Letters: Alister Jack has shown by his actions that he is Johnson’s man, not Scotland’s

IT seems incredible that with Boris Johnson refusing to budge from Downing Street in the face of all the resignations and hostilities from his own party, Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, decided on Tuesday to stick with Mr Johnson (“Tories in meltdown after Sunak and Javid dump PM Johnson”, The Herald, July 6).

Mr Jack knows full well that the Prime Minister has always been toxic in Scotland; ‘getting Brexit done’, as Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in Europe before the appalling Partygate scandal, and last year Mr Johnson was told in no uncertain terms that his appearance in Scotland during the Scottish Parliament election campaign would be the kiss of death for the Tories.

And yet, armed with all this knowledge, the Scottish secretary still pledged his support to a Prime Minister he knows is hated in Scotland. Obviously he is Mr Johnson’s man, not Scotland’s man, and if he had any respect for the country he is supposed to represent in Cabinet he would do the honorable thing and would leave office with his discredited boss.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

• THE loyalty to Boris Johnson shown by Alister Jack should certainly raise questions: none are more relevant than who exactly he represents by his actions and does he have the backing of other Scottish Tory MPs for his demonstration Loyalty to the Prime Minister? And what about Scottish Conservative MSPs, where do their loyalties lie? Their silence so far is deafening.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

• Am I the only one who thinks that the new UK Chancellor and Health Secretary bears worrying similarities to the Russian Foreign Secretary? They all give interviews where they try to defend the indefensible. Oh for a Cabinet full of people with a backbone who would admit the truth.

Alan McGibbon, Paisley.

• I don’t know if you will hold your annual Politician of the Year awards. If so, may I suggest three new categories: Sex Pest of the Year, Liar of the Year, and Incometent of the Year.

I’m sure they won’t run out of applicants.

Michael Watson, Glasgow.


I take note of your report on the comments of Scotland’s Chief Inspector of Prisons (“New Glasgow Jail won’t solve prison overcrowding problems””, The Herald, July 6) I despair.

The problem of overcrowding in HMP Barlinnie is as old as the hills. While I was working there (1985-1989) research showed that particular sheriffs, particularly in the west of Scotland, were sending high numbers of male prisoners between the ages of 18 and 24 to jail (or the “Big Hoose” as Barlinnie was popularly known). Some sheriffs were known to favor custodial sentences even though there were community alternatives. Other sheriffs were fond of community options if they existed, but they were unfortunately rare.

At one point, overcrowding in Barlinnie became so severe that prison officers refused to transfer other remand prisoners to the prison. The social workers who interviewed the defendants when they arrived at the prison had to go to the court to carry out the first assessments.

Sadly, we imprison more offenders per capita than anywhere else in Europe.

Many debates and initiatives have been undertaken and proposed to develop community projects as a viable alternative to the custodial sentence. Unfortunately, the amount of investment and staff recruitment never materialized and we remain in the same position.

Ann Ross-McCall, Glasgow.


DONALD Trump could still return to power. And he would bring more of his far-right extremist views with him, including his love of US gun laws.

As Chicagoans mourn the victims of the latest Highland Park mass shooting (“shot dead at Fourth of July parade in Chicago suburb”, The Herald, July 5) – there is at least one a week in the States – United by the way – is there anything we can do in Scotland to take a stand?

What about the boycott of Mr. Trump’s golf courses in Scotland? This should have been done years ago, but better late than never. Dear golfers, please find another course.

We don’t want this man’s name to be linked to Scotland.

Hopefully, the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 uprising on Capitol Hill will find Mr. Trump guilty of orchestrating the attack on democracy. But given the make-up of the US justice system, I’m not convinced anything will come of it.

So let’s do what we can to give Mr. Trump a beating.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.


NEWS of a major exhibition to mark 200 years since the decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs (“British Museum launches Egyptian exhibition to mark anniversary”, The Herald July 6), reminds me of a lady who was unmistakably perfumed with the blameless reputation once informed me at a Burns Supper that a certain inscription, when read backwards, translates to “Dig that chick’s ass.”

And who was I to doubt her?

R Russell Smith, Largs.


About the correspondence on things we are tired of hearing (Letters, July 5 and 6), I am flabbergasted to read today, concerning the acquisition of another firm by the law firm Gilson Gray ( “Scottish law firm acquires English Residential Convoyance Specialist”, The Herald, July 6) that it will “accelerate the rollout” of the company’s “full-service offering” in England.

What happened to ordinary English? Who concocts these sentences?

David Miller, Milgavie.


RECENT letters (1st, 4th, 5th and 6th July) concerning the unfortunate Mrs. Thomson reminded me of Alastair Reid’s poem, Scotland. In response to the poet’s remarks about the beautiful morning as he rode into town, the woman in the fishmonger’s, dressed in a radiant raincoat, which belied his austere state of mind, uttered the traditional Scottish mantra: “We will pay for this, We will pay for it, we will pay for it!”

Amy Kinnaird, Ochiltree.

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