WHAT a brilliant and no-holds-barred article by Neil Mackay (‘The Prince and the PM: two symbols of Britain’s rotten core’, December 5)

It’s a pity this article could not be reproduced in all of the UK newspapers since it could have a material effect on the outcome of the present election. At the very least, it should put Neil Mackay in prime position to retain his title of Scotland’s columnist of the year.

David Rooney,


IF there was any doubt about who is Scotland’s columnist of the year then look no further than Neil Mackay’s latest article in the Herald.

Mr Mackay’s outstanding piece exposes the ridiculous and archaic system of power existent in today’s Britain, little changed over the last 200 years. The breathtaking arrogance and egotism of the perceived upper echelons of British society inspire loathing and reverence in equal measure.

There are some who, through thoughtless jingoism, bigotry or self preservation, admire and cherish our royal family,irrespective of their extravagant wealth and parasitic lifestyles.

There are some who view Boris Johnson as a bit of a lad, a loveable maverick who will bring back the glory days of empire.

For the gullible and the vacuous, the failings of the so-called upper classes are to be tolerated or ignored. Prince Andrew has been revealed as a misogynistic boor, dishonest and conceited. Johnson is an habitual liar, a racist and a conniving conman. They represent an entitlement of birthright in 21st century Britain that would not surprise a visitor from the late 18th century.

Mr McKay accurately surmises that these two men represent a country that is rotten at its core and urgently requires root and branch reform.

I do not foresee any radical change to the social structures of Britain for at least two generations to come and, like Mr Mackay, I put my hope for a more tolerant, inclusive and equal society in an independent Scotland.

It will be far from perfect but it will be a country where, as Neil Mackay states, we can renounce inherited wealth before the privileged “tide of filth” drowns us all.

Owen Kelly,


NONE of us were ever asked whether we wanted to live in a monarchy. We were born into a system that has it roots in the age of robber barons and the survival of the fittest.

Whether we like it or not, we are born into a rigged game where the most significant determinant of success is the uterus you emerge from. It’s a world where it’s not what you know but who you know that really matters.

A system where inherited wealth means that, figuratively speaking, a busload of people who have never had dirt under their fingernails systematically use their wealth and influence to keep the great unwashed in their place.

One looks at the current crop of aspiring monarchs and asks are these really our betters? If we are to have binding referendums on our collective future, how about one on whether it’s time to ditch the royals and become a proper democracy?

David J Crawford,


NEIL Mackay regrets the lack of a Scottish Green Party candidate in his constituency; perhaps he should consider doing as I have.

In my mid-60s I have joined a political party (Scottish Greens) for the first time. Since then, I have attended a meeting, spent several hours leafleting, and now I am writing to the press.

Why? In mid-October a friend in his eighties took part in an Extinction Rebellion demonstration. I commented about the poor tactic of stopping the London Underground (electrified public transport). He was upset with my reaction. I agreed that we have to do something to change “business as usual”.

My generation has burnt oil as if there is no tomorrow. My grandchildren will not have that opportunity unless we change our ways now.

Neill Simpson,

Milton of Campsie.

MR Mackay is perfectly within his rights to attack the notion of privilege, and our lamentable Prime Minister, but he would do well to bear in mind that, despite Prince Andrew’s unconvincing performance on television, and countless suggestive headlines, nothing has yet been proved against him.

D Shaw,


I AM not a member of any political party but have watched the election process with puzzlement. Boris Johnson is desperate to avoid tough direct questioning on his policies.

He refused to take part in the debates for the Tory leadership, he refused to take part in the Channel 4 leadership debate, and is now stalling his appearance on the Andrew Neil show.

Television coverage of what should be the Tories’s main asset is strictly confined to controlled soundbites. Even then, Johnson looks very uncomfortable around ordinary people.

The posh Old Etonian does not relate to the everyday voters, mere plebs. His so-called charm only emerges only when with his own mostly public school chums and cronies.

Johnson focuses on Brexit because he flounders completely on other issues, making up conflicting answers “on the hoof”. Yet even a prominent Brexit Party MEP has said he would rather stay in the EU than have Johnson’s deal.

He has inherited the prolonged, corrosive austerity regime that has damaged so many local services, the police, hospital and libraries. Yet he talks of yet more tax cuts for his wealthy friends.

It is looking increasingly that even Johnson’s own cronies and handlers don’t trust him, that he is seen as a potential huge liability to the Tory campaign, and has to be very strictly controlled.

This is a man whom former Daily Telegraph Editor Max Hastings described as “utterly unfit to be prime minister”, and his “allies” in the Brexit Party describe as “someone nobody has ever trusted in his entire career.”

Pete Milory,

Trowbridge, Wiltshire,