DONALD Trump’s attempt to pressure officials in the US State of Georgia to overturn the result in the election he lost ("Trump put pressure on Georgia election official to ‘find’ him votes", The Herald, January 5) is disgraceful, but reveals what a shockingly bad President he’s been. As though we needed any more evidence.

It would be poetic justice if disgruntled Republicans boycotted today’s Senate election in Georgia and the two Democrat candidates sneaked home, ideally by 11,779 votes. That would give a 50:50 split in the Senate, the upper house in US Congress, with the casting vote in the hands of Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.

Given the three-way split of power among the two houses of Congress and the President, control of both houses is as important as the presidency. My fingers are crossed for Democrat wins in Georgia, because then we might see America reclaim its place as a nation to be respected around the world, rather than as the awkward pariah that President Trump tried to turn it into.

Oh to bump into President Trump when he comes golfing in Scotland after his enforced retirement, and get the chance to say: “Mr President, you’re a loser!”

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.


MARTIN Williamson ("Council tax timebomb in aftermath of coronavirus", The Herald, January 2) raises some interesting points. One point he does not raise is the fact that no matter how much money councils have it will never be enough. They are a classic example of Parkinson's Law, that says expenditure rises to meet income. This is not uncommon in organisations that do not have to actually raise the money they spend but rely on taxation. Almost all council income comes from taxation either from direct government grants, business rates and council tax. They do raise some through car parking but this is not really income and it only covers the cost of wardens and the like, or so we are told.

A few years ago the Government had the brilliant idea of adding another £100 to £400 to the top four council tax bands. This money was intended to help pupils in disadvantaged areas and was given to headteachers to spend as they say fit. Most of the money was used to promote and increase the salaries of a few selected teachers in each school. How this helped disadvantaged children has never been explained. We have heard no more of the scheme but those in bands E to H are still paying.

There is also a great degree of resentment over the salaries paid to senior council employees and the generous redundancy payments and pension scheme. The present system takes no account of the ability to pay and as most of the council revenue is provided by the Government, why not go the whole hog, abolish council tax, increase income tax by a few pence and let the Government fund all the council spending? This would ensure that everyone earning over a certain amount would contribute to local services. It would enable the council to save money by abolishing the need for each and every council to have its own collection service and it would avoid bad debts and the collection cost associated with this.

JS Morrison, Kirkintilloch.


YOUR article on the added dangers of the winter freeze ("Covid and ice falls: Fears Scots hospitals will be overwhelmed", The Herald, January 5) was a most timely one in that it has highlighted the treacherous nature of many of our pavements due to lack of gritting. It was heartening to see a picture of a pavement gritter at work in Glasgow's Argyle Street.

Let us hope that such machines are a sign of the future in all council areas. They would be well worth the the expense given not only the cost of falls within the NHS but also the general wellbeing of those who find themselves restricted during such wintry spells. (I refer to the time when we are not under Covid restrictions).

It is important to note, too, that it is not just the elderly and the vulnerable who can be liable to falls as they encounter black ice.

Rev Alexander Macdonald, Paisley.


SIR Tom Hunter's view of the proposed development on the banks of Loch Lomond (Letters, January 5) is obviously tainted by the fact that he considers said development to be an "outstanding world-class development". Might I suggest he takes a drone's eye view of Loch Lomond and visualises the siting, every 100 metres or so, of further "outstanding world-class developments"? Pretty soon the results would cease to be pretty, let alone outstanding.

Developments? The attraction of Loch Lomond is in large part focused on its lack of developments. One could even use the term "virginity" in describing its attraction. As for developments? Surely rape would be more apt?

Rodney Lang, Douglas.


FORD Kiernan says Chewin' the Fat couldn't be made today as it would be deemed too offensive ("Chewin’ The Fat ‘too offensive for today’", The Herald, January 5).

Does this mean we are evolving into a more tolerant, sensitive and civilised society, or one that is dogged by political correctness and can't laugh at itself?

Sadly, it is the latter, a society with its head up its ain e*** (as CTF might have described it).

James Miller, Glasgow G12.


ENJOYING Russell Leadbetter's memories of Peter Alliss ("Peter Alliss, the ‘Voice of Golf’", The Herald, January 5), I remembered that Alliss attributed his success as a commentator partly through his teaching himself to look at the whole screen. Thereby came many of his off-the-cuff comments such as "these trees are growing every year".

When my long-suffering wife hears me say "look at the whole screen" in answer to one of her computer problems, the response tends to suggest that I lack the great man's comforting, entertaining style.

David Miller, Milngavie.