THE Tory attack on asylum seekers, reinforced by the deputy chair of the party Lee Anderson calling for them to “f*** off back to France”, should hardly come as a surprise.

It is typical knee-jerk, dog-whistle politics to castigate asylum seekers and immigrants, especially by a Tory Party in the electoral mire, desperate to garner votes by whatever means possible. It should also be noted that these incendiary remarks have not been condemned by Sir Keir Starmer.

It was one reason why many people backed Brexit, and is straight out of the right-wing play book, which sees the blame for an inability to get a GP appointment or a council house put firmly at the door of “immigrants”. While “stop the boats” is the best-known Tory pledge, cutting the size of NHS waiting lists seems to have disappeared off the agenda, probably explained by a rise in the overall waiting list south of the Border.

Asylum seekers represent just eight per cent of non-EU immigration last year but dominate the headlines. Glossing over the real issues to distract voters from failures and attempting to blame them is a populist trick, tried many times through history.

The UK is heading down a very dangerous road, with the Tories along with the pro-Brexit Labour Party happy to use human beings as political tools.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

Scotland is so different

I READ with interest and considerable disappointment the letter from the Rev David S Fraser (August 9), who is advocating the berthing of what he describes as a “floating hostel” in Glasgow. Does he not realise that this is an unsophisticated attempt by the UK Government to legitimise its nefarious activities?

Scotland has a long, hard-fought reputation as a welcoming inclusive nation and our hospitality is renowned throughout the world. In fact, we acquired the use of several cruise ships to house Ukrainian people fleeing from war until permanent arrangements could be facilitated.

Indeed, I see very little evidence of the BNP or Ukip in our country, unlike our neighbours.

These “floating hostels” have been used as prisons off the coast of New York and by offshore workers here and in the Falkland Islands. The workers did 12-hour shifts with a full two weeks ashore every fortnight. They say they are totally unsuitable for permanent “residency”. Clearly such occupancy is barbaric, inhumane and may well lead to numerous mental health issues.

This is a Government which talks about asylum seekers and migrants. It needs reminded that they are actually human beings. Prison ships, Rwanda and Ascension Island are at odds with the shelter for the needy mentioned by the Rev Fraser.

This the same Government which quite vocally condemned the RNLI – a marvellous life-saving organisation – for saving the lives of human beings in the Channel.

Quite frankly, I would hope that here in Scotland, we keep our animals in better conditions than that monstrosity.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.

Read more: Shame on Glasgow for turning its back on the needy

Bile from the Tory benches

ALEXANDER McKay (Letters, August 9) suggests that Penny Mordaunt "would make a fine Prime Minister" following her "real bile and hatred" criticisms of the SNP over its pursuit of independence. He clearly hadn't bothered to read Kevin McKenna's masterly evisceration of her prospects on Tuesday ("Penny Mordaunt is a great advert for independence", The Herald, August 8), outlining racist instincts typical of many on the Tory Brexiter right. Ms Mordaunt will probably end up as a footnote in the history of this ignominious and appalling Conservative Government with its rampant sleaze and self-serving, and its raft of policies targeting the poor and vulnerable.

Mr McKay presumably adopts the my-enemy's-enemy-is-my-friend approach, as anyone – anyone – who mirrors his own antipathy towards the SNP is worthy of praise and uncritical support. When it comes to manifestations of hatred and bile, he perhaps hasn't noticed – or turned a blind eye to – the regular hatred and abuse directed at SNP politicians by the Hooray Henries and Henriettas on the Tory benches. Ms Mordaunt, unsurprisingly, is oblivious to this as well. None so blind...

Dr Angus Macmillan, Dumfries.

Starmer and his expenses record

LIKE Jackie Baillie and the Labour Party, Ian Balloch (Letters, August 9) is guilty of conflating civil service fiscal guidelines with the SNP, as Scottish civil servants are all part of the UK civil service and it is unlikely that different credit card criteria apply.

As for Nicola Sturgeon using airport VIP channels (“£14m credit card bill includes £10k on Sturgeon’s airport VIP costs”, heraldscotland, August 8), this greatly reduces the risk for a senior politician passing through an airport. That in turn reduces the demands on airport security and police resources. Also, paying for team bonding away days and staff development is normal in large organisations.

Labour might regret using this leaked report as Sir Keir Starmer charged taxpayers £161,273 for chauffeured car journeys home from work despite living just four miles and a direct Tube ride from the Crown Prosecution Service offices while his successor Alison Saunders, who was also DPP for five years, spent less than a third of Sir Keir’s total in expenses.

All this is a drop in the ocean compared to Liz Truss using a private jet to fly to Australia at a cost of £250,000 to taxpayers while she was Foreign Secretary or Rishi Sunak’s £50,000 helicopter jaunts.

Mr Balloch failed to mention the £1.3 million donated to the public purse by SNP ministers who have refused pay rises since 2009. However, Humza Yousaf is right to order a civil service review of its spending ("Yousaf orders review into civil servants’ spend after £14m bill", The Herald, August 9).

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

• I’M not so much annoyed that the Scottish Government bought 22 copies of How To Run A Government with public money, more disappointed that no one in the SNP even bothered to have a quick thumb through it.

David Bone, Girvan.

Read more: Penny Mordaunt is wrong: it was unionists who stoked the hatred

Time to tear Holyrood down

FOR a number of years I have been bemused at the way Scotland is falling apart. Litter everywhere shows that people could not care less. Reading The Herald this morning and learning about the amount spent on civil servants ("Taxpayers’ bill for civil servants rockets £600m in seven years", The Herald, August 9) is no wonder that we are short of money for various essentials.

I thought the Scottish Parliament would be a good thing for us and our children, but in the last few years I have been forced to the conclusion that it would do more good demolished and an old folks home or homeless shelter put up in its place.

The SNP keeps going on about independence but does it really want it? If independence ever came there would be new parties coming along and the SNP would lose its power and its perks.

Robert Mitchell, Elderslie.

Ferrier gained on her wages

STEPHEN Flynn avers that Margaret Ferrier standing down immediately “would have been best for her and best for the party”("Tipped as a future leader, Flynn is ‘giving as good as he’s getting’ amid cut and thrust of Westminster", The Herald, August 8). Not best for her – she would have lost three years income as an MP, plus related pension rights. Stephen Flynn must know this, but prefers to be economical with the truth. Her choice was selfish; self before SNP, which would probably have won an immediate by-election.

Today we have press reports of taxpayers’ funds being used to purchase VIP travel for SNP grandees; I predict there is much detail to come about the SNP and use of funds belonging to or donated by others for specific purpose.

William Durward, Bearsden.

We need a fresh start

FEW amongst us would fail to note the significance of the date Scotland started to go downhill. It was 2014. The focus of the Scottish Government from then on was how to win over No voters to its relentless campaign to convince the doubters of the merits of independence. The results since then were inevitable.

The real answer is to grow the economy and having independence hanging over every decision was the biggest "No" of them all. Couple that with obvious failures in everything from attacking North Sea oil as a "burden" ("Call over transition for oil and gas jobs", The Herald, August 9) to education and health services and it was downhill all the way.

Attaching a prominent Green element to government was a huge mistake but, again, an obvious one. Scotland is going nowhere until there is a "material change in circumstances" – meaning a fresh government not hamstrung by last century's outdated constitutional ideas. The real question is how long it will take Scots to wake up to this.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.