READERS, prepare yourselves to be spun as the Johnson team in Westminster announces a raft of new policy initiatives including operation “Save Big Dog” and operation “Red Meat”. These two programmes, are being rolled out to invigorate the UK Government in its Global Britain aspirations. Believe that if you want, or if you can swallow another whopper.

It is highly likely that these policy initiatives were developed last year, and are being rolled out now as a smoke-and-mirrors defensive action, to protect the Johnson organisation.

Operation “Red Meat” describes the additional actions targeting those crossing the Channel seeking sanctuary and peace in the UK – as another commentator describes, where “Nelson’s Navy will be deployed to turn back these immigrants”. This is to keep his ERG supporters onside, particularly since last years the immigrant influx was huge, and government initiatives didn’t work.

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Operation “Save Big Dog” is a plan to throw Downing Street officials under the proverbial bus, for allowing the frolicking that took place in No 10 during the Covid lockdown. After all, surely a civil servant should have intervened and told a government minister that they should not be encouraging socialising within the building. Aye right.

The Priti Patel bullying history and Johnson’s previous behaviour shows that government ministers wield tremendous power. Standing up in public and criticising their decisions and behaviour will break one or more civil service codes, leading to jobs being put at risk.

So the Johnson coat is on a shoogly peg, and we await to see the “goings on and doings” in black and white in the Gray report.

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

SOMETHING that struck me given the recent antics of Prime Minister Johnson is that while much attention has been clearly focused on his personal behaviour, the fact that he was elected as Prime Minister maybe provides a moment of reflection for those who voted for and continue to support him.

Mr Johnson’s serious character flaws were well-known to everyone prior to “partygate”. He has, for example, been sacked from a newspaper for lying in an article he wrote, and as a Conservative shadow minister for lying about an affair. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and his public and private life is littered with a litany of lies he has told, all very well documented. Yet, despite this, he was elected as leader of the Conservative Party and ultimately as Prime Minister with a not inconsiderable majority.

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It is oft quoted that “the government you elect is the government you deserve”. Those complicit in elevating Mr Johnson to the role as Prime Minister of the UK, well aware of his character, may want to take some time to pause and reflect on whether this is truly the outcome they wanted. For those in Scotland the simple question I pose is – “is this really the best we can do?”

Alex Orr

HOW about creating a scale of mendacity called the Johnson scale? A Johnson 1 could be a little white lie and a Johnson 10 could be an outrageous whopper! It could be used at work, socially and in the playground. For example, “Jimmy said he had a new pup, but Magnus declared it a Johnson 10!”

As Johnson won’t be remembered for his failed bridges, a new word would be a rightful tribute!

Dr Kris Hansen

“IT’S my party and I’ll lie if I want to. You would lie too if it happened to you.”

[Adapted by Boris Johnson, Jan 12 2022]

Prof John Watson
via email

COMMENTS last week from senior Tories gave a sharp summing-up of their view of their Scottish colleagues and, by extension, of our country and our people – we are not important and we are up there somewhere.

This tells us that it is not only Johnson who must go, but the whole Westminster government, which has been consistently mired in corruption, cronyism and clear, self-serving disregard for the people they are elected to serve.

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All this, along with their contempt for the rules and laws which they make and impose on others, the cover-ups and the lies, makes it clear that they are beyond redemption.

A General Election would be of no help to Scotland, as Westminster has repeatedly ignored the voice of our devolved parliament – most notably in the Brexit shambles – and is already clawing back powers from Edinburgh, despite the promises made in the long-forgotten (by them) Vow of 2014.

It is time to have our voice heard in an independent Scotland, with its own spread of political parties, and, most importantly, with a new constitution embracing a Citizens Assembly, which puts power back where it belongs, in the hands of the people.

CE Ayr, Cavalaire sur Mer, France
Jenne Gray, Ayr

THERE is a famous saying, dating to the 1600s, which notes: “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Once again The Wee Ginger Dug is barking up the right tree when he says that “Even supporters of Union have no UK influence” (Jan 14).

As long as Douglas Ross and other Scottish MPs, MSPs and councillors are members of branches controlled, financed and bound by the policies of London-based parties, they are and will remain political lightweights.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry