I AM not a big fan of the royal family and all that comes with them. However, one never fails to be impressed with the Queen’s ability to be able to sense the public mood and to find the right words to express it. For those who might question her reaction to the death of Princess Diana, one has to realise that she would have been influenced by her responsibility to her grandchildren who had just lost their mother in tragic circumstances. She found the right words again this week in her recorded message to world leaders in Glasgow ("Queen urges world leaders: ‘achieve true statesmanship'", The Herald, November 2). She called them to account when she said: "It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow – that is statesmanship."

In a broadcast message during the pandemic, she referred to the importance of staying in touch with families and friends and paid tribute to front-line workers. More recently, at the opening of the Scottish Parliament, she spoke of her deep and abiding affection for Scotland, and of the many happy memories she shared with Prince Philip of the times spent here.

She has had a demanding time over the last year or so as a wife, with the loss of Prince Philip; a mother, with the court problems of Prince Andrew; and a grandmother, with the independent life sought by Prince Harry. However, in the face of all that and in spite of current health issues, she still rose to the occasion.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


PEOPLE are more and more concerned about the environment. So why are we having fireworks displays and allowing fireworks to be sold?

Fireworks cause air pollution, noise pollution and littering. They frighten domestic and wild animals. Their explosions cause flashbacks with servicemen who suffer from post-traumatic disorders.

Fireworks place an unnecessary burden on the emergency services. On November 5 the fire brigade responds to hundreds of bonfire incidents across Scotland. In some cases officers are attacked by the perpetrators.

Edinburgh "prides itself" in being able to compete with the waste of London and Sydney in propelling tons of explosives into the night sky at Hogmanay. But this year London and Sydney have cancelled their events. Meanwhile Edinburgh is going ahead. Why? Whatever happened to our leaders' "world-leading" commitment to going green?

Fireworks should be banned. A small but important step has been taken towards that end by Sainsbury's and the Co-op, who no longer stock these wasteful and harmful products.

William Loneskie, Lauder.


RE George Dale's letter (November 3), I would refer him to the BorrowBox app. This is a facility run by libraries, at least in North Lanarkshire, where on presentation of your library card details you are given access to a large selection of digital reading and audio materials. You can borrow up to six items at a time and have to return them within four weeks.

This was a lifesaver to my wife during lockdown when physical access to our local library was not possible. As she consumes books at an enormous rate this made living with her almost tolerable. Best of all, it is free to use.

Harry Shaw, Airdrie.


I HAD a trip down memory lane with your “Remember when” image of “Greek” Thomson’s Queen’s Park Terrace (The Herald, November 1).

Councillor Iain Dyer’s lament at its loss was felt equally by the Old Glasgow Club; we too had objected to demolition proposals, by letter, duly sent to The Herald. The eventual cloud of dust and flying debris of November 1980’s demolition squad has, of course, been replaced by the new M74 fly-over at this point. A masterpiece lost, yes; but, hopefully,40-plus years later, we live in more enlightened times.

Brian D Henderson, Past-President, Old Glasgow Club.


NEIL Mackay ("We live in an age where we have replaced fact with myth", The Herald, November 2) mentions the new obsession "which will allow each of us to live imagined lives in a truly non-existent world".

A few years ago I came across something called "metaphysics" and was quite relieved when I was informed that I was to think of it as "subject, object and the nature of reality" and to simplify matters to think of it as "a kitchen table when you are not there".

Sounds to me rather like the present state of mind of much of the so-called "thinking world". I have to add, in my Lancashire voice, that it is nowt to do wi' me; I don't own a kitchen table anyway.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


THE demise of the avocado ("Issue of the day: The end of the avocado", The Herald, November 2 ), judged over-rated by my proletarian taste buds, and never a berry, comes as no surprise. Interior designers pulled the plug on them years ago.

R Russell Smith, Largs.


I WAS amused by your report of President Biden being surprised by “a large, naked Scottish man” as he drove through the countryside ("'Nude man' shock for President", The Herald, November 3).

I wonder what identified him as Scottish?

Forbes Dunlop, Glasgow.