I WOULD like to acknowledge Brian Murphy’s excellent letter regarding poor policing (March 11). However, I don’t think the issue is the fault of current police leaders. The fault lies with the politicians who created the national police force on April 1, 2013, thus forcing the leadership into creating a service that is now largely reactive rather than proactive.

The former City of Glasgow Police and latterly Strathclyde Police had eight city divisions each with a chief superintendent and his support staff policing the city and providing its citizens with a service that is impossible to now provide.

Greater Glasgow is now a police division with one chief superintendent and his staff attempting to do the work of eight commands. It is quite impossible.

As this situation is extrapolated across the country, the service is quite simply failing the people of Scotland.

I fully understand that society has moved on since I was serving police officer. That, however, does not mitigate the monumental mistake that is Police Scotland. It was created on a political whim to centralise and thus ensure easier political control of the organisation.

Dan Edgar, Rothesay.

* I NOTE the letter from retired police officer Brian Murphy. It reminded me of a friend whose son had done a degree in media studies. He was able to get straight into the police fast-track recruitment programme. He didn't learn his policing from the ground up, from walking the beat, as previously happened. Presumably that is why police could not control the Rangers fans.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


THANK you to Carole Ford and Richard Allison (Letters, March 11) for reminding us of how incompetent and humiliating our Scottish Government is. We are, according to Ms. Ford, "one of the most untrustworthy governments in Europe". (She doesn't give us any hint as to the countries that are less trustworthy.)

Mr Allison further illuminates us with the fact that this is thanks also to the "subsidiary" Green Party, apparently complicit in this madness.

I thank both correspondents for their educated observations, but despite their efforts, I will ultimately vote for independence from the sleazy, rich, entitled toffs who govern the UK with the support of billionaire tax dodgers who own the vast majority of the mainstream media as well as the Tory Party itself.

Contrary to Ms ord's observations, however, the Scottish Government has very limited borrowing powers. As with almost every other independent country, though, I'm sure Scotland will use its borrowing a little more wisely than the UK, once independence is achieved.

The Scottish Government is far from perfect, but the alternative is a lifetime of Boris Johnsons and his clones ­– those who punish working people, the sick, the disabled, refugees and immigrants in substantial measures, instead focusing on madcap schemes such as Trident, fantasy tunnels, faulty or non-existent PPE, and the royal family.

Kevin Orr, Bishopbriggs.

* CAROLE Ford accuses the SNP of humiliating Scotland. Well, she can't blame the SNP for threatening to break international law over the Brexit treaty, which sent shock waves around the world, or for "misleading" the Queen over the proroguing of Parliament, when Boris Johnson was found by the UK's highest court to have acted unlawfully in suspending Parliament.

It isn't the fault of the SNP that Mr Johnson didn't resign over that humiliation, or that Priti Patel is still the Home Secretary in spite of an inquiry finding that she broke the Ministerial Code. And I find it strange that Mr Johnson is finding it so difficult to give the nurses a decent wage increase as now that we've left the EU he's getting £350 million a week for the NHS. I read it on the side of a bus.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

* DOES nobody in the SNP ever resign to spend more time with their families?

John Dunlop, Ayr.


ALISTER Jack, the Westminster Government’s spokesman on all things Scottish, has branded Holyrood as "pathetic" for not backing Westminster’s review for improving transport links across the UK ("Jack: Scottish Government ‘pathetic’ for not engaging in transport review", The Herald, March 11). This is a Westminster Government that is hailing HS2, which will stop at Birmingham in the "North".

Mr Jack is correct when he described the Union Tunnel as "fantastic". In my dictionary, fantastic is defined as fanciful, not real, capricious, whimsical, wild and foppish. About right then.

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.


AT the age of 80 I thought I had seen all the lunacy government could possibly inflict upon us, but no, now a tunnel between Northern Ireland and Scotland is being proposed. Obviously, nobody from the Government has tried to drive from Glasgow to Stranraer recently. The A77 is hardly fit for purpose for cars, never mind HGVs. The A75 from the M74 via Dumfries is not a lot better. Then there is the issue of buried munitions on the sea bed on the projected route. What insurance company is likely to want to touch that one?

We already have the doubtful-value project of the HS2, which is now too expensive to cancel, we certainly don't need another. The Government should be concentrating on improving the existing rail and road infrastructure. Even getting the trains to run on time and for them to be a viable alternative to either driving or flying would be a start.

Ian Smith, Symington.


ONCE again Iain Macwhirter delivered the goods ("Palace cannot allow Meghan’s accusation of racism to stand", The Herald, March 10). His description of the Windsor/Oprah vitriolic veiled messages conveyed in the now-infamous interview hit the mark.

I am sure he will not be offended when I say that his portrayal of Meghan being closer to the shape-shifting Sun Witch than the Little Mermaid reminded me of the similar brilliance of the late Clive James.

He covered every aspect of the allegations and accusations, questioning their veracity and it really puzzles me that the general public cannot see through the interview for what it was.

The interview was unnecessary but may have been literally a parting shot by the couple, since "The Firm" refused to meet their demands of having their cake and eating it too.

The residents of affluent Santa Barbara are very welcome to them.

Tina Oakes, Stonehaven.


PROFESSOR Brian Boyd (Letters, March 9) says you’d be better studying Korean than Latin. If they can’t offer Latin, how on earth will the local authorities be able to offer Korean?

Still, let’s compare the two. If you learn Korean in school, you’ll be able to learn the logical skills of a language – always a very good thing. But can Korean offer a language that is the basis of 50-60 per cent of English vocabulary – a great asset that studies have shown to improve pupils’ English?

Can Korean literature feed into the western literary tradition? People take for granted this tradition, but it is not something that just appears, it has been built up since Homer and the Greeks, through the Romans, to today. Shakespeare, Burns and many foremost writers up to the present day have learned Latin at school and this has helped to shape their creativity.

The Renaissance was the rebirth of classical standards in literature, art, science and the humanities; Newton understood the gravitas of writing in Latin (Principia Mathematica) and Linnaeus gave living organisms Latin names, still used today (hence Homo sapiens); there are so many chemical elements with Latin terms (Pb – plumbum); relativity, particle, quantum et cetera are all from Latin.

Medical terms, even the latest ones, are given Latin or Greek through Latin names (for example, coronavirus) and even when legal terms are not in Latin, anyone who has studied Ciceronian periodic structure will cope better with the law’s circumlocutions.

Finally we have the latest technology – computer, mobile, artificial intelligence, are all Latin originally. And what did Mark Zuckerberg enjoy studying at school? Latin and Classics, quoting from Virgil’s Aeneid at a Facebook conference.

Latin may not be for everyone, but does that mean we should deprive all Scottish pupils of a uniquely enriching opportunity?

The rest of the UK and most of Europe have not given up on Latin: Scotland, once renowned for its democratic opportunity, will certainly have given up, if we follow Professor Boyd.

Alan Milligan, Glasgow.

* AS a youngster I could never understand why a knowledge of Latin was said to be helpful to doctors. This changed years later when I translated the meaning of the sphincter muscle in the human body as "to bind tightly". Thus did the penny drop.

Robin Johnston, Newton Mearns.

Read more: For how much longer must we be humiliated by the SNP?