THE cull of Unionist place persons in the branch parties has begun. Who is next for the “boot”? The London Tories have seen off Jackson Carlaw.

Richard Leonard in Labour has been fingered already by an unelected peer of the realm and a football commentator! Keir Starmer will not want to be seen wanting, so he will now probably want to play keepy-up with the PM. Will Richard Leonard fall on his sword for the good of the Union?

For the LibDems at head office, a new leader is about to be elected. Willie Rennie has overseen many failures already, so a new place person must be put in place?

The Union of GB and NI is in panic mode IN London. Never before have the Tories even admitted that there is “panic” in the ranks. The knee-jerk reaction is to cull the old lags and go into denial mode yet again.

READ MORE: Five of Jackson Carlaw's biggest blunders at First Minister's Questions

Their next step will be to “put the boot” into Scotland over the Border. They will aim to “jack-boot us” into submissive loyalty.
John Edgar

THE “faux outrage” – as Owen Kelly puts it in his letter of July 29 – of the Scottish Tories, bleating about the SNP selling Saltire facemasks, etc, is only to be expected when they are so desperate to blame the Scottish Government for something/anything/everything. But I had – naively perhaps – expected better from The Times’ Scottish columnist Alex Massie. He has commented on Scottish political affairs, reasonably even-handedly, for years, and while no fan of the SNP seemed willing to give it a fair shake.

Massie’s mask has now slipped though. In his July 28 column, he accuses us of: 1) conflating party with country (which is a bit rich coming from a Unionist), 2) considering ourselves “morally superior” to the right (um ... what’s the problem?), 3) “presuming themselves better than those with the temerity to disagree with them” (which would make us only human), 4) “appropriating the Saltire for the party” – see also 1. (Which flag would he have us fly? At least, and at last, it is almost 100% the correct, glorious, azure blue, the offensive dark navy being now confined to the Union flag and the quisling strips of the SRU and SFA), and 4) “the nationalist movement has yet to produce any artistic work of any great interest or value”! Unusually, words fail me ...well, maybe two: Hugh MacDiarmid?

This is a good sign. When – oxymoron alert – intelligent Tories such as Massie are reduced to this sort of puerile abuse we know they are rattled and we are winning. Sadly, he’s not done yet, descending to: “In aesthetic matters, modern Scottish nationalism rises to the level of kitsch on its better days.” Has the man never browsed pretentious gift shops flogging “royal” commemoration china (the word mugs springs to mind) and faux “country-life” tat at inflated prices? (Plum or puce coloured “tryzers” anyone..?).

Be wary of folk who “hate nationalism”. We all want to be world citizens, but this usually means they especially hate Scottish nationalism. They will tell you they “love Scotland”, but clearly they hate being Scottish. Tell them to check out Norway on its May 17 National Day, an outpouring of national pride, love of country and happiness unequalled anywhere. Tell them that may be connected with being independent, wealthy, with no unwanted nuclear weapons parked in a fjord, no child poverty or substandard housing, etc, etc. Tell them to read Andrew Fletcher’s valedictory speech to the Scottish Parliament in 1707. Tell them to bugger off.
David Roche

I NOTE that the English Government is to advertise for a Fake News Secretary. Please permit me to use your publication to make a very sound (in my view) suggestion to The Bozo.

The Cat In The Hat has recently shown a renewed interest in politics and he is already a well-established fabricator of facts. For those with long memories he is also a slightly known celebrity of sorts having appeared in the panto Big Brother, playing the part of Puss In Boots. I would suggest that he take up the role of Fake News Secretary on a pro-tem basis until November. I believe that after November 3 DJ Trump will have some time on his hands. As the most accomplished liar in

political history he could take up the role permanently, or at least until the Tory membership elects him as their party leader.

The beauty of this is that The Cat In The Hat could use the time between now and November to make himself known to the under-40 age group so that when the time comes he will be a well-recognised figure standing alongside Colonel Lord Ruth, Carlot, Leonard, Rennie and other assorted Scottish political nonentities in the Better Together brigade.

READ MORE: Five people who Boris Johnson could hire to present new briefings

On a more serious point I note that this is to be a political appointment. Does this mean that the Tory party will pay the wages?
Cal Waterson

POWERFUL figures have always used a vessel through which their words passed to their subjects. It started of course with God himself: it not being appropriate for God to speak directly to his people, he used an Archangel called The Metatron. (Fans of Pratchett and Gaiman will recognise the reference).

I suggest that Mr Johnson should eschew the mundane “spokesperson” and, for the vessel through which his words are projected, appoint a Metatron.
Derek Ball