I REALLY have to take issue with James Martin's definition of bullying (Letters, April 25). It is an extremely narrow viewpoint, more reminiscent of public school, stiff-upper-lip attitudes than modern-day reality.

Bullying does not have to be purely physical to seriously affect a person and is not "almost exclusively physical in nature". Psychological harm can be caused by undermining and belittling someone and using one's authority over others to force their opinions on to them. People have left their jobs and some have committed suicide when bullying takes this form, so it has to be taken seriously. Indeed it can cause more harm than physical bullying as it is much harder to prove and the scars can be deeply hidden.

What about the bullying that occurs online whereby it has been well documented that many people have taken their own lives as a result? Does that not count in Mr Martin's book?

Bullying is bullying, no matter what form it takes.

This Conservative Government seems to tolerate bullying, indeed Priti Patel was also found to have bullied her staff. It is not acceptable for one person to bully another, especially in the workplace and the Government should hold those who do so to account. There should be no room for bullies in the upper echelons of government, but unfortunately it seems to be tolerated by those who should know better.

P Campbell RNLD, BA(hons) Psychology, Paisley.

Second homes tax would be unfair

WE NOTE with interest Mark Smith's recent article ("More tax on second homes is a bad idea", The Herald, April 21).

We own a second home in Highland Perthshire and we have done so for the last nine years. We have no dependents and we have made a lifestyle choice to purchase two two-bedroom properties; one close to work and one where we would like to live. As there is no suitable employment for us within Highland Perthshire why should we be penalised for our lifestyle choice? We are a middle-income couple with challenging positions within the NHS and we enjoy escaping to Perthshire and spending money in the local economy. Middle-income earners are constantly being targeted by the Government through tax increases in one form or another.

When we purchased the Highland Perthshire property we paid an additional Land and Buildings Transaction Tax as it was a second home. The property we purchased was new and in a mixed tenure development. The sale of eight properties within this development enabled 14 social housing homes to be built.

We consider this to be an unfair tax and we believe that there are many second home owners, in a similar position to ourselves, in that paying double council tax will have a noticeable impact on their disposable income with no additional benefit to the local community. If we decided to sell our property now, as a high proportion of the employment within Highland Perthshire is low-paid, we would be unlikely to achieve the market value of the property. Maybe we should ask the council to purchase it.

Julie Mallon, Glasgow.

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Read more: Doubling council tax for second home owners is unfair

Silence is far from golden

I WAS interested in your article on the record number of heart transplant operations carried out in the past year at the Golden Jubilee Hospital ("Heart transplants record", The Herald, April 25). It gave me some reassurance that the hospital does exist.

As an 85-year-old I had a heart attack in 2020 and was cared for in Inverclyde Royal Hospital. They discovered my aortic valve was narrowing and referred me to the Golden Jubilee. After a further few scares and a check-up at Inverclyde in March this year I was told my condition was deteriorating and again I was referred to the Golden Jubilee.

Regrettably my quality of life has deteriorated considerably and to date I have never seen the Golden Jubilee Hospital. Neither referral has been acknowledged or followed up. Neither Inverclyde Royal Hospital Cardiology nor my GP has had any contact or information.

Apart from the stress arising from a lack of information I am undecided – should I renew my passport or draft my obituary?

George Allan, Dunoon.

Another George Brown? Perish the thought

MALCOLM Parkin (Letters, April 24) contends that the country would be better off if we had another George Brown in government. I have my doubts about that. Mr Brown was known to be a heavy drinker, who was frequently threatening to resign from the Labour Government under Harold Wilson.

His reputation was such that it led to the attraction of stories such as the probably apocryphal one concerning when his visit to Peru. Attending a reception, he was reportedly refused a dance by someone he approached – because he was drunk, the music being played was the national anthem of Peru, and the person he had approached was the Cardinal/Archbishop of Lima.

Another George Brown leading us all to the sunlit uplands? I don’t think so.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

No cause for alarm

WITH respect, Stewart J Brown (Letters, April 25) misses the point of the mobile alarm sounding on Sunday (April 23). The purpose of that specific sounding was not to warn of any danger, but rather to test the system to identify any faults so that they could be addressed and where possible rectified to maximise the effectiveness of the warning system should it ever be needed. The fact that there were problems such as he and his wife experienced simply proves the point.

Separately, and also with respect, Elizabeth Scott (Letters, April 25) misses the point that as well as the cost of the Coronation, what about the income it is expected to generate? Forecasts of expected tourist income are many multiples of the £100 million cost she quotes, making the Coronation of considerable economic benefit to the country, and as such an excellent bargain not to be sniffed at.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

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A measure to swear by

I WAS interested to read the article on autonomous vehicles stating that researchers are trying to develop the ability of these vehicles to replicate the complex interactions between drivers and cyclists, especially how they communicate with each other in real life situations ("Self-drive cars must ‘think human’", The Herald, April 25).

A wee box of pre-recorded swearwords activated on detection of a bike should do the trick.

David Hay, Minard.