WEDNESDAY’S front page headline regarding the latest shameless political manipulation by the Tories in eventually “legging up” the current Secretary of State for Scotland to life peerage status is totally unsurprising to be frank about it. It is just another fragment of the nightmare Johnson premiership that has transpired, together with other cronies being given similar royal recognition, thereby dipping into the public purse and effectively plundering our money with impunity.

Reflect back to the previous “lightweight Tories” involved in Scottish politics who have been recognised for doing very little in political terms – Annabel Goldie, Ruth Davidson? What did this pair do to similarly merit such a nice little backhander?

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The common factor is that they provided an ineffectual political opposition to put down Scotland and Scottish interests at every opportunity, and they failed – their failure was still recognised by a Tory British state that shares their quest to shut down the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the whole Scotindy movement!

Add in Lord Offord of Garvel, a rich guy who donated nearly £150,000 to Conservative Party coffers and was rewarded accordingly for being such a generous chap: honoured and also given a role by the soon-to-be-ermine-clad Alistair Jack – appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland. What an outrage! One rich chap giving a nice little earner to another rich crony!

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What infuriates me intensely is the fact that these political impostors Jack and Offord have embroiled themselves in Scotland and the interests of the Scottish people and yet they are nothing more than a pair of charlatans who should have been removed after Johnson’s termination as Brit PM.

Alister Jack has hardly said a kind word about Scotland and the Scottish Government at all since his highly questionable appointment when Johnson became PM in 2019. Indeed, when one closely scrutinises his background preceding his appointment as Secretary of State for Scotland, he had no strong political standing to justify said appointment and was clearly another rich guy with his own personal agenda to get what he wants for himself rather than seriously considering the needs of constituents and citizens of this country, Scotland.

His insignificance as a political player in Scottish politics and in Westminster is so glaring, I despair regarding the flagrant disregard and lack of interest that he and others like him display with impunity when it comes to Scottish constitutional issues and also the failure of Brexit – a political lie/con of the highest order that he previously espoused as being so easy to implement and great for the country.

He should have been subsequently sacked for that faux pas alone, never mind being awarded for being a political non-entity, albeit a wealthy one!

Bernie Japs
Edinburgh

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ALISTER Jack and Nadine Dorries to become unelected peers, sucking at the teat of House of Lords munificence for the rest of their lives at our expense? FFS. Next thing you know it’ll be Michelle Mone and Gavin Williamson … oh, wait a moment…

David White
Galashiels

AS Macron and Sunak (think Ben Stiller and Norman Wisdom) practically dislocated each other’s wrists in front of the world’s press (Macron having already rugby-tackled Guterres in an attempt to shove the poor man into position for a maximised photo opportunity), and as they compare notes the real statecraft and air of authority lay elsewhere on the opening day of COP27 and it could be seen wearing practically everything under the sun except a suit and tie.

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First let’s hand it to Nicola Sturgeon for quietly but powerfully exemplifying the best of Scottish international connectedness. Choosing to support those nations most at risk in the short term from global warming; she is showing an admirable ethic. In doing what she does best – spreading calm and dignified hope by offering practical solutions and broadcasting to the world what Scotland stands for –she is, amongst other things, helping to dispel the many myths spread about her party’s brand of nationalism. To suggest that she shouldn’t be there just comes across as cheap playground goading.

Then there are the many young people representing different organisations across the world demanding action and not just empty promises. Their presence is increasingly looking like tokenism but they are, in turn, increasingly disruptive in the face of it. Think suffragettes for the avoidance of complete and utter destruction and you start to get the picture. You can tell who they are by the fact that they wear “thrift” and are wide awake WOKE and proud of it. When you mention JK Rowling to them their eyes narrow and they start to mutter and look disappointed.

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Their honesty is so refreshing, their arguments so measured; quite honestly I don’t understand why they don’t set about the lobbyists from big oil (who are also lurking round every corner and apparently outnumber the activists at COP) like a bunch of rabid Dobermans. But of course they are mostly vegan. They come in peace. Disruptive peace, but peace nonetheless. I wish them well.

Of course us grown-ups will fool ourselves, saying we were young and cool and like that once too but that one gets wiser and more pragmatic with age; although I suspect Macron never managed anything more risqué than undoing the top button of his polo shirt. The trouble is they don’t have the luxury of getting to that age before they act.

There’s a difference between naivety and idealism. No-one’s under any illusions that change will be easy, but there’s no progress without idealism.

R DuPuy
via email