THE persistent claim of both governments during Covid has been to prevent the NHS being “overwhelmed”.

In Scotland, now with 500,000 on waiting lists to be seen or treated, some delayed years, I would suggest the NHS is and has been for years overwhelmed ("Hospitals straining under rapid rise in Covid patients", The Herald, September 1).

When Jason Leitch states the only thing the NHS can do is stop elective procedures, then it is clear the NHS no longer exists as a service free at the point of need. No amount of pious wishes by Nicola Sturgeon et al, and £1 billion over five years, will change that.

Perhaps we need some creative destruction, but the political class in Holyrood are clearly out of their depth. Masterly inactivity is a well-recognised medical ploy, but for the NHS is terminal.

Gavin Tait, East Kilbride.


SO people would happily work one day less but keep five days' wages ("Public gives overwhelming backing to introduction of four-day working week", The Herald, September 1). Doesn't need research or a poll to find that out. Would they also be happy to pay 20 per cent more in food, entertainment and the like to cover the increased costs of businesses? Funny that question wasn't asked.

Scotland is becoming a something for nothing nation.

Bill Eadie, Giffnock.


GRETA Thunberg’s comments about Scotland perhaps not being the world leader it claims to be as proposals for a new oil field off the Shetland coast are considered ("Greta is wrong: Scotland’s climate targets do matter", The Herald, September 1) are not unfounded, but they do discredit the excellent climate innovation work going on in the country by non-government businesses.

Glasgow has been awarded the status of Global Green City and is targeting carbon neutrality by 2030, while Edinburgh has bolstered its public transport offerings. Scottish businesses from whisky distillers to technology firms like my own are innovating to reduce emissions for themselves and their clients and are leading the way while doing so.

This highlights that while the Government may not be doing enough, businesses within the country are, so these trailblazers need to be uplifted. By focusing its attention on strengthening the firms that are already making a significant, positive impact on the environment rather than being sidetracked by plans for new oil fields and coal mines, the Government could continue to build the country’s green credentials while supporting local businesses and creating jobs within the green economy, rather than the fossil fuel industries.

Don McLean, Founder and CEO at IES, Glasgow.

* NOT an acolyte of Greta Thunberg, I did sympathise with her view, quoted today, that there might be some politicians that are slightly less worse than others (sic). Aesop, the Greek fabulist who died in 564BC, took a not too dissimilar view when he stated: "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office".

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

David Miller, Milngavie.


I WAS shocked and saddened to read your article on the out of season culling of red deer to be carried out by the Government’s Forestry and Land Scotland Agency ("Gamekeepers unhappy about plan for out-of-season deer cull", The Herald, August 31). This seems to be a totally inhumane and barbaric way of controlling the deer population. The fact that the Scottish Gamekeepers Association is unhappy about the cull speaks volumes.

Surely the deer population could be managed in a more humane way rather than the slow, lingering death many of the orphaned young will endure. And why? Just so the Government can say it has planted X number of trees to do its bit to save the planet. Disgusting.

Elaine Honeyman, Largs.


I TOTALLY agree with Maggie Ritchie’s opinion of Glasgow’s filthy streets (“Grotty Glasgow’s filthy streets risk shaming Scotland on the world stage”, The Herald, August 31).

Sadly, it is not only the city centre which is in such a mess with refuse and litter.

I have travelled for many years by car into Glasgow for work, along the M80. Just before the M80 meets the M8, the area under the motorway is a sea of debris which seems to have increased over the years.

It reminds me of a South American shanty town or favela, right here on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Glasgow City Council must get this sorted well before COP26 takes place and keep Glasgow looking like a Dear Green Place all year round.

Tom Fabling, Lenzie.


IN saying that Kenny MacAskill and many politicians do not understand the nature of alcohol, Max Cruickshank (Letters, August 30) speaks the simple truth but implies that others do understand its nature. I'm reminded of an exchange overheard on a London station platform between a foreign visitor and a local: "Please can you tell me what is time?" "There, my friend, you have posed a vast and imponderable question."

Robin Dow, Rothesay.