Readers’ Letters: If politics doesn’t work, go abroad to get rich

With his hopes of being a future prime minister sunk, Mr Sunak’s next job could easily be in New York, Frankfurt, Basel or even New Delhi. He can leave behind the £400 billion that he has added to take our already crippling national debt to £2.3 trillion. Most of the rest of us will be stuck with this vast interest bearing burden for generations.

Former Labor minister and global warming fanatic David Miliband left politics and then went off to New York to be CEO of an international humanitarian aid organisation. Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg went off to California and a senior position at Facebook.

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One is left with a gut feeling that our leading politicians have more of a commitment to Davos and the World Economic Forum, than they actually have to our country. All too many of them seem to view Britain as merely a useful venue for the advancement of their careers, which perhaps explains why they have been consistently unwilling to control immigration.

Former British Labor Party politician David Miliband is now CEO of the International Rescue Committee

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife

Another day, another Tory scandal. But Douglas Ross, once such a vehement critic of Boris Johnson, now thinks he should not resign about Partygate or any of the other scandals perpetrated by his party. Not so long ago he was demanding quite the opposite. Irrespective of Mr Ross’s lack of integrity or judgement, in Scotland support for Johnson is tantamount to electoral suicide. Maybe Douglas Ross is just becoming tired of commuting to London every week?

Douglas Ross is entirely wrong in suggesting that Vladimir Putin would be aided by Boris Johnson’s resignation. A key part of what keeps Putin in power is the presentation of the democratic west as decadent and corrupt. It suits Putin perfectly to have a demonstrably dishonest democratically elected leader who has not only broken his own lockdown laws, but also the ministerial code he himself introduced, so publicly supporting Ukraine.

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Douglas Ross defends controversial UK plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda

It is now clear that Boris Johnson broke the rules he made while everyone else was following them. It is clear that he misled the House of Commons when he said “there was no party and no Covid rules were broken” and when he said “all guidance was followed completely within Number 10”. It is clear that he broke the parliamentary ministerial code which states that ministers, including the Prime Minister, should act with integrity, transparency and honesty.

Boris Johnson assured the House of Commons and his own party that he had done nothing wrong. He has repeatedly told the country he had done nothing wrong. But Boris Johnson has become the first prime minister to be found to have broken the law while in office.

Boris Johnson is the main charlatan leading a cabinet of charlatans. And instead of getting rid of him his colleagues from him squirm and wriggle and obfuscate and employ sophistry to excuse what he has done. It was painful to hear the false reasoning and feeble excuses being sprayed all over the usual media outlets in an attempt to shore up Johnson.

“He has fully apologized for his conduct and paid the fixed penalty.” As if that makes it all better.

“I have taken full responsibility.” How have you done that precisely?

“He didn’t set out willingly to break the rules.” Try that in court. “I’m sorry for driving recklessly but I didn’t set out to break the law deliberately.”

When will people wake up and stop voting for this egregious, selfish Tory party and its controlling band of charlatans?

Partygate is probably a golden opportunity for Boris Johnson’s opponents to finally take revenge for what they might see as his actual crime: Brexit. For Ms Sturgeon it will be his stonewalling on Scexit.

Two months ago this issue was solely about the UK. But like it or not, now Mr Johnson and his government have an indispensable role in an international alliance supporting Ukraine and, by implication, also safe-guarding our security. Yet his opponents of him maintain that his instant replacement and leadership upheaval of him wo n’t harm the cause. One wonders whether Britain’s partners see it the same way.

Of course there should be a reckoning for everyone who has broken Covid laws, including the PM. Inevitably, his reckoning with him will come at the next elections. There is a fair chance that voters will gift Mr Johnson’s enemies with the revenge they crave which, as the old adage goes, is best served cold.

Regina Erich, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant’s attempt to exonerate Boris Johnson for attending a gathering in violation of coronavirus rules has offended teachers and nurses across the country (your report, 14 April).

I understand their anger. I spent 20 years working as a psychiatric nurse, and I can assure Mr Fabricant that, had my colleagues and I gone to the staff room for a “quiet drink” at the end of a “very long shift’, we would have been severely disciplined by management for drinking alcohol on the ward, and rightly so.

Had we had this soirée in the middle of a pandemic, we would have lost all credibility, and been struck off the nursing register.

When the Prime Minister of a country violates rules which are intended to save lives, rules which the general public are expected to follow, his position becomes untenable. If he genuinely believed that he was innocent, we should be worried.

Carolyn Taylor, Broughty Ferry, Dundee

While not agreeing that Boris Johnson should resign forthwith, I perceive an upside should he do so. Whatever Boris does, our dear leader habitually does the same a month or so later.David Hollingdale, Edinburgh

World Bank data for Scotland’s similar-size neighbors shows that they are thriving. GDP per person in Denmark is $60,230 and in Ireland $93,181 – compared with just $46,482 for the UK. Both these “little” countries have smaller land/maritime areas and natural resource bases than Scotland and yet are reported by the World Bank as significantly more prosperous and economically successful than the UK. And in Ireland’s case, its per capita GDP is more than double that of the UK’s!

This fact emphasizes the lie that Scots are daily fed about their country’s wealth, via the UK media and annual government GERS accounting, in which Scotland as a GB region pays for “national” projects irrespective of whether we benefit from them or not, eg the HS2 rail project (Phase 1 Budget £45 billion), Kent’s Hinkley Point nuclear power station (estimated cost £23bn), London’s CrossRail (est. cost £19bn) and the operational cost for Clyde-based Trident nuclear missile submarines (currently at £ 2.4bn annually and rising).

GERS confirms that Scotland is impoverished by its status as a GB region. World Bank data shows that nations with territories, populations and natural resources smaller than Scotland’s prosper when independent. The “broad shoulders” of the UK only isolate and exploit Scotland; there is no “union dividend” from: the lowest state pension in Europe (Irish pensioners receive £210 per week compared with the UK’s £185 per week); the absence of any UK national oil fund for our future (Norway’s oil fund is currently $1.3 trillion – that’s $0.25 million for every Norwegian citizen); loss of access by Scots businesses, families and students into the world largest market – from a Brexit rejected by 62 per cent of Scots; penalizing Scottish energy generators under the new UK Energy Strategy, with much higher UK grid access costs than their counterparts in England.

There are no benefits to Scotland from our membership of the British union. Scotland (population 5.3 million) may just about survive its miserable existence as a neglected GB region, but it will never flourish. That much is obvious from the success of our peers and near neighbours, Denmark (population 5.8m), Norway (5.3m) and Ireland (4.9m).

Wake up Scotland – you’re being made a complete fool of.

D Jamieson, Dunbar, East Lothian

Referring to letter from WB Campbell (13 April), I recall over 20 years ago my good friend Lyndon Evans, who was project leader for the Large Hadron Collider built at CERN Geneva, telling me, a complete layman, that nothing was presently available to replace the sheer quantity of energy produced by nuclear power. It would appear not much has changed in the intervening years and Scotland should be wary of that.

I cannot be alone in wishing that the elected council would just focus on pledges they might just be capable of fulfilling, such as road repair and maintenance, and forget grandiose capital projects for which their track record proves they have little expertise – except their consistent ability to overspend.

Derek Stevenson, Edinburgh

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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