FOR those advocates (and funders) of the Brexit campaign, Brexit is working as I think they planned it.

We have a squeeze on wages driving living standards down, as the general populace gets poorer and the rich get richer (while endlessly complaining about taxation). There are high prices and profits on commodities and utilities, with a reversion of the UK being once more “Treasure Island” where purchases here cost more than the exact same item abroad.

Trade with the neighbouring biggest trade block on the planet has been curtailed: there is no trade deal with the US and the Australia/New Zealand deal puts every UK hill, sheep and beef producer under serious economic threat ("Oz trade deal starts", The Herald, May 31. But never mind, City Slickers will be able to snap up cheap land and become “gentlemen farmers” for a pittance (as some MPs have already done).

I used to think Maggie Thatcher was the low point for British political and social cohesion, but Boris Johnson trumps her on every count. Yet some Tories still plot to bring him back, or yearn for Liz Truss, and it is certain Douglas Ross would be able to lend his full “support” to either one. What would Labour do differently? Very little if the speeches are to be believed.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

Will Labour ever learn?

THE Labour Party appears not to have learned that appeasement does not work. A person or group demanding a finite aim – such as Scotland’s secession from the UK – cannot be appeased. Nothing will satisfy it but the finite aim it demands.

Thus, the salami-slicing that we have witnessed throughout the devolution era, with the granting of more and more powers in 2012 and 2016, has resulted in the demand by the SNP for still more powers – including, unworkably, over immigration. In any case, if immigrants wanted to come to Scotland, nothing is preventing those arriving in the south of England from doing so.

The SNP/Greens do not use all of the powers they already have, and yet they demand more, slicing the salami that is now much reduced in size. Yet that is, predictably, not enough for them, as the appointment of an expensive SNP minister and team to promote independence demonstrates.

If Labour really is a party of the UK, it will desist from its calamitous policy of giving the SNP just a little bit more, and then just a little bit more than that. And so on. But to do that would require it to take its devolutionist blinkers off.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

Read more: Brexit, The Beano: Boris the Menace image evoked

Give Scotland full welfare powers

WELFARE is something no one wants to have to claim or depend on. However, we need a system in place for the vulnerable and those who need to claim long or short-term welfare.

The Scottish Government continues to spend massive sums mitigating against the Conservatives' welfare cuts, the largest since the Second World War. Discretionary Housing Payments are devolved and figures just released by the Scottish Government indicate a 25% increase in these payments since Covid. This is in part due to the UK Government’s welfare cap, impacting on many vulnerable households and ultimately costing the Scottish Government through mitigating measures.

Those include substantial increases to the Scottish Welfare Fund and continued measures against the Bedroom Tax. One of the first announcements by our new First Minister was to increase the Fuel Insecurity Fund next year from £10 million annually to £30m. The Scottish Government is to be commended for taking these measures, but how long can Scotland’s economy continue to fund them? Would it not make sense for full welfare powers to be devolved to Scotland?

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

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Has the SNP got anything right?

UNFORTUNATELY the changes made within the Scottish Government in recent weeks will not resolve matters. The rot had already set in; and the incoming leaders are simply uninspiring.

What Scotland needs at this point in time is a change of political ideology – not just a reshuffle within what has proved to be an overall incompetent administration.

We, the electorate, have become accustomed to hearing, or reading in the press, about the latest Scottish Government disaster be it to do with the economy, transport (especially ferries), the health service, education, or matters relating to local authorities.

There should be an ongoing competition for members of Scotland's electorate to find a Government policy or area of administration set up by the powers that be at Holyrood which actually works in practice.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife.

No comparison to the Clearances

I WAS aghast when reading Caroline Wilson's article ("SNP policies ‘as damaging as the Clearances’, says holiday let owner", The Herald, June 3) that anyone could compare legislation regarding holiday lets to the Highland Clearances.
Frank Fitzpatrick inherited a croft on South Uist and gave up the crofting tenure because of ill health and is now living on the mainland. He was complaining that his second home wouldn’t provide the financial return he expected because of legislation, and stated that the SNP policies on second homes would be "as damaging as the Clearances".
In Sutherland alone, during the 18th and 19th centuries, 6,000 to 10,000 crofters were cleared from their crofts for sheep. This was repeated in other areas of the Highlands and Islands to various degrees and various reasons. The misery it caused to families at the time is incalculable and should not be trivialised by any comparison to life today.

Iain Macdonald, Oban.

Read more: The blame for youth violence lies squarely with us adults

Discipline is not a dirty word

AS a teacher, I appreciated Neil Mackay’s column on youth violence ("The blame for youth violence lies squarely with us adults", The Herald, May 30), particularly his assertion that "teachers must be empowered to foster good standards of respectful discipline".

Discipline is not a dirty word, and it is not synonymous with punitive punishments. Schools have come a long way in the last few years. Teachers are aware of the impact of trauma and schools work very hard to keep costs down and be inclusive of all children and families. However, it is vitally important that schools are safe, for the adults but most importantly, for the children and young people.

Education is currently suffering from a trend in "consultants" who sell the latest silver bullet. Many consultants do indeed have valuable contributions to make. However, many are so far removed from the classroom that they have no idea what really goes on. We will not solve the problems in schools unless we listen to the teachers, support staff and school leaders who are working in schools today, post-Covid, during this cost of living crisis. The recent harrowing case of three teachers being hospitalised (and one pupil injured) after an incident should not be minimised, nor should these victims be blamed for what was done to them. If children see that the adults are not safe, they know they are not safe either.

There is a tendency to believe that more teacher training is the solution. This is only a small part of the picture. Most teachers are already well versed in the latest research. Schools respect the rights of young people and exclusions are extremely rare these days. While this is undoubtedly a positive, this cannot work well without the appropriate support and funding in place.

As a survivor of childhood trauma, I needed school to be my safe place. Too many young people are subjected to enough violence at home without having to see or be on the receiving end of more violence in school. While restorative justice can work well when done properly, it must be applied very carefully. Teachers being chastised with "you should have built a relationship with that young person" is beginning to sound like the new "you were asking for it" and our girls are seeing and learning from this. Victim blaming should not be normalised. The bottom line is that violence against any person, whether they are an adult or a child, is never alright and must be properly dealt with. Not all behaviour is a sign of underlying pathology.

As if this is not enough, we are under constant pressure to close the poverty-related attainment gap. We need to decide what we want from schools because we simply cannot do everything, especially with chronic underfunding and resourcing.

Gemma Clark, Johnstone.