THE announcement of the Scottish Ballet programme for the forthcoming year highlights the absence of classical ballet in Scotland. England has three major companies regularly presenting classical productions. Due to funding arrangements these are not brought to Scotland. Historically Scottish Ballet, and the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) presented an ambitious mix of modern and classical dance but in recent years both organisations have focused on more contemporary work.

While audiences enjoy contemporary works they deserve a balanced programme. EIF has not brought any classical work for some years. For 2020 Scottish Ballet has The Nutcracker and a very pared-down Swan Lake as the nearest thing to classical ballet.

There is a large audience for live dance in Scotland. It is sad that it should be chronically denied the opportunity to see live classical ballet.

Dr Brian Mucci, Glasgow G12.

Ahead of his time

REGARDING the obituary of Ian Saint-Yves (The Herald, November 4), it is interesting that one of his suggestions regarding provision of medical services at the GP level, although prescient, were dismissed at the time as irrelevant. Following his experiences in malaria eradication he proposed in a paper to The Royal Society of Health Journal, 1978, that in addition to the GP and community nurses, there should be a third professional nurse who would in general be the first contact that a patient would have with the NHS. This person, who would have the backup of the GP, would be able to write certain prescriptions, make house calls, and deal with the many common ailments that, at that time, overwhelmed the GP. This would free up the GP to deal with patients who specifically asked to see them as well as dealing with the more serious conditions. This heretical concept was in general not supported by the medical community who called these nurse experts “barefoot doctors”.

Some years later “nurse practitioners” were introduced to take some of the workload off the GPs.

Kenny Walker, Dunblane.

Remember Bhopal

ON December 3 it will be 35 years since the chemical factory built by an American chemical giant exploded in the middle of a residential area in the city of Bhopal in India. Thousands of people were killed and untold thousands died from the after-effects.

The Americans have never paid a penny in compensation, nor have they provided any medical treatment for the victims. The drums of chemicals were left on site, and the chemical contents leaked down into the groundwater. The inhabitants of Bhopal had no other access to drinking water, and the result of drinking the contaminated water is that babies are born with horrendous birth defects. Its time for the international community to take action.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.

Hand clothes back

JUST a fanciful thought brought on by the Eva Bolander stramash (Letters, November 2 & 5). Quite correctly some employees will enjoy the benefit of an allowance to purchase clothing required for carrying out the duties of an office held due to the nature of a particular employment. Does it not follow that when for whatever reason one demits from that office, ipso facto one no longer has that requirement for that clothing. In that case if the clothing remains in good condition is one not honour-bound to dispose of it, for example by donating it to charity rather than retaining it for personal use?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

In a nanny state

I WAS interested to read that Dame Julie Andrews has revealed that she needed therapy following the success of Mary Poppins (“The success of Mary Poppins left me needing therapy”, The Herald, November 2).

Having watched the film countless times some years ago with a very young grandchild who became word-perfect, but fortunately has reached his twenties unscathed, on reflection I believe I too was in need of therapy.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.