I HOPE that Glasgow’s universities, and also the University of St Andrews (which has a particular reputation to maintain as the third-oldest in the English-speaking world) will educate those naïve and ignorant students who sell and buy posters of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Guevara et al in Freshers’ Week.

It is depressing that after 12 or 13 years of schooling to university standard, they are clearly unaware that such leaders were just as brutally fascist as their German counterparts from 1933-45 were, and incarcerated, tortured, starved and murdered far more of their opponents and other innocent victims than even the Nazis did.

I doubt if many posters of Hitler, Himmler, Goering and Goebbels adorn those students’ walls.

John Birkett, St Andrews.


I RARELY agree with Kevin McKenna but he is on the money with regard to the giant pandas in Edinburgh Zoo ("Why were Scotland’s two pandas allowed to suffer 10 long years of humiliation?", The Herald, September 13).

These sentient creatures were brought to the zoo for commercial reasons and the efforts over a 10-year period to get them to produce offspring are a disgrace. Even as a youngster visiting Edinburgh Zoo many years ago the sight of such magnificent beasts as lions and tigers padding about restlessly in cages induced unease and as I grew older I never visited again.

Certainly conditions for animals in UK zoos have improved over the years and I think that there is a role for zoos as Mr McKenna suggests, but in many respects they are, like circuses, throwbacks from the Victorian era.

Alan Ramage, Edinburgh.


I WAS interested to read Stuart Jackson’s objections to a proposed community clean-up in Glasgow before COP26 (Letters, September 11). Our attitude to litter shames our nation and encouraging citizens to clear it up should be the precursor to building a society that takes responsibility for the mess it makes.

Having been lucky enough to travel widely, we’ve visited Japan, whose citizens ensure it’s totally litter-free, and Vietnam, where we watched senior school pupils cleaning the pathways and pavements outside their school campus before the school day had begun.

Taking responsibility for our own mess should be encouraged, not disparaged (and if the council didn’t have to waste money clearing up our mess, perhaps bulk uplifts could become free of charge).

Helen Wiseman, Cumbernauld.


I WAS intrigued by Doug Marr's article on modern-day pop ("Modern-day pop is cheating today’s youngsters of their musical legacy", The Herald, September 13). I sing and play the guitar and enjoy singing in local cafes and bars in Ayrshire. I also have an apartment in the golf resort of Soto Grande in Spain and I have recently taken to singing in the local beach bars. At The Bunker bar restaurant on August 12 this year I sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which I introduced to my audience as the famous song first sung by Judy Garland in the immortal movie The Wizard of Oz, which I explained had premiered 82 years ago on that day in Wisconsin in America.

A few nights later I found myself mobbed outside a bar by a group of beautiful young Spanish girls who asked me to sing again for them Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I insisted they sing it with me, which they did to perfection.

One girl then asked me to sing Fly Me to the Moon, which I did. Her response was ''That is beautiful".

So it has been my experience that the youth of today, at least in Spain, are well tuned into the music of the former golden era.

Am I a young teenager who has picked up on this old music? Hardly; I am the same age as the Wizard of Oz, a youthful 82-year-old.

Perhaps a new career beckons.

Billy Rae McCrindle MBE, West Kilbride.


YOUR Big Read ("Time again for city to get behind its famous slogan: Glasgow's Miles Better", The Herald, September 11), requires some clarification. The sub-heading, "Campaign creator says it should be brought back for 40th anniversary", might lead readers to believe that the then Lord Provost, Michael Kelly, was the creative genius behind the successful slogan. Whilst the true creator, the late John Struthers, is acknowledged in a small picture caption, it should be known that, such was John's faith in the campaign, he financed its initial beginnings before the city and other institutions stepped in to support it.

David G Will, Milngavie.


CONGRATULATIONS to Alan Dunlop (Letters, September 11) on not letting Diageo forget the damage it did to Kilmarnock, Johnnie Walker's historical home. After the plant closure and loss of hundreds of jobs, Killie fans no longer sing "there'll be Johnnie Walker whisky in the cup". Mind you, we haven't won a cup since 2012.

Bob Serafini, North Berwick.


THE Tour of Britain cycle race was a sight to behold both personally and on television at the weekend.

Added to our enjoyment was the English commentators' attempts at pronouncing the names of our Aberdeenshire villages.

On approaching Aberdeen one commentator said that he had already been to the beautiful Aberdeen beach and that he had been "blown away". That convinces me that he really had been there.

Tina Oakes, Stonehaven.