TOM Gordon ("Salmond playing Russian roulette with the SNP's cause", The Herald, November 11) quotes Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to the news that “The Alex Salmond Show” is to air on RT (or Russia Today, as is frequently emphasised) “Had I been asked, I would have advised against RT and suggested he seek a different channel.”

Given that the decision has proved the political equivalent less of an own goal, and more of placing the ball on the goal line and inviting the opposition to kick it into the net, is it surprising that the First Minister feels this way?

Yet does Nicola Sturgeon not raise a significant question about UK and Scottish media by suggesting “a different channel”? For, if not RT, then where?

I think it is safe to assume “The Alex Salmond Show” was never destined for the BBC. Its Scotland Director, Donalda MacKinnon, would be quicker to resign rather than put Mr Salmond’s show on the schedule. Mr Salmond, we might assume, would have been too controversial, too challenging for the Corporation’s commitment to fairness. No, much better to stick with Andrew Neil and Nick Robinson.

Then, what about Channel 4, which has something of a reputation for “different” or even “challenging” shows? Mr Salmond might have his own weekly chat show on LBC, but he’s hardly The Great British Bake Off, is he? Perhaps one day, Alex, but not now, not yet.

Does STV seem any more realistic? To secure balance perhaps it would need to put on Ruth Davidson, Tank Commander? Or perhaps, if possible, Willie Rennie at Large? Maybe a nature programme for Patrick Harvie? The title of any possible Labour Party-themed programme is of course still subject to election.

Seriously though, this raises the issue of which channel, located in the UK, has the courage to have the opprobrium currently being discharged on Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon poured over them for giving Mr Salmond air time? If not RT, then where? Almost certainly not BBC World Service, which is funded by the UK Government to an amount comparable to Russian Government funding for RT.

It is certainly true Mr Salmond’s decision to put his show on RT has proved politically appalling, but perhaps we need to consider the reasons for this, as well as reflect on the often hysterical and ridiculous commentary. One could easily think, readingMr Gordon, that the programme’s editorial control lay with Vladimir Putin personally, when the reality is the content is controlled and the programme completed by Salmond’s production company and sent to RT for broadcast.

Using Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik’s membership of the SNP’s NEC (she is one of 16 members), Mr Gordon asserts there is “now a very short chain linking the Kremlin and Scotland’s party of government”. We can only hope this prompts Mr Gordon to identify the “very short chain” between many very large corporations and banks, and politicians of other parties.

Alasdair Galloway,

14 Silverton Avenue, Dumbarton.

ALEX Salmond hosting a show on a Russian TV channel seems to have some folk thinking the world has come to an end.

I am old enough to remember Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt posing for the media towards the end of the Second World War.

Churchill made a very important statement which seems to be ignored nowadays: "Better jaw-jaw than war-war."

WP Kerr,

56 Sandyknowes Road, Cumbernauld.

JUST what is it about leading politicians? They have their day in the sun (most recently Tony Blair, Gordob Brown and now Alex Salmond) but simply cannot retire gracefully, they just cannot let go. Almost like an addict, they have to be in the headlines.

That I suppose is what separates politicians from political activists – the above describing the former whilst the dedicated activist has, over the years, committed their own money, time and effort in pursuit of a political objective. They were effectively supporting and promoting these individuals – they did not so for any personal glory or recognition, simply in pursuit of their political dream.

I am not bracketing Mr Salmond with these former Prime Ministers who each, in their own way, directly contributed to the mess this country is in and, whilst they now pontificate about what they would do or write books trying to justify their earlier actions, we the general public are the ones left picking up the pieces. For some, the very people they were supposed to help, this they cannot manage.

Whilst I was no admirer of John Major – at least, when he retired, he has, to the best of my knowledge, maintained a reasonably discreet silence and has neither sought, nor craved, publicity.

Alan McKinney,

10 Beauchamp Road, Edinburgh.

I HAVE just finished reading David Torrance’s obligatory belt at Alex Salmond and the SNP (“SNP living in the make-believe world of Micawber optimism”, The Herald, November 13).

Tarring the SNP with the Dickensian adherence to Micawber is a bit rich. His attribution of the lack of progress during Margaret Thatcher’s reign to this factor is naïve, to say the least. Having been in the SNP during this period, I did not believe we would make any headway until Labour came to power; the logical receptacle for an anti-Tory vote was the Labour Party. Until Labour had to deliver its promises we were stuck.

We are now in uncharted territory in this “sceptered isle” and I have never seen a more chaotic political situation; the SNP is not guilty of Micawberism, but trying to keep abreast of a speedy disorganisation called Westminster is nigh impossible.

Mr Torrance’s attempt to split the 2014 Referendum Campaign from the SNP also ignores the fact that the referendum campaign was founded by the SNP – all the other bodies flowed from that. For myself I found that campaign inspiring and rejuvenating; it is now on the cusp of reigniting.

Scottish independence will cause some problems, but at least we will be able to tackle them on Scotland’s behalf, and not kowtow to England’s interests. What they have to do is sort out the mess they created.

Jim Lynch,

42 Corstorphine Hill Crescent, Edinburgh.

THE phrase used in the headline to David Torrance's column, “the make-believe world of Micawber optimism", sounds like a perfect description of the UK Government's approach to the Brexit negotiations.

Ken Anderson,

10 Douglas Terrace, Broughty Ferry, Dundee.