IMMIGRATION is a contentious subject and one’s views are likely to be influenced by where one stays. Office of National Statistics data tells us that in 2018 in Scotland, with the exception of metropolitan Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, the percentage of non-UK-born residents was in the low single figures; the same could be said of all England north of Leeds, Wales and the English provinces west of Bath.

The major congregations of residents who were not born in the UK were and are as one might expect in the big cities. With the exception of central Manchester at 29 per cent, all those cities and districts are in the south-east of England, some areas of London having levels of 50% and above. This demographic change has not happened overnight, so one wonders why immigration is suddenly presented as requiring attention when Scotland, for example, does and will continue to welcome those who wish to come here to contribute to our society and its economy.

Some things I find difficult to understand. For example why would a refugee fleeing persecution in some distant land pass through several prosperous and stable European countries and risk injury or death to cross the English Channel just to end up working in a sweat-shop or worse in the black economy if they weren’t being trafficked to repay a debt? Who pockets the money and what is being done about that exploitation of the innocent?

Secondly, our Home Secretary is the daughter of immigrants who arrived from Uganda a decade before Idi Amin came to power. One may have thought given her background she would have a more sympathetic attitude towards those wanting the same opportunity in the UK that her parents were given and she has benefited from. But then again after 20-plus years of idolising Margaret Thatcher and her right-wing policies perhaps all the humanity has been ground out of poor Ms Patel, that is assuming it was ever there in the first place.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


ALAN Fitzpatrick (Letters, March 26) accuses me of making “the absurd sweeping generalisation that immigrants arriving in the UK by illegal means are all asylum seekers”. I did no such thing; my letter (March 25) about Priti Patel’s announcement stated: “These are asylum seekers she’s targeting, not economic migrants”. The Herald’s headline the previous day read: “Patel announces clampdown on asylum claims in major overhaul” and Ms Patel’s statement claimed this was “the biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades”.

Mr Fitzpatrick says that asylum seekers could claim asylum in the first country they reach; which, given where the UK lies, conveniently allows us to avoid our international and moral obligations. Our treatment of asylum seekers is already shabby and shameful, and it’s shocking that the UK Government’s priority is to make it even worse.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.


* WHEN we know that international travel was responsible for spreading the Covid virus, we plan to replicate this situation by holding a climate conference in Glasgow for November, with delegates and staff from worldwide.

Prepare for another lockdown over Christmas. You simply could not make it up.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross.


IN view of the furore created at the school in West Yorkshire about the showing of a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed,would it not be a good idea to remove religion in its entirety from schools?

Religion could then be taught at home and in places of worship.

Eric Macdonald, Paisley.


BEING of a similar vintage to your correspondent Stewart Lightbody (Letters, March 25), I, too, sat an IQ test in Primary 7. Squeezed into the tight schedule of preparing pupils for the “Qualy”, were examples from tests, explained by our teacher.

Now such tests are widely available online, guaranteeing practise and “success” to those with the necessary technology and encouragement and would do little to solve the problem of assessing the potential of under-achieving young people.

I submit that imaginative and interesting teaching to very small groups is part of the solution and believe that this has been happening through various media during the current pandemic – and will again take place in the classrooms of the not-too-distant future.

Elsa Rossetter, North Ballachulish.


I NOTE the sentiments expressed by Janice Carroll and Thelma Edwards (Letters, March 26) regarding the theft of the Herald Memorial Garden plaque. This was human behaviour of a kind beyond normal understanding and it is at such times that I find myself out of step with the dictum of the Roman playwright Terence, translated as ("I am human and I think nothing human is alien to me".

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


PERHAPS you could add to your list of ineffectual phrases (Letters, March 25 & 26) "We take our responsibilities very seriously" (but not seriously enough to stop whatever it was happening the first time).

Brian Chrystal, Edinburgh.

*“GOING forward", we’re “ramping up" the “uptick" “at pace”.

Gordon Casely, Crathes.