I AM sure there are many Glaswegians who feel a deep sense of embarrassment, and perhaps anger, at the lack of the official response to Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee by the city council over this four-day bank holiday.

Whilst other places across Scotland, and throughout the UK, took time to celebrate 70 years of truly remarkable service, many elected members of the city council decided to conflate all sorts of issues such as the cost of living crisis, republicanism and independence to make such a historic occasion a complete non-event. As I travelled through the city, I felt sorry for the tourists who bothered to come to Glasgow over the past four days, rightly expecting some recognition of the occasion and who, instead, were left to wander through the place with the attractions all closed due to the bank holiday and nothing organised or decorated in George Square, our civic space. However, no doubt they had time to see what a sorry sight the city has become over the past 10 years or so and will choose not to come back any time soon as a result.

The non-response to the Jubilee by the council simply reinforces the depressing feel of terminal decline and division that has now settled into a city that once was proud and confident of its place in the UK. It is a shadow of its former self, where civic and community pride is now replaced by the views of left-wing diehards, activists, extremists and the workshy who openly dictate how life should be for the rest of us. As you look around Glasgow, life is being sapped out of the city by the constant politicisation of everyday life and national events such as the Jubilee.

However, I take heart from other Glaswegians, Scots and our neighbours across the UK and Commonwealth who, like myself, celebrated this joyous occasion in their own way. Our heartfelt congratulations go to Her Majesty on this historic milestone.

Dr David Roxburgh, Glasgow.


WHAT a depressing few days. A once-mighty nation and empire, still led by an admirable nonagenarian, cavorting with bread and circuses, to say nothing of her sipping tea with a cartoon character. The Mall masquerading as Butcher Cumberland’s HQ with a vulgarity of Union Flags reminiscent of Nazi excess. How sad that a remarkable 70-year reign and its recognition should be sullied by the distasteful standards of our current decision makers.

Sadder too that the excuse of constitutional monarchy precludes leadership from the throne. Alas the pre-eminence of “the Firm” is prioritised by the Palace. At least that will bring an end to the over-lauded monarchy.

Neil Bowman, Forfar.


MARK Smith ("Why we still need the royal family", The Herald (June 2), advocates "a much-reduced royal family". This betrays misunderstanding of the essential nature of the institution’s appeal. Royalty didn’t get where it is by the exercise of fiscal restraint; it is wholly dependent on artificially-added grandiosity. Eliminating the flummery and extravagance that Mr Smith considers to be no longer appropriate would simply draw attention to the fact that the principals are of no particular intrinsic interest.

It would be easier to bring The Broons up to date, and look how well the attempt to do that has gone.

Robin Dow, Rothesay.


HOW inexplicably peaceful is normality.

After a long weekend of street and TV studio parties and celebs desperately displaying their royalty-loyalty identity discs and having swallowed the digestively-dangerous irony of thousands of allegedly loyal subjects in desperate clamour at airports to exit the domain days prior to the big beanfest, I am now more than happy to embrace a much-undervalued normality.

Ian Johnstone, Peterhead.

* FOLLOWING the light-hearted sermon by the Archbishop of York, with his reference to the Queen's love of racing during the Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving ("Royals put on show of unity for the Queen", The Herald, June 4), perhaps there should be an entry in the Stud Book of the Jockey Club: Lucky Us out of Many Years' Service by Personal Devotion sired by Faith.

R Johnston, Newton Mearns.


WITH the Jubilee bringing the Queen back to the forefront of the news, this seems an appropriate moment to point out that independence is an entirely separate issue from the monarchy.

Following the Union of the Crowns in 1603, Scotland remained an independent country for more than 100 years until the Act of Union of 1707.

Taking our primary goal as independence, any temporary compromise to achieve that is surely the sensible way forward. We can be an independent nation while still preserving the monarchy – for another 100 years if necessary.

After independence, it will be for the sovereign people of Scotland to decide on a new constitution, which might well include the monarchy in a much-reduced form.

J Gray, Ayr.


THE Scottish Government’s response to the need for spending cuts is, fanfare: to blame Westminster. Why would anyone be surprised by that? Various SNP ministers and MPs tell us that the Scottish budget has been cut by 5.2 per cent this year, compared with last year. That is true, as far as it goes. But why has it been cut? Because in the years 2020-22 Scotland received substantial extra funding to support it during the Covid crisis. Perhaps everyone has forgotten about furloughing and business support measures. It is dishonest to claim the extra Covid funding as part of a budget baseline.

With this 5.2% "reduction", the core resource funding at the SNP administration’s disposal is higher in 2022-23 than it has ever been, in real terms. With this degree of chicanery in SNP spin on funding figures, I don’t know how anyone imagines that the SNP can provide in its projected separation figures any realistic view of Scotland’s financial prospects outside the UK.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.


BILL Brown (Letters, June 4) speaks of "perhaps the voting public really do get the political leadership they deserve". That certainly applies to our neighbours, though here in Scotland and Northern Ireland, this is contrary to the facts on Brexit.

Mr Brown also has a problem with the fact that no nation is is completely economically independent. His oft-repeated claim is that the SNP Government is profligate in its spending of the Scottish budget, but the facts show that since gaining political devolved powers it has repeatedly returned a balanced budget from the pocket money provided.

I wonder if Mr Brown would agree that the way to avoid the forecast of a £3.5 billion deficit is to prioritise investment in manufacturing as each Conservative Westminster Government since 2010 has declared but failed to deliver?

At least the Scottish Government has attempted within the financial resources available, though I admit with very limited success to date, the need to rebalance the economy away from its over-dependency on the services sector.

William Maley, Ayr.


KIRA Rudyk, Ukrainian MP, states that when people ask her "stupid questions", such as "Why don’t you guys give up, do a deal?", she asks the questioner to swap the name "Putin" for "Hitler" ("The gun-toting Ukrainian MP on a mission to make the West raise its game", The Herald, June 4). That answer, she observes, always changes their attitude. When she likens Putin to Hitler, I wonder how that makes the erstwhile close buddies Tony Blair and George W Bush feel?

Mr Blair (now Sir Tony) was influential in arranging the state visit to Britain made by Putin in 2003. He arrived at Buckingham Palace in a gold-trimmed carriage drawn by white horses. One will never know what the Queen made of that visit and what she makes of it now. I wonder how fond the former Prime Minister's memories are of that particular visit, which included a ceremonial welcome and a State Banquet?

During his first official trip to Europe as US President in 2001 Mr Bush met Putin. They apparently discussed an extensive range of political issues. At a closing press conference in answering a question about whether or not he could trust Putin, President Bush replied: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him very straightforward and trustworthy – I was able to get a sense of his soul." I wonder what Mr Bush would see now were he able to look Putin in the eye again?

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

Read more: It's not jubilee spending that's crass, it's the SNP's economics