THE problem with columnists such as Kevin McKenna is their need to justify their columns in the first place. The temptation to demonstrate how they have this marvellous insight that the rest of us lack is ever present. This desire to continually come at things from an unseen angle often means the reader is left with an empty feeling of mistrust that the views written are genuinely felt.

Stop and imagine how Kevin McKenna’s column would have read had Nicola Sturgeon or Ian Blackford attempted to justify and defend Margaret Ferrier’s reckless (and let’s not forget deceptive) behaviour. Would it have been in praise of their compassion, solidarity and empathy in line with his “newly discovered zen consciousness”? I think not.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: SNP have thrown Margaret Ferrier out to the wolves

In addition, his assertion that those MPs avoiding Westminster are stealing a wage is despicable. The exact opposite can be argued. At this current juncture MPs can vote and on occasions ask questions remotely. Therefore, unless they are leading a debate it is highly questionable that constituents are best represented by their MP travelling hundreds of miles at taxpayers’ expense to bob up and down in a ghostly chamber in the mere hope of being allowed a minute’s worth of contribution. Perhaps being back up the road dealing with constituent’s real-life issues would be better value for the public purse.

Headline grabbing, provocative “you say black so I’ll say white” journalism without real substance is simply dull.

Alan Black

I AM in full agreement with Barry Stewart of Blantyre’s letter (October 6) with regard to Margaret Ferrier. Whilst I do not know this lady and am not trying to excuse the, to put it mildly, completely daft and inexplicable breaking of Covid rules, she will no doubt be continually “churning over” her own actions. But as we all know, the past cannot be undone.

She will be her own tormentor in this and unable to understand why she took such a reckless path. Barry has the grace to, at least, point out that the lady has worked tirelessly and unselfishly for her constituents and she will be heart-sorry to have let them down.

READ MORE: Margaret Ferrier: SNP Rutherglen association ask MP to resign her seat

To those looking for blood (Tories, to be expected, and even some in her own party), who among you have not done something so stupid, word or action, you do not even like to recall! It is not a claim I could make! Nicola Sturgeon had no choice but to ask Margaret to resign, as we all know the rumpus it would have caused had she done otherwise. Nicola will not be feeling good about having had to ask Margaret (a friend and colleague) to resign even though her hurt has been self-inflicted.

Where were all these screeches when Charlie and Camilla Windsor made the trip to Scotland (with symptoms) and then used precious Scottish testing resources for the two (and probably all of their entourage)? Why the silence on that, where was the outrage and hounding? Was it a case of they were “homeless” and trying to find shelter? No, plenty from which to choose. They journeyed to SCOTLAND, infecting who knows how many while doing so and whilst here. Do not forget the staff looking after them. Strangely, the silence was deafening!

The hypocrisy is breathtaking! I will leave it at that!

Helen McGowan
via email

MAGNANIMITY is needed more in a time of pandemic, surely, and I write in support of Kevin McKenna’s condemnation of the apparent witch-hunt against SNP MP Margaret Ferrier.

Even more intense, in my view, the fervour to hound Margaret Ferrier from office has been greater than in some less excusable instances of pandemic breaches. It doesn’t appear to have crossed hounders’ minds that onset of this virus might have affected the judgment of Ms Ferrier, hence her train travel breach. But to demand that not only she either be dismissed or else resign but that her pension be also forfeit is taking self-righteous cruelty to sadistic ends. Maybe, like Julian Assange, she should be flung in Belmarsh Prison and forgotten about. Add a ration of bread and water and have done with it!

In a country like Scotland where rain is a weather constant, it would be well to remember the bard of that other country, England, William Shakespeare, who wrote: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Upon the place beneath.

It is twice blessed: It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.” Ample quotes from Scotland’s own bard, Robert Burns, will readily back the sentiment.

Ian Johnstone

NO-ONE can condone the actions of Margaret Ferrier. The SNP took swift action and suspended the whip. No political party can sack an MP or MSP.

Now we have the political opportunity for Sir Keir Starmer and Richard Leonard to agitate and exploit the electorate of this constituency against Margaret Ferrier.

Wouldn’t they find it more constructive to do something about the nine Labour councillors who have been suspended for three years in Aberdeen for supporting the Tories? After all, they were elected on a Labour manifesto, to oppose the Tories not support them.

Robert McCaw