IT is always disappointing when people choose to apply simplistic evaluations of complex situations, but in their desire to express a clear dislike of the current Scottish Government and to take advantage of any opportunity to aim a kick in its direction, Bill Brown and Richard Lucas (Letters, October 9) have, instead, provided a thumping and undeserved insult to the teaching profession in this country.

Do they sincerely believe dedicated and hard-working professionals are incapable of providing objective assessments of their pupils' performance in National 5 examinations when they are given substantial advance notification, unlike last year when the cancellation of classes and end-of-year exams, as well as the procedure for assessment, were far less anticipated?

Given current circumstances, it would be negligent of the Government to fail to put contingency plans in place and by making this announcement in October it has allowed teachers and pupils to know exactly where they stand in terms of the need to prepare for ongoing assessment measures between now and next June. To suggest that the National 5 qualification will somehow be devalued by this temporary change to assessment criteria, which is, after all, a response to a global pandemic, is as idiotic as it is insulting to the qualified and experienced teachers who will, as usual, apply appropriate standards of professionalism to the task.

David Gray, Glasgow G11.


I NOTE the sad closure of the Progress Rail Services plant in South Queensferry ("150 jobs to go as steel plant closes down", The Herald, October 9). With this coming on top of the Springburn and Kilmarnock closures I am wondering if there is a plan out there to totally emasculate Scotland? We don't get wind farm orders for offshore and onshore developments and the announcement in last week of "wished for" orders with associated employment in this sector ("Floating windfarms could fuel North Sea supply chain recovery, experts say", The Herald, October 8), seems to me as just another pie in the sky placebo to make us feel good for a short time.

Is my conspiracy theory feeling real or imagined? Is there a plan to make Scotland fully dependent on the rest of the UK with no industry of our own? My worry is that if these plants can go when will the high-tech industries progressively relocate?

And as I said once before, if Star Trek was being made today for the first time there is no way that the Starship Enterprise's chief engineer would be a Scot.

Ian Gray, Croftamie.


I AM surprised that the new Fire and Smoke Alarms Regulations effective from February 1, 2021 have had little publicity.

These new regulations will affect every single dwelling house in Scotland (as well as the rest of the UK), yet very few people are aware of this change and the cost to every homeowner and landlord in the country.

People already struggling to the present obligations finally may find it difficult to meet the cost as there does not seem to be any help for pensioners and others on low income.

I would suggest that everyone should be made aware now of this and ask how this is going to be implemented in four months.

Will insurance companies require installation to be effected when renewal is due? Will this need to be implemented when houses are are put up for sale?

This is a major change affecting every house and yet there has been so little publicity.

Ian Turner, Bearsden.


I NOTE Irene Munro's Letter (October 9) on why we should be kind to the cruel/

Imperfect and despicable, I confess to a sneaky leaning to the cynical quote adopted by Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes Minister, (attributed to various sources): “In defeat, malice. In victory, revenge”.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.