HOW low can this Government sink? With the absorption – aggressive take-over would be more accurate – of the world-envied Department for International Development (DFID) into the Foreign Office it seems that serving "national" political objectives is now to take precedence over meeting the pressing needs of impoverished societies around the world ("Johnson launches Global Britain vision as department scrapped", The Herald, June 17).

These suffer not just from the consequences of natural disasters but also from the continuing discriminatory effects of globalisation and, in many cases, even now, of the legacy of a history of colonial exploitation and indeed past slavery. So apparently, as the Prime Minister has implied in the House, we should give a higher priority to giving aid to the Ukraine than to Zambia as that is more in accord with the UK’s international policy. But "charity begins at home" was meant to convey the truth that a concern for the welfare of others – a love for your neighbour – is learned in the home, not that naked self-interest trumps all. Of course, the absorption is perfectly consistent with the English nationalist ideology that has driven the Brexit fiasco, so perhaps we should not be surprised, even if scandalised.

Dr Frederick Hay, Glasgow G12.

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In praise of the QEUH

I HAVE had involvement with the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, both as a relatively short stay emergency patient and as a visitor over a longer term when one of my best friends was seriously ill. On each occasion my experience was very positive and, in my case, I was sufficiently moved to write a letter of appreciation of both my treatment and the hospital's facilities.

Without doubt Gavin R Tait (Letters, June 17), is much more knowledgeable than I am on hospitals and I accept that a number of his points may be valid. However, I do dispute the statement that it must remain forever to be a dangerous white elephant. Also, it appears to me that he wants to eat his cake and still have it when criticising the First Minister for either using her influence in the location or, alternatively, not interfering in the decision making process.

Gordon Evans, Burnside.

Mind the gap

AS a cyclist who recognises that it is illegal to ride on the footway, I recognise Stuart Neville’s concern (Letters, June 17), but I suggest that there is a far bigger problem looming. With the encouragement being given to pubs and restaurants to apply for a share of the pavement, the welcome increase in cycling and dedicated space, coupled with the current advice to avoid public transport and the resulting car increase, as a former municipal engineer I’ll wait with interest to see how the metaphorical quart will be fitted into the urban pint pot.

John C Hutchison, Fort William.

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Osprey stars

I NOTE the article about the proposal by John Wallace to make a film about the ospreys at Threave Castle ("Scotland's ospreys to be castle movie stars", The Herald, June 17).

I should point out that the Loch Arkaig ospreys have been making world news for a couple of months, since the female, Aila, laid three eggs. All hatched successfully, and now thousands of viewers are watching the live Woodland Trust webcam every day, as Louis, the male, brings in a regular diet of fresh trout to feed the chicks.

I'm sure the Threave Castle osprey film will be great, but the "little bobs" at Loch Arkaig are providing day-to-day entertainment right now.

Rose Harvie, Dumbarton.