MIRROR, mirror on the wall. If, as we're so often led to believe, "honesty is the best policy", and if, as we're all duty-bound to affirm in court that what we say will be "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth", who in the land is best placed to expose the alleged veracity, or otherwise, of such adages and/or to seek to protect those of us whose raison d'etre does not extend to forensic analyses of governments' propoganda ... sorry, manifestos?

Should such a personage, if indeed, he or she exists, be short, tall, overweight, thin, handsome or plain, British, foreign, religious/non-religious, etc, or should none of that matter? Shouldn't the pursuit of truth, given the lawful and human rights' restrictions on how it is obtained, override all other considerations?

BBC journalist/interviewer, Andrew Neil's style, will not appeal to everyone, how could it? However, I believe that, in the round, what he achieves, for good or ill, is to unmask the egregious fact that our so-called leaders are nothing more than a "parcel o' rogues". Time and again, politician after politician, debate after debate, each one of them is allowed to get away with a blustering, mini party political broadcast as a pseudo-reponse to a specific question ... until they come under the 20-20 purview of Mr Neil. Then, and only then, are they seen for what they truly are: purveyors of half-truths, spurious facts and specious references. Apostles of expedience and the sound-bite; itinerant sellers of snake-oil and hokum; modern-day Pharisees with answers to everyman's woes but with hypocrisy as a sidearm in case things get out of hand.

I began in fairy-tale speak deliberately because, often, politics in this country seems to have degenerated to that extent. Yet Mark Twain believed "Never tell the truth to people who are not worth it". Is the unmitigated arrogance of politicians just this: that to them the so-called common man is just not worth all the hassle that truth might out?

Gerard McCulloch, Saltcoats.

WE had the “silent man” and now we have the “invisible man”, Boris Johnson. Why not be interviewed by Andrew Neil (Johnson 'running scared' of TV grilling", The Herald, November 28)?

The other parties have been quizzed about their lies and false promises so why not him?

I would guess that the right-wing press will provide us with some good reasons. That is to be expected. The Neil interviews get to the important and relevant election issues, unlike the silly shouting TV debates shown recently.

I look forward to a Neil-Johnson interview but think that only a small percentage of the voting population would watch it, so the lies and false promises will continue to influence the opinion of the voters.

Malcolm Rankin, Seamill.

AFTER watching Monday evening's Andrew Neil interview with Nicola Sturgeon, I would like to think that the rather tame political commentators we have on BBC Scotland and STV take a look at themselves, learn a lesson from Andrew Neil and stop giving Nicola Sturgeon such an easy ride every time they interview her for television. The same can be said of our opposition parties.

Thank you Andrew Neil; in your interview you spoke for Scotland.

Michael Miller, Falkirk.

THE clips of Jeremy Corbyn floundering under the request for an anti-Semite apology in his grilling by Andrew Neil was jaw-dropping. Equally so was Nicola Sturgeon’s flapping discomfort and visible agony when questioned on Scotland’s NHS. Labour’s Barry Gardner emerged looking as shaken as the others.

After viewing these, the idea that Labour and the SNP could or should form some kind of coalition to govern the UK is now preposterous.

But it raises another question. After watching these leaders being grilled seriously without a studio audience unbalanced by their hidden fanatics, it was startling how truth started to emerge under a highly skilled questioner.

So let us have all future TV debates without an audience of any kind, and preferably one-on-one sessions with Andrew Neil. In Scotland we have a fractured opposition to nationalism and that allows the SNP to rule pretty much as Labour did in its years of hegemony. It is little comfort to know that these political eras always end in tears. In the meantime, Neil is all we have to protect us.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh EH6.