It would appear that your correspondent Archibald A Lawrie (Letters, March 24) has a very short memory given his forgiving attitude to Boris Johnson and his cohorts in 10 Downing Street.
At a time of national emergency due to the Covid epidemic, the vast majority of UK citizens reluctantly accepted the necessity to observe stringent distance limitations in order to contain the spread of this horrific virus. This involved being unable to visit loved ones in hospitals and care homes at a time when, in many cases, they were nearing the end of their lives.

Restrictions in place limited attendance at funerals, many wedding plans were postponed and other significant anniversary and birthday celebrations could not be shared with family and friends. Temporary laws were created along with very strict guidelines as to what we should and should not be doing with our daily lives. The retail and hospitality industries continue to feel the ripple effect of the crisis to this day with many lives having changed dramatically as a result of decisions taken by government.
I for one had no great difficulty in grasping what was expected of me as a responsible member of the human race. The UK Government, however, was guilty of a number of immoral actions during this time such as the PPE scandal and Matt Hancock's total disregard for social distancing. The goings-on under the roof of the abode of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, were a slap in the face to the rest of us, especially those grieving the loss of loved ones. 
It is an insult to our intelligence for Mr Johnson to expect us to believe that he needed guidance from his advisors in observing the rules that he had helped to create. Shame on him.
Gordon Evans, Glasgow.

• WHEN my uncle died in the early part of 2021 I was one of only 18 people permitted to attend his funeral. We sat in the funeral parlour wearing face masks throughout the curtailed ceremony, all carefully socially distanced and with no hugs or consoling physical contact permitted. I am also aware that other people were unable to visit critically ill and dying relatives in hospital or in care homes during the course of the pandemic under very clear instructions passed on by the governments of Scotland and the UK.
While I do accept that the alleged partying activities of a former Prime Minister are somewhat tiresome, Archibald A Lawrie is quite wrong to suggest the matter is a trivial one. The behaviour of elected representatives in public office is of exceptional importance in a healthy democracy and is something we should never allow ourselves to become complacent about. After all, as Thomas Jefferson once said, "the government you elect is the government you deserve".
David Gray, Glasgow.

Read more:  Johnson tells MPs leaving dos at No 10 were essential

NICOLA Sturgeon delivered her valedictory speech to the Scottish Parliament that was full of her usual self-interest, self-admiration and self-importance ("With one last long hug, Sturgeon says farewell", The Herald, March 24). If it was possible to patent “narcissim”, she would be at the front of the queue with her chequebook, whilst she will probably have to look up the dictionary for the meaning of “humility” and “magnanimity”. 
Whilst she sails off into the sunset and our islanders remain without ferries, her supposed legacy will bear little scrutiny across a disastrous domestic policy agenda. Her brand of politics defined by division, discord and grievance has ultimately caused her downfall and not before time. Is it too much to hope for that her successor can act and behave in a way that will benefit all Scots, whether supporters of independence or not?
Richard Allison, Edinburgh.

SO Patrick Harvie wants to blackmail the new leader of the SNP into continuing with support for gender recognition legislation ("Greens will quit government if FM fails to challenge gender law veto" heraldscotland, March 24). This doesn’t appear in the manifesto published in 2021 which managed to get his party all of eight per cent of the vote, so why does Mr Harvie give it such high priority now? Is this a personal crusade?
I would have thought that his time would have been better spent trying to help sort out the mess that has been created by the present Scottish Government by supporting action to fix our NHS and education service.
Alan McGibbon, Paisley.

YOUR report on Nicola Sturgeon’s emotional apology to all the individuals who have been so affected by “forced adoption” was unsettling and deeply sad ("FM fights back tears as she says sorry for forced adoptions", The Herald, March 23). Her apology was very comprehensive and appeared to include society at large as well as those in authority “who had too much power”. I hope this provides some comfort to those most acutely affected.
I have absolutely no wish to distress or upset anyone who was wounded by “forced adoption”. I do think it is important, however, given the First Minister’s scathing statement that “adoption practices in Scotland during the 20th century are among the worst injustices in our history” to clarify a number of points.
Adoption in Scotland was regulated by legislation from 1937. Adoption law was updated at various points over the next few years, especially post-war. When I was an adoption practitioner from the late 1960s onwards, there was a legal imperative that alternatives to adoption be discussed with parents wishing to relinquish a child. This was often met with resistance from expectant parents and especially their families, but it had to be explored. When signing consent to adoption in the 1960s and 70s, a mother was routinely asked by the witnessing JP if she understood what she was doing and had considered other options. This was also examined later by the court hearing the adoption petition.
Furthermore, rather than being “threatened with terrible consequences”, it was essential that a birth parent be made aware that an adopted person could access their original birth certificate as an adult and could perhaps trace a parent later if they wished. Expectant mothers also had to be prepared for the fact that their new-born child would be handed to them in the delivery room and if they did not want that to happen, then their medical notes had to be annotated to that effect. While practice may have varied amongst practitioners, in general, a great deal of time and effort went in to explaining matters fully and ensuring that a young mum was as informed and prepared as possible.
The prevailing social climate of years ago, the expectations of birth families and the lack of support for single mums may have given rise to a situation where pregnant girls felt there was no choice but adoption. It should not, however, create the impression that children were torn from their mothers’ arms by callous social workers or unfeeling officialdom.
Ian Millar, Melrose.

HeraldScotland: Dunkeld was this week named the best place to live in Scotland in an annual Sunday Times guideDunkeld was this week named the best place to live in Scotland in an annual Sunday Times guide (Image: free)

I HAVE never lived in Dunkeld, but from brief visits, I can heartily concur in the tributes it is receiving as an interesting and delightful spot ("Picturesque whitewashed village named as best Scots place to live", The Herald, March 24)
It is somewhat disappointing, however, to find no mention among those tributes of a rather more important literary figure than Beatrix Potter, namely Gavin Douglas, who held the Bishopric of Dunkeld from 1515 till his death in 1523. In a period when Church posts were often held by incompetent or absentee placemen, Douglas was an active and conscientious bishop, providing his Gaelic-speaking parishioners with services in their language, initiating the building of a bridge over the Tay and administering justice firmly in a notoriously lawless region.
His translation of Virgil’s Aeneid has a strong claim to be both the greatest single work in the Scots language and the finest translation ever made of that epic poem. It is a landmark work not only in Scottish but in European literature, initiating the practice of secular translation which produced, among other things, fine renderings of contemporary French and Italian works by James VI’s court poets. And it contains the first proclamation of the status of Scots as a distinct language: Douglas in the prologue to his translation proudly states that he is “kepand na sudron bot our awin langage.”
Surely Dunkeld’s greatest literary figure should be a more visible presence in his town today. It would indeed be sad to think that contemporary Scotland values Peter Rabbit more highly than Pius Aeneas.
Derrick McClure, Aberdeen.

Read more: Weaponising women's trauma to score points about abortion is shocking

IT has been announced that the BBC Singers have been reprieved; that is excellent news. Unfortunately, this generosity has not been extended to Radio Scotland's excellent programme Classics Unwrapped, hosted by Jamie MacDougall. This long-running programme entertains, educates, and informs in the best spirit of the BBC. I have learnt much from it over the years, and come to enjoy styles of music I wouldn't previously have understood.
The programme reaches its last edition tomorrow (March 26) and is not being replaced. I wrote to the head of the BBC in Scotland last month in the hope of changing his mind about this but, after a gap suitably long for me to appreciate that this was not a matter of much importance to the BBC, I received a reply from – Darlington. The reply was put in the context of the licence fee freeze. I must confess I had no idea that a two-hour weekly programme of recorded music could be so expensive as to seriously unbalance the BBC's budget.
I'm sorry that Radio Scotland is abandoning its role in respect of home-grown classical music, but at least we can all rest assured that EastEnders is now safe.
Nigel Lindsay, Bo'ness.

EVERY year practical concerns are expressed when it comes time to change the clocks to summer or winter time (Letters, March 24). The winter change seems more acceptable presumably because it provides the opportunity for an extra hour in bed. Similarly, the summer change is disliked because of the loss of an hour of potential bed rest.

One possible solution to that loss, which I find becomes more attractive with age, is to retire one hour earlier than usual on the evening of March 25.
Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.