BORIS Johnson’s painful trips to Scotland have become more than just an exercise in damage limitation for the Scottish Conservatives.

His Trumpesque unpredictability and arrogant utter lack of preparation regularly results in a PR nightmare of industrial proportions. From refusing to meet with our First Minister to his insensitive quips about pit closures, the Prime Minister’s reputation as the loosest of cannons who ignores accepted protocol and eschews empathy continues to act as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Despite the public support of Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross and sycophantic lickspittles such as Andrew Bowie, the Tory faithful are learning to dread Johnson’s forays north of the Border, even though he is always restricted to Tory-friendly safe areas of Scotland far from the gaze and judgment of ordinary members of the public.

His vacuous comments praising Margaret Thatcher’s eco credentials at the expense of the annihilation of the mining industry and communities in the 1980s would have gone down a storm at any Conservative conference where he would have been lauded for his wit and repartee amongst the hooray Henrys and Henriettas, all bereft of a sense of history, social justice or genuine understanding.

The fact that he has been criticised for making these boorish and heartless remarks will not trouble Johnson in any way. As his former adviser Dominic Cummings recently observed, the Prime Minister has always existed in the bubble of his own class and has little time or consideration for anyone unfortunate to live outside of this.

During his infamous interview with journalist Eddie Mair in 2013, the then mayor of London emerged as a deeply flawed human being who was mendacious, adulterous, indolent and malicious. Mair declared that he believed Johnson was “a nasty piece of work” to which the bumbling, tousled and egotistic buffoon had no answer.

He must return to Scotland as soon and as often as possible. He is the best advert for independence this country will ever have.

Owen Kelly

ON the day Boris Johnson decided to visit an offshore wind farm in preference to visiting Scotland’s First Minister I was half expecting the newspaper headlines to be dominated by news that the wind in the North Sea is about to run out and that an independent Scotland should not depend on it.

However, a sniggering Johnson instead chose to tell us Thatcher had been a rather farsighted advocate for zero carbon emissions by destroying the coal industry.

Scotland is currently generating almost 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. In 2011 renewable technologies generated just 37% of national demand. Scotland has been moving away from burning fossil fuels, with the last coal-fired power station, Longannet, closing in 2016. Onshore wind delivers about 70% of capacity, followed by hydro and offshore wind as Scotland’s main sources of renewable power.

Given these facts, I was a little surprised to learn that energy bills are set to rise by at least £139 for millions of households as a result of a change to the energy price cap scheme. The typical, if there is such a person, gas and electricity customer is likely to see their bill go up to £1277 a year. Many prepayment customers will see an average increase of £153, from £1156 to £1309. The price cap, set twice a year by the regulator, affects 11 million households in England, Wales and Scotland which have never switched suppliers or whose discounted deals have expired.

Some consumers will be able to switch to possibly cheaper deals in the short term but in the long to medium term all gas and electricity prices continue to rise well beyond inflation. The big energy providers blame the price rises on the unprecedented rate at which “wholesale prices” are rising.

The price of a puff of wind in our wind farms and a gallon of water in our hydro schemes has not risen. Given Scotland’s bountiful supply of renewable energy, is it not about time the Scottish Government took a long hard look at the energy market?

Brian Lawson

SO now we have it – the wicked witch was really being nice closing all the mines and putting thousands out of work and pitting worker against worker – who knew she was really being environmentally friendly?

Boris Johnson just cannot help himself – his mouth is bigger than his brain and gets him into more trouble, whether it’s talking about the new oil development of which he had no knowledge of until someone briefed him, so we then find out the contracts have been signed and cannot be unsigned – unless of course it is the contract about the Northern Ireland Protocol which he signed and now wants changed.

No question about it – it really is one law for them and another for the rest of us.

Alok Sharma breaks every travel rule – because what he is doing is more important than what anyone else is doing. The rest of us have to put up with Zoom conference calls but that is not good enough for Sharma.

Murdo Fraser has taken over the Ruthie role of divide and conquer, putting football fans in the frame as being hated by the SNP, this is the same man who said the people in England should come to Scotland and never mind what the FM says. Can you imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and someone in the SNP told anyone to ignore Johnson? All this from a man who has never been democratically elected by a constituency to do or say anything and depends on his pals in the Tory Party to get on the list.

Now business has got its way and the night-time economy of clubs can open even though 100 people a day on average are dying and many of those in hospital are young and most of the young people have not been vaccinated yet.

Winifred McCartney