WITH yet another shocking child abuse case ("Seven convicted of involvement in ‘depraved’ child abuse ring", The Herald, November 15), I hope we may get a little humility from those who whipped up such hostility to the proposal to establish the Named Person scheme on the grounds that it was state/social work interference with family values.

It was, in fact, a very sensible proposal to try to get some coordination and continuity not just in child protection but as a point of advice for parents/carers. While it was ironically badly named, it did address the problem of the multiple people and agencies that may engage with children: schools, health service, social work, community groups, police.

I shudder when I hear "lessons must be learned", "this must never happen again". But it does. There are many children living in conditions ranging from the bad to the appalling. We have under-resourced social work services and there is a serious shortage of high-quality care options for children who need to be removed wholly or partially from their existing homes. But it has to be care options which can provide continuity over years.

A new version of the Named Person proposal would be valuable but even more fundamental is an urgent review of the quality and capacity of the care options for the tragic children in our society who are neglected and abused. That at least would be a useful outcome rather than another report about how we have to learn lessons.

Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.

State should not fund religion

I MUST thank Joe Mills (Letters, November 16) for, no doubt inadvertently, giving such a powerful justification for my belief that there should be no place in modern Scotland for the state to provide Catholic schools.

As a Catholic priest and school chaplain, he writes: “The aim of Catholic schools is to encourage children also to develop their faith in God.” He continues: “Catholic pupils are prompted by their teachers to see how the teachings of Jesus are not simply for information but are taught as an invitation to a way of life.” So there we have it: evangelism on behalf of their faith is a key aim of Catholic schools. This is scarcely news, but it is useful to have such a frank admission from such an authoritative source.

I fully respect the right of any individual to decide to believe in a god of their choice and to live their own life according to the rules they believe their god imposes. Equally, parents and religious bodies have a right to explain their beliefs to anyone willing to listen. But, in the modern part-secular and part-multifaith world, it should never be the role of the state to provide and fund schools which have, as one of their aims, the promotion of any religion.

Alistair Easton, Edinburgh.

Read more: Why do we allow the Catholic Church to get away with discrimination?

Keep the gas turbines going

SAM Craig declares that the tidal power is the way ahead (Letters, November 16); he evidently hasn't reviewed the SNP Energy Plan issued in February 2023. The paper details an increase from the current 15GW of power available to the Scottish grid operators to 60GW by 2045 at a capital cost of around £270 billion (based on Vattenfall predictions) to meet a maximum demand of only 20GW.

However, as the SNP has little faith in an inefficient, unreliable technology, the paper also includes a case for 25GW of hydrogen-fuelled gas turbine plant to ensure that the lights stay on in Scotland when the wind fails to blow and the sun does not shine.

Why then introduce another renewable technology that has never been replicated since the French plant built in the 1960s? The answer is that the system does not work and, like the Severn barrage analysis, is too expensive. Note also the claim that "nuclear output comes at an exorbitant cost per unit of energy" is on shaky economic grounds. Hinkley Point C has a strike price of £93 per MWhour which is in line with the demands from the renewable Sector that the £41 per MWhour made to the Seagreen wind farm requires to be doubled for future North Sea projects.

What Mr Craig should have addressed is why the SNP fails to scrap the 45GW of additional wind farm units and rely on the gas turbines, sited at Peterhead, Longannet, Cockenzie and Hunterston, to keep the lights on in 2045. That would avoid desecrating the island of Skye, the Highlands and the Southern Uplands from a plethora of pylons and massive arrays of wind turbines in rural Scotland and would save £270bn.

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.

Rights of the Palestinians

ONE fundamental question that our leaders in the West have yet to answer in relation to the Israeli invasion of Gaza and the increased killings and imprisonment without trial in the West Bank is at what point and by what means are the Palestinians entitled to defend themselves?

I suspect that the answer is, as it has always been: never.

Chris Ewing, Cairneyhill, Fife.

The moving backstop

ON March 16 this year, the then Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, stated, to great fanfare: "The chief executive has therefore revised the handover dates for both vessels with the MV Glen Sannox now scheduled for autumn 2023… with a contract backstop of no later than the end of December 2023. He has also indicated that 802 will be handed over in the autumn of 2024… with a contract backstop of no later than the end of December 2024”.

We are now told that the Glen Sannox will not be ready until next spring, and the Glen Rosa not before the end of 2025.

Does the phrase “contract backstop” actually have any meaning?

Dr Jim Finlayson, Beauly.

Fans lose out yet again

IT is deeply disappointing, once again, that Scotland’s football heroics are not on terrestrial TV. Can we look forward to the day when our national team can be watched on an unfettered free broadcast?

One consolation, England v Malta is on Channel 4 in Scotland.

Ken Cairnduff, Glasgow.

On logical grounds

OVERHEARD at the M&S Cafe at Braehead earlier today: Customer: "Americano, please". Server: "Regular or large?"

"How many shots in a regular?" "Two." "How many shots in a large?" Two".

"So 30 pence extra for added water?" "Yes."

"I'll have a regular."

Robert Wilson, Glasgow.