AT last the BMA acknowledges the damage done by the 2004 GP contract that allowed GPs to opt out of out-of-hours care ("We'll never fix the NHS until we fix our broken GP surgeries", The Herald, May 1). Yet, Dr Andrew Buist, chair of BMA Scotland's GP Committee, curiously, considering the title of his article, just acknowledges that this contract was a mistake for the continuity of patient care and for the GP profession.

He goes on to write that if nothing is done about General Practice it is very likely that A&E will be swamped by an overflow of patients. He fails to acknowledge that this has already long since happened as a consequence of the contract, which has also been responsible for the increase in ambulance call-outs and unnecessary hospital admissions. What else could be expected from no GPs on-call in the evenings, nights, weekends and public holidays? Think of Easter weekends. But he writes that it is "too late to put this genie back in the bottle". Really?Any increase in financial and other resources which he seeks for General Practice should come with the condition that GPs resume an out-of-hours service.

Dr Stefan Slater (retired), Edinburgh.

Subjective subjects

CHARLES Wardrop (Letters, May 1) holds that teachers must stick to objectively verifiable facts and avoid subjectively-held opinion.

Would he on this ground exclude the study of English literature from schools? The choice of what literature to teach necessarily reflects the subjective opinions of either the teacher or whoever else may be selecting as to what is worth teaching.

What about history? Lacking a time machine, we can objectively verify little of this. We depend on a variety of sources, both contemporary to the events (which may be biased or mistaken) or later sources (perhaps even less reliable). Historians continue to debate the evidence and re-assessment of events and people is constant.

Perhaps science is safer ground, but even here, debates continue. Mr Wardrop obviously concludes climate change too subjective for teachers to tackle, even though there appears to be close to a consensus among climatologists over at least the fact of anthropogenic climate change, even if the exact effects remain uncertain. Presumably he would also rule out evolution, which millions deny. Even the atomic theory remains a theory.

It feels like a very narrow education that Mr Wardrop advocates. Hopefully the education he received at Kelvinside Academy was broader.

David Clinton, Hamilton.

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Nimbysm from rural residents

KARIN Coltart (Letters, May 3) refers to "the myth of consultation" in the context of energy infrastructure developments. I was engaged in the development of the Scottish electricity grid between the 1960s and 1990s at a time when secure and reliable mains power was reaching many rural communities for the first time. Our challenge then was not resisting opposition to development, but satisfying demand from communities for network expansion.

The Hydro Board in the north of Scotland was regarded with great respect and affection by the general public who welcomed the intrusion of power lines into their rural landscapes. Lines emanating from urban areas to carry power to remote communities were seldom opposed by the urban dwellers but today's generation of rural dwellers take the comfort of mains power for granted and nimbyism has taken over the asylum.

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

E-scooter lunacy

SCOTLAND'S Transport Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, has stated that electric scooters could be trialled in Scotland and would "inevitably" be legalised on Scottish roads (and illegally on pavements). Why does Scotland need a trial since the Scottish Parliament can get information from the 22 trials reaching a conclusion in England?

All over the UK there have been numerous deaths and injuries caused by privately owned e-scooters which should only be used on private land with the owner's permission. E-scooters are already being driven illegally on Scotland's roads, cycle tracks and pavements but how many e-scooters have Police Scotland confiscated? The Met has confiscated thousands.

If sanity does not prevail and the UK and Scottish governments legislate in favour of e-scooters will riders need a driving licence, a helmet, a visible number identification and insurance? E-scooters are a fire hazard and have been banned on London's Transport system and other places. Hired e-scooters in the UK trial are limited to 15.5 mph but unlimited will reach 50 mph. If this moronic proposal is forced through by the Scottish and UK governments then politicians will have blood on their hands.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

The Herald: How subjective should teachers be?How subjective should teachers be? (Image: Newsquest)

No tears for the Royal Bank

I WOULD shed no tears for the arrogance, over-expansion and incompetence of the Royal Bank of Scotland (“The sad, sad tale of a once-great banking stalwart”, The Herald, May 1). Its final implosion was of its own making and, before that, it mastered irregular practices and contracts including a dodgy £12 billion prospectus.

Graeme Smith, Newton Mearns.

Memories of Chris McClure

FEBRUARY 1966, and the second issue of Moody Magazine, the short-lived Scottish pop magazine I published and edited, featured one of the first published features on Chris McClure, who as you reported, has sadly passed away (“Scots soul singer and panto stalwart Cristian dies at 80”, The Herald, May 3).

I interviewed and photographed him at his flat in Glasgow’s Paisley Road West, and what an astonishingly pleasant and unassuming young man he was.

Chris also featured in the first issue of Moody which highlighted the newly-launched BBC Scotland pop show Stramash, on which Chris was a member of the resident cast.

Drew King, Dullatur.

Slobbering sportsmen

I RECENTLY turned on the telly to watch a Scottish football match but, after about 10 minutes, thought I had mistakenly tuned into a dating channel or some kind of Love Island programme. Why? Because all the players (grown men) seemed to be engaged in hugging/necking/kissing one another.

Not for me, I thought, and retuned to where I could watch a darts match. The same scene greeted my disbelieving eyes. Guys who once were known for their liking for a pint (or 10) and had their 20-packs of fags tucked in next to their darts, were, like the footballers, clasping each other in embraces that left little to the imagination.

Snooker? Blokes who used to have to brace themselves just to perform the briefest of handshakes were cuddling/holding hands/tearfully sobbing and telling tales of ill health and "issues".

Here's my plea. Before we have to witness the first televised showing of one of these sportsmen's, er, consummation of their love for a fellow sportsman, please stop it.

John McGuiness, Glasgow.