until an election becomes inevitable; “we must hang together, or most assuredly, we will all hang separately” said Benjamin Franklin on a more auspicious occasion.

Ian W Thomson (Letters, October 26) writes of “integrity” in a reference to Rishi Sunak. Mr Sunak has heaped praise on the discredited Boris Johnson and the feckless Liz Truss. He has brought into government a minister sacked only a week ago for a serious breach of the Ministerial Code. Mr Sunak handed out billions to fraudsters and never tried to reclaim it for the public purse. Green Card, non-dom status, policies slewed toward his old hedge fund chums; if this is political integrity, give me old-fashioned bank robbers – at least the robbers wore masks.
GR Weir, Ochiltree

No time to rock the boat

JUST how stupid are some Conservative MPs and their party commentators? When Liz Truss decided to develop policies that were unconventional and untested, take risks with the economy, and not communicate her ideas properly to anyone, she spooked the banks and the markets and got us into a right mess. Whether you like him or not, Rishi Sunak has managed to stabilise things, and that is good for everyone. Let's hope that continues to be the case.

You would have thought that Conservative MPs would have more than most to gain from this, but no. We already see some of them picking around the edge of things, trying to find fault, and dragging us back in to the mire. Do they not realise that there is a time to speak your mind, and a time to bite your lip and say nothing, even if you do have misgivings? Speaking out of turn creates doubts in the minds of others, affects confidence, and creates the feeling that we will never get out of this.

My instinct is that Prime Minister Sunak has struck the right message and the right tone from the outset, and people seem to be reacting positively to that. It will be astonishing if he is undermined by his own side. To be clear, it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if a lot of these people disappeared without trace, but their careless talk affects us as well, and we must all give the PM a chance.
Victor Clements, Aberfeldy

We need stability, not an election

THE country is in the middle of a severe economic crisis. The financial markets are looking for a period of stability and the public need urgent action. In spite of this opposition parties and some voters and political commentators are calling for a General Election.

Do they not realise that this would result in the whole of government and Parliament shutting down for at least a month while the election took place? There would be no legislation passed or any Government plans being implemented.

The Conservative Party was roundly and justifiably criticised for closing down for weeks while a new leader was elected and yet some want this to happen again. I can only put this down to a combination of naivety on the public's part, a continued adrenaline rush for political commentators and a lust for power greater than the needs of the country by opposition parties.
Paul Lewis, Edinburgh

Tory win was down to Corbyn

IT was heartening to hear the new Prime Minister yesterday crediting the big majority won by the Tories in the 2019 General Election as a victory for all the party ("New PM pledges to fix Truss ‘mistakes’", The Herald, October 26). Contrast that to the many people giving credit for the overwhelming number of blue votes and the crumbling of Red Wall seats to Boris Johnson. Absolute nonsense. The reason for the huge support for the Conservatives was entirely due to the very real fear of a Labour government led by that left-wing idealogue Jeremy Corbyn.
Celia Judge, Ayr

Penny for her thoughts?

I NOTE with interest that Penny Mordaunt, recently appointed as a member of Rishi Sunak’s first Cabinet, lists on her CV that she has spent some time working as a magician’s assistant. I wonder, if she still has any contacts in that line of business, if she would be able to obtain advice on behalf of the Government (preferably before the Autumn Statement) vis a vis the pulling of much-needed multiple rabbits out of a hat?
Alastair Patrick, Paisley

• CLUES to the success or otherwise of the current Conservative Government may well lie in some of the names. Richi promised integrity and that he will regain the Truss of the nation. He is certainly a Braver man than me, given some of his appointments. We can only hope that the Chancellor's announcement of the delay to his fiscal statement will not come back to Haunt him, and us. The Foreign Secretary's hope that LGBT fans at the World Cup will respect the host country's laws was less than Cleverley delivered.
John O'Kane, Glasgow

Indy debate at its most basic

THE quotation highlighted in Struan Stevenson’s article (“Beware the rise of the authoritarians abroad and at home”, The Herald October 26) caught my eye. It read: “The kind of nationalism these leaders promote convinces their followers that their nation is superior to other nations.” Clearly, I thought, he must be writing about the likes of Liz Truss and especially Boris Johnson, who was forever going on about the UK’s world-beating this and exceptional that.

But I was wrong. On reading the article, it turns out Mr Stevenson was having a go at Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP for becoming “increasingly centrist”. And there was me thinking that being centrist was a good thing for a political party: it’s where most of the electorate and their votes are, and the golden mean is not a bad place to be when the extremes are unpalatable.

The SNP’s nationalism is a civic nationalism that simply recognises there is such a thing as Scotland. It’s a nation with a distinct history, culture, and legal and education systems. It’s recognised around the world, where saying you’re Scottish generally gets a more positive response than saying you’re British; I say that from long experience.

The debate about self-government is really quite simple. All it boils down to is this: given that Scotland is a distinct entity with its own strengths and weaknesses, is it likely to be better governed by its own elected representatives, or by representatives very largely drawn from a different entity with a significantly different culture?

I’ve no desire for Scotland to beat the world at anything. But I would like Scotland to compare favourably with other European nations when it comes to the welfare of its citizens. I’d also like to be part of the European community, not cut off and in dispute with them as an increasingly nationalist and xenophobic Westminster wants us to be.
Doug Maughan, Dunblane

Sturgeon refused to accept blame

STAN Grodynski's attempt (Letters, October 26) to defend the hypocrisy of Nicola Sturgeon's demands for an election despite having herself become First Minister without any contest or public vote in 2014 omits one important – and often overlooked – fact. It was she who was officially in charge of and responsible for the SNP's failed campaign in that referendum defeat. However, despite her party leader doing the right thing at the time and promptly resigning, she decided that her failure was irrelevant and carried on regardless, at a clear cost to our education system, health service and transport infrastructure.

Perhaps the simple explanation is that, in common with many matters, she does not recall having had that responsibility.
Robin McNaught, Bridge of Weir

Dissent? Can it be true?

THE clarity of your writers’ output means that a single scan is usually more than enough for the message to be received and understood. So it was startling to read Caroline Wilson’s article in which she states that an SNP MSP “has no confidence whatsoever in the (Scottish Government’s) financial plan for the new National Care Service” ("SNP MSP in stinging attack on her party’s national care plan", The Herald, October 26). I had to read it twice to be sure I wasn’t mistaken.

Ordinarily, the corporate subservience to the party line by SNP MSPs gives the nodding donkeys of the Chinese Communist Party a good run for their money. Tell me it was an error, or is there really an SNP MSP willing to speak truth to power?
Bob Scott, Drymen

Read more letters: The Conservative Party may not be dead, but democracy is


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