I AGREE with Alasdair Gray that we are suffering from what he calls Scottification, or the cultural cringe: the belief that anyone from outside Scotland must be better than someone from inside the country ("Leading writer accuses arts bodies of being 'Scotophobic'", The Herald, August 15).

Almost all of our major arts organisations conform to this model, sometimes with disastrous effect, as in the case of the last chief executive of Creative Scotland.

When I have raised these questions I have been accused by some of being racist who wants Scottish jobs for Scottish people but, like Alasdair Gray, I only want people with knowledge of Scotland. As he mentioned, the late, great John McGrath was not a Scot, but he knew and loved Scotland.

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Alan Taylor has written about Edinburgh International Festival director Jonathan Mills deciding to ignore the most important decision in Scottish history: the referendum ("We must not relegate big debate to the wings", The Herald, August 14). This surely comes from appointing a director from outside Scotland. Point number three of the festival's mission statement is to showcase the best of Scottish culture.

Hugh Kerr,

23 Braehead Avenue, Edinburgh.

MY admiration and respect for Alasdair Gray knows no bounds, very much my favourite Glaswegian by a long way. His wonderful murals at the Oran Mor and Hillhead Subway speak for themselves, as of course do his writings.

Your picture today says it all, with him resplendent in a well-loved tweed jacket, a favourite jersey (not a sweater), sandals with wooly socks with a big toe showing its face.

The fact that he has refused a knighthood is no surprise, as I would have been disappointed if he had accepted.

When we secure independence, we can honour him in a way that I am sure he will be happy to accept.

Alastair Douglas,

31 Kelvin Court,


IT would take until the end of the universe to unpick the wooly logic informing Alasdair Gray's latest weird and wonderful attack on English cultural colonialism.

I defer to no-one in my admiration for him as a great artist and fine illustrator, but as a political pundit he makes a great artist and fine illustrator.

Alistair Richardson,

Pelstream Avenue, Stirling.