ALLAN Thompson (Letters, July 2) complains that the Scottish Government is fabricating grievances over the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty which the UK already signed up to in the 1990s. May I remind Mr Thompson that the Scottish bill incorporating this into domestic law in Scotland was passed unanimously in the Scottish Parliament in March, where its passage proved uncontentious.

Far from the SNP-led Scottish Government fabricating grievances, the boot is I’m afraid firmly on the other foot: it is the Scotland Office under Alister Jack which is unnecessarily fomenting conflict between the UK and the Scottish governments. Mr Jack is attempting to curtail the rights of the Scottish Parliament to legislate on child welfare in Scotland. We must ask ourselves why the UK Government would wish to challenge legislation in Scotland affecting children’s UN rights when it has already signed up to the treaty? Unless it wishes to dilute the UN treaty rights of Scottish children? This is morally repugnant as well as politically inept on the part of Mr Jack.

Mairianna Clyde, Edinburgh.


IT is understandable that Peter A Russell (Letters, July 2) should be feeling sore, given that Labour won two constituency seats and the SNP 62 constituency seats at the Scottish Parliament elections, but he shows himself to be a bad loser when he takes a dig not only at Scotland's Government but also insults the intelligence of Scotland's voters.

Mr Russell contends that the SNP has "traded on the habitual conservatism of Scottish voters by not doing much over and over again". What the SNP has done, over and over again, is try to protect Scotland from a decade of Tory austerity; baby boxes, the game-changing Scottish Child Payment, free personal and nursing care to all who require it regardless of age, the building of thousands of affordable homes including council houses, no charges for prescriptions and university tuition. Policies which are appreciated by the voters and impact on their day-to-day lives, which, along with the commitment to give the people of Scotland the right to choose their own future, is why they returned the SNP to power for a fourth consecutive term only weeks ago.

As for Mr Russell describing the SNP as "running on empty", I would remind him that is exactly what Labour in Scotland did for decades, arrogantly presuming that Scottish voters would keep on obediently returning them to power in spite of them not doing much for Scotland, over and over again.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.


DENNIS Forbes Grattan (Letters, July 1) paints a bleak future for an independent Scotland with an inherited national debt without the support of England to deal with it. It doesn’t seem to register with him that the UK national debt is a massive £3 trillion and is increasing exponentially, so it looks as if they need help rather than are able to give it.

All countries, including oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Norway with its massive $1 trillion Oil Fund, have government national debts. This global national debt increased by $24 trillion last year and currently stands at around $300 trillion, which is almost four times the global GDP. In short, it is a debt that can never and will never be repaid. It is a function of the international adoption of “fiat” currencies that are literally “Monopoly money” and at some point somebody will have to press the restart button.

I suppose a future Scottish government could always do as Westminster did last year and the American Fed does continuously, just create it out of thin air.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


IT seems that Nicola Sturgeon's recent statement to the effect that the coronavirus outbreak had passed its peak has fallen well short of the mark and has been wishful thinking on her part. For daily new infections to be surging beyond the 4,000 mark is a worrying development ("Long Covid fears as new cases pass 4,000 in record daily toll", The Herald, July 2).

One would have hoped that the much-acclaimed Test and Protect initiative would have countered the Covid threat to some extent but with less than a third of those showing a positive test being contacted by tracers within 24 hours, it seems that deficiencies in the system are allowing the virus to spread out of control unnecessarily.

There were plenty of warnings from the medical and scientific communities that the Euro football events and fan behaviour would lead to an increase in Covid cases but the Scottish Government doesn't seem to have put contingency plans in place to counter the perceived threat. It's little wonder that Ms Sturgeon and her Health Secretary are keeping their heads below the parapet while national clinical director Jason Leitch is being offered up as the sacrificial lamb.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.

* SCOTLAND is already the drug deaths champion of Europe. Now we learn that we are close to topping the Covid league as well.

We need an administration that concentrates entirely on the health and welfare and education of our people and leaves their fantasies and dislike and rancour towards others aside until the time is infinitely more appropriate.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.


I WRITE in response to Neil Mackay's column about Priti Patel's plans for shipping refugees to Rwanda ("Sturgeon must offer a home to refugees Priti Patel threatens to send to Rwanda", The Herald, July 1).

A fish rots from the head, just as the UK Government rots from the top. The sooner we cut ourselves adrift from the dreadful partnership of Boris Johnson and Ms Patel the better. A lot of us do care, Mr Mackay, it's just that we cannot keep up with their inhumane actions in government.

Is it because of the pandemic that we are not out protesting? In my case, my neighbour told me if I go to any protests, she will not be able to come near me as she is afraid of catching the virus.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


ROSEMARY Goring in her column on the subject of courageous writers and journalists ("Brave writers taking on the tyrants and following in Orwell’s footsteps", The Herald, June 30) states: "Sadly, the totalitarianism and dictatorships Orwell railed against are with us still, even if in different shape." She cites the situation in Hong Kong as potent evidence of that.

There are other aspects of life much described and criticised by George Orwell which have yet to disappear and, perhaps, some never will. In 1937 The Road to Wigan Pier was published. In Part I he described his experiences of living in the deprived North of England and set out to highlight the pollution, hardship, poor housing, awful working conditions and squalor. While it is obviously true that life generally for working people has been greatly changed for the better in the last 80 years or so, it would be more than somewhat blinkered to maintain that all of the problems of the 1930s have since been solved. One just has to think, for example, of issues with housing, alcoholism, the class system, consumption of unhealthy food, gambling, and the continuing division between North and South.

In Part II he assessed socialism in England and believed that it was his task to suggest how "a reconciliation might be effected between socialism and its more intelligent enemies". His suggestions did not effect that reconciliation and, clearly, neither did Jeremy Corbyn’s during his leadership of the Labour Party.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


I SHOULD like to echo Mike Wilson's sentiments about the antics of Gary Lineker et al (Letters, July 1). Two examples come to mind. First, on the eve of the Scotland v England match, after Rio Ferdinand opined that England would win comfortably, Lineker then asked a Belgian ex-player on the panel for "a neutral view" (thereby confirming the bias of the rest of the panel). When the Belgian began to say that he thought that England would win, but that it would not be easy, a chortling Shearer interrupted to say "It will, it will!" Then, totally gratuitously, in the post-England v Germany match discussion, when discussing the England manager's performance, Linker interrupted to say sneeringly: "But he did give Scotland a point", to which a grinning Shearer responded: "But he did apologise for that." I couldn't believe what I had just heard.

I am normally a great supporter of the BBC but given that home nations other than England had been in the tournament, and in light of what I had thought had been the BBC's comparatively recent acceptance that it was too Metropolitan-biased, it is fairly surprising that a BBC high heid yin hadn't first had a word in the vastly-overpaid Lineker's ear beforehand to remind him that he would be broadcasting to the whole of the UK, and surprising too that the panel was not composed of members who reflected that fact. Lineker is a one-man recruiter for the SNP.

R Murray, Glasgow.

* SHELLEY Kerr is surely in Cloud Cuckoo Land if she believes female TV pundits on men's football are appointed wholly on merit ("No barrier to who picks up the mic for TV", Herald Sport, July 2).

I believe they are given the job (in part) because of political correctness and to achieve a pundit panel that is gender-balanced.

Personally, I cannot see how a player of the ladies' game can be as well qualified to comment on the men's game as a male counterpart, assuming diction and the like are the same. Similarly, a male player who has never played in a women's match is equally less qualified to speak about it.

I definitely see a place for female TV presenters and match officials in the men's game, but expert analysis should surely come from those who have first-hand experience.

James Miller, Glasgow.


REFLECTING on Alison Rowat’s poser, “Is a Scotland that supports England on to a winner?” (The Herald, July 1), I confess that, although giving our national football team my emotional and vocal support, I had stooped to a sneaky flutter on an England victory in the recent tie against ourselves.

On a purely personal basis, with the result an inconclusive nil-nil draw, my response to Ms Rowat is a sheepish negative.

I accept the opprobrium of family and friends in our Lucky Euros 2020 sweep that “it serves the sad old man right”.

R Russell Smith, Largs.


I UNDERSTAND Glasgow City Council has targets to promote recycling of garden waste and to reduce car journeys. I have just taken some garden waste to Dawsholm recycling centre, only to be told that garden waste is no longer accepted there and should be taken to Shieldhall recycling centre. It must require an impressive level of creative skill – even by the standards of Glasgow City Council – to devise a policy that fails on both counts.

Scott Simpson, Glasgow.

Read more: We deserve so much better than an SNP that is running on empty