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Readers’ letters: Lying PM should take lessons in decency from Her Majesty

Photo by Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
Photo by Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire

Sir, – The “Unseen Queen” on BBC showed HRH dedicated to duty and decency, inherent in the UK consensual unwritten constitution.

It seems she has removed her own children from favour in support of decency.

A stark contrast to the PM who serves neither nation nor anybody but himself.

Before and after the Sue Gray report, UK consensus agrees that the PM lied about the No 10 culture “Covid rules do not apply to us at our level”, whilst our friends died alone.

The Institute for Government, a respected unaligned charity, refutes the PM response to Sue Gray. Only dogma-driven people akin to Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group (sounds innocuous but seems toxic) question Sue Gray.

UK’s voluntary democracy hangs on acceptance of normal decency and laws, as HRH showed in her role as supreme arbiter at her husband’s funeral.

If a PM does not promote, indeed tolerates in No 10 the abuse of the same laws applied to the nation, then our basic constitution and democracy is corroded.

I understand the fears of Conservative MPs about re-election prospects, but if you continue to support a PM now seen as “a serial liar” on all satirical TV programmes and most analytical newscasts, then your political future may be short?

Democracies cannot survive serial lying, as the 1930s attest.

Mike Hannan, Cults, Aberdeen.

No red faces with dementia

Sir, – I am writing in regard to your article on a dementia-led people’s panel for the Scottish Government.

I would heartily recommend anyone with dementia to join. I find the north-east is under-represented at meetings and therefore it is harder to receive the funds and other help that is our right.

The process will be easy, and people with dementia just “get it” so we never feel embarrassed if we make a mistake in a meeting etc.

Martin Robertson, St Olave Place, Cruden Bay.

No boss keeping Boris in line

Sir, – As someone who delivers groceries around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire I am glad that whether or not I face disciplinary action for my conduct as a driver is not the responsibility of backbench Tory MPs like my representative David Duguid MP.

When you deliver groceries you get to meet a range of people from different backgrounds and different political persuasions and I think I can safely say that my politics is completely different from the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Peterhead South and Cruden I was delivering groceries to recently, but who was not elected.

However, regardless of political banner you have to respect all local council candidates who were brave enough to stand. It’s a pity I get paid more to deliver groceries than local councillors get to represent me on Aberdeenshire Council.

It may not be about money but there is a bit of a problem if your local councillor gets paid less than folk that work in a supermarket.

While auditors or indeed managers who discipline their employees may not be the most popular people most folk understand they have a job to do which actually is, however unpopular or hard, to benefit their employee or department ultimately.

It is just a pity that backbench Conservative MPs do not want to benefit their own party and take action against the prime minister.

Peter Ovenstone, Orchard Grove, Peterhead.

Financial future is far from rosy

Sir, – Ron Campbell’s take on my letter (May 26) perhaps misses the point I was trying to make on his earlier letter.

His understanding of the differences between trade and service incomes has been applied in a rather partisan judgment that indicates a limited understanding.

This is perhaps best seen against a briefing paper issued on December 10 2020 by the House of Commons Library on UK Trade, 1948-2019: Statistics.

World trade has changed quite significantly in modern times and the old concepts need to be updated.

Trade in “goods” have significantly declined whilst trade in “services” have steadily increased.

As highlighted in The Press and Journal, the finance secretary is reported to have said: “Scotland faces a very difficult financial position over the next few years amid rising tax warnings from leading economists.”

It would appear that Ron Campbell and Kate Forbes have a rather rose-tinted view of Scotland’s economic future with significant budget shortfalls in living well beyond their means.

Thank goodness for Barnett and service incomes without which we would be well and truly up the creek without a paddle.

David Philip, Knockhall Way, Newburgh.

Extreme weather is not a myth

Sir, – I note that Clark Cross’s latest climate-related letter (Press and Journal, May 23) refers to a “review of weather data” published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the founding chairman of which is ex-Conservative chancellor, Nigel Lawson.

Your other correspondent, Kathleen Simpson (May 27), accurately describes GWPF, which has no climate scientist on its board, as “a lobbying group for climate change deniers”.

Readers looking for more authoritative information may wish instead to consult the “State of the UK Climate 2020”, published by the Met Office.

Far from Mr Cross’s claim that the GWPF publication shows that “UK weather trends have changed very little in recent decades” and “have become less extreme”, the Met Office review includes the following information:

  • The most recent decade (2011–2020) has been on average 0.5°C warmer than the 1981–2010 average and 1.1°C warmer than 1961–1990.
  • For the most recent decade (2011–2020) UK summers have been on average 15% wetter than 1981–2010 and 17% wetter than 1961–1990. UK winters have been 11%/19% wetter.
  • October 3, 2020, and February 15, 2020, were two of the three wettest days on record UK-wide in over 47,000  days from 1891.
  • In early August 2020, southern England experienced one of the most significant heatwaves of the last 60  years with a succession of days exceeding 34°C and “tropical” nights exceeding 20°C.

Roy Turnbull, Torniscar, Nethy Bridge.

Ministers need more skills

Sir, – In Friday’s P&J, Scotland’s transport minister is quoted as saying “I don’t drive the trains”.

Is this perhaps the reason for her apparent lack of success in providing a rail service for Scotland?

Perusal of the first minister’s favourites, i.e. those selected to be her ministers, shows little or no experience in their particular ministerial appointments.

We have over the years seen those selected to run or manage particular elements of the functions devolved to the Scottish Government, fail to achieve what they should.

To cite some examples: shipbuilding, Prestwick Airport, railways and education.

We were promised that once a failed or failing enterprise was taken into Scot Gov hands, with the skill (?), expertise (?) or experience (?) of the appropriate minister, the business would be turned round and thrive for evermore, to the benefit of the Scottish nation as a whole.


It does not seem that way where I am sitting. Perhaps selection of FM Sturgeon’s ministers might be better if they were selected on actual proven skills in the regime they were put in charge of.

A degree in politics, for example, followed by an election win due to a voting system that passes votes from lesser candidates to the ultimate victor appears not to be a tremendous success, but Holyrood ministers need not worry if they cannot run a railway – they just get another post at the next Cabinet shuffle.

Alastair Armitstead, Achiltibuie, Ross-shire.