BBC needs its own Extinction Rebellion, or it will die

It It will be totally tragic if the BBC is slimmed down to provide no more than a skeletal service and programmes for the elite, funded through subscriptions. What a loss that would be to the nation.

This project sounds like the revenge of a Prime Minister who has harboured resentment of our national treasure for their criticisms of him down through the years. No doubt he would say they had it coming and no doubt Cummings would agree with him.

Their defence of this approach would centre round their claim that the BBC has become a big bloated corporation sorely in need of reorganisation to make it fit for purpose.

There can be no quibble with the reorganisation of any institution to make it more viable, but what has been voiced carries all the hallmarks and fingerprints of a man going out of his way to settle a grudge.

The projected programme is much more than a few tweaks. It is a case of savage and drastic surgery to eviscerate and emasculate one of the few remaining British icons.

Under those circumstances the broadcaster would wither away with ever-dwindling numbers willing to pay any subscription for such a reduced service. Such a policy would inevitably consign this national treasure to the dustbin of history and oblivion.

Here is a cause and crusade for a broadcasting version of Extinction Rebellion.

Are we happy to be left with subscription channels with illiberal doses of commercial breaks which would zombify the watching audience?

It is horrific to contemplate the magnificence of the Reithian creation being ground down to end up in the mausoleum of history with an in memoriam wreath.

If this cunning plan by our Government comes to fruition, we will all end up watching anodyne programmes of stultifying provenance while eating our chlorinated chicken and washing it down with gallons of Coke.

Once that has been achieved, will the monarchy be next in line?

Denis Bruce


Involve older kids in obesity fight

Congratulations to Fallin Primary School and its innovative, and fun programme involving P7 pupils in helping prepare their own school meals (Why dinner ladies have the recipe for beating child obesity, The Herald on Sunday, February 16). It’s an example all schools should follow.

However, it seems to me to be a complete waste to have such programmes in primary when at secondary level, pupils are free to roam. Where do they roam? Fast food outlets.

I see them daily in Edinburgh with queues at the usual suspects of the fast food industry, with chips, burgers, sometimes pizza. Not only are all thoughts of good nourishment gone, but all thoughts of avoiding waste/plastic etc.

As a former teacher whose lunch hours were sometimes spent supervising pupils during, I know some teachers would object to being on dinner duty, but they would find the improved nutrition the increased and sense of being a community conducive to improved classwork.

Come on Scotland: get the secondary schools involved in the fight for proper nutrition among teenagers as well as younger children.

Pat Bryden


This criticism is getting tedious

As is normal, we see a couple of letters easily identifiable as from the Scotland in Union letter-writing cabal and, as usual, we probably all know the topic before reading them. I have two reasons, however, for replying to Mr McKay (COP26 needs a climate change, Letters, February 16).

First, that any huff or grievance must surely be on the side of our great leader, the PM. He is the one whose appointee made it public that she did not think he had a grasp either of COP26 itself or even of climate change, a public humiliation that must surely have produced a huff and sense of grievance, which resulted in her sacking.

Second, when the Westminster plans are so publicly in disarray, while Holyrood has already produced substantial planning and passed this on, it might be considered good reason for grievance that Boris has publicly called our FM “that wee Jimmy Krankie woman” and also publicly stated that he will not “allow that Nicola Sturgeon anywhere near” the conference being held in the country she leads and which was facilitated by her and her officials.

There have been so many letters from this instantly recognisable group that it is seldom necessary to read them to know the subject and tenor thereof. The first sentence will always contain the words “Nicola Sturgeon” and “SNP”, both with the rest of the letter simply adding the adjective “BAD”. The day that even one of them deigns to give us a single reason to believe “Union good” will certainly be a day to raise a flag.

Has none of them ever heard of overkill?

L McGregor


A literary classic of its time

I READ with interest the feature story on the 75th anniversary of the allied bombing of the German city of Dresden (Dark history, The Herald on Sunday, February 16).

It was one of the horrific events carried out by the allies during the war against Nazi Germany.

I didn’t learn about the fire bombing in any of my US history classes in high school, but from the classic novel by Kurt Vonnegut, who fictionalised his personal experience as an American prisoner of war who survived the event by being imprisioned in a slaughterhouse.

His novel Slaughterhouse Five was one of those books banned that should, instead, be taught as the classic it is.

Hugh Peebles


Exhibitionism indeed

I AGREE with the letter from G Picken (Letters, February 16) criticising the half-naked pictures of Jack Schofield after he came out as gay in The Herald on Sunday’s Scottish Life magazine on

February 2.

Compare that with Phillip Schofield coming out as gay. No half-naked photos of him, because he’s not an exhibitionist.

These photos were totally unnecessary, and did nothing for the article.

Margaret Forbes


When facts don’t fit the grievance

We’re familiar with the SNP narrative – if things go badly it’s the UK’s fault and we must have independence; if things go well, thank you, Nicola Sturgeon and it’ll be even better after independence. And we’re certainly families with the message on leaving the EU – Brexit is bad so we must have Scexit.

However, the facts are beginning to get in the way of that narrative. Unemployment is at a record low and employment a record high, with the UK Government increasing the national minimum wage by 6.2%.

Inflation continues under the Bank of England’s 2% rate yet wage growth is 3.2% – and the pound is strengthening against the euro. The UK-wide property market, often considered an indicator of consumer confidence, is picking up, and the FTSE 100 and 250 (that many depend on for their pensions) have remained strong since the Brexit vote.

It’s early days but the UK economy hasn’t crashed as predicted in June 2016 (quite the opposite) and continues to outperform many other major European economies on most criteria.

So will we start to see a volte-face from the SNP? The UK is doing so well – that means Scotland can go it alone too. Brexit is fantastic so we must have Scexit?

Ms Sturgeon’s spin-doctor team are a creative bunch – I wouldn’t put it past them.

Martin Redfern


Crack down on pavement parking

Everyone should be able to walk on pavements without worrying about vehicles blocking their way. Cars parked on pavements force people onto the road, which is particularly dangerous for many, including blind and partially sighted people, parents with pushchairs and young children, wheelchair users and others who use mobility aids.

Pavement surfaces are not designed to carry the weight of vehicles, and the added maintenance cost of repairing cracked and damaged paving adds an unnecessary financial burden to our already cash-strapped councils.

Any responsible group or individual should take a proactive lead on pavement parking, and should be applying for traffic regulation orders to ban pavement parking across the area.

Donald Brown