DESPITE having had two doses of the Covid vaccine, I recently found myself displaying one of the symptoms of the disease – regular bouts of coughing.

As a precaution I decided to go for a PCR test, which was quickly and efficiently delivered by my local walk-in testing centre. Whilst there I was offered two boxes containing lateral flow tests for possible future use.

Imagine my disappointment, on getting these packs home, to read ‘Made in China’ emblazoned on the side of the kits, procured by our NHS.

My family is regularly surprised to find that most of our recent purchases, including slippers and a draught-excluder, have their origins in China.

It would appear to make sense that, in order to improve our green credentials, we cease to buy goods from the other side of the world.

Trade deals with China, the USA and Australia, with the resulting cost to the environment, are not in our interests.

It is a sad truth that the President of China, despite his country’s extensive exports to the UK, has not committed to attend COP 26, let alone make any positive steps to reduce his country’s carbon footprint.

David G Will, Milngavie.


I SEE that NFU Scotland President, Martin Kennedy, has said: “Our fears that the process adopted by the UK Government in agreeing the Australia deal would set a dangerous precedent going forward have just been realised.

“Having now put in place a similar deal to grant unfettered access to New Zealand, another major food-exporting nation, the cumulative impact of all such deals on farmers and crofters will be substantial”.

He added: “This latest deal offers virtually nothing to Scottish farmers and crofters in return but risks undermining our valuable lamb, dairy and horticultural sectors by granting access to large volumes of imported goods that could be produced in farming systems not currently permitted here.”

I should be interested to learn how Messrs. Alister Jack and David Mundell will justify this sell-out to the farming communities in their constituencies.

And how, given the climate emergency that the world faces, they can justify signing deals to import food from halfway across the world when we can produce it to a much better standard and with far less environmental cost here.

David Howdle, Dumfries.


WITH Scots paying handsomely for the Scottish government’s ‘green’ agenda, it is concerning that pollution in over 400 rivers, lochs, canals and burns has reached record levels (“Record pollution damage on Scotland’s waterways”, October 22).

With an environmental watchdog being tasked to look after our precious countryside and urban areas, questions need to be asked about why this has been allowed to come about and whether the Scottish Enviromental Protection Agency (SEPA) in its current form is actually fit for purpose.

Is SEPA as a quango too remote from government scrutiny and accountability, or does it need stronger powers and reform?

These issues need to be addressed quickly or else our waterways will stagnate and pollute further.

Allied to this is the Court of Session’s criticism of the government agency, NatureScot, for apparently being too eager to issue licences for the culling of beavers, which if managed properly could improve our water systems.

These are important issues which have future repercussions for us all and yet have been neglected as the government prioritises its Indyref2 pursuit.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen.


I HAVE never been a believer in Scotland becoming independent, as I felt that we lacked the infrastructure, and therefore the associated income stream, to support it.

My mind-set started to change when Brexit appeared on the scene and the inevitable chaos followed, further aggravated with it being a hard Brexit.

We have now had another kick in the teeth with the knock-back of the St Fergus carbon capture plant, which to many in the industry was a no-brainer, as a considerable amount of infrastructure is already in place to store the CO2 and the pipework to transfer it there.

As sure as eggs are eggs, we will no doubt in the near future be advised that Ardeer will be dropped as a proposed site of a nuclear fusion plant, leaving one of the English sites as the prize winner.

I am sure that Boris Johnson could not manage any better at encouraging Nationalism than he presently does.

George Dale, Beith.

* IN a move that defies logic, common sense and the best advice of the industry involved in it, Westminster decides not to support carbon capture in Aberdeenshire, yet Dr Gerald Edwards (letters, October 21) uses this appalling decision to criticise the SNP rather than Westminster.

To link this event to the international drive to ban nuclear weapons and the proposal to rid Scotland of them, which transcends political party affiliations, is ridiculous.

To suggest that Holyrood has given no thought to the economic impact of stopping Scotland being the primary target for retaliatory nuclear strikes is pathetic. Mind you, so is much of the anti-independence rhetoric.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

* I AGREE with Dr Gerald Edwards that the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland would result in job losses.

However, I must take issue with him when he attempts to compare the loss of potential employment in Aberdeenshire, as a result of the area losing out on the Acorn carbon capture deal, with the potential job losses if the Faslane naval base was to close.

The current jobs at Faslane are a result of the continuing presence of weapons of mass destruction on Scottish soil, whereas the jobs which have been lost in Aberdeenshire would have represented a major contribution to climate science, and progressed the necessary effort to decarbonise the future.

There is no economic or moral equivalence.

Terry Raeside, Isle of Arran.

* IT would be interesting to know in what subject Dr Edwards obtained his doctorate – it certainly wasn’t politics!

He seems not to be aware that the carbon capture plant was promised to Scotland during the referendum campaign.

In honouring a manifesto commitment to remove Trident, the SNP would, at least be being honest with the millions who voted for them.

There are none so blind...

John McCallum, Glasgow.


HOW lovely it was today to see a squad of gentlemen gathering fallen leaves from the pavements of Great Western Road. prior to clearing them up. So, we shan’t have the slime and slip hazard of previous years?

Something to do with COP26, perchance?

Lesley Mackiggan, Glasgow.


ON a recent TV debate, a Scottish-born actor, long resident in the USA, referred to Labour’s late leader, John Smith, in his argument for breaking up the UK.

Brian Cox, although he no longer lives here, sees fit, in effect, to campaign for the nationalists in Scotland.

The fact that he is a millionaire, based in the US, who will not suffer any of the certain economic hardship and impoverishment that may well result for the less well-off should Scotland take such a course, appears to bother him little.

Nor does the fact that John Smith was not in any way inclined towards the break-up of the UK and, like most of the Scottish intellectual giants of his era, abhorred Scottish nationalism.

Brian Cox now joins the band of American-based ‘’celebrities,’’ all of whom love their country of birth so much they will do anything, anything, but live in it and suffer the certain economic consequences of what they propose.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.


THE harsh reality of Scottish politics can be seen in the nasty rift between ex-First Minister Alex Salmond and the current First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, which is progressively tearing the SNP apart and smashing the dream of independence for Scotland.

I wish her a long reign as SNP leader.....

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.


I REFER to the letter from Martin Conroy (October 18) on the subject of abortion. Once again, the patriarchy is telling women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies.

As a practising Buddhist, I would not choose to have an abortion, unless I was involved in a nuclear or chemical accident, like Chernobyl or Bhopal. Similarly, I would not choose assisted suicide. But I have no wish to interfere with anybody else’s choice.

Both these issues should be the topic of as much debate as possible, but not near clinics. Citizens’ Assemblies would be a good place to start the discussion.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


I SUPPOSE it is human nature for homeowners to seek as much money as possible when renting out their houses to tourists and other visitors but I was shocked to read reports about the staggering prices being charged by some people in relation to the forthcoming COP26 conference.

It does Glasgow’s reputation no good whatsoever for householders to charge £20,000 to delegates attending the conference.

I even read that one apartment in Kelvingrove is available for £103,000 for 12 nights.

It is also depressing to read that many hotel rooms can be had but only if delegates are happy to pay up to 30 times the normal going rate.

Add in the reported willingness of train drivers and rubbish collectors to strike during the conference, and the picture that emerges is a thoroughly depressing one. A conference that could put the city on the global map, and do us nothing but good, has been hijacked by mercenary interests.

I am starting to fear that my city risks being embarrassed on the global stage.

The Scottish Government cannot force an resolution of the train drivers’ and rubbish collectors’ disputes but it urgently needs to show some gumption and knock heads together.

It would be a pity if any of the conference’s decisions were overshadowed by matters that ought to have been addressed months ago.

R McDonald, Glasgow.