WE write as academics who research, teach or have a close interest in industrial/employment relations. We were astonished and dismayed to read of the City of Glasgow College’s decision to close the TUC Education Centre at its Riverside campus ("First Minister asked to save union education centre", The Herald, June 6).

The unit has delivered high quality generalist and bespoke education in vital areas, including health and safety, representation, employment law, equalities and discrimination, to many thousands of trade union representatives over decades. Not only do learners receive training that enhances their ability to make their workplaces fairer - a Scottish Government objective - it develops them as individuals in incalculable ways. The TU Education is a critical bridge to lifelong learning.

According to recently published UK Government statistics, trade union membership in Scotland has increased by 30,000 in a year. Surely the priority should be the expansion of trade union education. We believe that the City of Glasgow College must reverse its decision and that the Scottish Government should intervene to stop this socially regressive, unenlightened and short-sighted closure.

Emeritus Professor Phil Taylor, University of Strathclyde; Dr Kendra Briken, University of Strathclyde; Professor Christine Cooper, University of Edinburgh; Professor Andrew Cumbers, University of Glasgow; Dr Vaughan Ellis, Napier University; Professor David Featherstone, University of Glasgow; Dr Iain Ferguson, former Professor at University of West of Scotland; Dr Brian Garvey, University of Strathclyde; Dr Stirling Howieson, University of Strathclyde; Dr Scott Hurrell, University of Glasgow; Professor Stewart Johnstone, University of Strathclyde; Professor Colin Lindsay, University of Strathclyde; Professor Arthur McIvor, University of Strathclyde; Emeritus Professor Henry Maitles, University of West of Scotland; Dr Gareth Mulvey, University of Glasgow; Dr Kirsteen Paton, University of Glasgow; Dr Jennifer Remnant, University of Strathclyde; Dr. James Richards, Heriot-Watt University; Professor Melanie Simms, University of Glasgow, Dr Lena Wanggren, University of Edinburgh.

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Give weaver poet a break

I REFER to the plans to provide more publicity to the life and works of Paisley’s Robert Tannahill, known as "the weaver poet" ("Museum to recognise Scotland’s ‘forgotten bard' in home town", The Herald, June 12). There was a time when almost every weaver in Paisley claimed to be a poet. Paisley had a reputation for being a fairly literate town. In 1881 Robert Brown produced an anthology of Paisley Poets in which he referred to 160 of them.

It is worthy of note that Tannahill, when working on his loom, kept tools readily available for writing and a flute. There are those who maintain that Tannahill could be likened to a disciple of Robert Burns and that he should be ranked as being second to him only. It is fitting that a statue of Tannahill was erected in Abbey Close near the Paisley Abbey.

I note that the long-established belief that Tannahill committed suicide is being questioned. That belief was apparently based upon a combination of some discouragement with regard to his literary career and concerns about his own health. At this stage removed, I would suggest that it is not possible to be certain about the circumstances of his demise and perhaps now he should be given the benefit of the doubt with regard to the nature of his ending.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

Sexism on Radio Scotland

I AM a regular listener to Radio Scotland’s morning output whilst perusing my Herald.

Last week my attention was captured by Kaye Adams announcement that one of the items on her Mornings show that day was a discussion on the appropriateness or otherwise of men walking the streets “taps aff” at the first appearance of the sun.

Intrigued, I listened in as Ms Adams and her two female guests discussed the issue. Perhaps not surprisingly, they concluded that taps aff was not a good thing based on somewhat predictable criteria: acres of white skin, beer bellies, various other saggy bits and back hair. My woke klaxon began to squawk... surely this was at the very least body/fat shaming?

It got worse as Ms Adams accused one of her guests of seeing the issue in a “sexual context” (really?) which she then compounded by asking who in an imaginary situation, the ladies would like to see taps-aff. Amid much ribaldry and bawdy laughter, it was agreed that a Sean Connery lookalike with a six-pack would be acceptable My woke klaxon was now turned up to 11…surely this was a flagrant breach of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) obligations and could be described as the epitome of all the ’ist, ‘phobe,’phile words you could think of?

Readers will guess where I am going with this but what if it had been Stephen Jardine’s turn to present the show and he had brought in a couple of blokes to discuss women parading the streets in, say, short crop tops or asking who they would like to see similarly attired on a sunny afternoon? All hell would have been let loose with Mr Jardine forced to apologise before being hooked from Debate Night. As has been seen in other real-life situations, sauce for the goose is not always sauce for the gander.

To be honest I actually took no offence and some of the banter was quite amusing, but it just confirmed how meaningless the pursuit of DEI in its current iteration is and how difficult it is to enforce. When it can be so readily set aside in pursuit of the joke this is surely a definition of “institutional”.

As an ageing Adonis I have reached my own conclusion on the matter and will be keeping my shirt on (and tucked in).

Keith Swinley, Ayr.

Zoning out

LIKE most football fans, I am looking forward to the start of the European Championships on Friday but astonished to learn that Scotland will be the only nation in the competition without a fan zone in its capital city. Apparently, Edinburgh City Council rejected an application to hold a fan zone and has no plans for one.

However, there is to be a fan zone for Team GB at the Olympic Games in September, which I suppose reflects the political outlook of the Labour, LibDem and Tory unionist coalition that runs Edinburgh City Council.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

Kaye AdamsKaye Adams (Image: BBC Scotland)

1966 and all that

DUNCAN Sooman (Letters, June 11) wants to know why many Scots cannot support the England football team. It's because we get the team rammed down our throats incessantly by the press, backed up by the BBC and its sports presenters and commentators.

Honestly, since they won the World Cup in 1966 (that's half a century ago) they cannot stop eulogising "it's coming home".

I have lost count of the times I have sat down to watch the very good English team only to switch off after 10 minutes with the commentating reflecting on "1966" incessantly.

Ken Mackay, Glasgow.