AS a person raised in a bygone age, I am somewhat bamboozled by much in the modern world. The current festivities for Pride Month have unearthed a strange obsession, with the usual suspects involved.

I speak not of Douglas Ross who, perfectly reasonably, questioned the appropriateness of a library in his constituency hosting "Drag Queen Story Time" ("Greens’ anger as Tory leader Ross criticises drag queen story hour for children", The Herald, June 7). Is this directed at consenting adults who may have an interest in drag queens? Is it a nice social event for residents of care homes? No, it is, extraordinarily, for small children aged 0-6.

For his pains, Mr Ross was attacked by the unsavoury Green MSP Ross Greer: "You really are a nasty little bigot. Presumably you’ve never taken your kids to the panto?" The panto, Mr Greer, is entirely make-believe, as are all the characters in it. Presenting a real live drag queen in a real venue – a library – is not comparable. The "performer" is – eyebrow-raisingly – a deputy head teacher.

One has to wonder why certain people, including politicians, are so anxious to introduce small children to sexualised characters and material. For example, Maggie Chapman, Green MSP, is on record as saying "many trans people know who they are, sometimes as young as six or seven years old". She has also accused Mr Ross of having "cast himself as a pantomime villain with his preposterous and narrow-minded attacks on a simple and innocent community event".

Encouraging the youngest in our society to question their sexuality and to be exposed to others of confusing sexuality is at least unwise and possibly a trigger for mental distress. Why are we doing this to our children? Who is driving this, and what are their motives?

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

• DOUGLAS Ross is to be congratulated for objecting to his local council booking one of its assistant headmasters to perform a drag act for youngsters under six in a local library.

It's about time other party leaders joined him, although I doubt Patrick Harvie will after Ross Greer called Mr Ross a "nasty little bigot" on Twitter. In doing so he also insulted thousands of parents, grandparents and teachers who are outraged at what's going on in the name of children's education and support the Scottish Conservative leader's stand.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

Read more: Ross accused of 'homophobia' over drag queen story time opposition

Why is deposit scheme so bad?

IT is shocking that Scotland is going to have to wait another 2.5 years for a deposit return scheme ("Deposit Return Scheme delayed until October 2025 at the earliest", heraldscotland, June 7). However, the scheme proposed by the Scottish Government was a failure before it even began, completely ignoring the European waste hierarchy – reduce, reuse, recycle. Instead it leap-frogged straight to recycle, which, in the case of glass, means smashing perfectly good glass bottles and jars, remelting them and forming them into new ones – all of which requires huge amounts of energy. Meanwhile France is reusing glass beer and wine bottles and Germany refills glass and plastic bottles.

Why are the organisations responsible for protecting Scotland's environment so weak? Are they completely in the pocket of an industry that clearly doesn't care about the planet?

Michael Gallagher, Coupar Angus.

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• I AM astonished at the number of contributors to the Letters Pages, the latest being Robin Johnston (June 7), who apparently are fully able to collect full bottles and cans from a shop but yet are unable to return the empties when they next go to that shop to buy more. What's the problem?

Patricia Fort, Glasgow.

• ROBIN Johnston’s whimsical take on the Deposit Return Scheme, whilst entertaining, shouldn’t cause him to lose any more sleep.

As soon as the DRS scheme is up and running he can be assured the council service he describes will be discontinued.

David Clark, Tarbolton.

What's sauce for the goose...

THERE has been much recent debate on these pages about why an important election can be decided by a narrow simple majority and whether a two-thirds majority should be required in any future independence referendum. If numbers are so important, why is the UK being governed by a Conservative Party that gained 43.6% of the votes cast in the 2019 General Election?

This was after a 67.3% turnout, which means the Conservatives are in power on the strength of endorsements from what equates to roughly 27% of those eligible to vote. Tell me that is democracy in action. It also begs the question why a third of the electorate failed to register a vote despite almost every parameter used to measure the health of a country tanking because of deliberate action taken by the same administration.

If we need a substantial majority to determine whether Scotland can stand alone as an independent country surely the same criteria should apply to who has the mandate to govern the UK.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

Read more: We must loosen Holyrood's grip on rural Scotland before it's too late

Time to listen to islanders

IF nothing else will, the unprecedented protest by 600 islanders on South Uist – fully one-third of the island’s population – should make the SNP/Green administration in Edinburgh sit up and take notice ("Motorhomes banned from ferry as islanders protest", The Herald, June 5). They should put away their one-issue politics and never-ending and in most cases made-up constitutional grievances with Westminster and start concentrating on serving the people who put them where they are.

The islanders said they felt "forgotten, abandoned and ignored". For a matter where the SNP/Greens cannot blame the bogeyman of Westminster, this surely is another crack in the nationalist dam, growing wider it seems with every passing day. Of course the SNP will know that the population of South Uist is tiny and it lies far away and, anyway, it has other fish to fry and so many of its supporters are infinitely more concerned in what flags should decorate the plastic covers on strawberry packs.

It ranks as the understatement of the century to say that the SNP needs to pay more attention to these crucial matters affecting the islands and less to its perpetual grievances and extremists’ petty complaints, neither of which do anything for Scotland and bore most of us senseless.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

The UK's own shipping fiasco

WITH all the criticism of the Scottish Government over the building and delivery of the two ferries, I am surprised that there has been little, if any, similar mention of the Westminster Government's disastrous attempts to provide five Type 31 frigates for the Royal Navy.

Despite having "revisited" its National Shipbuilding Strategy, which was meant to ensure a sustained shipbuilding industry, we learn that part of the hull fabrication is being done in Poland.

The delivery of the frigates is already four years late with the arrival of the first ship likely to be 2027. The builders, Babcock, are also asking for £50 million, possibly up to £100m, as their costs have increased.

David Hay, Minard.

Party light under a bushel

I HAVE just received a leaflet from a Pam Gosal, my MSP for the West of Scotland. It outlines her tasks and achievements for the past year, but nowhere does it state which party she is in. Why is that?

George Smith, Clydebank.

Citizens must fight the far right

WE must recognise that there are elements within the Conservative Party closely associated with American right-wing think tanks clustering around London’s 55 Tufton Street. These neoliberal think tanks with roots in anthropogenic climate change denial are no longer able to deny the reality of global warming and so they have turned to an opposition to net-zero.

The consequences of their neoliberalism (free-market fundamentalism, reflect for instance on Liz Truss) are widespread apart from the obvious ones attributable to their attitude to climate change which I need not detail.

There is the spread of zoonotic diseases such as Covid-19 resulting from the increasing disturbance of wilderness habitats bringing disease carrying animals into close contact with humanity, not to mention enormous wealth disparities and social inequalities, poverty and unemployment, crony capitalism and corruption.

The problem is that there is no alternative to neo-liberalism being sought given the belief that the immense greed, power/influence and wealth of its beneficiaries cannot be overcome. Furthermore there is the tragic indifference of the average voter who is subject rather than citizen.

Does at least part of the answer not lie with a renewed community of citizens capable of and determined to play its appropriate role in opposing the advance of the extreme right?

John Milne, Uddingston.