WOULD it not be more honest for David Mundell now to delete the word “for” in his official title and replace it with “against”? Once again our Secretary of State for Scotland honours us with a flying one-day visit, this time to announce his refusal to endorse a perfectly sensible visa scheme for post-graduate overseas students, which is widely supported in academic circles and has already proved successful in bringing significant economic and financial benefits for Scotland (“Outcry as Tories block work visas for overseas students”, The Herald, January 12).

It seems he is happy for our universities to collect large tuition fees from international students from outside the EU, but when they qualify and some of them wish to remain in Scotland to undertake post-graduate studies and thus contribute to the Scottish economy, Mr Mundell blocks the re-introduction of the special visa scheme which worked well in Scotland for several years until recently. What a negative and short-sighted attitude.

A few months ago in the House of Commons Mr Mundell positively revelled in opposing every one of the 40-odd proposed amendments to the seriously-flawed Scotland Bill, based on the watered-down Smith Commission proposals for increased powers for the Scottish Government. He follows the same totally negative line at every monthly session of Scottish Questions, proving that he is quite clearly the lackey of this anti-Scotland UK Conservative Government.

I can remember the day when honourable Conservative Scottish Secretaries like George Younger, Malcolm Rifkind and Michael Forsyth stood up even to Margaret Thatcher in defence of Scotland’s specific interests. But the present incumbent behaves more like the British Governor of a colonial outpost than the defender of Scotland’s interests inside the Cabinet. Yet Mr Mundell is Scottish Secretary only because he is the only Tory MP elected in Scotland, scraping home last May by just a few hundred votes. He is hardly the popular choice of the Scottish people, and is certainly not increasing his popularity by his current behaviour.

Iain AD Mann,

7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.