WINIFRED McCartney’s succinct and accurate appraisal of President Trump’s narcissistic and reckless showboating after his positive coronavirus diagnosis demonstrates clearly the approach of populist leaders to this unprecedented crisis they find themselves in (Letters, October 6).
Contradictory and confused messaging has ironically been the consistent picture in countries that are led by self proclaimed strong, authoritarian males such as Modi in India, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Trump in the USA and even Johnson in the UK.
The onset and continuation of the virus has revealed them as patently unfit for leadership, signally lacking in empathy or compassion and unable or unwilling to act in the best interests of the vast majority of the people they purport to lead.
READ MORE: Which part of ‘highly infectious’ does Donald Trump not understand?
On the other hand, the unchartered waters we now sail in have transparently displayed those leaders who are genuinely caring, measured and intelligible on a regular basis and whose style reinforces rather than hampers democratic discussion and debate. The First Minister of Scotland’s leadership credentials have been fortified by her robust yet empathetic response to the virus. Not for her the boasting of shaking hands with infected patients or the vainglorious removal of a mask. Ms Sturgeon is not interested in being viewed as a sawdust Mussolini. Her priorities are keeping the people of Scotland as safe and secure as is possible during this uncertain and very difficult period in our history.
Political theatre that seeks to deliberately baffle the population about the seriousness and crucial nature of public health messages for political gain is truly beyond contempt. Messrs Trump, Johnson and co will doubtless continue in this vein for the foreseeable future amidst rising infection rates and deaths.
We should be proud that our First Minister, though far from perfect, will carry on doing her best for the people of Scotland irrespective of belief or political hue.
MS Lynne Wood (Letters, October 4) implores me with the enthusiasm of an impassioned football supporter not to publicly comment further on the sad decline of SNP internal democracy, despite the fact I was only referencing Kevin McKenna’s earlier feature on the same issue.
Mr McKenna has raised this matter previously, as have at certain times both George Kerevan and Lesley Riddoch. The fact that two SNP councillors (in Stirling and Dumfries and Galloway) have recently left the party citing lack of internal debate makes this a concern for the whole Yes movement, so yes, I will continue to comment on it. That is my right in a free society.
READ MORE: The SNP isn’t perfect – but broadcasting negativity won’t help campaign
As with all fans on the terraces, Ms Wood generates a lot of rhetorical heat but no light, because she only sees a criticism of the team’s star players as people, which I never made, and seems not to wish to shed a light on the failure of the team’s strategy and tactics.
Had there been robust discussion of the merits of the proposed Hate Crime Bill, both within the SNP as a party and the SNP government, I am convinced that poorly drafted legislation of a kind which has uniquely united both the Catholic Church and the National Secular Society in opposition would never have emerged.
It is this kind of political naivety which is damaging the independence cause, not any actions of mine.
No one, certainly not me, wishes to take away from the SNP the recognition it deserves for keeping alive over decades the flame of independence, which was nearly extinguished at times. Ms Wood should recognise the priority in 2021 has to be a majority of pro-indy MSPs of all political colours, who will win an independence majority and actually have the courage to act on it.
Cllr Andy Doig (Independent)Renfrewshire Council
I WAS pleased to read George Kerevan’s comments on Monday (Margaret Ferrier put other people in danger but this is why I feel for her, October 5).
While not condoning her conduct, it was evident that she was only doing her job, and George’s picture of life as an SNP Member of Parliament in London is not a salubrious one.
In 1974, when I was an SNP candidate, we visited the SNP group of seven in Westminster while on holiday, and my wife said to me: “I don’t want to see you in this place”. Fat chance anyway, but it was the only road open for independence at that time.
READ MORE: George Kerevan: Margaret Ferrier’s Covid trip was terrible, but here’s why I still feel for her
Also, when Michelle Thomson was suspended from the SNP while being investigated over her financial affairs, she did not resign, but continued to hold surgeries in Edinburgh West until the next General Election; she was never charged. In contrast, Ruth Davidson, the Leader of the Tory Group, did not hold surgeries at all – probably too busy being a part time sodger.
I often say “People are imperfect, but some are more imperfect than others”. I do not believe Margaret Ferrier should resign and thus make her staff unemployed.
I DON’T know Margaret Ferrier so there is no personal agenda. I am also no jackal.
By referring her flawed judgements in the matter of a Covid test to the police and parliamentary authorities, she acknowledges her errors. I believe she was critical of Dominic Cummings for similar non-consideration of rules and of other people, although I believe his travels did not involve public transport, and I believe her resignation is appropriate.
READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: SNP have thrown Margaret Ferrier out to the wolves
Kevin McKenna’s shameless exploitation of her demise strikes me as a convenient vehicle for him to take shots at a number of people in the SNP in what looks a lot like a sign up with others engaged in an exercise of the undermining kind (SNP have thrown someone not in their inner circle out to the wolves, October 7). There is nothing “kinder” in his conduct. He has his own agenda and jumps on the back of Ms Ferrier to further it.