MARY Rolls (Letters, October 6) ends her description of Russia’s history and its condition today by inviting us to "stop demonising Vladimir Putin. I would suggest to her that she extends that invitation to the people of Salisbury, who found themselves with Novichok nerve agent in their midst in 2018; Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who were contaminated with Novichok while in Salisbury; the family and friends of Alexander Litvinenko, who died after being poisoned in London in 2006 with polonium; the family and friends of Anna Politkovskaya, journalist, writer and human rights activist, who was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment block in Moscow in 2006, and Alexei Navalny, Russian political activist, who was poisoned earlier this year with a nerve agent and survived due to medical intervention.

I suspect that following such invitations, energetic discussion would be likely to ensue.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


SHARON Bar-li, the Israeli Deputy Ambassador failed even to mention the P-word in her Agenda article ("Much to celebrate in links between Israel and Scotland", The Herald, October 6).

It is perhaps not surprising that while highlighting past and potential links between Scotland and Israel, she omits to include reference to the dozens of groups in Scotland who regularly meet, pray for, raise awareness of and show solidarity with the Palestinian people, whose lives are not at all part of the “progressive and diverse society” that the diplomat claims Israel to be, quite insultingly.

How can such a society include annexation plans over legitimate Palestinian soil? How can it allow the demolition of Palestinian schools or the brutal treatment of children who protest the behaviour of Israeli soldiers? How can it continue to allow illegal settlements to be built in open contravention of international law?

To blithely suggest that there’s a commonality between Scottish values and the actions of the apartheid Israeli government because our flags are the same colour pretty much sums up the ignorance of reality that this article betrays.

Fraser Boyd, Dunblane.


DONALD Trump says "not to be afraid of Covid". If I knew I could get an instant test and every possible medical intervention known to man I might be inclined to believe him.

Cathy Baird, Dunipace.


CATRIONA Stewart’s suggestion that we look up the meaning of "Odeon" ("James Bond has failed so who will save cinema?", The Herald, October 6) will doubtless bring up reference to the founder of Odeon cinemas Oscar Deutsch and the slogan "Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation" – while this was undoubtedly true and was a great marketing wheeze, my understanding is that Odeon is simply derived from "Nickelodeon", an American term for a small cinema.

Stuart Neville, Clydebank.


PROFESSOR KB Scott (Letters, October 6) advises us, following the recent use of the word "mis-speak", to look out for new words entering the political lexicon.

My Chambers Crossword Dictionary includes the word " misstate", alternatives being "twist", "garble" and " distort". These seem to me to be apposite to much of the twaddle spoken by those who govern us, but unlikely to be introduced by them to the political lexicon.

David Miller, Milngavie.