IAIN Macwhirter's condemnation of Henry Dundas inspired me ("Let’s dump Dundas and erect a statue to the Scottish Radicals", The Herald, June 10). In similar vein, Scotland should reject Robert Burns as our national poet.

Robert Burns cheated on his wife Jean Armour multiple times – one distressed woman whom Burns made pregnant, Jenny Clow, died in destitution after giving birth. Burns also impregnated his family servant Elizabeth Paton – in today's society, Burns exerting his authority over someone this way would get him jailed for coercion. Burns even exploited his affairs for profit, writing a self-pitying poem called The Fornicator where he cast himself as the victim.

There have been attempts to laugh off Robert Burns's behaviour as the "national rascal", but let's call it what it is – a tawdry disgrace little better than Harvey Weinstein. How can we continue to celebrate this sexual abuser in the age of #MeToo? What lesson does it teach our children, that you can molest who you like if you're famous enough? Abolish Burns Night and burn Burns's books, he has no place representing modern, progressive Scotland.

If any reader has reacted with horror to this letter and wants to preserve Robert Burns, saying that his legacy is "complicated" or we shouldn't judge a historic figure by modern standards – good. Then for the same reason we shouldn't be pulling down any statues, either.

Robert Frazer, Dundee.

I LIVE in Tain. On a good day we can look across the Dornoch Firth and discern, atop the hill above Golspie, a "monument to a man’s vanity" as my father explained to me when I was an inquiring child; a statue of the Duke of Sutherland who infamously cleared from his land Highlanders who had lived there for generations, burning them out of their homes. Sheep, he had decided, would contribute more to sustaining the lifestyle he liked to enjoy.

A few years ago a sympathetic English visitor expressed surprise that no-one had put a bomb under the statue long ago. I disagreed, saying "Wouldn’t it be good for some that this reminder was removed? Within a generation or two there would be nothing left as a reminder of what really happened in that part of the Highlands. But," I added, "I think a plaque outlining the actual events inspired by the Duke should be attached to the statue."

This letter was prompted by my feelings as I watched – while fully understanding the rage of the statue-destroyers – the toppling of the slavers’ statues. It will please quite a number who do not wish to be reminded.

Shona Arthur, Tain.

INSTITUTIONS, politicians and civic authorities rushing to pull down statues, take down nameplates, bend the knee and kowtow to an ignorant mob lead by career agents provocateur, cheerleadered by irresponsible media outlets in a Covid-19 copy limbo. The world has gone stark raving mad.

Gone With The Wind and Little Britain treated as if they were Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph Of The Will ("Little Britain is taken off iPlayer", The Herald, June 10)? Gladstone overnight a pariah? Has our civilisation learned nothing from the past follies of rabid puritanical fanaticism – and the opportunism of self-appointed Witchfinder Generals?

Those who gave benefit of the doubt as to the intent of some of these fact cherry-picking cultural revisionists may have no doubt now. History shows it starts with destroying statues, books and films – it ends with people.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone.

INSTEAD of focusing on slavery in past centuries and current injustices in other democracies, could we please focus on slavery in our own country today?

Anyone who smokes cannabis is likely using the product of migrants smuggled here and put to work farming the plants indoors.

Any woman who patronises a cheap nail bar where the nail technician does not speak any English may well be having her manicure done by a slave.

Far worse, significant numbers of women and children are trafficked to the UK from Eastern Europe and further afield and forced to work as prostitutes.

Also, the vile practice of female genital mutilation which is still practised in some immigrant communities today stems from the belief that a woman or a girl is an item of property.

Leave old statues and old street names alone; let the Americans deal with their own problems; ending slavery here and now is far more important.

Penny Ponders, Edinburgh EH28.

I DON'T know what school TJ Dowds (Letters, June 10) went to but I certainly did get taught about the slave trade. I never heard "tobacco barons" mentioned. What we did not get taught was what my father used to tell me about the Feein Markets in Glasgow where farmers hired farm workers. He used to recall a farmer squeezing a man's biceps to see if he was robust enough.

My mother left school at 14 and became a farm servant for a pay of one pound a month. She had to work for six months before getting paid.

Many workers in Scotland were little more than slaves themselves.

Myra Gartshore, Dumbarton.

Read more: Letters: Leave the statues to remind us of our dark past