SO, many of our politically correct MSPs are in a lather because Jack Straw, by granting a visa to Mike Tyson, has had the arrogance to ignore the opinion of the Scottish public. Personally speaking, on this issue I agree with them. I am not in favour of the unpleasant Mr Tyson coming to our country to ply his dubious trade, bringing with him as he does his entourage of crooks and low-lifes.

How I wish though that these same MSPs would come down of their moral high-horses (or should that be immoral?) for long enough to pay due cognisance to the concerns and opinions of the same Scottish public who, for the sake of our children, wish to keep Section 28 on the Statute Book.

Rev Richard Cameron

3 Herries Road, Glasgow. May 18.

WITH growing pressure and increasing support from politicians of all parties, and various interest goups, wishing to see Mike Tyson barred from Scotland - and the influential but unscientific poll stating that over 62% of Scottish people consider that he should not come to Scotland - surely the voice of Scotland has spoken!

Can we expect the same MSPs and interest groups to give similar vociferous heed and credence to the voice of Scotland, as people declare their wish to keep

Section 28?

Sandy Shaw,

1 Courthouse Lane, Nairn. May 19.

WITHOUT wishing to express an opinion on the Tyson fight or on Section 28, one cannot help noticing the ease with which Members of the Scottish Parliament engage or disengage the need to recognise public opinion depending on the issues which they themselves seem to espouse.

William Waddell,

34 Ash Road, Cumbernauld. May 18.

First, I should make it clear that given his past record, I do not support the view that Mike Tyson should be allowed to fight in Scotland. That aside, we hear our MSPs complaining bitterly that Jack Straw has totally disregarded the will of the Scottish people by allowing Mike Tyson an entry visa. This is rich, coming from our elected MSPs who have continually disregarded the will of the Scottish people on the question of Section 28 (2a). The words double standards spring to mind.

Councillor George Freeman,

Argyll and Bute Council. May 19.

WE have already seen Brian Souter's misguided attempt at cheque-book democracy vilifying the homosexual and lesbian communities; now we have the cheque-book subversion of professional sport and the demeaning of the female population by the British Government and by the Scottish Football Association in allowing Mike Tyson to fight at Hampden Park. We have already asked Brian Souter, ''Where does it stop?'' It is time to ask the British Government the same question. Out Mike Tyson.

Marguerite Saint-Yves,

Dunvegan, School Brae, Whiting Bay,

Isle of Arran. May 19.

IN the interests of accuracy and perspective, I would like to remind your columnist, the Rev Ron Ferguson, exactly what I said about the lowering of the age of homosexual consent in the Mirror on June 25, 1998.

Mr Ferguson describes me as a ''noted foul-mouthed homophobe'', and misquotes the phrase from my column as ''slobbering queers who want to get their hands on young boys' arses''.

The thrust of my column was that the lowering of the age of consent was being misrepresented by the Blair Government as a matter of equal rights. I wrote: ''You know the tired old argument - if you're old enough to get married, you're old enough for a slobbering old queer to have his evil way with you''.

I then went on to highlight the dangers of overly-liberal legislation encouraging boys barely into their teens being swept up into a homosexual lifestyle. I wrote: ''And remember, the next time an old fruit gets caught with his hands in a 14-year-old's pants, he will probably get off when he lisps, 'But I thought the boy looked 16' ''.

Now Mr Ferguson might have a gentler, more polite name for older men who attempt to seduce young, impressionable teenage males and put their health, and possibly lives, at risk. For the moment, I'll stick to ''slobbering queers'' until I can think of something more damning.

For me to be homophobic, I would have to hate homosexuals. I don't. Their sexuality is a matter for them. What two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is their choice. Like most Scots, I am quite comfortable with this but what the debate is about is the protection of children and impressionable young adults.

What I do dislike intensely are adults, homosexual and heterosexual, who force themselves and their sexual politics on children. If Mr Ferguson had taken the trouble to read my column and not simply misquote other critics' soundbites, he might have realised this.

Mr Ferguson may continue to pontificate from his island hideaway but here in the real world, Brian Souter and myself would prefer to focus on people like Mr Peter Tatchell who in 1997 wrote to the Guardian championing a book which challenged the assumption that all sex involving children

is abusive.

Mr Tatchell referred to the ''positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships'' and concludes, ''it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive, and harmful''. So Mr Ferguson should take his pick - Souter's traditional family values or Tatchell's sexual anarchy.

Jack Irvine,

Media House Strategic Communications,

16 Robertson Street, Glasgow. May 18.

THE media have this week reported that HIV cases in Scotland, as in the rest of the UK, have witnessed an increase in heterosexual transmission and that for the first time they represent the largest group of new HIV infections. Infections among injecting drug users have been steadily declining due to safer injecting and harm-reduction techniques. Infections among gay men appear to have peaked and are now showing the first signs of decline.This is also due to targeted harm-reduction work undertaken by those agencies involved in the promotion of gay men's health.

It is therefore a cause for great concern, as well as deeply ironic, that at a time when achievement in HIV prevention among gay men appears to be on the verge of real successes, and heterosexual infections are increasing, those specialist agencies in Glasgow who work in the field of HIV find themselves under threat.

These groups are working across the spectrum with all people with HIV and all those affected by it, including children, carers, families, etc. This is not an issue that affects only gay men but is very much a family issue and a concern for all of us.

The action of the Christian Institute in seeking to disrupt the valuable work of these agencies is deeply damaging to HIV prevention in Scotland and must be rigorously resisted.

David Johnson,

Director, Waverley Care, 4a Royal Terrace,

Edinburgh. May 19.

RE the letters from Stuart Morrison and Colin R Tate about the withdrawal of council funding for gay groups: your readers may be unaware that many other groups supporting sick, disabled, and disadvantaged people have never had council, or Government, funding.

I belong to the Stirling Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. We have to raise all the money ourselves for welfare and social support for members, as well as to finance research into possible treatments. Also, our national helpline depends on branch contributions. I need not add that MS sufferers also pay taxes. Strangely, I cannot remember letters in your columns expressing ''horror'' at this situation.

Sybil Brinham,

4 Castle Road, Dollar. May 18.