The National:

RESHUFFLING this group of Tory ministers, as Boris Johnson has done this week, is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

It doesn’t matter who gets what job, the end result is likely to be disastrous – not least for Scotland.

But one of the new appointments seems to have attracted more ire than any other.

Nadine Dorries, officially unveiled as the UK’s Culture Secretary, is known for having opposed equal marriage and has previously complained that “leftwing snowflakes” are “killing comedy”. (We don’t even want to know what Dorries would consider good comedy.)

But it’s not laughter which has greeted her appointment.

Despair is how the reaction among the creative community would be best characterised.

And it’s Scottish writers who are leading the backlash.

READ MORE: Three times Liz Truss has been mocked by Scots for embarrassing blunders

World-renowned crime novellist Val McDermid tweeted: “I see the Prime Minister has demonstrated his respect for the arts by appointing Nadine Dorries Culture Secretary.”

Dorries herself has in fact put pen to paper in a professional capacity – which is the nicest way we can put that, judging by the reviews. Christopher Howse, writing for The Daily Telegraph, dubbed her book The Four Streets "the worst novel I've read in 10 years”.

This point was not lost on Olga Wojtas, the Edinburgh-born writer of the Miss Blaine's Prefect series. She commented on McDermid’s post: “But ... but ... she got a six figure advance for her three books.”

McDermid replied: “How many of those figures were to the left of the decimal point?”

Scots crime fiction author JD Kirk added of Dorries’ appointment: “It’s a deliberate slap in the face, isn’t it?”

Kane Graham, books editor at the Big Issue, said the Tory minister’s writing reminded her of another literary heavyweight.

“I once had to read one of new Culture Minister Nadine Dorries’ novels as research for an interview,” she tweeted.

“It had the refinement of a cabbage, and the pace of a car chase in Heartbeat. Prose wise, it reminded me of the works of novelist Frank Lampard.”

It looks like the latest chapter in the story of Boris Johnson’s government is off to a shaky start.