FULL marks to Kevin McKenna for his piece yesterday (Politicians have own part to play in dialling down a toxic culture, Oct 20).

The murder of Sir David Amess can only, ever, be described as a despicable act of violence which cannot be justified with any argument. However, can it be understood? Is it possible to comprehend the thinking of an individual who experiences such a level of frustration, over an issue, that they believe to commit this hideous act will achieve a resolution?

For myself, I abhor the Tory Party and I have a contempt for all those who represent it. As a result, I don’t have many Tories as dinner guests! I don’t, however, advocate subjecting them to physical violence. Kevin McKenna, who, by the nature of his work gets much closer to these professional politicians and sees how they operate, asks if we could be kinder to them and can they be protected from hateful media?

WATCH: Tory MP makes fun of Ian Blackford for losing his voice at PMQs

He points out that, in the era of vast social media, all their little foibles, idiosyncrasies and failings are readily on show. And he’s right. What we now see as a reaction to this despicable attack on an elected representative is major discussion about methods of erecting safety barriers between the politician and the people; instead of looking at what might have aroused this deadly level of antipathy in the first place.

As Kevin points out, things have changed regarding discourse on the behaviour of our politicians. Modern social media broadens the discussion on the dirt under their fingernails far more widely. What has the Westminster establishment done to respond to this greater magnification? Nothing! In fact, the current gang have only compounded the major feature which alienates so many of the electorate: their constant lying!

The current gang leader in the Commons doesn’t seem to even pretend to tell the truth any longer. He seems to have made a science out of obfuscation, at best, and downright falsehoods repeated ad nauseum, at worst! We have a parliamentary system which applauds and extols downright lies, but removes from the chamber anyone who challenges these lies!

If the Westminster establishment want to make things safer for politicians then they might start by making it policy to tell the truth and punishing falsehoods! This antediluvian anachronism of a functioning administration cannot continue to hide behind ridiculous “traditions” and needs a serious reformation to bring it into the century of mass social media communication. Many of the electorate can tell when they are being lied to and it endangers those who are representatives of the liars.

Ned Larkin

THE Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has demanded “an end to hatred” against MPs and a kinder form of political discourse following the tragic murder of Sir David Amess. So what will his contribution be?

While bemoaning the undeniably shocking levels of abuse and intimidation aimed at MPs and their staff, Hoyle frequently presides over a dysfunctional parliament where lying and half-truths are common place and go unchallenged ... by him; a chamber where generously renumerated participants bay and mock each other with little censure ... from him; and a chamber where he fails to insist that the government is held accountable to the electorate by ensuring that the responses provided to legitimate questions at least bear some semblance to answers.

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This is his watch. While Hoyle can do nothing about the policies driven through by an 80-seat majority, he can do something about the conduct and accountability of those who hold power.

“Hatred” can be born of frustration, fear and hopelessness.

I have no doubt that everyone in the chamber will behave themselves next week. Thereafter? I predict Hoyle’s vacuous plea will go unheeded, life in the increasingly impervious Westminster bubble will again sink into an unaccountable farce and the frustration, fear and hopelessness will go on unabated.

I Easton

WE desperately need serious speeches and clear leadership, with analyses of the crisis now facing the UK. Detailed plans are required to deal effectively with the food, fuel and labour shortages. This crisis is not down to the pandemic, as the government and opposition claim, but is undoubtedly down to the disastrous Brexit deal and end of “freedom of movement”. Along with supply issues and rising energy prices there is now the prospect of a damning report on how the UK handled Covid.

However, all we hear from Boris Johnson is bluff and bluster, spin and jokes along with the lie that all is well. Soundbites like “higher wages and lower taxes” only enhance the rich and powerful. Instead of telling Scotland it should not talk about independence, this government should not have dragged the UK out of Europe during the height of a global pandemic as well as completely ignoring the democratic will of the Scottish people. The Labour and Tory conferences have clearly demonstrated that the sovereign nations of Scotland and England are growing evermore apart.

Grant Frazer

STEPHEN Flynn MP: as Bruce Forsyth would say, “didn’t he do well?” (SNP MP praised for ‘laying bare the reality of Global Britain, Oct 20). Such talent in our ranks only bodes well for the future. I hope to see more of him on the TV. It’ ll be interesting to see if BBC invite him back?

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

IT would be a nice gesture if the Scottish Government could use part of its overseas aid budget to send some of Valneva’s Covid vaccine to Malawi – helping both that country and some Scottish workers.

R Millar