MESSRS Crawford, Lindsay and Scott (Letters, July 23 & 24) may well be right about current levels of hysteria about Russia but nonetheless there are a number of legitimate concerns about the many similarities it bears to a fascist state.

Russia is a "democracy" of rigged elections, a rubber stamp parliament, a semi-independent judiciary; a country where civil rights are routinely violated, where violence is used to intimidate the opposition and one which supports far-right groups in Europe. In Vladmir Putin it has a leader who propagates a personality cult (he is seeking legislation which would enable him to stay in power until 2036) and one who is actively seeking to rehabilitate Stalin. What's not to dislike?

Alan Ramage, Edinburgh EH10.

THE insistence by the Labour Party that the RT channel should be investigated for "fake news" harmful to Britain is in at least one sense misdirected. It fails to insist simultaneously that the BBC should be very seriously examined for its infamous misinformation regarding its reporting of things Scottish.

BBC is recognised here that "good news is no news", while anything "bad" from north of the Border, frequently distorted to Westminster advantage, is given maximum coverage. Scottish BBC viewing stats are known to be falling, We can recognise a lie quickly, having had many such from No. 10 to practise upon.

John Hamilton, Bearsden.


GLASGOW City Council has been hailing the large reduction in pollution in the city due to the current pandemic, which saw a huge reduction in vehicular traffic. However, I fear that many of the gains will be lost due to decisions taken by the same council.

Shutting off road lanes to allow extra space for pedestrians and create new cycle lanes was laudable at the time but as the number of vehicles on the roads are returning to normal levels these measures result in a build-up of traffic at road junctions with the consequential increase in pollution from stationary or slow-moving traffic. This is not helped by the rephasing of traffic lights at these junctions. In addition, but no less important, is the fact that closing off whole rows of on-street parking makes things much more difficult for disabled people to park close to where they wish to shop.

Ian Harrison, Glasgow G3.


WE learn that the Sierra Club is the latest to consider taking down statues ("Race row John Muir’s statue may be taken down in the US", The Herald, July 23). Muir apparently called Native Americans “dirty, lazy and wife-stealing”. Given his strict Scots Presbyterian upbringing and work ethic, he probably felt that many folk fell into those categories, not only the Native Americans.

On the other hand can the Sierra Club tell us exactly what the Native Americans said about the Europeans who took their land or abused it? Probably not, since it wasn’t written, but I’m sure we can imagine it to have been a great deal worse than the above, though the oral archive will give confirmation. In more recent times Chief Dan George in North Vancouver wasn’t exactly complimentary of the white man’s attitude to the land and nature.

I suppose statutes to Ramses II need to come down too, since he enslaved the Hebrews.

John C Hutchison, Fort William.