Published: June 10, 2019
THE worst Prime Minister in living memory? No, not Theresa May. It’s got to be David Cameron.
Born with two, not one, silver spoons in his mouth (his words not mine), his privileged background afforded him education at Eton and Oxford which nurtured his innate belief that he was to be a leader. Other than a few years as a PR consultant, he spent his time working his way up the Conservative Party organisation ultimately becoming its leader and our Prime Minister.
In office he constantly displayed breath-taking arrogance and supercilious disdain of others. He handsomely rewarded his cronies and cultivated a band of elite chums.
His legacy includes taking us into a disastrous war in Libya, committing huge payments annually (currently about £14 billion) to foreign aid and elevating Michelle Mone to the Lords!
However, it is Brexit which will define him. At a time when 99 per cent of the population did not give two hoots about our relationship with the EU he proposed an in-out referendum.He was told in advance by the EU that this was madness and dangerous. He ignored their warnings. All he wanted to do was to be seen as the man who sorted out the internal fighting about Europe within the Tory Party, nothing to do with what’s best for the country.
He put himself up front in the campaign and promised to deliver the result whatever the outcome, saying: “I’m not a quitter”. He quit within hours of losing. This left Theresa May and soon someone else to pick up his mess which has led to a deeply divided country and a Tory Party on the brink of extinction.
If Speaker Bercow can find some historic Act of Parliament which allows retrospective impeachment, he should use it.
Ian M Bill, Motherwell.
ON reading Michael Settle's summary of the main candidates involved in the present Tory leadership race, I was struck by the abject lack of leadership ability on display (“Rival Tory brands Raab a 'dictator'", The Herald, June 7).
Conservative Party members and representatives will choose Britain's next Prime Minister at what is now a most critical juncture in our history. Looking at this motley collection of careerist politicians in this light is disconcerting and depression-inducing in equal measure. An eclectic group of pathological liars, incompetents, inflated egos and opportunists do not fill one with confidence for our short or long term future.
Terrifyingly and incredulously, none of them appears to be a viable alternative to arguably the worst British Prime Minister in the last 200 years. The one trait they all seem to share is that they regard this country as an afterthought or an inconvenience and therefore hold Scotland and its inhabitants in complete contempt.
Whichever candidate eventually emerges as the victor in this Hobson's choice charade will make little or no difference to Scotland. We should find some succour in that we still have a leader who views nation above party and social justice above wealth and greed.
Many people, including myself, have been dubious about the merits of moving towards a second independence referendum in the immediate future. However, I am now convinced that since 2014 there has been a material change in circumstances that will affect our future economic, social and political life. Scottish independence may now provide our only hope of a stable, outward-looking and socially equitable nation for our children and our grandchildren. The alternative, it is increasingly evident, is a dystopian future where truth, justice and inclusion become victims of intolerant doctrines and populism.
Owen Kelly, Stirling.
IAIN Macwhirter is, as usual, probably accurate in predicting the outcome of the Tory leadership context ("Brace yourself, we are in for a Trump-Johnson double act”, The Herald, June 5). He is also probably accurate in his analysis of the phenomenon that underlies this awful state of affairs.
The opportunity offered by the ballot box to put up two fingers to some perceived “metropolitan elite” seems unmissable to many voters. The same has often been claimed by ardent Leave voters, saying that by
voting leave, they were somehow going to remove the malign effect on their lives they believe is exercised by this mythical elite. Yet the result of both contests is demonstrably the exact opposite. Voting to leave the EU and indirectly causing the election of a dishonest, self-serving personage like Boris Johnson serves only to further entrench the position of the real elite. These are the tax-avoiding billionaires, exploitative employers and climate-change deniers who bankroll the Tory and Brexit parties to ensure that their privileged position remains secure.
In no way has either vote challenged this group. When a real opportunity to provide a challenge was offered by the now-defunct Change UK, voters studiously ignored it and followed the baying headlines of the tabloid press towards their own further disadvantage.
We can only hope that more common sense continues to be shown by voters in Scotland.
Dr RM Morris, Ellon.
THE Peterborough by-election result may well be a bellwether for the next general election. Labour vote share was down by 17 per cent. But with the parties occupying the centre and right in total disarray over Brexit – and the steady hard core of the Labour left being out in force presumably – Labour held the seat. This kind of result could be repeated in dozens if not hundreds of constituencies throughout the UK.
It reflects very much the case in Scotland, where those voting for parties opposed to nationalism outnumber the SNP in many seats, but cancel each other out.
If the thought of Jeremy Corbyn as UK Prime Minister – even by default – does not send shivers down your spine, then it should.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.
SO the result of the Peterborough by-election was, according to Jeremy Corbyn "an incredible result for the politics of hope".
The turnout was 48 per cent and Labour received 31 per cent of the vote so in reality of a 72, 000 electorate only 10,400 voted Labour, which as a percentage is approx 15 per cent. In spite of these abysmally low, pathetic stats, I have read on the internet and heard on radio discussions, politicians hailing the democratic process, the will of the people and other such nonsense whilst at the same time making outrageous statements claiming the result confirms the way the country in general is heading.
In Australia recently they had a General Election with a near 99 per cent turnout, the result of which can legitimately claimed to be the democratic will of the people. Of course in Australia voting is compulsory and until it is the same here we will continue alluding ourselves that our system is democratic and produces a result that everyone can respect.
The law needs to recognise that voting should not be an option like which TV station to watch, but is a duty the electorate must participate in, either in person or by post with the safeguard that it's permissible to spoil your ballot.
James Martin, Bearsden.