LET met translate Michael Russell’s latest column into Tory English: “He’s a good chap, he’s done an outstanding job, and he’s one of us” (Matheson feeding frenzy is part of a Tory insider attack on our Parliament, Nov 18).

While I have no doubt that these are true statements, the fact remains that Michael Matheson, a minister of the Scottish Government, (1) lied, and (2) allowed a supposedly secure parliamentary communications device to be used by children.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf: Michael Matheson did not mislead me over iPad data bill

What kind of institution do we want Holyrood to be? A Scandinavian-like legislature where integrity matters, in which case Mr Matheson should resign or be sacked; or a Westminster clone where sleaze, dishonesty, and corruption become the depressing norm? If the latter, continuing to keep Mr Matheson in office looks like a good first step.

While talented politicians such as Mr Matheson ought not to be exiled forever, how we treat this situation speaks volumes for our future as an independent nation. I for one am happy to vote for a future where we aspire to be like our Nordic neighbours. I won’t vote for one that looks like a corrupt “Haggis” republic.

Adam Oyebanji

AS a constituent of Scotland’s Health Secretary, Michael Matheson MSP, I would like to add some comments to the recent debate regarding technology and in particular a certain iPad.

Technology and social media can be one’s friend or indeed one’s enemy, as many have found out to their detriment. As an observer sitting in Mr Matheson’s constituency, I would first like to ask exactly where does the Scottish Government’s IT department come into this matter and can they expect to be scrutinised, because I feel they have some answering to do? Having worked in an office environment all my working life, I certainly knew and expected the IT department to have my computer fully updated and compatible with current technology and provider.

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The arrangements at government level may well differ on some aspects, but surely not on the basic functions of an IT department.

Mr Matheson has served his constituency first as a list MSP from 1999 and then in 2007 securing the seat from Labour. Since 2011 Mr Matheson has secured more than 50% of the constituency vote and is the longest-serving in the Holyrood Cabinet, speaking volumes.

As a constituent, who has heard my MSP’s unreserved apology for the roaming charges accrued and has done the right thing in repaying all incurred costs, surely it is time to let this excellent constituency MSP and long-serving government minister get on with being the family man and public servant we have all witnessed from the Falkirk West MSP.

Catriona C Clark

MIKE Russell used his regular Saturday column to defend the recent antics of Health Secretary Michael Matheson.

Russell stated that “Scotland’s health service will be not a jot better off if the current Cabinet Secretary decides to call it a day, harried out of office by a combination of circumstances that look very like what was once called a muddle not a fiddle”.

READ MORE: Angus Robertson backs Health Secretary to keep job amid iPad row

Mr Russell has a rather short memory and seems to have forgotten at least three comparable episodes in the Scottish Parliament’s history where he was on the other side of vitriolic, SNP-led political campaigns which saw the demise of Wendy Alexander over a undeclared donation of less than £1000, the demise of Henry McLeish over his office rent and the demise of David McLetchie over his taxi fares.

Pretend for a moment that Mr Matheson was employed by Mr Russell. In late January Mr Russell receives a bill for £11,000 for the use, on holiday, of Mr Matheson’s company iPad. I rather suspect a very brief investigation would have followed concluding in Mr Matheson bearing the cost of the bill and perhaps receiving his P45.

We can all sympathise with the involvement of Mr Matheson’s family in this matter. What I cannot forgive or understand is that after apparently discovering on the Thursday the real reason for the massive bill, Mr Matheson came to our parliament on the Monday and LIED – to the parliament and to the people of Scotland. This fact alone should have led to a red card from the First Minister or a humble resignation letter.

Thousands of grassroots SNP members give up their time, money and effort to help win people over to the indy cause. The likes of Derek Mackay and now Michael Matheson destroy their good work. The latest by-election results show a very clear and continuing shift of support away from the SNP.

By only 10am on Saturday morning, on The National’s website the most liked comment on Mike Russell’s article, with more than 300 likes, stated: “Matheson faced a choice – pay the bill, or attempt to blag it from the taxpayer. He chose the latter and consequently he needs to go. His resignation is inevitable. Yousaf seeks to reinforce failure – strategically poor, again.”

I fully agree with these sentiments.

Dr Iain Evans

I AGREE with much Michael Russell says. However, to me the issue here is an own goal for the Health Secretary. He knew a year ago the costs of his week’s holiday regarding roaming charges. Had he paid it from his own pocket then none of this would have happened. He tried to get away with it by allowing taxpayers to pay his crazy costs. Then he said he would pay £3000 of the £11000 from his allowances. Not his own money. Finally he got caught, tough.

Robert Anderson
via thenational.scot

I HAVE known Michael Matheson since well before he was first elected in 1999 and was privileged to be his election agent in the Scottish Parliament elections in 2021. He is a genuine person, driven to represent his constituents to the best of his ability and working towards independence for the country he loves so much.

It would be a travesty and a tragic loss to Scotland if Michael Matheson were to resign or be hounded out of office by a relentless media on a witch hunt. They seem to think it is acceptable to target Scottish National Party elected representatives while ignoring the far greater misdemeanours of elected members from other parties.

His impeccable record as an MSP, Scottish Government minister and Cabinet Secretary should not be thrown away because of this one error. His vote has increased election on election as he has worked so hard for the people of Falkirk West. He is well respected in his own constituency and throughout Scotland. Sadly, his family have suffered greatly due to this incident and the fact that Michael is in the public eye. Teenagers in any other family would be reprimanded and that would have been the end of it. They are not experienced enough to realise the repercussions their actions might have. For youngsters to be under such scrutiny is so very unfair and I can totally understand a parent trying to protect them from this.

Michael Matheson is a decent man who clearly regrets what has happened and made amends. I cannot remember any politician ever demonstrating a more genuine display of remorse.

It is time for the media to show the same decency and let this go.

Lorraine Alexander