PRUE Leith plans to thank Scottish politicians for "grabbing the nettle so firmly" in supporting Liam McArthur’s assisted dying Bill currently before the Scottish Parliament ("Prue Leith backs Scots politicians’ bid to make assisted dying legal", The Herald, November 18). Like her, I am grateful, although not all MSPs seem able to grasp the nettle of replying to their constituents on this vital issue of literally life and death.

After my husband suffered a "bad death" despite the dedication of all involved, you published my letter relating the circumstances. I urged people in support of assisted dying to write to their MSPs, urging them in turn to support Liam McArthur’s Members’ Bill. For those who haven't done so, I urge them again to write to their MSPs.

For those not in support, I asked only that they reconsider and perhaps change their position because of what dying can mean under the law as it stands at present.

Following my own advice, I emailed the six of my West Scotland MSPs who did not sign Liam McArthur’s proposals. While fully understanding assisted dying was a contentious issue they might not support, I asked for their views. Only two replied, silence from the other four. And silence when I wrote again more than once.

Silence also from my East Dunbartonshire MP to whom I wrote as the issue is still ongoing in the Westminster Parliament. My second email was acknowledged, but no substantive reply materialised.

An important part of the democratic remit of our elected representatives is to tell us their position, however difficult that is in complex issues like this. More than a year after I wrote, I would still like to hear the views of my MSPs, urging them again to give full and careful consideration to Liam McArthur’s Bill, and from our MP.

Hilda Butler, Glasgow.

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Change tack on college strike

WE are writing as academics from across Scotland who specialise in or have an interest in employment relations and people management. We are deeply concerned by developments at the City of Glasgow College. Lecturers and support staff recommenced strike action on November 14, following an 81% vote in favour, which comfortably surpassed the legal threshold. The dispute was triggered by management’s imposition of compulsory redundancies, now threatening 40% of teaching and support staff posts. Cuts to teaching time mean that students now have significantly less engagement with teachers. Support lecturers, providing dedicated guidance for students with specific learning needs, are being axed.

Most concerning is the refusal of college management since May to engage in meaningful negotiations with EIS-FELA, the trade union that represents staff. Such refusal flies in the face of the Scottish Government’s commitment to Fair Work, betraying the principle of balancing "the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers" and denying employees the fundamental right to exercise their voice.

We urge college management, particularly Paul Little (chief executive and principal), to change from a course of action that seems intent on busting the union, and to enter into meaningful negotiations with EIS-FELA, to resolve a dispute that is causing incalculable damage to the quality of teaching and the learning experiences of many thousands in Glasgow and beyond. We also call on the Minister for Further Education, Graeme Dey, to intervene, to ensure that the college acts on its responsibilities to Fair Work that it is flagrantly evading.

Philip Taylor, Emeritus Professor, University of Strathclyde; Dr Kendra Briken, University of Strathclyde; Dr Grant Buttars, University of Edinburgh; Professor Andrew Cumbers, University of Glasgow; Dr Vaughan Ellis, Napier University; Professor Iain Ferguson, ex-University of the West of Scotland; Professor Jeanette Findlay, President University and College Union Scotland; Dr Ewan Gibbs, University of Glasgow; Dr Eleanor Kirk, University of Glasgow; Emeritus Professor Maitles, University of West of Scotland; Dr Carlo Morelli, University of Dundee; Dr Gareth Mulvey, University of Glasgow; Professor Dennis Nickson, University of Strathclyde; Dr Kirsteen Paton, University of Glasgow; Dr Jennifer Remnant, University of Strathclyde; Dr James Richards, Heriot Watt University; Dr Lena Wangrenn, University of Edinburgh (past President UCU Scotland).

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Why can't all Christians unite?

WHILE agreeing with Thomas F Catterson's remarks and pleadings about the Orange Order and his conflation with the pro-Palestinian matches and demonstration (Letters, November 18), I have often frustratingly wondered about the use of the term "religion". Mr Catterson rightly asks why there is no public outcry about the Orange Order's vilification of the Catholic religion. If those following the teachings of Jesus Christ state that they are Christians and it is accepted that there are many ways to follow the teachings of Christ, then why can't the historical wars and persecution of one branch or other of this faith be consigned to history?

The Catholic faith, the Presbyterian faith, the Orange Order and others use the Bible as the touchstone of their religion, so why can't all Christians unite in the teachings in their Bible and even if they choose their individual forms of worship, at least work together as Christians first and be Protestants, Baptists, Quakers, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics and all of the others second? It is surely Christianity that matters, not sects and cults.

For the record, I am an atheist.

Ian Gray, Croftamie.

The Herald: Sorely missed: Doug MarrSorely missed: Doug Marr (Image: Newsquest)

The sad loss of Doug Marr

I WAS very sad to hear of the death of Doug Marr (Herald Obituary, November 18).

One of his most memorable columns was the one he wrote just after the 2014 referendum. In it he was apologising to the young people that it was his peers, the baby boomer generation, who hadn't had the courage to vote Yes. If you are going to print more of his columns then that would be a great one to see again.

He will be a real miss in the Monday paper.

Ruth McCabe, Winchburgh.

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Happy talk

JAMES Martin (Letters, Noveber 20) asks who was happy Larry, the answer being Larry Foley, an Australian boxer who never lost a fight. Other happy people were the sandboys sent out to collect sand to soak up beer and ale droppings in local hostelries; they were paid in beer.

I sometimes wonder, watching and listening to the goings-on in Westminster and Holyrood, whether some of the occupants of these establishments have been similarly paid.

David Miller, Milngavie.