THIS week’s Westminster Scottish Questions and PMQs reached a spectacular all-time low. Led by Alister Jack and Boris Johnson, the abysmal Tories huffed and puffed their way through the whole sorry pantomime.

With a skeleton representation from all parties, not only was there physical distancing of party MPs, supplemented by pointless Skyping from others, but such was the “distance” – no, chasm – between Holyrood and Westminster in terms of presentation, content and political discourse, that if you wished an excuse for abandoning this archaic, pointless debating chamber called Westminster, here it was staring you in the face!

From a Scotland standpoint, here was Jack, with his dreadful performance enhanced by his total disregard for our Parliament and its jurisdiction. Coming in for criticism was our FM for being “reckless” for introducing quarantine for those crossing the Border. Of course Nicola Sturgeon said no such thing. She merely speculated that if Covid-19 spiked as a result of an influx of people crossing our Border then quarantine maybe looked at as a possible outcome.

WATCH: Boris Johnson claims there is no border between Scotland and England

Jack, relishing the prospect of bringing down Scotland, throughout his weak, nervous, stuttering performance was highly predictable. Scottish Questions dominated by English MPs is utterly pointless and should be abandoned.

Jack was only surpassed by Johnson at PMQs, where his performance was the usual unintelligible meanderings, platitudes, set answers and bombastic hyperbole. It cries out “everything will be all right on the night!” After his rhetoric was dissected by the cool, well-prepared Starmer, his attack on the Scots and our Government was, as usual, highly predictable. He was aided admirably by Labour’s Ian Murray and predictably by the sycophantic British nationalist for West Aberdeenshire, Andrew Bowie.

Could it get any worse ? Yes it could. Johnson responding to Bowie’s “outrage” against our FM concluded with probably the most ludicrous childish statement the UK has heard: “there is NO border between Scotland and England.”

FACT CHECK: Boris Johnson's bonkers claim about the Scottish Border

There you have it – those who live in England and Scotland and had lived for centuries got it wrong! There is no such thing as the Scottish Borders, there was no regiment called the King’s Own Scottish Borderers or Borders Council. No Scots songs with the Border in the lyrics. Last but by no means least we are going to have to change the breed of dog called the Border Collie!

I hope I am allowed a degree of cynicism but sadly this is not a time for levity. We are in a pandemic life-and-death situation with no end in sight. Our FM has solemnly and rightly pointed out this is not the time for petty party politics.

What I witnessed at Westminster was the death rattle of a pointless parliament, irrelevant to my nation of Scotland and its people and at the same time watched the childish antics of grandstanding arrogant English Tory Unionists. And all this happening while the country watches in disbelief as people literally fight for their lives and livelihoods with no end in sight.
Dan Wood

THE PM’s statement in the Commons on Wednesday was a clear indication that the teaching of History and Geography at Eton leaves much to be desired. Either the school is fleecing the rich or the PM is a very poor advert for their standards!
Paul Gillon

I WOULD like to enter the debate on the Additional Member System (AMS) with the following:

The Scottish Parliament adopted a proportional representation system so that it would fairly represent the wishes of the electorate. Some have spotted the weakness in the Additional Member System and are now conspiring to game the system to produce a result that would not fairly represent the wishes of the electorate.

The problem with AMS lies in the two votes. This can be obviated by abandoning the list and using the aggregate of the constituency votes to determine the proportionality of the party seats in a region. The top-up lists for each party would consist of the losing candidates in the constituencies ranked by the proportion of the vote they achieved in their constituency.

This system has some advantages apart from requiring just one vote.

1) The final proportions of seats are determined by the constituency votes so lending your vote to another party will impair the overall performance of your favoured party. The system discourages tactical voting which is mainly used against the SNP.

2) All elected candidates will have put themselves before the voters and will gain their seats according to how well they perform. So, no lists of party place persons.
Iain Mackenzie

WHILE the idea of an Independence Alliance seems superficially appealing as a means to circumvent the accursed d’Hondt system we are saddled with, I do have some reservations.

Firstly the job of an MSP is not simply to be voting fodder for the prevailing party or belief. It is importantly, to represent their constituents. And it is hard work. Will the list members of the Alliance recognise this and be prepared to represent all their electorate of all opinions and put the hours in? Secondly not everyone, alas, supports independence. While our star seems at the moment to be in the ascendency, there is a large proportion of the electorate who are of other persuasions. To have validity, our Parliament has to reflect these different shades of opinion.

LETTERS: A formal Alliance for Independence will be up and running soon

Lastly, in a political party there is a selection process for candidates by party officials who are themselves elected and a rigorous vetting process. Who is responsible for selecting Alliance candidates?

The Alliance is an exciting proposition and I am hopeful that it results in greater representation of parties particularly on the left which are currently underrepresented but I think that much will depend on the stature of the candidates they are able to attract.
Ian Richmond
Dumfries and Galloway