I AM both surprised and disappointed that the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, which is headquartered in England, has wasted its money on a YouGov survey which reveals out of date and misleading facts about the involvement of our young people in politics ("Young feel shut out by political decisions", The Herald, June 7).

The survey of 2,091 young people aged 14-24 concluded that 78% per cent of those surveyed said “politicians rarely listen to young people if at all”, "while 68% believed politicians make decisions with little or no consideration ... of the impact on future generations”.

Well, that is just nonsense, since there is a Youth Parliament in England and and Wales. Since June 1999 Scotland has had it own Youth Parliament. I and many other youth workers have worked for decades to empower young people, first by creating local youth councils for every local authority, which certainly do consult young people. Their work feeds into the Scottish Youth Parliament, who are always consulted by Holyrood on issues affecting children and young people.

So perhaps D of E ambassador Sain McQuillan and CEO Ruth Marvel should stop spreading the myth that politicians do not listen to children and young people. They should also be aware that you can vote at 16-17 in Scotland and Wales, but not in England.

In the last three years Government policies on free school meals, free books and more have changed because of the young footballer Marcus Rashford. Greta Thunberg has inspired millions of young people across the world to get involved with politicians on the climate change issue. The American Black Lives Matter and the American March for Lives campaign have been driven by young people appalled at the mass shootings of schoolchildren and others.

Perhaps one of the badges the D of E scheme could create is one that is about all the ways that children and young people can become more empowered. It should introduce the participants to all the facts about the enormous success that has already been achieved across the UK.

Max Cruickshank, retired youth worker, Glasgow.


LAST week (June 1) I wrote a letter to The Herald about wind turbines, cycling and wildlife. As a friend remarked, I got a doing.

However, I prefer the impact of turbines to that of more industrial processes.

Having played as a child on the red bings of High Blantyre and on the chemical waste of Rutherglen and Cambuslang’s playing fields, I prefer my own grandchildren cavorting in the countryside, with turbines atop the braes.

Allan McDougall, Neilston.


IS it just me or do others find the irritating innovation that now requires BBC Scotland news anchors to introduce themselves every single time they appear and usually five minutes after the news has started? We have already been told at the beginning of the main news who they are so do we need to be told that “good evening, I’m Sally Magmusson” or “ 'lo,amlorramillar”. I wonder if some bright spark in the newsroom was given a bonus and a promotion for inflicting this on viewers when a simple caption would suffice?

John Love, Glasgow.


I'VE been interested in recent media coverage of the new pastime of magnet fishing in canals across the central belt.

On the subject of the canals, I'm looking for some help. I'm trying to trace a poem I knew some years ago about a council decision to fill in part of the Monklands Canal to make way for the motorway. The poem has the ring of Stephen Mulrine or Tom Leonard about it .... but I'm not sure. From memory, it started:.

"Thae George Square stumours has pit the hems intae the Toonheid's answer tae London's Thames ...". Other lines which spring to mind are .... "Fishin' fur roach aff the slevery wa' .... pullin on 'luckies' .... mibbae a ba' .... or a bike even ...".

Does it ring a bell with any readers?

Liam Chalmers, Dumfries.


I WAS somewhat amused, bemused or even confused at a sentence in the article on the work of Sir Joseph Noel Paton which appeared on Monday ("Rarely seen work of Scottish artist loved by Victoria to go on display", The Herald, June 7).

Apparently his work was popular in Queen Victoria's time "with his most famous paintings depicting fairies attracting large crowds when they went on display".

At first I interpreted this as meaning that his paintings were of fairies displaying to large crowds. Then on re-reading the sentence I understood that it was his paintings, not the fairies, that attracted large crowds, when they (the paintings) went on display.

Truly an example of syntactic ambiguity which would delight Lynne Truss.

Neil Scott, Edinburgh.


AN otherwise sensible person has just paid $20,000 for an invisible sculpture (“Issue of the day: Invisible sculpture auctioned off”, The Herald, June 7, and Letters, June 8). Maybe this purchaser has done the right thing, as the Roman poet Horace wrote in his Epistles, "to marvel at nothing is just about the only thing that can make a man happy and keep him that way".

It sounds like money well spent, but as a practical person I would want to know what happens when the statue needs to be dusted?

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.