WHEN it was evident that the then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had deliberately misled the UK Parliament, Douglas Ross remained silent.

When it was evident that billions of pounds of taxpayers' money was being passed to Tory Party donors and cronies for PPE that the companies with which they were associated had little or no experience in producing, Douglas Ross remained silent. When it was evident that further billions of pounds of taxpayers' money was to be written-off due to fraud, Douglas Ross remained silent. Accompanying Douglas Ross in his silence were many who apparently like to think that they represent a majority of the electorate in denying Scotland’s people the right to vote for self-determination.

Yet, when it seems the Health Secretary unintentionally misled the Scottish Parliament over an £11,000 bill that he has since repaid then Douglas Ross and those who consider themselves to be among a fictitious “silent majority” remarkably find their voices ("Sons were to blame for £11,000 ipad bill, admits Matheson", The Herald, December 17). Certainly mistakes were made by the Health Secretary and undoubtedly there is scope for improving procedures around parliamentary equipment, but current calls for resignations appear disproportionate, if not hypocritical, especially when the immediate focus of all politicians in the UK should not be diverted from preventing more people prematurely dying in their homes, on our streets or in foreign lands.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.

• HAVING considered the numerous articles and letters (The Herald, November 17), and whilst accepting that "the boy", Michael Matheson, did wrong, I am not impressed by the amount of political time that has been wasted by the various politicians who wish to show "a better than you" attitude, some of whom could be also described as obeying the 11th Commandment: don't be caught.

There are a multitude of issues in Scotland that require resolution, from potholes to homes for the homeless and more.

Mike Dooley, Ayr.

Read more: Michael Matheson: What is the point of this iPad witchhunt?

Who has never made a mistake?

I COMPLETELY agree with Andy Maciver ("No-one wins when the mob swarms to signal false virtue", The Herald, November 17); Michael Matheson is "one of the best". I have known Mr Matheson for nearly 30 years, and have campaigned alongside him in his Falkirk West constituency, meeting some of the thousands of constituents he has helped. I know him as a kind, caring, hard-working MSP, and a devoted family man. Does that not count for something?

We've all been teenagers (and I bet that few of us were angels) while many of us will have gone through the teenage years with our own children and remember the pitfalls, as well as the joys they can bring. Mr Matheson has taken responsibility for what happened, apologised, and repaid the money. If he was to be hounded from office by a mob baying for blood, Mr Maciver would rightly ask "Who wins from this? Who are the beneficiaries?" and he would be absolutely right with his answer "Nobody. Nobody wins". Mr Matheson should be allowed to get on with his job as Health Secretary, and may I ask that some thought should be given to two fine boys a loving father was trying to protect?

Stand up the perfect person who never makes a mistake.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

• I HAVE read, enjoyed and agreed with most of Andy Maciver’s columns in The Herald, but his offering today was astonishing in its naivety. How this fine journalist could believe that critics of Michael Matheson were indulging in “tittle tattle” is beyond me. The Health Secretary lied to the Scottish Parliament, and he should have resigned, or been sacked immediately.

Tom Fullerton, Glasgow.

• I THINK your readers deserve another chance to savour Andy Maciver's latest words of wisdom: "If I was an MSP I would expect that if my SIM needed changed then the IT department would come to my office and change it for me."

That right there sums up much of what is wrong with Scottish and UK politics.

Colin Kelly, Bishopton.

Treating us with contempt

NEIL Mackay is right, absolutely right: "Michael Matheson lied, he must go. It's as simple as that" (heraldscotland, November 17).

Michael Matheson has to resign from his ministerial post, but not because he said something which was untrue. After all, who amongst us has never told a lie, even a wee white one, and our elected representatives are only human. He must go because of where he said it.

There are circumstances when being economical with the actualité might be understandable, possibly even justifiable, but there are also settings when telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is essential. Lying as a witness is contempt of court. When an elected parliamentarian does the same, they are treating the country with contempt, absolute contempt.

Bob Scott, Drymen.

Yousaf has no choice

MICHAEL Matheson admitted to having given false assurances about the use of an iPad provided for parliamentary and constituency business during his family holidays. His excuse: as a father he wanted to protect his children who had watched football matches on a device which should have been in Mr Matheson's hands only. His admission comes far too late, he should have done so right away, proactively shouldering the full blame and referring himself to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for investigation.

That may have saved his boss, First Minister Humza Yousaf from facing mounting pressure to sack him. As things stand now, Mr Yousaf has no choice. If he keeps Mr Matheson in his post, it will send out the message that he and his Government deem it acceptable that Scotland’s parliament and the Scottish people are being lied to.

Regina Erich, Stonehaven.

Variation on an old theme

WHAT a farce. If it weren’t so so serious we could all have a laugh. It could happen to anyone, that’s for sure.

However, had Michael Matheson simply checked the bill and paid it rather than try to put it through expenses there would be no case to answer.

He has unwittingly invented a new phrase: "A wee boy did it and a big boy ran away”

John Gilligan, Ayr.

• IT is not only the taxpayer-supplied salary and status of being a minister in a devolved Holyrood administration that is the attraction and what leads some of those who have tasted it, reluctant to let it go. The prestige must be another bonus, again for those who delight in such things.

Yet there is something surely wrong in the involvement of family members when defending what appears to be an indefensible position. When the time has come, a quiet and dignified departure is an infinitely better way to go.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Read more: Humza Yousaf and Michael Matheson must both go

Why do we have roaming charges?

FOLLOWING the furore over Michael Matheson's £11,000 bill for roaming charges, a few matters come to mind.

First, why do we need to have roaming charges at all? When the UK was a member of the European Union, an EU regulation abolished roaming charges, and so there were none until the UK voted to leave the EU.

Secondly, in the run-up to the EU referendum we were assured by the Vote Leave campaign that they would not be reintroduced. Boris Johnson for one stated that there would be no reason for roaming charges to increase, relying instead on the free market and competition to drive prices down "without the need for a vast supranational bureaucracy." Brexit is indeed proving to be the gift that keeps giving.

Lastly, as far as I am aware there has been no investigation into roaming charges by the Competition and Markets Authority; perhaps time for one now?

Stewart Noble, Helensburgh.

The Herald: Was Rutherglen Labour MP Michael Shanks wrong to abstain on the Gaza ceasefire vote?Was Rutherglen Labour MP Michael Shanks wrong to abstain on the Gaza ceasefire vote? (Image: PA)

Broadcasters are failing us

THE UK is not only being failed by its politicians at Westminster but the British broadcasting media regarding the Gaza war.

Today (November 17) I watched UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths address the UN General Assembly with such articulate and intelligent insight it was impossible not to shout at the TV screen: You are absolutely right. Why is this being allowed to continue? What is the world doing?

I ask, and I ask again and again, why is the UK under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sticking with its alignment with the US and Israel, and how can UK Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer agree with them?

At least some of his MPs had the guts to reject his threats: abstain or face the consequences to a motion put forward by the SNP ("Starmer suffers major rebellion as dozens of MPS defy him over Gaza", The Herald, November 16).

Sadly Scotland's two Labour MPs at Westminster, Ian Murray and Michael Shanks, abstained. In my view that is cowardly, a No vote for a ceasefire, and a nod to Israel that their bombardment of hospitals and residential areas can continue.

Mr Griffiths was live on Al Jazeera, but Sky News and the BBC had other ideas of what was more important.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.

Why no outcry on Orange Order?

LISTENING to the wide-ranging discussions which took place concerning the pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day, there is a familiarity to Catholics to the arguments of whether the march should be banned or not.

The reports and media discussions regarding the banning of the demonstration have, I hope, brought to the attention of non-Catholics the hate and venom with which we as Catholics live under every day of our lives as the Orange Order is allowed to parade through our towns and cities with its anti-Catholic costumes, insignia, songs and instrumental music.

These demonstrations of the Orange Order are consistent with the topics that have been bandied about in the press and social media in the last two weeks regarding the proposed banning of the Palestinian march. Its modus operandi has the same intent of malice and bitterness.

This anti-Catholic malevolence is prevalent in our daily lives and also it is shown on the streets by these Orange Order demonstrators and of course this gives it public affirmation. Why no public outcry to ban those members of the Orange Order who shout and sing hateful slogans about the Catholic religion when they are marching?

Thomas F Catterson, Glasgow.

Poetic licence

WHENEVER Ian Blackford pins a white rose to his lapel he invariably makes use of a quote from a poem by Hugh Macdiarmid. On reading today of how Mr Blackford has a tendency to take liberties when using statistics ("6.8 per cent is 25 per cent. The dodgy world of SNP stats," Mark Smith, The Herald, November 17), perhaps the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber should also give thought to the words of the Scottish journalist, poet, critic, folklorist and historian, Andrew Lang, who once commented: "People use statistics as a drunk uses a lamppost - for support rather than illumination."

Michael Laggan, Newton of Balcanquhal, Perthshire.