PARTYGATE and corruption forced Boris Johnson to resign, but there was a nastier, more unpleasant side to his Cabinet.

Whilst Johnson was allegedly oblivious and unaware of the Partygate shenanigans within 10 Downing Street, holders of the three most senior posts in his government were operating their own agenda – at the Home Office and Foreign Office respectively, Priti Patel and Dominic Raab were to be subsequently accused of bullying civil servants. Raab, of course, was also Johnson’s deputy. Later in the administration’s history, Johnson selected as Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi, who has now been sacked for concealing his multimillion-pound fine by the taxation authorities.

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Also, of course, there is the £60 billion black hole in the government funds they are now demanding we pay; how much of that money went to Tory cronies in the PPE and Covid-19 testing VIP scandals? Scandals where over-priced, unusable PPE was sourced from previously inexperienced and obscure companies (and we are now paying out still more millions for its destruction!)

So blatant was this siphoning off of taxpayers’ money that even the Tories have got cold feet. On 19 December 2022 it emerged that the government would sue PPE Medpro for £122 million plus costs. The government said medical gowns supplied by the company “did not comply with the specification in the contract” and could not be used in the NHS. This was a company championed by Tory Baroness Mone.

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Corruption and bullying now seem endemic in the Tory party. So much so that the ubiquitous Jacob Rees-Mogg states that people who complain about bullying are “snowflakes” – seeming to confirm that bullying is an integral part of the toxic culture of the Tory Party.

That toxic environment prevalent within the Boris Johnson-led Tory party still contaminates the government and the parliamentary party to this day.

Andrew Milroy

I AGREE that Neale Hanvey’s speech in Westminster was a calm and well-reasoned argument for the independence cause. All to often the messages put out by independence-minded MPs are portrayed as petty and pointless by the media.

I previously presented in these pages my opinion on what a majority should be. A referendum under a Section 30 order would require 50% +1 of votes to win, however, a GB first-past-the-post General Election requires 50% +1 of constituencies to win. Considering that at the last three General Elections the SNP well exceeded 50% of Scottish constituencies, there would be a real possibility of a majority of constituencies for independence itself.

This may be a flippant point, but the last time an outright majority of Scottish constituencies and votes was not 100 years ago but 68 years ago at the 1955 General Election, when the Tories had a majority of Scottish constituencies and Scottish votes.

Alex Kerr

AS a long-time supporter of independence I am desperately trying to remind Scots of the target of the SNP, in case they have forgotten. They may have forgotten, since Neale Hanvey was virtually insulted by the party in Westminster in his valiant attempt to bring forceful and relevant argument to the cause of “self-determination” in his bill, which has been well pointed out by Leah Gunn Barrett in Sunday’s National and by Charlie Kerr on Monday.

We need EVERY independence operator!

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I am becoming despondent as I see the splitting of the independence movement by individuals who know better, or by the now big deflection of sexual confusion now writ large thanks to the contribution by BBC Question Time informing us that

this is the big issue for Scotland and her parliament.

It is not. The big issue is the destruction economically, financially and morally of our country by the Tory government and their cabal, which will not grant independence without extreme measures.

We must gain independence with dignity and a little help from our friends!

Doug Drever

IN answer to Andy Anderson on what is wrong with the Scotland (Self-Determination) Bill (Letters, Feb 6). In his speech to parliament Neale Hanvey summarised his bill as follows: “The effect of this Bill should be uncontroversial for every Member. It merely establishes in law an equivalent mechanism to the principle, already conceded by the UK Government in relation to a border poll in Northern Ireland, that no such referendum may be held sooner than seven years after any previously mandated referendum.”

That mechanism has not yet led to a referendum in Northern Ireland, there is no time bar on Scottish referendums at present and the decision on holding a referendum in Northern Ireland is made by the Secretary of State alone.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry