IN her article “The real casualties of Brexit? Trust, honesty and truth” (Herald, August 23), Rebecca McQuillan quotes from a speech by Dorothy Byrne, head of news at Channel 4, where this powerful opinion-former urges journalists to use the term “liar” to stigmatise politicians.

Ms McQuillan personally goes on to advise them to refer to Boris Johnson as a liar. The man is a buffoon, perhaps, but surely not such a simpleton as to deliberately make an easily-exposed and pointless claim to be resident in the wrong constituency.

If we are looking for serious liars, we may start in 1972 when Ted Heath assured the British people that the European Economic Community was little more than a trade agreement involving scarcely any loss of national sovereignty.

He did so as an ardent supporter of European integration, well aware of the history and ultimate implications of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. His successor, Harold Wilson, continued the campaign of misinformation which produced the 1975 referendum result’s two-to-one majority in favour of remaining in the then EEC. All this involved lies of monstrous proportions.

But we acknowledge sins of omission as well as commission. Why have the media – and this includes newspapers – not kept us informed as day-by-day developments in Brussels have gradually influenced every aspect of our lives? There has been access to almost all EU official reports.

At the very least Dorothy Byrne might cast her eyes over the vast Reform Treaty, otherwise known as the Treaty of Lisbon and the de facto constitution of the EU, and consider whether the sin of omission on the part of the media has not been many thousands of times more culpable than Penny Mordaunt’s error over Turkish EC accession and unanimity.

Mary Rolls, Jedburgh

REBECCA McQuillan’s excellent article was confirmation that during the past agonising months of the Brexit debacle, the UK public has been deliberately misled and misinformed as to the consequences not just of a ‘No Deal’ but indeed of any deal that takes the country out of the EU.

Unfortunately, reasoned argument, backed up by overwhelming evidence from business leaders, the academic world, the Bank of England and even the Treasury, is just dismissed by the Leave camp as yet more ‘Project Fear.’

Facts that challenge the Brexit claims are avoided, deflected, evaded or simply ignored. What is in many ways worse, however, is the deliberate misleading of the British public. Dorothy Byrne, Head of Channel 4 News, deserves a vote of thanks for calling Boris Johnson out as a serial liar. The Prime Minister is not alone in this misconduct.

A recent interview saw the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, state, without a blush, that there are no fears of a UK recession despite all the evidence to the contrary. It is little wonder that politics and politicians are so distrusted.

Events in the next few days will indicate what support there is for a motion of ‘No Confidence’ in Johnson’s government. Hopefully this will kill off once and for all any talk of a ‘No Deal’.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we might end up with a government of national unity. Now that we know the frightening costs and consequences of leaving the EU, then hopefully one of the first decisions of such a government would be to go back to the people with a second referendum.

Even more hopefully, there would be a decision to introduce proportional representation for future Westminster General Elections and to abolish the undemocratic, anachronistic House of Lords.

Eric Melvin,


THE picture of Boris Johnson on the cover of Monday’s Herald (‘Johnson: Brexit deal now ‘touch and go’, August 26) said it all. Guffawing and acting the court jester and as is well known, the jokes are often laced with malice.

He obviously thinks he is popular and entertaining but he is not to be trusted. Now he has rushed to the defence of Prince Andrew, so that should guarantee him a title. There are many decent people doing valued jobs without whom society would collapse. They deserve better.

N.J. Morrison,


PRIME Minister Boris Johnson says he will build 10,000 more prison places, but the Tories announced this in 2015 for that year’s general election. They didn’t do it. They announced it in 2016, but they didn’t do it then either. Then they announced it for 2017’s election. They still didn’t do it. So now Boris announces it for a fourth time.

He has also announced a £85 million increase for the Crown Prosecution Service – but the Tories cut the CPS by £100 million, and Boris voted for that cut. He has also announced an increase in police numbers, but the Tories cut the police by 23,000, and Boris voted for that cut too.

So who can now believe him when he blames the EU for the UK not leaving by now? The Leavers have had three years to come up with a plan, and have failed to do so. It is about time they accepted responsibility.

Phil Tate,