CAN anyone explain what is so objectionable about the suffragettes’ colours – purple, white and green – that a woman was told to remove a scarf made in those colours or else leave the committee room at Holyrood where the Gender Recognition Reform Bill was being discussed ("Presiding Officer is ‘sorry’ in suffragette scarf row", The Herald, November 16)? At the same time, people sit wearing the rainbow colours of the LGBT-etc lobbyists. This is the surest sign that in today’s Scotland some people’s rights are regarded as more important than others’.

Why is it that the rights of women – just over 50 per cent of the population – are being trumped at every turn by those of minorities? Is this what we think democracy is? Is this what Scots expected when a majority of those voting (but not a majority of the electorate) chose devolution?

Thank goodness the UK Equalities’ Commission is questioning the SNP/Greens’ determination to change the age of gender choice to 16 ("SNP table longer reflection time for young trans people", The Herald, November 16). The Commission has noted that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child defines as a child anyone under the age of 18 – as did the SNP in its ill-fated Named Person legislation.

The zeal with which gender law changes are being steamrollered through Holyrood is puzzling to those of us with no vested interest. Or is this simply the price of Green support for SNP policies?

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.


I NOTE your article on the subject of works from Scottish literature which were later adapted for television ("Novel ideas: Scottish literary favourites which became TV hits", The Herald, November 15). I believe that Country Doctor,written by AJ Cronin, merits a mention in this context. It narrated tales about a young newly-qualified Scottish doctor who assisted an experienced GP and provided inspiration for the TV series Dr Finlay’s Casebook, which was set in the 1920s in the fictional town of Tannochbrae before the establishment of the NHS.

The programme was a resounding success during the 1960s and made household names of the main actors – Bill Simpson (Dr Finlay), Andrew Cruikshank (Dr Cameron) and Barbara Mullen (Janet, the housekeeper).

One does wonder what A J Cronin would make of the way medical services are being provided today.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

• YOUR article refers to Roddy McMillan as having made the role of Para Handy his own, which seems a bit extravagant. He was popular with viewers unfamiliar with Munro’s original characters.

Duncan MacRae was good in the film The Maggie, though the makers didn’t acknowledge Munro at all. It’s hard to believe that anyone involved in the TV productions had read the original stories, in which the Vital Spark is perfectly seaworthy, and the crew – apart from Sunny Jim – are consummate sailors.

Munro’s humorous writing is comparable to that of Wodehouse, whereas all TV "adaptations" were emphatically of the Kailyard school. Though they were sometimes quite good as such, they should never have been presented as dramatisations of Para Handy.

Robin Dow, Rothesay.


I READ with interest and total agreement the comments of Richard Allison (Letters, November 15) when he described his experience at the Scottish v New Zealand international. My son-in-law has two debenture seats at Murrayfield and I was invited to attend the recent Scotland v Australia match. What should have been an enjoyable experience was completely ruined by the same behaviour of “spectators” described by Mr Allison.

We enjoyed a couple of beers before the kick-off and we took our seats looking forward to viewing the game. Our viewing of the game was seriously disrupted by “spectators” who obviously considered their consumption of alcohol to be more important than watching the game, and this resulted in a continuous procession of people asking us to stand up to let them past en route to the bar. These same people were away from their seats for up to 15 minutes before returning with their supply of beers.

What I fail to understand is on what level these people think it is okay to cause such inconvenience to those who are there to watch the game without this constant interruption, compounded by the inevitable repeated toilet visitation. I won’t be back and I will see more of the games in future via television.

James F McGilvray, Edinburgh.


I CONCUR fully with correspondence (Letters, November 11 & 15) concerning the standards of the BBC as regards articulation and presentation, principally that on news coverage.

Having impaired hearing I have been compelled for some time to use subtitles but of late find that the quality has marked variances with errors oft providing humour where it most certainly is not intended.

There is notably an increase in whatever news item being shown all too swiftly changed over to the next, giving rise to the dialogue not being finished or, as on occasion, not commencing immediately but which then appears in quick-fire garbled form.

There is also "grandstanding" by not a few presenters giving the impression the news is entertainment, and do we really require such a frequency of weather forecasting?

With 100-year celebrations for the BBC in full cry, I wonder what the founding fathers of that institution would make of it in this regard.

John Macnab, Falkirk.


WHY is such tautologous nonsense as “Cairngorm Mountain” indulged in?

Cairngorm is a mountain, full stop. Its very name states so. It requires no further descriptor.

In Wales, we have the psychobabble of “Mount” Snowdon.

Nearer home, in Banchory, there’s a recently-erected signpost identifying “Scolty Hill”. Scolty is a hill, and has been simply a hill since I was a boy. Quite possibly the name has identified it as a hill for a few generations before that too.

Gordon Casely, Crathes.


WHATEVER one may think of Ian McConnell's economics, admiration is due for his mastery of alliteration. Today's headline ("Hunt’s astounding failure to grasp basic Brexit reality is way beyond unsettling", The Herald, November 16) contains "basic Brexit", the first sentence has "Conservatives' credibility", and the second has both " grave" and " grim", and " Brexit" and "bizarre". Skipping ahead to the last sentence, I note mention of "awful austerity".

I am authentically alliterated.

David Miller, Milngavie.