A WEEK, they say, is a long time in politics. Sir John Major has been away from the front line for over a week and has no dues to pay, so I can say it as it is. He says: “Britain’s reputation has been damaged…and the fault lies primarily but not solely with the Prime Minister. Many Cabinet members are also culpable, as are many others outside the Cabinet who encouraged him” (“Former Tory Prime Minister John Major slams leadership hopefuls who don’t criticize Boris Johnson”, heraldscotland , July 12).
Great stuff, but you won’t find many in the right-wing press who agree with him. Nor those in Boris Johnson’s cabinet who have been forced (out of self-interest) to break their self-destructive silence and kick the Prime Minister out of a window, and who are singing the same tune this week as they were last week. Mr Johnson went from a miscreant with serious character flaws to a big, scruffy dog who was, at worst, misunderstood.
Remember this, when you see the Tory ‘candidates’ selling out to their mostly elderly, white male electorate: These are the same people who allowed Mr Johnson, who excused all his awkwardness and peccadilloes and who exposed themselves, like Douglas Ross, as human shields Johnson. When one is “chosen” he/she will bury all the “Boris Bad” stuff deep within the vaults of Whitehall, eventually to be shredded. We, the paying public, will never get the whole unvarnished truth, just a polished, fairytale version.
GR Weir, Ochiltree.
• WHATEVER one can say against the Conservative Party, no one can deny that its leadership race is democracy in action. While the SNP demands that all of its politicians be held to the leadership line, the Tories have shown their willingness to oppose and even overthrow their leaders.
The lack of critical thinking and democratic accountability, on the other hand, within the SNP is appalling. The SNP leadership demanded that “no MP publicly criticize any decision, policy or other member of the group”. Along with that you have a lack of transparency, obstruction of Freedom of Information requests and even the taking of powers to lock down the country again without a vote at Holyrood.
William Loneskie, Lauder.
EVEN MORE STRAIGHT CANDIDATES
CONTRARY to the claims of Otto Inglis (Letters, July 12), judging by their initial election speeches, the Tory leadership candidates are even more xenophobic right-wing ideologues than Boris Johnson, who only bragged about everything whatever was going through his mind at the time. This is very bad news for the self-governing anti-Scottish forces, as it will only increase Scotland’s disenchantment with Westminster’s rule.
British establishment figure Sir Keir Starmer was more comfortable in the royal box at Wimbledon than on the picket line of railway workers and his opposition, like that of the LibDems, to a European single market and freedom of circulation is driven by central England focus groups rather than worrying about the Scottish economy or the Scottish Parliament’s democratic mandate to hold a second independence referendum.
As Scotland exports far more per capita than the rest of Britain, we have suffered more from a Brexit which we did not vote for and which has damaged our farming, fishing and scientific research, as well as exacerbated recruitment problems in our healthcare and hospitality sectors. An independent Scotland will be welcome in the EU and even as a member of the EEA or EFTA we would be better off than under current UK trade deals.
With our vast natural resources, including energy supply, as well as a highly skilled workforce, there is no logical reason why an independent Scotland could not match our Scandinavian neighbors in creating a nation fairer and more prosperous.
Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.
REALITIES OF BRITTANY TODAY
ALEX Gallagher (Letters, July 12) recounts the same tired old arguments starting with the fact that an economy too broken to be independent should be grateful for a £15billion grant from Westminster.
Norsk Petroleum estimates Norwegian government net cash flow from the oil industry at NOK 933 billion for 2022, which if I pressed the right buttons is equivalent to £76.5 billion. It was just £23.6 billion in 2021.
May I brief Mr. Gallagher on some more current realities?
The reality is that a Prime Minister, widely regarded as the worst in history, remains at 10 Downing Street.
The reality is that if and when his replacement emerges, it will be a group that seeks to oust him not because it is the nation that is in jeopardy but rather their own political ambitions.
The reality is that Brexit is an absolute disaster.
The reality is that Sir Keir Starmer and Labor passed Brexit.
The reality is a cost of living crisis.
The reality is that the triple lock on state pensions has been removed.
The reality is that come winter, many people will be making some tough decisions.
The reality is that even Murdo Fraser is quoted as advocating for independence, detailing what the UK will lose if Scotland becomes independent.
Mr Gallagher says ‘but he forgets the biggest lie, corruption if you will, that the SNP leadership is proposing: that the Scots would be better off if we broke up the country, a claim for which there is no credible evidence’ . Oh good?
Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.
• ALEX Gallagher insists that there is no case for Scottish independence, that we are not a colony and that we are in no way suppressed; in this case, the government in London, which Scotland did not elect, cannot refuse the government in Edinburgh, which Scotland elected, a referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future.
On the ‘no democratic case’, I find it strange that Labor member Mr Gallagher can promote a setup that forces Scotland to repeatedly support Conservative governments that we don’t vote for, and being withdrawn from the European Union after voting decisively to stay. In 2014, Scotland was told the only way to preserve our place in Europe was to vote No; it was a lie, and it is not our fault that we have to live with the disaster that is Brexit.
Mr Gallagher clearly prefers Scotland to be under Conservative Westminster rule rather than Scotland choosing its own governments as an independent nation, and in this letter, like everything else, he beats the same old drum, insulting the Scotland with the same miserable and depressing chorus. However, on a positive note, recent opinion polls suggest Mr Gallagher’s dirge is at odds with a growing number of voters in Scotland who are confident in their own country’s abilities and believe the future of Scotland will be best served in Scotland’s hands.
Ruth Marr, Stirling.
THE WILL ESTABLISHED IS FOR UNION
I DO NOT disagree with some of Stewart Falconer’s comments (Letters, July 11) regarding Boris Johnson and some of the ongoing corruption in Downing Street.
But I take issue with his comment that “there are some of the Unionist persuasion [for this I assume he means those who voted No] which may not support the strong democratic will of the Scottish people’. The strong democratic will of the Scottish people came in 2014. It was a referendum on Scottish independence, in case Mr Falconer would have forgotten that.The result was a ‘No’ to independence from Scottish voters.
It is the supporters of the SNP who deny the fixed will of the Scottish people. No matter how many times they try to reverse this, the reality is that the people of Scotland voted against Scottish independence, and that vote should stand for a generation, as promised (by the SNP leadership).
I am not a trade unionist, I am a federalist, and I accepted the “fixed will” of the Scottish people in 2014.
Eileen McCartin, Paisley.
WHY ARE THE BILLS SO HIGH?
BRIAN Wilson (“The energy crisis is as big as Covid and demands the same urgent action”, The Herald, July 12) provides an excellent article on the current energy crisis, but the only factor missing is an explanation of why energy bills will rise from a ceiling of around £2,000 a year to over £3,000 a year in the fall. Check the financial pages of the Herald and gas is relatively stable at around 8p/unit and Brent Crude at around $105 a barrel. The effects of the conflict in Ukraine must already be taken into account in future price costs, so why is it necessary to increase energy bills by 50% over the next three months?
It should be noted that Mr Wilson appears to be unaware that a planning application for a 900 MW gas-fired power station at Peterhead has been filed to replace Hunterston B.
Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.
Read more: Scotland have a problem with Glasgow. It’s time to liberate the city