AT the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914, 15000 cavalry were sent to the western front to repel the invading Germans. By March 1916 most had been disbanded. They were fighting the wrong war.

Russia has lost more than 3,000 tanks in the Ukraine war as they fell foul of anti-tank guided missiles and drones. They too were fighting the wrong war.

Today the huge Nato exercise Steadfast Defender is operating all over Western Europe, preparing for a 20th century conventional war whose time is past.

I found it heart-rending to watch the ceremony at Edinburgh Castle for the Ukrainians on the second anniversary of the war. (It is to Scotland's credit that 28,000 live here now.) However, their assertion that Ukraine can win the war and that Russia would invade Western Europe if "we" (the UK, presumably, as the United States and EU draw back), do not stop Russia, needs to be challenged. The UK broadcast media are loath to do so.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy must come to the negotiating table, as Russia is using meat grinder tactics now with thousands of conscript soldiers, reinforced by former Wagner troops, and there can only be one outcome. The carnage must stop. Broadcasting wildly optimistic cheerleading assessments of Ukrainian capabilities, in contrast to European broadcast media, is almost making the UK complicit.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing, Fife.

Devolution is not working

HUMZA Yousaf announced the council tax freeze at the SNP autumn conference. He had not discussed this with the councils and it was merely an election stunt. He was criticised for it but said that it would be fully funded.

Now we find that it is very much not and councils are now rebelling by increasing their taxes, and not just by a couple of per cent. This is due to the fact that they are considering reducing services and closing local facilities. We now find the the Finance Secretary is writing to ask the UK Government to make provisions in the Budget for more money. This is my argument against independence. Not that I am not a proud Scot, I am merely realistic.

If we become independent, we won't be able to run to Westminster, it will mean that we have to borrow, and with no borrowing history, will be repaying loans at horrendous rates. This will cause us all to be even more highly taxed.

Let's just consider scrapping this local Scottish Parliament and go back to the previous system. It's just not working.

John Russell, Airdrie.

This anti-SNP obsession

KEVIN McKenna’s monomania over the SNP would be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing ("SNP MPs have achieved square root of damn all", February 25). His highly partisan and selective attacks carry the mark of zealotry and are neither entertaining nor enlightening.

Every accusation aimed at the SNP (I am not a member) could more easily be pointed at others. “Gilded lifestyles”; why are they not queuing up for peerages with the rest of the troughers? “Bullying and harassment” has been a Westminster disgrace long before the SNP showed up.

Yes, “collective punishment” is a crime in international law. Sir Keir Starmer voiced agreement that Israel had “the right” to deprive Gaza of food, energy and water. That is why Labour is split, nothing to do with the SNP. Labour has a long history of anti-Semitism and is why it has no candidate in Rochdale; again, nothing to do with the SNP.

No amount of Union Jack-waving will make it true that the “UK Parliament” has existed for 800 years. 800 years ago both Scotland and England had identifiable “parliaments” (from the mid-1230s) which lasted till 1707 when both were disbanded and replaced by the Parliament of Great Britain, then replaced again in 1801 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom and Ireland (now Northern Ireland). ?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

Collective responsibility

DANI Garavelli ("Yes, the SNP was done by, but Flynn’s claim of ‘victim’ status was truly crass", February 25) writes: “The SNP has, at least, been consistent. It opposed the Iraq War (losing votes as a result), and has been calling for a ceasefire in Gaza from the outset. Still, let’s not pretend the party didn’t choose to include the phrase “as a collective punishment” - a reference to the cutting off of water and electricity, and the Geneva Convention which says '[no] protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed' - in the hopes it would split the Labour Party”.

Did she miss the fact that Scottish Labour passed a resolution at its conference which also contained the phrase “collective punishment”? Was Scottish Labour also trying to split the Labour Party?

David Howie, Dunblane.

READ MORE: Give us full fiscal autonomy to put an end to SNP whining

READ MORE: How can we Scots possibly respect or trust Westminster now?

READ MORE: The structure of Scotland's NHS is no longer fit for purpose

Ask Jack about telecoms

TOM Gordon's article "'Stitch-up claim': Exasperation as Scot Gov says R100 'delivered'" (February 25) contained some interesting information and quotes about "failings" in the R100 project. However, I thought the most interesting piece of information was how the project has been funded: Scottish Government £579 million, UK Government £33m and BT plc £33m.

I would have thought that Mr Gordon would have been aware that telecommunications, which covers broadband and mobile phone signalling, is not a devolved matter but is the responsibility of the UK Government. Its policy is to leave it to the telecoms industry to make the appropriate investment in the hope it will attract subscribers. Where this is unlikely, for example in rural areas, it will consider funding some investment. However, it has no objection to other bodies - devolved governments, local government, community groups and so on - funding investment. Mr Gordon's figures show us how inadequate the UK Government's funding is.

I'm sure you have access to Alister Jack, who is responsible for the implementation of UK Government policy in Scotland. It would be interesting if someone could ask him to explain why there are so many broadband and mobile phone "blackspots" in Scotland. It is his responsibility. Let us know how you get on.

Douglas Morton, Lanark.

Cash for ash scandal

I READ with interest Vicky Allan's excellent article ("£1 million per mast: So who will benefit from costly new Highland phone lines?", February 25).

This is another cash for ash scandall: a well-meaning but misguided scheme handing out £310m in grants for masts with no customers.

It's ironic that the scheme is being pushed for emergency services for hillwalkers when the groups campaigning most strongly against it are hillwalkers and their representatives such as Mountaineering Scotland.

Robert Craig, Glasgow.

A time limit on protests?

JAMES Cleverly is your man if you want a Cabinet minister to hit the headlines.

Sadly it is generally for all the wrong reasons.

Who does not remember his ill-judged joke about his use of a date-rape drug on his wife, his clumsy comment on the Rwanda policy as being "bats***t", his reference to Stockton as a "s***hole and his attempt to pin the blame on Labour's "negative narrative" for the collapse of Liz Truss's fantasy budget?

Well, he has come up trumps again and excelled himself with his statement that the pro-Palestinian demonstrations have outlived their usefulness and should now be left on the shelf despite the mayhem being experienced by the people of Gaza.

Are we now to believe that protests, even peaceful ones, should have a time limit imposed on them?

Of course, what more should we expect from a man who belongs to a party which legislates to remove its problems and to deflect attention away from its own failings?

Restriction of trade unions' rights, limitation on what protesters are allowed to do, the criminalisation of desperate immigrants who dare to cross the Channel in leaky boats, all of those, to name but a few, have been intended to deflect attention away from the Government's agenda which plays to a populist perspective.

This Government detests any expression of protest, which it would love to stamp out, and is, I have no doubt, considering ways to do so.

Failure to provide sufficient avenues to allow migrants to apply for asylum in the UK on economic or political grounds drove this Government into its Stop The Boats policy. It will not be long before that same Government in its dying days will be promoting a time limit on the number of times a particular protest can be mounted.

And James Cleverly will be held responsible for firing the starting pistol for such a campaign.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

Met Office is scaremongering

ON BBC Radio 5 Live last month one of the Met Office's senior meteorologists stated that storms in the UK are getting "more intense" due to climate change. This statement was challenged by independent climate researcher Paul Homewood and the Met Office was forced to admit that "there is no evidence yet for an increase in wind gust strengths, although these are projected to increase with future climate change".

Can these "future climate change" projections by climate scientists with a vested interest be believed? Recent Met Office papers confirmed no upward trend in wind speeds since 1969, and that several storms in the 1980s and 90s were much more severe than anything seen since. There are lies, damned lies and Met Office scaremongering statistics.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

The Herald: Marine Fraser, far right, with Lt Cmdr Dalzel-Job, centre, in the French city of Caen during the summer of 1944. The man in civilian clothes is Staff Sgt Bramah.Marine Fraser, far right, with Lt Cmdr Dalzel-Job, centre, in the French city of Caen during the summer of 1944. The man in civilian clothes is Staff Sgt Bramah. (Image: Contributed)

Seeking Glasgow WWII hero

I AM seeking information on Marine J (Lofty) Fraser, who hailed from Glasgow. Fraser was part of Ian Fleming’s Commando unit, known as 30 AU (Assault Unit). His senior officer was Lt Cmdr Patrick Dalzel-Job RNVR, author of From Arctic Snow to the Dust of Normandy.

Fraser’s role was to protect Dalzel-Job, which he did successfully, and along with Marine Bill Wright, accompanied Dalzel-Job from Normandy through until the end of the war in May 1945. All three survived the war.

If anyone would like to share further information about Marine Fraser, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact me at

Bob Pearson, Ipswich.