I BELIEVE that there is something not quite entirely convincing when politicians apologise for some act or episode for which they were in no way responsible. It was again in the news that Nicola Sturgeon had apologised in November last year to those convicted previously under earlier UK legislation against homosexuality ("Gay pardons bill is passed", The Herald June 7).

It would be more fitting, in my view, if those with political power apologised for actions or policies for which they were themselves answerable. For example, the First Minister could also apologise for the state of education for our school children in Scotland. Tony Blair could have apologised in addition for the highly questionable invasion of Iraq, apart from saying sorry for the wrongful conviction of the Guildford Four for IRA bomb attacks in England in 1974. Gordon Brown could have shown some contrition, when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, for the sale of more that half of the country’s gold reserves between 1999 and 2002, thus costing the UK billions, apart from saying sorry in 2010 for the UK’s role in sending thousands of children to former British colonies.

Politicians can, with greater facility, find and deliver the right words for the errors of commission and omission of others rather than for their own. It would be refreshing if our politicians changed the habit of a lifetime and tendered a few more mea culpas on their own behalf.

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road, Lenzie.