Letters: Sunak and Truss, crazy for power, take the Scots for cups

Following the current Conservative Party leadership race with a distinctly macabre sense of dread and foreboding, as Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak clash and argue over who is Margaret Thatcher’s true heir, I really wonder what the real purpose of our so-called political leadership in the UK is.

While the SNP/Green-led Scottish government is – like most administrations around the world – far from perfect, there is at least some semblance of working on behalf of and in the best interests of communities across Scotland .

But watching the Sunak vs. Truss catfight, waged in a petty, bitter and divisive tone as the country slides deeper and deeper into peril, it seems the real issues seriously and negatively affecting ordinary Britons today barely deserve mention, much less serious analysis and debate.

On the very day that London burned down, and indeed since, none of the candidates have seriously explained how, if elected by a tiny minority unrepresentative of the British population, the existential threats of our times, such as the climate emergency and the cost of living crisis, to be tackled, with candidates preferring to bicker over taxation and who can crack down (such a favorite Conservative Party phrase) the hardest on desperate people fleeing starvation, persecution and conflict zones around the world.

Yet winning the Conservative ticket to lead the party – and perhaps even winning – the next general election remains central to the Conservative party’s ambitions, securing many more of the same empty promises and even more draconian, populist political dogma and rhetoric. .

But, it seems, to hell with the electorate’s anxieties over soaring food banks, the social care and NHS crisis, soaring fuel prices, spiraling energy bills boom, the extraordinary and rising inflation, all the catastrophic end product inflicted on the country after a dozen years, and counting, of a ruinous, self-interested and unscrupulous Conservative government.

And that’s not to mention the glaring error of judgment that was and continues to be Brexit; the Conservatives even try to convince us that it is a resounding success.

So we Brits and Scots, who ultimately pay directly or indirectly for the entire government firmament, are treated like gullible lackeys, patsies and mugs.

The more we deceive; Whatever your opinion on the constitutional question, surely we Scots must, for the good of our country, act to prevent another term of office of the same old ineptitude, lies and blatant political self-interest.

Mike Wilson, Longniddry.


I don’t know how the Margaret Thatcher tribute act of Liz Truss preening (even to the point of driving a tank or wearing a Russian fur hat in Red Square), will survive the intense media scrutiny of the summer. How would she survive a grilling from Andrew Neil? Would she face Holly Willoughby?

The unfortunate visit to Moscow, which made Sergei Lavrov laugh (our media, kindly, did not explain it, but the European media mocked her mercilessly), showed how meaningless it is. She did not know that Rostov was part of Russia and she confused the Baltic and the Black Sea.

Mrs. Truss has long been known as a chameleon. At the LibDem conference in 1994, Paddy Ashdown said his party was finished if his motion to abolish the monarchy passed. He was relieved when she quit. Today she touts Global Britain, but in 2016 she said: ‘If you want an outward-looking, internationally-minded country, vote Remain.’

Throughout the leadership race, she repeatedly asked us to review the trade deals she brokered. Yes, let’s look. The Brexiteers guaranteed that we would get a free trade agreement with the United States. It was to reassure us that leaving the most successful economic bloc on the planet would not cut us off from the world. President Joe Biden will not endorse it as Brexit holds the Good Friday Agreement hostage. In the meantime, we have lost £20 billion in exports to the EU.

As Minister of Trade and then Foreign Affairs, she dishonestly announced continuity agreements as trade agreements, for example Canada in March 2021. Ottawa still won’t let us export cheese because the EU has fulfilled this quota. There was even a suggestion, after the United States pulled the rug out from under it, that we might join the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but the clue was in the name . What she doesn’t understand is that there are reasons why neighboring countries work together economically. We were part of a bloc of 500 million people.

Unfazed, she announced a trade deal with Japan. It was so much less than what we had, that the clip of Emily Thornberry pitching it to the Commons went viral. We could trade with Indonesia, Ms. Truss said, but the average GDP per capita is $4,000; Germany costs $46,000. What are they going to buy? Talk of trade with pro-Russian protectionist India became decidedly lukewarm when they wanted thousands of Indians into the UK. “Brexit is over,” she quotes the party mantra, but Northern Ireland will prove otherwise.

The reality is that, far from being global Britain, Mrs Truss has made us Little Britain.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing.


BRITAIN is facing a national emergency according to Rishi Sunak, possibly the next Prime Minister. He goes on to detail the crises in the economy, the NHS and illegal immigration.

Iain Macwhirter (“Conservatives will bomb if ‘human hand grenade’ becomes Prime Minister”, July 24) writes: “The Conservatives are falling. No government can survive inflation, industrial unrest, loss wages, interest rates and the chaos of Brexit. Governments are there to take the blame and, after 14 years, at the next election, it is almost their duty to lose”.

Sadly, he goes on to say: “Labour is just as devoid of economic policy as the Conservatives.

To compound our misery there is a petition which has already attracted thousands of signatures asking that the current occupant of No 10 remain in office.

Clark Cross (Letters, July 24) complains that genuine asylum seekers could have sought a better life in one of the 27 EU countries instead of arriving in the UK, marketed as the land of milk and honey.

Before they find out the truth, I wonder how many of us are tempted to meet them and greet them with “here are my car mate’s keys.” Can I borrow your canoe?

Alan Carmichael, Glasgow.


This could relieve Nicola Sturgeon if the Supreme Court rejects her independence plan. She’s hooked enough already.

Cases rather close to home seem to overwhelm the Scottish Government. Health issues are now “front and center”, or at least they should be. Nothing shows the utter complacency and incompetence of the SNP/Green alliance like the shocking new drug-related death statistics showing a paltry 1% drop in deaths despite the disgracefully high total of the previous year. What has the government done over the past year? Can he fix anything?

Angela Constance really can’t dodge this problem. She failed miserably. Nor can Ms. Sturgeon absolve herself of blame. The responsibility stops with her.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.


SINCE your article last month (“Alarm over new consultation to remove child protection services from councils”, 26 June) about how the proposed National Care Service will cut many services from local authorities, it there was a silence. Yet this legislation is potentially disastrous for welfare recipients.

What is needed for good quality adult social care is a work culture that provides adequate support to informal carers and strengthens the client’s social networks. This requires the timely contribution of specialists (GPs with significant responsibility) and paid staff who have the time and training to share relevant knowledge with other professionals and share care skills with family and friends . Organizational change will not lead to culture change.

Such a change will require adequate resources. This is not covered by the legislation, which envisages a commission model for the provision of services rather than direct provision. Commissioning will not ensure (in the absence of a Wage Board) adequate training, compensation and conditions for staff. It is likely that good employers, including many local authorities and non-profit organisations, will be unable to compete financially. The result, as in the case of residential care, will be extensive privatization of services as well as the loss of democratic accountability of local authorities.

There is also a problem with the Scottish Government‘s management capacity to manage major organizational changes. It has so far spent more than £500,000 bringing in private external consultants to develop a “business case and operating models” for a national care service. This could well pave the way for multi-million pound contracts for IT and data services.

It is to be hoped that at the very least the bill is limited to adult social care and that Holyrood considers alternatives to further privatization and centralization. The current proposals are at best a diversion and at worst will lead to a significant deterioration of services.

David Mumford, Dunbar.


I HAVE NOT visited Ecclefechan (affectionately known as The Fechan) in quite a while, but it clearly has potholes of epic proportions, as they are commented on all over Scotland.

Everywhere I go, I hear people asking, “When are they going to fill the potholes in Fechan?”

Like everyone else, I ask them: when those of Ecclefechan have been treated, could my route be the next?

Terry West, Dumfries.