LIKE every decent thinking human being I am abhorred by the detail surrounding the brutal treatment and eventual murder of Sarah Everard, an innocent and by all accounts adorable young woman ("Dick facing fresh calls to resign as Everard killer is jailed for life", The Herald, October 1, and Letters, October 1 & 2). Compounding this dreadful deed is the fact that the perpetrator was at the time a serving police officer.

As a former police officer, having retired 31 years ago, I am appalled, disgusted and indeed hurting at what this beast did to an innocent young woman, who in reality, could have been a relative of any one of us.

Having devoted my retiral to serving in the voluntary sector and considering my 30 years' service in the police, I think, in all modesty, I have a fair idea of the human condition and predicament.

Society at large cannot turn a blind eye to the awful events surrounding this case and the epidemic that is the abuse of women.

We have created and live in this surreal "inclusive" society where it is wrong or an infringement of an individual’s human rights to ask the searching and very necessary questions that may or indeed would debar them from a variety of serious and responsible positions in society.

The police service is just one example of this crazy notion of inclusiveness. There are individuals now serving who not so many years ago would never have progressed beyond the application process.

I witnessed the start of this decline in applicant calibre in the 1970s and 1980s when social engineers got a foot in the corporate door of police management.

Dan Edgar, Rothesay.


I HAVE sympathy with the claims that politicians "talk the talk but don't walk the walk" and Greta Thunberg's recent suggestion that the Prime Minister's "talk on climate change is blah, blah, blah".

After all, Britain has "taken back control" and can now take its own action, completely unhindered by any EU rules and regulations. It has nowhere to hide; all that is now awaited is some serious, meaningful action from its politicians.

Could I suggest that one of the outcomes of Glasgow's COP26 conference could be a worldwide agreement that where polluting countries refuse to reduce their carbon footprint then other countries should simply apply an import carbon tax on all exports from such polluting countries?

It would be ideal were Britain to lead such a proposal, with any carbon tax income directed towards speeding up the day when the country becomes carbon neutral.

Now, many will point to why this could not be done, but my challenge to those responding negatively to this letter is to ask that they actually state what they propose and outline when they think their ideas will actually be introduced. Or is it simply more "blah, blah, blah"?

Alan McKinney, Edinburgh.


THE announcement that Virgin Money is to close a number of branches in Scotland ("High-street bank slammed as ‘shameful’ over latest branch cuts", The Herald, October 1) is astonishing, as it has just spent money on rebranding Clydesdale branches with the promise of improving "customer experience".

The closures in Cumbernauld and Airdrie leave customers in a heavily populated area without access to their bank, and having to travel some distance, if they have a car, to the nearest branch. The claim that they can, instead, "visit their local Post Office" is farcical, as for most their Post Office is a counter in a local shop that lacks the facilities to cope with even a minor increase in customers. In the Cumbernauld/Kilsyth area, which is the ninth-largest conurbation in Scotland according to Government statistics, customers will not have a Virgin branch, and will, very sensibly, move their accounts to other providers, rather than try to travel to Kirkintilloch – which has the only branch remaining in the surrounding area – as the public transport links are very limited.

Perhaps the person responsible for "customer experience" meant this: by closing their Virgin accounts they will get better service elsewhere. Personally, I think that he/she does not care very much about "customer experience", as if he/she did, loyal customers would not be treated with such contempt.

To those affected by the desertion of the Virgin Money Store (store seems so apt, much better than bank to describe this organisation), I would propose that on November 30, to allow time for a rethink and reversal of this policy, all customers move their accounts to real banks.

TJ Dowds, Cumbernauld.


I'M pleased to see that VisitScotland is advocating "slow travel" instead of whistle stop tours (Letters, October 2).

In my retirement business as a tour guide I often pick up cruise ship passengers at Greenock who wish a flavour of Scotland in a day. One such group had clearly done some homework. They told me they would be down the gangplank at 9.15am after a leisurely breakfast and wanted a Glasgow city tour with Cathedral visit, Bannockburn and Stirling Castle, lunch with local produce, some Highland scenery (for which I offer The Trossachs), Loch Lomond, and Glengoyne distillery. Oh and could they be back on board at 5pm for early dinner as there was good onboard entertainment that evening.

I had worked out that keeping to the speed limit it was just about possible, when the day before the trip I got an email from the group leader: "One of our party has asked if we could swing by Loch Ness".

I kid you not. Roll on slow travel.

Scott Macintosh, Killearn.