WE need to have a conversation about royalty, although I fail to see what purpose there is in an elite group of royals producing a figurehead whose main role seems to be to sign off thousands of government laws, papers and edicts, having had no involvement in discussing or drafting them. The power to sack incompetent prime ministers, or stop Parliament from pursuing policies that are driving millions into poverty and destitution, are not in the King’s gift.

How can our Government justify spending £6 million on the state funeral and probably the same again on a coronation, when millions are living in poverty?

Prince William, who already had an income of £20-£30m a year has inherited the Duchy of Lancaster from his father: a further £1bn.

As the Prince of Wales King Charles had wealth of £16.5bn and was the largest owner of land and sea beds in England and Wales.

Charles, William, Diana and the Queen were all patrons of many worthwhile causes, including mental health services for young people. Being patrons of charities does not mean they, who have hundreds of millions of their own, funded any of them.

The Duke of Edinburgh created the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme. Prince Charles, the then Prince of Wales, set up the Prince's Trust. These organisations inspired and supported millions of children and young people to achieve goals they never thought they could. In the last five decades I have seen almost all of the funding for innovative and vital youth work decimated. Forty per cent of youth work posts in London have gone, yet Mayor Sadiq Kahn wonders why they have the biggest youth crime and murders in the land. Royal-branded youth work has no problem in finding funds, as many businesses are happy to pitch in.

Our politicians who know the cost of everything but the value of nothing have abandoned our most vulnerable children and young people by cutting the services they most need. It is scandalous that suicide is now the most common cause of death of under-25s. Mental health and addictions are now badly affecting children and young people. If the new Prince of Wales is passionate about mental health he could follow in his family's previous success by pioneering a new royal initiative to address these issues.

If I had access to the wealth of the royals, I would not be the patron of youth projects, I would be funding youth work and mental health services for young people across the country, saving the nation a fortune in crime and ill-health of the young. Youth work is about empowering young people to be the best they can be, and inspiring them to keep healthy and have an adventurous and happy life. The cuts in youth work over the last decades has cost our nation dearly.

If King Charles is serious about reforming the monarchy, perhaps he could use some of his family's massive wealth to make a serious difference for children and young people. That would start to convince me that our royalty do have a very useful purpose.
Max Cruickshank, Glasgow

Honours system is tarnished

I SUSPECT that I was not alone in being somewhat less than impressed at the sight of Tony Blair entering Westminster Abbey this week for the funeral of the Queen bedecked in his medal declaring that he is a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. We have just to call him "Tony" apparently. There is the background of more than a million people having signed a petition seeking the withdrawal of that particular honour. That petition did not succeed, unfortunately. However, the fact of its existence should have come as no great surprise given the legacy he and others were responsible for in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is likely that the honours establishment felt that they could not by tradition jump to recommending awards to Gordon Brown and David Cameron thus leaving Tony Blair unacknowledged as a former Prime Minister.

While that may be so, such an award to "Tony" makes the honours system itself in this country even more discredited.
Ian W Thomson, Lenzie

Crackdown on Green Brigade

IT was disappointing to read, after the measured and constructive letter from your correspondent Michael Sheridan (September 22), the letter from Christopher McLaughlin, containing as it did, a rather unpleasant slur upon the reputation of the distinguished historian Professor Sir Tom Devine. A telling phrase for me was his reference to "a nation to which we owe no allegiance". That sums it up in a nutshell. Mr McLaughlin and his ilk are stuck in the past and hate our country.

He states that "football stadiums are no place for such practices", referring to a simple request to show some respect for the passing of our head of state, a woman who by any measure, had given a life of unstinting service to the country. If that is the case, then neither are they places for the exhibition of blatant political propaganda. Would he not agree that his football club should not be facilitating the activities of the so-called Green Brigade, which are regularly permitted to exhibit lengthy banners, which to the extent that they sometimes demonstrate support for terrorists, are of the most offensive nature?
R Murray, Glasgow

Buses: waiting on an answer

HAS Duncan Cameron ("We need to end the snobbery when it comes to bus use", Agenda, The Herald , September 22) tried travelling by bus recently? I occupied the 40 minutes I spent at the bus stop, waiting for buses which didn't turn up, by reading The Herald. His article prompted much amusement (and irritation) amongst my fellow (non-)travellers.

Practicality, not snobbery, dictates much of car usage.
BA Smith, Falkirk

Foot and mouth

YOU report today that law firm Gilson Gray has expanded its financial services arm ("North Berwick adviser bought by law firm", The Herald, September 22). The firm also hopes to enhance its wealth management footprint and to cement its position.

Let's hope that the arm and foot, or should that be feet, do not stick in the cement.

Management-speak or gobbledegook?
David Miller, Milngavie


King Charles and the Prince of Wales are patrons of many charities, but should they do more?

Letters should not exceed 500 words. We reserve the right to edit submissions.