STEPHEN Kerr was MP for Stirling from 2017-2019, a fact that I continue to find difficult to comprehend or accept. As one of his unfortunate constituents, I regarded him as a bungling blowhard, an empty political vessel, a fatuous mediocrity. However, with his latest puerile attack on the First Minister, he has, if such a thing is possible, fallen in my estimation,not only of his abilities but of his moral compass.

READ MORE: Tory MSP called out for 'nasty' tweet about Humza Yousaf

Humza Yousaf and his family have endured inconceivable human suffering and distress, and the First Minister’s plea for a ceasefire in the current Middle East tragedy is not only a truly compassionate response but one that most people with a modicum of empathy and humanitarianism would applaud. Mr Kerr, however, has obviously been blinded to the tribulations of ordinary people on both sides of the current conflict by his determination to slavishly follow his and his own party’s primeval instincts and agenda, in his case to try and score petty and parochial political party points at the expense of a leader who has been a moral beacon for those who sincerely wish to see an end to the carnage in Gaza and an end to the deaths of innocent people.

Stephen Kerr is doubtless content to follow his Westminster leader and Home Secretary’s lead when it comes to moral cowardice, ethical apathy and the politics of the gutter.

A recent poll amongst Tory members showed a large majority in favour of welcoming the serpentine, Trump-supporting Nigel Farage back into the Tory fold. The former Ukip and Reform UK leader has never hidden his links with far-right groups and his xenophobic views were well to the fore during his campaign for Brexit in 2016. His overt racism, libertarian economic views and antipathy to multiculturalism once placed him on the lunatic fringes of UK political life. Today he’s firmly positioned in the Conservative mainstream and a realistic contender for the leadership.

Plainly MSPs like Stephen Kerr and his deferential colleagues would welcome such a scenario. God help us.

Owen Kelly

SCOTS of all political persuasions were relived and warm-hearted to see Humza Yousaf’s family return safely home after a harrowing ordeal in Gaza.

While pundits have previously questioned the First Minister’s leadership abilities, Yousaf has been a self-assured statesman on the world stage when discussing the conflict in Gaza.

The same can’t be said of Sunak, Sarwar and Starmer.

READ MORE: SNP hit back at Stephen Kerr after 'shocking' post about Humza Yousaf

Yet, with pantomime season just round the corner, Holyrood’s self appointed arch-villain, Stephen Kerr, attempted to land a performative cheap shot on the SNP leader to rapturous applause from his right-wing audience. Kerr claimed it was not Yousaf’s job to call for the killing of innocent men, women and children to stop.

Thank goodness it’s curtains for this heartless, nasty Tory party at the next election. Where’s your dignity and humanity, Stephen Kerr? It’s behind you!

Eric Black
via email

HEARING a lot about the tourist tax last weekend, I was reminded of my astonishment when reading on October 24 that industry chiefs are trying to sell us the lie that tourists will be put off visiting Edinburgh because of it (New tourist tax under scrutiny as Edinburgh’s festivals seek exemption,

There is absolutely no basis for this whatsoever and it appears to be motivated purely by self-interest. We know that this is not true purely by looking to the continent.

Amsterdam: 7% plus €3 a night. Visitors in 2022: 17 million. Barcelona introduced a tourist tax in 2012, a year when more than seven million visited. Last year,

more than nine million tourists stayed in the city’s hotels. Lisbon, Rome, Florence and Berlin all increased visitor numbers after introducing their tourist tax. The list goes on.

These industry chiefs who try to sell us the lie that people will be put off visiting Edinburgh because of this must think the public are fools. Edinburgh’s tourism numbers will continue to increase year on year, and it is only fair that the city is compensated fairly for the strain on infrastructure. Don’t listen to the scaremongering. Edinburgh should proceed with the implementation of the tourist tax.

Tim Jones

THE capital always welcomes tourists.

Some visitors, however, apparently arrive quite by accident.

En route to somewhere called Add n’ Borrow?

Seemingly they’re on a quest to find a “Hairy Paddur?”

Me neither.


Seems they overheard some Jaikie howling?

Ah! now ... wrong city maybe?

John Rutherford
Kelty, Fife