Readers' Letters: So, are any of us missing Boris Johnson yet?

In less than three years, Boris Johnson sealed Brexit, took us through the greatest pandemic to hit the world in over a century, and shored up the resolve of the international community to aid Ukraine against invasion by Russia when too many wished only to utter toothless platitudes.

Yet for a series of bizarre trifles, his own party forced him to resign as PM for showing "untrustworthy judgement".What does their chosen replacement Liz Truss do? Crash the pound, legalise fracking quackery and leave our economy with vultures circling it - all in less than three weeks.Perhaps it isn't Boris' judgement which was – and is – untrustworthy?

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

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Secret state

Boris Johnson with Liz Truss in March (Picture: Henry Nicholls /Getty)
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The level of incompetence revealed in the BBC's Disclosure programme on the ferries fiasco should come as no surprise.

What the programme also laid bare, however, is the sheer volume of evidence revealing the skulduggery involved in awarding the contract to Ferguson Marine. Evidence which, mysteriously, the SNP government and its representatives have been unable – or unwilling – to get their hands on in the ongoing enquiries into this sorry debacle. We can only hope that the Auditor General will be given access to this and any other evidence which was kept from him in his previous examination of this issue. But the omens are not good.

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The auditors scrutinising the finances of Sanjeev Gupta's companies resigned recently citing as their reason a lack of available information. Thanks to the SNP the Scottish taxpayer has £586 million at stake in dealings with Mr Gupta. The SNP's Ivan McKee assures us that based on what he has seen there is nothing to worry about but doggedly refuses to release any evidence to show that this is the case. The Scotsman's Conor Matchett rightly questioned this approach. If everything is rosy then why not reassure the Scottish people with the evidence?

A national newspaper also has just released a report revealing that of the 59 members of the review board considering the reforms of Scottish education, just three are teachers! This is scandalous and that, presumably, is why, in response to a Freedom of Information request, the SNP complied only after six months of dogged resistance. How long will the Scottish people put up with the secrecy and disinformation of this incompetent government. The SNP do not manage the country in the interests of the people but manage the people in the interests of their party.

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Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh

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Ferguson Marine ferry deal 'may have been rigged', documentary claims
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Who benefits?

If anyone is in any doubt about who is to blame for the ferries fiasco and the subsequent damage to our west coast communities and national reputation for ship building, just ask yourself, “Who would have been taking the credit if everything had went according to plan?” Who would have been there at the front of the queue to get their photo taken?

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By definition, that person must also be responsible now that things have went badly wrong. It isn't very difficult to work out. You can’t be responsible for something when it suits you, but have nothing to do with it when it doesn’t.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

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Ungrateful

No political party is more hypocritical than the SNP. During their term in office just about all sectors of the Scottish Administration have suffered from their mismanagement. The list seems endless – NHS, education, policing, welfare, public transport, West Coast ferry services, local authority services etc.

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Yet at the slightest opportunity they are quick off the mark to be ultra-critical of the UK Government at Westminster. Does it never occur to the would-be separatists that without economic support from the London Exchequer, Holyrood would be economically bankrupt?

Surely it is very obvious to most clear-thinking folks that the actions of the Nationalists are designed to create political mayhem; but also to cover up their own deficiencies!

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Robert I G Scott, Northfield, Ceres, Fife

Be open

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When I was a councillor during the tram construction all of our legitimate questions about the trams was met with the response “You cannot be told as it too commercially sensitive”.I see that that is the excuse being trotted out tonight about the ferry debacle. It’s high time the tram inquiry came out and the truth was exposed, and also the ferry facts.We do not want another ferry inquiry lasting many years at a cost of many millions. Administrations should not be able to hide behind the “Too sensitive” excuse.

Alastair Paisley, Edinburgh

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Lost principles

Perennially we have heard Labour Party politicians lambast the existence of the House of Lords, but whenever it has come into government at Westminster instead of abolishing this non-democratic and archaic British institution, more Labour Party cronies have unashamedly been appointed.

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During the Smith Commission negotiations the party of “Home Rule” thwarted the granting of more powers to the Holyrood Parliament in spite of vows made and claiming to want the opposite during the referendum campaign. Recently we heard Anas Sarwar, the party’s Scottish leader, declare ahead of local council elections that they would have “no coalitions” with the other parties yet in a number of councils they have formed partnerships with Tory councillors.

Now party members have voted in favour of the introduction of proportional representation for general elections yet the leader of the party, Sir Keir Starmer, has declared that if the party wins the next general election but does not gain an overall majority in the House of Commons the party “won’t work” with the SNP to form a new progressive UK government.

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When did the Labour Party lose its social democratic principles?

Stan Grodynski, Cairnsmore, Longniddry, East Lothian

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Definition?

There is a lot of talk around new Italian leader Giorgia Meloni being a fascist or not.So what do we know about the term fascism? It is a belief in the supremacy of one nation, a contempt for democracy, obedience to a powerful leader. Fascism or Nationalism?

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Lewis Finnie, Edinburgh

Student politics

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Having experienced the results of grossly under-experienced student politics in power in Scotland for more than a decade, and witnessed the catastrophic results it can bring, I can appreciate the reaction across the UK to the plummeting pound in world markets and questions about the new Chancellor’s initial decision-making.

When we needed long and careful economic consideration and the following of expert advice in Scotland we got instead entirely politically motivated, rushed and ill-thought-through decisions from new and politically immature ministers, promoted miles beyond their ability and trying to satisfy those who backed them.

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It is true that the UK is infinitely larger but exactly the same principles hold.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

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Promises...

Scott Reid’s report states that climate change goals are at risk due to “lack of clear net zero strategies” (The Scotsman, 27 September). It then reveals that it is talking about just three countries: the UK, Norway and Denmark. It further says that these countries are signatories to the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5C.

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This is not correct. The agreement was to limit warming to well below 2C and pursuing a target of 1.5C but it did not commit the 195 countries to meeting the 1.5C threshold. The article should have revealed that only five countries have legally binding Climate Change Acts – Sweden, UK, France, Denmark and New Zealand. Another 70 countries have only made promises. What about the other 120 countries? It needs to be pointed out that, along with India, China pushed negotiators at COP26 to dilute a resolution to accelerate the “phase-out” of unabated coal power to a much weaker pledge to “phase-down” the use of this fuel. Why should the UK, with only 1.13 per cent of global emissions, bankrupt itself with a Net Zero by 2050 bill of £3 trillion, which is £108,000 per household, when other countries are ignoring their COP26 promises?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

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Hard times

As a proud Scot, I voted for the SNP 40 years ago, driven by their powerful slogan: "It’s Scotland’s Oil!” I could envisage the realisation of an opportunity to use our national resources to build a better nation for all Scots then, after many years of decimation of our traditional manufacturing industries.

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My own parents raised us in a top-storey council flat and had a strong work ethic, my father working 16 hours a day just to make ends meet. None of us could afford to go to university as we had to apply for bursaries just to keep us in school uniforms. We qualified in higher education but knew our parents needed financial support in the home, and our best route was to scrimp and save to ensure our own children and grandchildren would never become a burden to the Scottish economy.

Now approaching 70 years of age, we had saved enough in a pension fund to ensure nobody within our family would suffer in the same way our parents did – they died before receiving any pension. I certainly cannot use my vote to consign so many hardworking Scots families and their future generations to economic, social and financial disaster at this time.

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Bella Jack, Edinburgh

Write to The Scotsman

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