READING Neil Mackay's article, I must admit to a feeling of impotence relating to his suggested solution ("China is accused of genocide – we must raise our voices now", The Herald, January 14). I have pondered this before, beginning when I was employed by a light engineering company that used sheet steel in much of its production and saw orders lost to competitors who had decided to buy Chinese-produced steel. There were allegations of dumping at the time.

What is the answer to this? The UK economy, according to statistics, is 80% service industry and the rest manufacturing of some sort, much of which is foreign-owned and the products that we now use are mainly produced in China.

I am typing this on a Nokia phone; once Finnish, probably still is, but the phone was made in China. Likewise a new vacuum cleaner (high quality in fact and at a price that would allow me to buy three for the price of one Dyson). Then there is the electric kettle with a British brand name, the toaster with an Italian brand name, lawn mower with a British brand name, pots and pans, tablet computers, the list goes on, but all made in China. It will not be easy for the population at large to boycott Chinese goods and our WTO terms of trade may also be a barrier to actions of conscience, especially now that the UK is lacking any clout that it might have had using the EU. That ship has sailed.

If, like steel, my vacuum cleaner is deliberately priced to cause a competitive advantage and eliminate home producers, or make home producers do deals for branded goods made in China, should we just accept that, by buying from China whether it be capital projects through the Road and Bridge initiative, or cars or everyday consumer items, and use our purchasing power to influence China? I doubt that that would work, but well done The Herald and Mr Mackay for bringing this very serious topic to readers' attention. The question remains: what is the solution, given the grip that China has on our everyday lives whether we are aware of it or not?

Ian Gray, Croftamie.


SURELY the inauguration of the new President isn’t the moment for gloating and revenge. In 1974 President Ford pardoned his predecessor Richard Nixon, a move much derided at the time but in hindsight an action of wisdom and courage which spared America the consequences of a lengthy impeachment and trial.

If Joe Biden did the same it would be a quantum leap in the healing of the nation. One cannot pardon the innocent, so Donald Trump’s guilt concerning the Washington riot would be implicit. If the lunatic fringe of the Democratic Party still wants blood it should be reminded by saner colleagues that the noblest form of revenge is to forgive.

Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.


I WRITE in response to your article regarding Malin Court Care Home ("Malin Court care home sold in £1.1m deal", Herald Business, January 13).

The article gave the facts surrounding the sale of the care home and commented it had been loss-making. I felt I had to write to highlight that despite latterly being loss-making the quality of care and professionalism of staff have been quite consistently outstanding over the years. The hotel had bookings for several weddings and events before being forced to close due to Covid regulations. The hotel and care home worked together in a unique and very successful way. It is to be hoped this unique model of care will not be lost in the future. Sir Boyd Tunnock should be rightly proud of overseeing such a warm, caring establishment which is quite unique in my professional and personal experience.

Mum made Malin Court her home for the last five years of her life. The staff made her feel at home and latterly cared for her through lockdown. Mum died in October of non-Covid issues, and the staff helped us through the sadness of our loss.

Not always should we be remembered for our monetary profitability, but more for providing a haven of kindness in this world.

Dr Gill Lamberton, Aberdeen AB23.


I WISH to register a complaint. The dictionary describes a newspaper letters page as a section of a paper reserved for comments on current events submitted by public-spirited readers, self-publicists and know-all moaning old gits; I fit neatly into at least the last two categories. It cannot have escaped your attention that recent changes to the format and content of the “readers' letters” section of The Herald means that 50% of the available space is now dedicated to information that may be of interest to those with time to twiddle their thumbs and stare into space but some of us have a world to change.

Much of the new import to the pages could be stuck somewhere else in your magnificent daily at no detriment and therefore leave more space for your regular correspondents such as Dr Gerald Edwards; I rely on his regular contributions to raise my blood pressure of a morning and to get some of the “F” words out of my system before the vicar arrives. I'm pretty sure the average Herald reader will feel the same way about the changes, mind you what do I know about average, I’m not even normal. Nurse! Medication! Now!

David J Crawford, Glasgow G12.

* Editor's note: The space for letters has not significantly decreased. We are carrying 2,400 words of readers’ letters every weekday, more than any other Scottish national newspaper. The recent changes have been largely cosmetic, designed to make our pages easier and more inviting to read.