I AM horrified at the appointment of the former prime minister, David Cameron, as Foreign Secretary, as he demonstrably lacks two of the essential characteristics for that difficult role: skill as a negotiator and a realistic understanding of non-Western parts of the world.

Had Mr Cameron been a skilled negotiator, it is highly probable that he would have won sufficient concessions in particular on control of our borders to have achieved a Remain vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Because he would not call Angela Merkel’s bluff and was incapable of threatening to lead the leave campaign, he came home empty handed.

Had he had any real understanding of the Middle East, Britain would never have intervened to support the revolt against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011. Certainly, Gaddafi led a brutal dictatorship, however the alternative was not democracy and human rights, but repeated bouts of civil war, a country carved into fiefdoms and various horrific Islamists groups energised.

In these difficult times, Cameron represents nothing more than complacency and conventional wisdom politely and pleasantly packaged. He will be a menace to our national security and wider national interest.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.

How long will Cleverly last?

DID the Home Secretary reveal the true man behind the mask in his embarrassing interview with Amol Rajan on Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday of this week?

Gone was the emollient figure who spoke in the Commons on Wednesday as he presented his perspective on the ruling over the Rwanda project by the Supreme Court.

It was fairly clear from early on that he did not like the line of questioning adopted by the BBC interviewer.

When he suggested that he might be better going for a cup of tea while the presenter continued with his conversation with himself, the gloves were clearly off.

That derogatory remark resulted from Rajan's prefacing his questions with statements from other sources to which he appended his questions to elicit a response from Cleverly.

We also witnessed his dismissive and derisory comments about Lord Sumption's take on the Government's reaction to the Supreme Court ruling.

That insult amounted to a remark about finding three lawyers and there would be three different opinions.

His manner of response was either intended to discombobulate his interviewer or revealed how thin his skin was when he was being grilled so sharply by the presenter.

Could it be that the Government has been seriously rattled by the Supreme Court's unanimous verdict and is now acting like a rat caught in a corner from which it is finding it difficult to wriggle free ?

You have to wonder how long this Home Secretary will remain in post when he delivers such an undignified public performance which also included talking over the interviewer on more than one occasion.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

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Take whip from Braverman

IF The Prime Minister has "repeatedly failed" to inflict additional wrong and harm on refugees as Suella Braverman affirmed in her letter to him, then he is a better leader than his noisy and ambitious critic can ever be. If she keeps ranting at him he should expose her hypocrisy and malice by withdrawing the Parliamentary whip.

He should not do a Dominic Cummings and tweak her off the approved candidates list, unless she openly campaigns against her own party. That sanction must be reserved for direct abandonment of alliance, and not used infamously as it was against MPs who opposed the leadership’s Brexit ideas on grounds of belief and policy.

Central Office-approved listing is not the principal support of Conservative candidates for Westminster. Her constituency association will certainly be studying her conduct.

Tim Cox, Bern, Switzerland.

Cameron's precedents

THE return of David Cameron, as former Prime Minister to become Foreign Secretary, has some interesting precedents, including those with a strong Scottish connection and links to the current Gaza conflict.

Arthur Balfour, who was born at Whittingehame House near East Linton in East Lothian, was Conservative Prime Minister between 1902 and 1905, before being appointed Foreign Secretary by Lloyd George in 1916. It was he who was responsible for the famous Balfour Declaration of 1917. This is believed to have been signed in the library at Whittingehame and is seen as instrumental in creating the Jewish state through “supporting a national home for the Jewish people”.

Alec Douglas-Home, whose principal family home was at The Hirsel near Coldstream, served as Conservative Prime Minister between 1963 and 1964, before becoming Foreign Secretary between 1970 and 1974 in Edward Heath’s Government.

While Alec Douglas-Home is the most recent former Prime Minister to serve in the cabinet of a successor, he joins a list which includes the likes of Arthur Balfour, Stanley Baldwin, Ramsay MacDonald and Neville Chamberlain. So, while unusual, David Cameron’s return to ministerial office is not uncommon.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

Pull plug on Ferguson Marine

THE future of Ferguson Marine on the lower reaches of the Clyde certainly does look bleak as a going shipbuilding concern.

The shipyard has been on a shaky peg for many years and has become a public money pit with the building of the long-overdue ferries. Auditors are still not happy with the level of bonuses being paid to executives and in the circumstances the Scottish Government is right to withhold £25 million of investment to safeguard the future of the yard.

With the yard's dismal track record, no business in its right mind would purchase ships if they wanted certainty over costs and delivery time. Sadly, perhaps it's better to pull the plug once the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa are completed and let the yard sink into history.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.

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The history of Palestine

MOST decent people will be horrified at what has been happening in Israel/Palestine, but few will know the history that lies behind it.

It was the British Government which, out of sympathy for all that the Jews had suffered at the hand of Hitler during the Second World War, established in 1948 the State of Israel in Palestine, which it called "a land with no people for a people with no land", ignoring the fact that the Palestinians had lived there for hundreds of years.

The Palestinians might have tried to live at peace with these new neighbours who had been foisted upon them, but the Israelis never gave them a chance, abusing them in every possible way and confiscating what little land they had been left with.

Eventually their patience gave way and there were two series of protests and violent riots, called Intifadas, the first 1987-1993 and the second 2000-2005. The latter simply ran its course, while the first ended with the Oslo Accords, a set of agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) establishing a peace process. That there was a second Intifada and that Israel blatantly ignored UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 333 clearly show that the Palestinians look unlikely ever to win.

Hamas, whose ruthless attack on Israel started the present conflict, is an extremist organisation not supported by most Palestinians, who will have understood what the consequences of its savagery would be.

Those of us who support the Palestinians can only pray, and speak the truth to power, well aware that most world leaders support Israel and are ignorant of the above history.

Rev John Harris, Glasgow.

Scotland needs more nuclear

SCOTLAND has only one nuclear power plant left, at Torness in East Lothian, and needs to urgently commission more in order to produce a stable and clean energy source for our future energy needs.

Wind energy is expensive and wholly unreliable as seen from recent wind energy production figures but nuclear energy is clean, reliable and environmentally compatible with our climate change targets.

The SNP has blindly marched on with an anti-nuclear energy policy which will ultimately lead to the lights going out in Scotland.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

Learn to adapt to Mother Nature

EXPERTS fear that the Icelandic Fagradalsfjall volcano will erupt and Grindavik, a town with a population of 4,000, will be wiped out. Thankfully the people have been evacuated.

There are about 1, 350 active volcanoes in the world and between 50 and 85 erupt every year throwing out lava and greenhouse gases. Then there are 2000 earthquakes every year creating more greenhouse gases. Tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis add to the problem. The destruction, clear-up and rebuilding with concrete, steel and diesel powered machinery creates more greenhouse gases than puny mankind can ever save.

Mother Nature is a force that cannot be tamed so Mankind must learn to adapt and the money wasted on COP talking shops, those with "climate" in their job titles and those on the taxpayer-funded climate gravy train should instead be used to adapt to a changing climate. The climate apostles can tell us exactly how much greenhouse gases can be saved if we cut out meat for one day a week so why do they never publish the volume of greenhouse gases caused by Mother Nature?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.