IN his commentary upon our class system (“Why I’m middle class to my working class roots”, The Herald, August 1) Brian Beacom raises many questions, some easier to address than others. I would touch upon two of them. It is obvious that there has been some blurring round the edges over the last few generations, we are not quite as feudal and deferential as of yore, but the ranks still unquestionably exist – upper, middle and working.

One area in particular, which feeds into the maintenance of the system is the continued existence of private schooling. Most of the middle-class view education as, in the main, a means of getting on in life. In itself, nothing too much wrong with that aspiration. Where they can afford it (some admittedly not without sacrifice), many opt for private education for their children. The rewards can be significant because, as Mr Beacom points out, seven per cent of children go to private school whereas 75 per cent of top judges and 50 per cent of the Cabinet are privately educated. Eton school alone has produced 20 Prime Ministers. Efforts by the Scottish Government are being made to ensure that universities admit more children from less advantaged areas. That in turn has consequences for applicants with a middle-class background, most of whom have either been privately educated or attended a school in what is regarded as a “good area”. Middle-class parents, who see the aspirations of their children prejudiced as a result of such discrimination, may well have much to say.

Mr Beacom states that he has been told that he sounds working class. How one speaks is still taken as a measure of background and education. There are some, armed with an impressive list of qualifications, who can still find with a number of employers that their way of speaking has been a drawback in being successful with a job application.

There are those who may believe that considerable progress has been made toward the ideal of the classless society in our country. However, I view the Class Sketch, first broadcast in 1966, involving John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, and Ronnie Corbett, a classic TV moment, as being still relevant today.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

Hare lament

WAY back in the 1980s, not long after I had decided to follow the vegetarian way of life, I saw in a magazine a photograph of a horse dangling from a crane by one leg as it was hoisted from a dock in Spain onto a boat to take it to France for the horsemeat trade there. The article said that the horse was “screaming”. I have been haunted by that picture ever since.

There is comfort in seeing a little roe deer coming around the beech hedge where I walk. It will stop and stare at me then skip away. I often see a hare there too and if I am still and quiet we will observe each other for quite a while. It is a healing feeling, far removed from the horror of that poor horse and others like it.

Now we read of the “brutal killing of hares” (The Government must act to stop the brutal killing of hares”, The Herald, August 2) and I wonder why mankind has to be so destructive of the creatures which share this planet. A hare and a man with a gun and dogs seems to me to be a rather unequal enterprise.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.

Book, please

AFTER Reading Hugh MacDonald's review of Alistair Moffat's book To the Island of Tides & Journey to Lindisfarne (Herald Magazine, August 3), I had to write to congratulate his wordsmanship and feeling that he encompassed in his review. I will now be going to buy the book. Hugh MacDonald has kept this household in stitches with his many sports articles but after reading this review – could we not hope for a novel or a short story from him? They say everyone has a story in them and I am sure he is no exception.

Roz Keenan, Glasgow G43.