I WOULD doubt that most readers of The Herald are "to a large degree financially secure" ("Unpicking the pensions triple lock: who’s to say what’s ‘fair’?", The Herald, August 24).

During Covid there has (out of necessity) been support for those furloughed, and for businesses that would not survive without some form of Government intervention. The pensioner has needed no such support, but will have to deal with the higher prices and taxation that will come when we have to balance the books.

Kirsty Dorsey also refers to £3 billion per year being the cost of awarding the full eight per cent, but 2.5% would be awarded anyway. However, her point is made in the context of public finances being stretched due to Covid. I would suggest that in overall terms of Covid support, £3bn, although significant, is a drop in the ocean of the money allocated by the UK Government during the pandemic, but I would also suggest that most pensioners would be happy to have a pro rata average of the last two years.

However, in accepting the point that it is a large award, I would remind readers that it is based on a very small pension of £137.60 per week, and even the new award came at the sacrifice of the state second pension (SERPS) and a large number of women whose pensions were deferred for five years, and in all these cases, those "benefiting" had to pay into the National Insurance fund for at least 35 years; when I retired, somewhere in the region of 25% of my salary (before tax) was being paid into the NI scheme. Yes of course that covers a contribution to the NHS too, but it is still a significant sum, and the Government regards it as a "benefit" in spite of the fact that it is my money, paid via the NI contributions for about 50 years.

Finally, the younger people, to whom Ms Dorsey refers, have had the benefit of two things most people of pensionable age never had: 1) the longest period of low interest, and, 2) the longest period of low inflation. If the anomalies of the pandemic should be taken into account, then so should all the benefits of a subdued economy.

Francis Deigman (Mr), Erskine.


"THE first political novelist in the English language": so has the Scottish writer John Galt (1779-1839) been called, but he did not care for the description "novel" for his works. He called them "theoretical histories". Whatever they are called they are wonderful books: Scott was said to have read and admired them.

I found the best one to begin my odyssey through Galt's works, many years ago, was The Annals Of The Parish. Then on to The Entail and currently The Last Of the Lairds. On the journey I came across the Rev Micah Balwhidder and his parishioners (an interesting lot) and will I ever forget Mrs Soorocks (The Last of the Lairds) and Leddy Grippy (The Entail)? The names alone fix them in my memory. There are many others too. Can there be a better name for the town bookseller (The Last of the Lairds) than Johnny Sellblethers?

I agree with David Gray (Letters, August 21)and Malcolm Allan (Letters, August 23) when they point out other writers whose printed works are now seemingly neglected. AJ Cronin's The Citadel was recently broadcast on Radio 4 and as good as the production was, there is nothing quite like immersing oneself in the printed books and giving the imagination free rein to follow the writers wherever they lead. Hardy, Stevenson, Forster and Hartley take us on great adventures in the land of the printed word. I will not be "sittin' on my ain louping-on stane" like the Laird, but on my ain sett on the logs by the burn with a book.

What delights I find in store for my autumn reading, as they have all been read before. Hopefully other folks will discover that they want to bury themselves in these writers' books and go adventuring.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.

* I HAVE no knowledge of the popularity of A J Cronin and Somerset Maugham in terms of the numbers of their readerships (Letters, August 21, 23 & 25), but I do know that they were certainly favourites of mine in my teenage years more than 60 years ago and your correspondents brought back memories for me.

Another favourite was Arnold Bennett, the author of Clayhanger, Hilda Lessways and These Twain, which were shown on TV, not forgetting Anna of the Five Towns and The Old Wives' Tale, all set in the Potteries.

I believe Arnold Bennett lives on in the form of a restaurant delicacy called Omelette Arnold Bennett, which was developed at The Savoy Hotel to the author's specification. That's fame for you.

Irene Hambley, High Blantyre.


ALLAN C STEELE and his memories of the Toledo cinema (Letters, August 24) brought the late sixties sharply into focus again.

Does anyone else remember Saturday mornings and Zorro’s Fighting Legion? The black hat and cape; mask always intact. A week until the next thrilling instalment. How did we survive? Happy days.

Brian D Henderson, Glasgow.


ROSEMARY Goring ("‘Trigger warnings’ about Romeo and Juliet are a total insult to audiences", The Herald, August 25) is correct to believe that the Globe Theatre is overdoing its trigger warnings for younger playgoers, to judge by this exchange between two girls – aged about 11 or 12 – who were returning to their seats in the gardens during the interval at the 2018 version by Bard in the Botanics.

Girl 1: "Look – there's a bed on the stage."

Girl 2: "Aye. He dies and she fake dies."

Roderick Forsyth, Glasgow.