UNTIL this week, I did not think anything could get me as angry or as disgusted as the Dominic Cummings road trip during the first Covid lockdown.

Now we learn that Boris Johnson hosted a party, with drinks, food and parlour games, in 10 Downing Street on December 18 last year. At the time, all of us were banned from holding parties and faced a potential fine of up to £10,000 for a breach of the rules. Boris Johnson went on national television and said “This Christmas, it is vital that EVERYONE exercises the greatest possible personal responsibility.”

The day before the party, Priti Patel had said she would “call the police on people breaking Christmas rules.” On the actual day of the Downing Street party, doctors were warning that we were at a very dangerous moment. And on that very day, 514 citizens of our country lost their lives to Covid.

READ MORE: Dominic Raab is talking total mince about how police investigate

Because we were all told it was our civic duty, people made very real, highly personal sacrifices. My wife and I, for example, were distraught that for the first time ever we could not spend Christmas with our beloved grandchildren. And I am sure that many of us know of friends or relatives that actually died alone and many others, often grieving the recent loss of life partners, who had to endure a Christmas without the comfort of loved ones.

Holding that boozy and crowded Downing Street party at this time is nothing short of a national disgrace. However, what is even worse is the Prime Minister standing up in parliament last week stating that “all guidance was followed.” That is not only repugnant, but hugely insulting to the people of this country.

Just how low can our elected representatives stoop? And just how are we expected to believe in and trust our UK Government?

Keith Johnston

IN her column about the illicit party in Downing Street, Kirsty Strickland states: “There will come a point when we will stop talking about it and it will slip from the front pages” (Deception over party at No 10 is an insult to the rest of us, Dec 6).

Don’t let it slip ! Here’s a suggestion – The National could have a dedicated page to the list of dodgy dealings relating to the UK Government throughout the pandemic. This could be added to as new violations occur, ie almost daily.

This will not allow any of the breaches to be forgotten but will remind all of the catalogue that the Cons have amassed during the period while decent-minded people have adhered to all the advice.

Of course the font size would have to be considered, as it will be an extremely long list.

Catherine Hay

LAST Thursday saw some local and Westminster by-elections which had similar starting points but very different outcomes. One local by-election was in Highland Council, the Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward, while at Westminster it was the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency. Both those by-elections had come about due to the death of sitting Conservative incumbents, but the outcomes were oh so different and speak volumes.

The Highland Council ward saw the SNP (after six rounds of counting) take the seat with more than 51% of vote. The Westminster constituency saw a 13% drop in Conservative support, yet the Conservatives managed to hold onto the seat with more than 51% of the vote, quite astonishing considering all the recent shenanigans and sleaze at Westminster on the government benches.

READ MORE: Tories hold Old Bexley and Sidcup with reduced majority on low turnout

So what was the message, what can we read into those by-election results, held on the same day and being defended by Conservatives? The Westminster by-election result tells us that the Conservatives can take the voters for granted, run riot with sleaze and still get elected in England, whereas here in Scotland the by-election in Highland Council sent a clear message: you can’t treat the country with contempt and get away with it, we have had enough. In fact, we are having none of it.

Catriona C Clark

WITH Boris Johnson not having his troubles at Westminster to seek, we here north of the Rio Tweed have our very own entertainment – that of the predicament of Douglas Ross, leader of the Conservative and Unionist branch office in Scotland.

Having a long memory, it is sometimes good to reflect on other leaders’ failings, as Shoogly Dougie is not alone. So let’s look at who had to resign, and whether they put up resistance.

READ MORE: Pressure ramped up on Douglas Ross over 'forgotten' £30k

Firstly Henry McLeish, who resigned as First Minister in November 2001. His offence was to sub-let part of his constituency office to a firm of solicitors. He did not register this with the parliamentary office of interests. Despite putting up a brave struggle, in the end he succumbed to pressure from the opposition and media. He boldly stated he was in a “muddle not a fiddle.”

David McLetchie resigned after claiming £11,500 of taxpayers’ money for taxis. He replaced Annabel Goldie, possibly the last honourable Tory leader in Scotland and scandal-free. She was elevated and received her title and ermine robe.

Now we come to Douglas Ross, and his brass-necked claim that he forgot to declare £30,000, a sum of money that most National readers would be delighted to have in their possession. If Shoogly Dougie was a honourable gentleman, by this stage he would be offering his resignation. Maybe he should depart with the following words: “It is not for honour, nor for glory, but greed, I am required to resign.”

Robert McCaw

WELL done Sunday National for publishing the excellent letters from Messrs Jeal, Perridge, MacLean, Neilson, Telfer, Kerr and Stewart (Dec 5). Credit to the authors and to you for publishing their views. Quite refreshing and reassuring objectivity in the current climate. I have purchased The National from day one and you have just ensured my continued subscription.

Derek K G Millar
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