TODAY'S revelations have a simple outcome ("Michael Matheson blames teenage sons for £11k data roaming bill", heraldscotland, November 16).

Michael Matheson assured Holyrood that his iPad was used on holiday solely for parliamentary purposes. He has now admitted otherwise - he therefore lied - and should immediately resign.

Humza Yousaf "backed him 100%", so he must now resign too.

Neither has any credibility left.

Steph Johnson, Glasgow.

• THE admission that Michael Matheson (1) provided the password to his parliamentary iPad to another party, and (2) allowed access by the unauthorised party to the device, which contains highly confidential information, is not a resigning offence. It's a sacking offence. In any other organisation, normal people would be sacked. How fortunate for Mr Matheson to have a boss who will turn a blind eye to what is tantamount to gross misconduct.

Jamie Black, Largs.

How can he be trusted?

WHEN I switch on my laptop it asks me for a PIN (password) before I get into the main body of the computer. Without putting in that PIN I cannot get into my emails or Google or Amazon or anything. No-one knows my PIN/password as I have been told repeatedly by my grandchildren that I must keep that secret to keep my info confidential.

Obviously Michael Matheson does not know the importance of keeping his password secret as he said his family used it without him knowing. After all, what would be on his government laptop that could be of any interest to cyber criminals, foreign countries and the like? Had his laptop been stolen on holiday what government business would have been read and what could be used against our country and/or to blackmail our politicians?

I think this calls into question how Mr Matheson handles all his constituency business, which he is probably told in confidence as well as how he handles the confidential information around his job within the Government.

And the fact the First Minister felt I should pay the bill was no surprise. And the fact the First Minister has still not apologised is also no surprise.

Elizabeth Hands, Armadale.

Read more: Why the double standards over Matheson?

FM found wanting

LISTENING to our First Minister’s various pronouncements of recent weeks it seems he is most sure of himself when calling on leaders outside of Scotland and telling them how to act and think (“Humza Yousaf: MPs who refused to back ceasefire in Gaza “unforgivable”, heraldscotland, November 16). This has included decision makers in distant war zones, world leaders on their environmental policies, and the UK Government on pretty much anything that it might contemplate.

Yet when it comes to all the areas for which he is actually responsible, Humza Yousaf is often found wanting, appearing out of his depth as he resorts to tactics of deflection and distraction rather than demonstrating a command of the matters at hand.

From NHS waiting lists to delayed ferries, from deleted Covid WhatsApp messages to the missteps of senior colleagues, this is a First Minister so concerned with political spin that he appears to have lost sight of how ultimately it is actions, not words, that really impact on the lives of the people of Scotland. Mr Yousaf works hard every day to present himself as being on the moral high ground, but will this help the people of Scotland pay their bills, get the healthcare they need, or secure a more prosperous future for our children?

Keith Howell, West Linton.

• JANE Lax (Letters, November 16) criticises the Scottish Government for holding a vote on a ceasefire in Gaza on the grounds that foreign policy is a reserved matter. But we send our representatives to Parliament to reflect the views of those living in Scotland. That includes both Jews and Palestinians. They have a right for their views to be heard with the subsequent view of parliament then being conveyed to Westminster so that they can decide how to act on behalf of the devolved administrations.

The proposition that this is simply an SNP ploy to dance on the world stage is rather undermined by Scottish Labour coming out in favour of a ceasefire against the wishes of their Westminster leader. In addition the Labour-run Senedd in Wales had already voted in favour of a ceasefire eight days ago with Labour members there being given a free vote.

No such vote on a ceasefire has taken place in Northern Ireland because the Democratic Unionist Party there won’t allow it. They won’t attend Stormont unless and until they have the final controlling say over Brexit. This is despite Brexit being an issue wholly reserved to Westminster. The consequence of the Unionist stance is that unlike Holyrood, public services in Northern Ireland cannot even be discussed in the chamber.

Robert Menzies, Falkirk.

Making our voice heard

JANE Lax bemoans the desire of politicians at Holyrood to take a moral stand against the obscene premeditated mass murder in the Middle East.

No one pays any attention to Westminster either as it obediently falls into line with the blood-soaked Biden administration. To be fair, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Defence Force aren't even listening to Joe Biden and Antony Blinken. A three-star US Marine general was sent out to "advise" the IDF when the slaughter started but came home after 48 hours as they didn't pay any attention to him either.

Do you know what would make the world sit up and take notice? An independent Scotland, standing shoulder to shoulder with Ireland and the majority of the planet, acting on behalf of the sovereign Scottish people as encoded in our written constitution to say no to Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon and BAE and their craven enablers. No longer a launchpad for Nato adventurism and "blowback" due to a delusional British imperial mindset, Scotland could at last realise our full potential, not only for our own people but to benefit and extend the hand of brotherhood to the wretched of the Earth who have already endured far too much suffering as a result of the wanton and amoral "leadership" in London SW1A OAA.

Marjorie Ellis Thompson, Edinburgh.

Read more: At last there is now hope of a reset with the EU

Cowardice of Ian Murray

HOW did Ian Murray vote during last evening’s House of Commons debate on an SNP motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza ("Starmer suffers major rebellion as dozens of MPS defy him over Gaza", The Herald, November 16)? He abstained, which was the height of cowardice and should preclude Labour from ever assuming power. Why? Because by abstaining both he and Keir Starmer are refusing to honour the UK’s legal obligation to uphold the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the rules of war, known as international humanitarian law.

The fourth Convention outlines protection of civilian populations during war. Attacking civilians and destroying things essential to their survival - water, food, fuel, electricity, hospitals and schools - as Israel is doing in Gaza, is a war crime.

But the fourth Convention didn’t cover the state obligations to its own civilians. This oversight was corrected in 1977 by two additional Protocols, prohibiting attacks on civilians and their infrastructure within a state engaged in armed conflicts within its own borders. This law also applies to a state that has effective control, without the consent of the controlled, of a territory over which it has no sovereign title, such as Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

Wednesday night’s Commons vote again shows that Scotland’s voice will always be ignored because we are outnumbered 10 to 1 in the so-called United Kingdom Parliament, the de facto English Parliament. Scottish MPs should long ago have abandoned this English institution to re-establish Scottish national sovereignty.

Scottish Labour will never represent Scotland because it is beholden to its English bosses and will always dance to their tune.

It’s quite simple. For Scotland to restore its international voice, it must end the Union.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

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Rishi Sunak's about-turn

ON March 18, 2022, the Prime Minister (then Chancellor) said "there is no action any government could take" that would bring down inflation and that it was "the Bank of England's role to control inflation".

So I am surprised, to say the least, to hear Mr Sunak claim victory in his "pledge" to bring inflation down by 50% ("Prime Minister takes credit for sharp drop in inflation as it hits two-year low", The Herald, November 16). Have the powers of the Government and the Bank of England changed radically in the past 18 months? Is my understanding of basic economic theory greatly flawed? Was the PM's expensive tuition in PPE at Oxford good value for money? Can we trust a single thing this tired, shark-jumping Government says?

I fear the answer to all the above is: "probably not."

Hugh Mulvihill, Edinburgh.