ROSEMARY Goring writes that, if the Labour Party is able to form a government following the imminent General Election, and was able as a result to implement its election manifesto, including the abolition of all fee-paying schools, it would be guilty of “crass social engineering” (“The class system is still strong, but we all have to change”, The Herald, November 27).

We are where we are today with the divisions in education, I believe, because a glaring opportunity was missed to take action by the Labour Government of 1945-51 at the end of the Second World War. That Government , under Clement Attlee, proceeded to take radical action in many strategic areas of British life, such as the formation of the NHS, the nationalisation of many essential utilities, the development of National Insurance, the involvement with Nato, and the production of the atomic bomb. When all these other fundamental matters were being addressed, why did the Labour Government stop short in the field of education where social hierarchies were being reinforced?

It is clear that, when push came to shove, it was a step too far for various members of that Labour Government, including the Prime Minister, who had attended English public schools themselves. Attlee had attended Haileybury, Stafford Cripps, Minister of Trade, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, had attended Winchester, Viscount Stansgate, Secretary of State for Air, had attended Westminster, and Hugh Dalton, Chancellor of the Exchequer before Stafford Cripps, was an Old Etonian. The pill of facilitating the demise of their schooling alma maters was obviously too big to be swallowed.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

Woodland joys

GIVEN the performances going on above ground by Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson, Nicola Sturgeon and others, it was quite a relief to be treading over muddy ruts in the ancient wood under which lies the great mycelium network, supporting the fungi on view.

What a pleasure to leave behind the constant bickering in the run-up to Election Day and only have the trees and their friendly companions, the fungi, for company. They form interdependencies, relationships, quietly working for the mutual benefit of the wood ... so peaceful and enjoyable.

I have to agree with Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream when Titania, in thrall to Bottom The Weaver, says, "out of this wood do not desire to go". Perhaps the people mentioned above might, like Bottom, but hopefully without his ass's head, take to spending time under trees and acquiring a feeling of peace, community and good sense; and possibly a sprinkling of magic.

It is not Midsummer, it is almost Winter, but one can always dream.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso

Sat dumbstruck

CONTINUING the theme of Russell Smith's letter (November 28), the misuse of eldest and best instead of elder and better appears to be on the increase. Equally the cringeworthy phrase "I was sat…" often used by TV journalists is yet another example of language being distorted for perceived descriptive purpose.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

Enema of the people

JOHN Macnab (Letters, November 28) mentioned Jenner`s storage facility in Edinburgh.(Tuesday 28th) As a child we had a caravan in Peebles and passed said building on our visits to Edinburgh. We always irreverently remembered it as Jenner`s suppository.

George Dale, Beith.