Alex Salmond’s reported opinions on Russian president Vladimir Putin are sensible and reasonable (your report, 28 April).
They do not qualify as “praise”, but represent an honest and pretty accurate assessment of Russia’s successful leader, who appears to enjoy massive popularity and overwhelming democratic support among his people.
Putin, as befits an effective political leader, pursues Russia’s interest with considerable energy and no little success, which seriously discomforts the US/UK axis and, therefore, we are expected to dislike and fear him.
I have news for our media. I dislike George Bush, Tony Blair and a bus full of our own leaders past and present rather more than I dislike Vladimir Putin.
Alex Salmond has an alarming record of honest commentary and saying it like it is. This is part of his success and why it can be difficult to beat him – and why we have this desperate attack on him.
What is remarkable, however, is that his remarks on Putin were made about six weeks ago, yet they suddenly appeared as if by magic right across the media yesterday.
Sensible voters recognise a co-ordinated stitch-up when they see one and it will further confirm to them that bottom of the barrel is now being reached in frantic attempts to derail the Yes bandwagon.
Dave McEwan Hill
Already it’s obvious – we must not admire Vladimir Putin. It’s fine to express some nostalgia for Boris Yeltsin, whose tippling increasingly made for amusing TV footage and provided You’ve Been Framed-type viewing material.
This is more of the demonising of foreign leaders whose stances don’t comply with Western interests. It happened to, among others, Colonel Nasser of Egypt, not to mention Saddam Hussein, Colonel Gaddafi, Robert Mugabe, Panama’s Manuel Noriega and numerous others.
I find this kind of personality brainwashing every bit as objectionable as its counterpart – the celebrity culture thingy that elevates people, especially film and TV actors, to a veneration that they no more deserve than do Putin, Nasser, etc deserve their opposite treatment of calumny.
We are meant to possess not only the ability to think for ourselves, but also absence of harassment in doing so.