THE BBC is to reintroduce licence fees for over-75s from August 1 – charging some of Britain's poorest pensioners for passing their time listening to a noise and seeing pictures coming out of a box in the corner of the room.

But what if they don't watch anything on the BBC? They may be Coronation Street fans, not EastEnders. STV News at Six, not Reporting Scotland.

It doesn't matter. The BBC, remarkably, still rules in 2020, and if you want to watch television you pay a fee... £157.50 a year.

OK, it can be argued, that's not an excessive amount of money for most of us, about £3 a week.

But if you are living on a state pension, and trying to juggle your meagre resources, keep healthy, warm, and eat well, it does make a difference.

Give us a break BBC – even if that means a commercial one. If you have financial problems, find another way of paying your Director General £450,000 pounds a year, and presenter Gary Lineker four times that.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow G1.


AN island nation, we use ships daily, hidden mostly, bringing us all we need. Once we built and manned these ships.

Now we have limited commercial shipbuilding, with a failed yard mired in controversy over design, manufacture and indeed specification of ferries. The hulls still sit in Port Glasgow.

BAE continues to build military vessels. I watched, I think, a River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel trialling off Greenock the other day. It reminded me of the six Type 45 destroyers built on the Clyde in the 2010s. They failed, power systems specified causing complete vessel shutdown especially in hot climates. General Electric will now replace the power systems, I hope in time for these vessels to support the new carriers as they deploy from 2021.

Technology continues to change shipbuilding, but we must develop skills beyond the actual build to maximise the benefit, as well as reclaim status, to the Scottish economy of this sector. Political leaders can and do influence industrial strategy daily. Let’s see if we cannot recapture the entrepreneurial spirit we once knew with cost-effective, fuel-efficient vessels becoming the new normal, built on the River Clyde.

David Hamilton, Largs.


STEVE Barnet's recollection of The Doc and the Sunday Post (Letters, July 9) brought back memories of our family GP telling my mother that if The Doc recommended having one's ears syringed, there would be a queue of patients outside his Maryhill Road surgery on a Monday morning, all complaining of excess ear wax.

In our house, the escapades of Oor Wullie and The Broons came first.

David Miller, Milngavie.


THE letter from Jim McAdam (July 8) in which he suggests that we ignore the US and co-operate with the Chinese (July 8) created an image in my mind which I am having trouble shaking off.

The image relates to our negotiators and how would they address President Xi Jingping at their first meeting. I can't help visualising Scotland's own Francie and Josie greeting President Xi with their universal greeting "Hullo rerr China", thus breaking down all barriers to trade.

John S Milligan, Kilmarnock.


I AGREE with Mary Duncan (Letters, July 8) and Malcolm Allan (Letters, July 7) that, even within the relatively small area that is Scotland, we can sometimes be "divided by a common language". I recall, when I was in student halls of residence at Aberdeen University, a conversation between two of my friends. I don't remember exactly what was being discussed but it ended with Fergus (from Fife) saying to Bradis (from Peterhead) "Bradis, you don't even speak English".

"Ah div!" was the immediate protestation.

Brian Johnston, Torrance.