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Readers’ letters: Tory leadership, wind farms and A96

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Picture by Press Association
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Picture by Press Association

Sir, – I watched PMQs on July 20 with mixed emotions. Not that anything of consequence ever emanates from the event – but just because it will be the last opportunity to see Boris Johnson, orator and showman supreme (politician purposefully excluded) deal with the arrows fired from the opposition benches.

As the big 90 appears ever brighter on my life meter, I observe not any more with great political interest, but simply for the theatre of the exchanges.

While the acrimonious barbs are delivered from papers held in shaking hands he replies, often with quotes, some memorable, many forgettable, with elbow at the despatch box, papers in disarray.

His successor, Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss, will undoubtably be more honest politicians but I cannot envisage their exchanges with Sir Keir Starmer, Sir Ed Davey and Scotland’s weekly embarrassment Ian Blackford without the word “boring” flashing through my mind.

In truth, Johnson – who never had the gravitas required for the role of PM – leaves with Brexit as his legacy and it is huge; whether for good or ill only time will tell.

He idolised Churchill but really was more a Disraeli or Lloyd George.

“Hasta la vista, baby,” was his final goodbye.

On a similar theme it should have been “beam me up, Scotty, my time in politics is over”.

Ivan W Reid, Kirkburn, Laurencekirk.

Sunak looks better choice

Sir, – Boris Johnson’s final PMQs made enjoyable viewing. Quite a character, he brought a bit of life to the proceedings and will be a hard act to follow.

Amid all the farewell speeches, Ian Blackford’s stood out for its viciousness so presumably he himself is in the happy position of being squeaky clean politically, and the SNP with him.

His constant ranting about Scottish independence is a total embarrassment.

I see there are two hopefuls for Johnson’s job, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

Ms Truss seems to know a thing or two about cheese but beyond that who can say? On that basis Mr Sunak might well be the better choice!

Keith Fernie, Drakies Avenue, Inverness.

Truss can be trusted as PM

Sir, – In a matter of weeks the membership of the Conservative Party will choose a new prime minister.

I know Liz Truss. I’ve worked alongside her. I have seen at first hand how she turns her ideas into actions. I’ve seen that she doesn’t give in to Whitehall officialdom but delivers change.

She’s not afraid to take tough decisions and when I hosted her in Aberdeen as chief secretary to the Treasury in 2018 she had a firm grip on the nation’s finances.

Liz wasn’t born into the Conservative Party, she chose it. Her personal story highlights the strength of our United Kingdom, being able to live and work in any part of it without needing a passport or special papers.

Born in Oxford, brought up in Paisley, Liz more than most understands the value of the Union, that we are stronger when we work together and how to make the positive case for the benefits of Scotland remaining in the UK.

Before entering politics Liz worked for Shell. She knows how vitally important the energy industry is to the north-east. She is acutely aware of how intrinsically linked the industry is to our daily lives in Aberdeen.

Where former chancellor Rishi Sunak refused to listen to the concerns of Scottish Conservative MPs and ploughed on with his damaging windfall tax, Liz has said she will review this tax as part of her plan to turbocharge the economy.

She believes in freedom, aspiration and Conservative values. She will govern as a Conservative. She’s ready to take on the tough job of prime minister and is trusted to deliver for families, businesses and communities across Scotland.

With a general election in 2024 we don’t have a moment to lose and that’s why I’m backing Liz Truss for leader and I urge other members across Scotland to do likewise.

Ross Thomson, Former MP for Aberdeen South.

The bookies are rarely wrong

Sir, – The Tory leadership debates revealed little, except for the candidates’ obvious disillusionment with the political system where they openly attacked the record of their own governing party.

Now the final two candidates, the slick professional Rishi Sunak and the slightly questionable Liz Truss, will strut their stuff around England for the next month, including a quick dash into Scotland. Rishi is by far the more reliable and qualified person, although he appears to think Darlington is in Scotland; while the faux pas-ridden Liz seems uncertain where the Black Sea is in Europe.

With both trying to emulate Thatcher (difficult for Rishi), the fact remains that only the Tory membership – mostly elderly, white and male – will decide who leads this broken Brexit Britain.

However it is slightly ominous that Liz Truss is the bookies’ favourite and they are seldom wrong.

Grant Frazer, Cruachan, Newtonmore.

Lovelock backed nuclear power

Sir, – It was most interesting to see renowned independent scientist and deep thinker James Lovelock pictured in the letters page.

He was quick to realise windfarms do not address global warming, stating: “Windfarms won’t cut it at all.”

When asked to open the windfarm at Delabole in Cornwall, he said afterwards: “At that time nobody was talking about a gigantic programme, getting 15 or 20% of the country’s energy from wind turbines. It was a kind of nice green gesture. I think, now that I know as much as I do, I wouldn’t have touched it with a bargepole.”

As a lifelong environmentalist he was also a strong supporter of “pragmatic” nations, such as France, Finland, Sweden, Japan and China, who are embracing nuclear power as the most viable and safe source of energy.

Before any more of our finest landscapes and pristine seascapes are destroyed, let’s hope our deluded politicians see the sense – and the science.

George Herraghty, Lhanbryde, Moray.

A96 dangers are Bear concern

Sir, – Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has written to police, Moray Council and Transport Scotland regarding road safety concerns on the A96 at Brodie.

Bear Scotland Ltd are paid by Transport Scotland to oversee road safety on north-east trunk roads, including this section of the A96.

Why is Mr Lochhead not directing these concerns towards them? Is he unaware of their responsibilities or has he just lost faith in them?

Peter Geddes, Mid Street, Keith.

SNP will remain silent on its record

Sir, – I am confused, are we to have a referendum, or a consultative vote?

Either way it would appear the Supreme Court will give a verdict on its legality.

If they rule in the negative then the next general election will be a de facto vote on independence. So says Nicola Sturgeon.

In which event, will she be campaigning on her government’s record?

I think not. The campaign will be silent on that issue and will make a lot of noise about democracy and the EU.

In which case people should ask themselves which gives Scotland the louder voice: six MEPs out of 700, or 59 MPs out of 650?

Mike Salter, Glassel, Banchory.

End of road for SNP Indy bid?

Sir, – The Supreme court are to rule on the issue of another Scottish referendum in October 2022 and finally settle this matter and end the grim prospect of Scotland being torn apart by the issue.

Nicola Sturgeon as a lawyer knows that the Supreme court are likely to decide that a referendum on independence is clearly a reserved matter and Scotland does not have the power to hold a referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon, however, has backed herself into a desperate position with the SNP membership where she has to shape up or ship out over the matter…

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Bucksburn, Aberdeen.

M&S waste plan good idea

Sir, – Marks and Spencer’s are hoping to reduce food waste by removing ‘best before’ dates on vegetable and fruit products.

M&S want to encourage customers to use their own judgment on deciding when food is not suitable to eat.

Quite right! I’ve ignored these dates for years, preferring to use my six senses, an age-old technique, touch, hearing, sight, taste and smell.

Otherwise known as a nose!

T Shirron, Davidson Drive, Aberdeen.