Carmichael seems to be on right track

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I’m not usually a fan of politics or politicians, but I was surprised to see the new Scottish Secretary described in terms that suggest he is a “bruiser” or something of a bully (your report, 8 October).

After the televised debates surrounding the last general election, a colleague and I sat opposite Alistair ­Carmichael on a train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen (in second-class seats). We recognised him from his effective TV performance, and subsequently had a lively discussion with him about politics and why people wanted to become politicians, my colleague and I suggesting it was often for cynical reasons.

What impressed me about him was his obvious and sincere love of his role, not for any power trip, but because it gave him a chance to improve life for so many people. He clearly loved the islands and the people there. His account for how he got into politics was quite genuine – he didn’t know us or have any reason to persuade us to vote for him.

I’m still not convinced about his party, but came away thinking that perhaps not all politicians were in the job for the ego trip and the large expense account.

I hope Mr Carmichael continues to practise what he preaches in his new role.

(Dr) Mary Brown

Dalvenie Road

Banchory

What does the new Secretary of State for Scotland bring to the table on the referendum debate?

Can we expect to hear Scotland being praised and applauded for achievements, which would be a welcome departure for Westminster?

Should we get excited at the prospect or should we not get too carried away, as it is another Liberal Democrat who fills the position and we all know how good the Lib Dems are at being negative about Scotland and her achievements.

Catriona C Clark

Hawthorn Drive

Falkirk

We are now told the Scottish Secretary is to be replaced. Two questions arise, the first being: who is Alistair Carmichael? And the second: why should any of us care?

R Mill Irving

Station Road

Gifford, East Lothian