IF the governing parties are so intent on imposing the flawed vaccine passports, the scope of this scheme should, at the very least, be revised to enable the restrictions to be applied fairly.

Preferably the scheme should be extended to all entertainment venues but, more importantly, it should include those who can provide evidence of either having recently recovered from Covid, or of a recent negative test. Not to do so is to exclude individuals who represent no more risk to the health of others than the vaccinated majority. Surely such discrimination is not acceptable in a liberal democracy?

The aim of the legislation should be to protect the health of those who are vulnerable and not to coerce uptake of the vaccine among the young. If this is deemed desirable the Government should be striving to achieve this through discussion, persuasion and the provision of information.

Improving the scheme in this way will not assist in alleviating the problems faced by businesses and venues in having to police the passports, but it does have the advantage of paying just a little more respect to notions of fairness and freedom.

W Coghlan, Neilston.


TAVISH Scott, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, begins his article (“The labour crisis is squeezing our most successful food export like never before”, The Herald, October 14) with “Imagine getting a rigid-inflatable boat to work, skimming across the waves on the Sound of Mull, early morning sunlight glittering on the waves, porpoises playing in the bow wave.” It made me wonder if he is looking for a career move into the Scottish Tourist Board.

A more realistic intro might be: “Imagine enduring a choppy ride in a heavy swell on your way to spending a wet and windy day transferring dead and dying diseased salmon into a boat that’s going to take them away to be buried on a nearby beach or transported a further 200 miles by road to a toxic waste disposal facility.”

Mr Scott extended his poetic licence to say “the pay is pretty good with average salaries of £38,000”. One major company is currently looking for employees whose duties will include “sea lice identification and reporting. Sampling, weighing and grading of fish. Disease and parasite control. Site maintenance including net changing etc. Boat handling and stock movements.” That is responsible, heavy duty work, often in dangerous conditions. The wage starts at £9.51 an hour, that’s one penny an hour more than the real living wage and, for a 40-hour week, just over half that quoted by Mr Scott.

He asks government to help salmon farmers by allowing them to resume bringing in workers from Eastern Europe and by building houses for those workers to live in. The first step the Scottish Government should take is to stop the expansion of the unsustainable, cruel and polluting industry of factory fish farming. Tens of millions of fish die from disease, parasite infestation and poor handling annually.

It would also make sense to insist that when industries want to establish in rural areas they provide the housing and other infrastructure required by their staff and families. Too often all they do is take the money out (in salmon farming most of the profits go to Norway) and leave their rubbish behind.

John F. Robins, For Animal Concern, Dumbarton.


IN RELATION to COP 26, due to be hosted by Glasgow next month, the climate crisis and reducing our carbon footprint, I would like to point out an important point: many new-build flats are built without facilities outside or inside to dry laundry.

Builders expect residents to use tumble dryers. These dryers use large amounts of energy, therefore they are going to cost larger amounts of money as prices rise. I spoke to someone who lives in one of these buildings, who told me that rules state that residents "are not permitted to dry washing outside".

No wonder Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in the way they are, in the face of such unbelievable stupidity. The idea behind it is, I suspect, that washing lines outside make the area look common. Pure snobbishness. Sort it out or Extinction Rebellion will have something to say about it.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


RUTH Marr (Letters, October 13) remarks that when she was in secondary school "there was the barest nod to Scottish literature and poetry" but goes on to say "the days when pupils in Scottish schools are kept in the dark about Scotland are in the past". I don’t think matters have been properly remedied. The potentates are of minimal interest and the philosophers are denigrated for having ideas not currently deemed acceptable. Scottish inventors have generally been acknowledged.

I haven’t encountered any young person who knows that William Dunbar (1456-1513) was a far greater poet than Burns – who certainly deserves more credit than Jeremy Paxton recently gave him, for his ingenious versification. Similarly, Scots of all ages continue to accept that "Scottish music" means the Jimmy Shand and Robert Wilson kind of thing (derived largely from the 19th century London music hall) and know nothing whatsoever about the 16th century Scottish composers, some of whose work bears comparison with that of Palestrina or Josquin des Prez.

Robin Dow, Rothesay.