NOW, I may be wrong, indeed I hope I am, but when Boris Johnson, flanked by his experts, announced the easing of lockdown on Tuesday, making July 4 the day when lots of businesses in the leisure and tourism industries and others open for business, aided by the reduction of social distancing to one metre plus, he did come across, incredibly, as a leader who seemed to know what he was doing and was working to a plan.

So, when you write that the English think the FM is doing a better job than Boris is, I just wonder how true this will be once they are let off the leash and enjoying their pint down the local.

The worry for me is that without a second wave of the virus, which other countries generally have not experienced and no-one wants, and the warmer weather which is held to mitigate against the virus, Johnson may be on course to claim a huge “victory”.

That being the case the devolved authorities may well be considered as over-cautious by retaining restrictions becoming increasingly unpopular and more difficult to maintain.

The worry is that such a victory for Johnson may well diminish the FM’s credibility and standing with those undecided voters and others in the independence debate who we need to win the day.

By choosing a different route the FM really made Covid-19 management a direct comparison between her and the PM, between Holyrood and Westminster.

My concern is that if Johnson does win a “victory” here, it could damage our drive to independence, particularly when he has shown “leadership” by flexing his muscles and refusing the Section 30 order while our FM appears to have no Plan B.

Jim Taylor


WITH Nicola Sturgeon’s approval rating hitting +80 compared to Boris Johnson’s shifty -25, he can’t come to terms with the seemingly outrageous fact that a Glasgow-educated girl could massively outrank him in such a comparison, and reverts to juvenile sniping that she is copying his briefing style. He fails to comprehend that she was also educated at a 15th-century institution. University of Glasgow has five world university debating championships under its belt. That’s more than Oxford and Cambridge combined. One potent fact that must be remembered is the living truth that, no matter how hard it tried, Eton has proved conclusively the axiom that you can’t polish a turd.

Bruce Moglia

Bridge of Weir

BRINGING forward the next election for the Holyrood Parliament to October, or perhaps November, and effectively making it an “independence election” seems like a good idea assuming that Covid-19 has been suppressed in Scotland and everyday life, including at our schools, is back to “near normal”.

With independence-supporting parties winning a majority on Scotland’s right to self-determination, the Scottish Government would be mandated to immediately begin negotiations for withdrawing Scotland from the Treaty of Union and could then, consistent with real democracy, hold three referenda. The first on the “deal” negotiated with the Westminster Government, the second on the proposed “new deal” with the EU, with which a two-year extension of the current trade arrangements would already have been requested and granted. The third referendum would be a vote on Scotland’s constitution, which would underpin all future Scottish government decisions in building the fair, equitable and environmentally-friendly society in which the well-being of our population will be the true measure of Scotland’s prosperity.

Stan Grodynski

Longniddry, East Lothian

THE media’s constant use of the term “UK Government” to describe the body enacting policies and measures which apply only to England is at least confusing and potentially dangerous – as highlighted by the present crisis. The Scottish branch of the BBC is particularly at fault: announcers on the other national stations have used the more accurate phrase “the English Government” instead – so why can’t our local BBC? A simple measure which would help make things clear – even to Conservatives ...

John W Graham


ON Wednesday night a bill was brought forward in WM Parliament calling for the weekly testing of all NHS and care staff in England. 331 Tories voted against the motion and every single Scottish MP voted against testing for NHS and care staff weekly.

Alister Jack - against

David Mundell - against

Andrew Bowie - against

David Duguid - against

John Lamont - against

Douglas Ross - against

All the Scottish Conservative MPs voted against and, wonder of wonders, no-one from the BBC has doorstepped Jackson Carlaw about this despite him having gone on about testing every week at FMQs.

Now there’s a surprise.

Winifred McCartney


DISAPPOINTING to see a journalist on The National promoting fake news of the snake oil variety. The false trail was raised about “sea salt” in a coronavirus-related article – “Saltwater could help in fight with Covid-19” (June 25).

Nowhere in the news releases from Edinburgh University researchers is sea salt mentioned. So I hope your journalist was not suggesting we all go out and buy sea salt, at £5 or more a kilo, far less gargling with seawater from the beach at Largs or Portobello! Table salt at 35 pence a kilo has the same content of sodium chloride, the wonder ingredient identified by the researchers. I hope my revelation does not spark another panic to hoard supermarket salt.

Sandy Carmichael