SO Boris Johnson, the nation's Prime Minister – responding to the forceful and insistent braying of the usual backbench culprits – imagines he is striking a blow for freedom and against the dreaded nanny state by removing all legal constraints regarding the protection of the public during this Covid-19 pandemic (“Sturgeon urged to set out clear exit strategy to end virus rules”, The Herald, July 13). This ignores the fact that the nation expects the elected government occasionally to perform the functions of a wise nanny. Although there will be variations around the UK, his basic premise is likely to be of influence.

Logically, it follows that there should now be no legal constraints; people would be trusted to use drugs, including dangerous drugs, but with care. And, firearms, now free of regulation, could be handled, with the advice that the use, particularly in crowded places, would be, although not illegal, discouraged. People would be encouraged to use their own judgment and common sense. Regulations regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol would be removed and numerous other "freedoms" handed to a responsible public. Madness, of course, but no more alarming than encouraging the nation to fight this enemy alone.

The UK Government is responsible for the safety and welfare of the whole nation and is accountable to the public. Removal of the legal means to enforce the necessary defensive activities amounts to a serious dereliction of duty. This Government must be held to account.

Ted Williamson, Eaglesham.

* CAUTION, responsibility: sensible words attributed to the correct approach being taken by the First Minister and the Scottish Government regarding the pandemic. We are currently living through a third wave of the pandemic, so to be anything other than cautious would be foolhardy and very irresponsible.

We have come so far, uniting together in the interest of each other and we must continue with steady caution on the road to recovery if our dream of normality is to become a reality. So I applaud the First Minister and the Scottish Government’s approach.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.


GARRY Scott ("Dangerous bus lane move may cost lives",The Herald, July 13) was, I believe, absolutely right in pointing out the potential dangers posed by these "Tarmac platforms" which have appeared all over Glasgow.

They are the same colour (black) as the road surface so are often difficult to spot in daylight and well nigh invisible in the dark and they are "shared" by cyclists and passengers queuing to board a bus. If anyone needs any proof of the chaos caused by the council's obsession with narrowing roads and building cycle lanes wider than the original road layout try Garscube Road, especially southbound, where the road is now very narrow, the filter lanes allowing left and right turns are now gone and traffic often sits behind a bus attempting to turn right for several changes of lights.

This is only one example of many where the green warriors on Glasgow City Council have reduced previously free-flowing roads and junctions to bottlenecks which then generate long lines of standing traffic. An engine, petrol or diesel, generates more pollution of various sorts when it is in its most inefficient mode, that is idling while stuck in traffic, therefore air quality in these areas will be significantly worse.

Billy Gold, Glasgow.


INSPIRED by the delightful column by Claire Taylor ("Let's play part in preserving beauty of our countryside", The Herald, July 13) I write to say "thank you" to the island of Millport, having just returned from a week there.

On the weekend when Edinburgh and Glasgow were under torrential rain we were sitting in 22C sunshine outside the Tavern with a pint and a glass of wine.

Small independent shops are flourishing, including Cumbrae Distillers, about whom we read in The Herald a few weeks ago. They have just won a gold medal for their gin.

The beautiful scenery all around is awe-inspiring. The unfailing habit of locals to smile and nod "hello" and "good morning" was delightful.

As with most typical Glaswegians we have only ever visited for a day trip, so the opportunity of spending a week on Millport is one we hope to repeat many times.

Brendan J Keenan, Glasgow.


I AM not sure if you can do anything to stop this, but can someone please call out (if that is the phrase of the day) the BBC for its bastardisation of the word “across”?

Radio Scotland (that bastion of second-rate journalism) announced this morning (July 13) that Jackie Brambles will be focusing on something (I am afraid I don’t recall what) “across the summer”. Other announcements have said that a reporter would be “across a story”, which suggests a shallow, superficial coverage – although that is probably what we would get ...

As I recall from my mathematics degree of a long time ago, a vector has both value and direction. The BBC is not only ignoring direction but is turning it by 90 degrees. If the BBC were to advise me how to get across the river Dee I would end up in Fittie – and still be on the same side of the river. What troubles me more than anything is that there is no reason to twist the meaning – what is anyone now supposed to understand by the previously accepted definition?

Peter Fraser, Aberdeen.