YOUR report that the leader of Glasgow City Council has refused to accept a floating hostel for asylum seekers ("City leader accused of ‘hypocrisy’ over stance on asylum ships", The Herald, August 8) looks like dereliction of duty.

The great city of Glasgow is part of the United Kingdom, which is doing its part in accommodating asylum seekers from oppressive and dangerous regimes. Glasgow must, therefore, shoulder its responsibility to share in this mission of mercy.

This report is so out of character with the honourable past record of philanthropy from noble citizens in Glasgow's history.

Shame on those heartless people who deny shelter to the needy.

Rev David S Fraser, Stornoway.

Let refugees take a job

IT’S good that even in grim situations you can find humour. There’s no doubt that the embarkation of asylum seekers on to the Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge in Portland, Dorset is grim news, but I had to smile when I heard the Home Office’s Director of Refugee Accommodation state: “Accommodation is offered on a no-choice basis”. How wonderfully Orwellian.

Allan Thompson (Letters, August 8) believes the “stushie over the Bibby Stockholm is much ado about nothing”, and says he lived in similar accommodation while working 12-hour shifts in the North Sea. I stayed in similar accommodation, too, many years ago in the Falkland Islands; I saw the barge over a decade later in the East River, New York, where it was being used as a prison. As far as I could see, Sammy the Seal, who’d been a constant presence in Port Stanley, hadn’t followed the barge on its long trip north.

Mr Thompson is comparing apples and oranges. He would probably have worked two weeks offshore, followed by two weeks free time at home. While offshore, his 12-hour shift and mealtimes would have filled almost all his waking hours; his shared cabin he would have used only to sleep. The refugees on the Bibby Stockholm are in a completely different situation. They aren’t allowed to work and they have almost no money, so how do they fill their waking hours?

Here's a suggestion: let refugees (on the Stockholm and elsewhere) work while their cases are stuck in the congested, slow-moving asylum system. Cases often take several years to resolve, during which time refugees are left in dire poverty and with nothing to occupy their time. There are sectors of the economy that are crying out for staff, so I cannot understand why the UK Government won’t accept the clear win-win solution of allowing refugees to take a job, with all its social and mental health benefits.

Refugees in employment would also be able to contribute to the cost of their accommodation and they would pay tax. Good for businesses, good for the economy and good for the individuals concerned: so why won’t the Government allow it?

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.

Read more: What Glasgow needs most is a leadership able to rise to the task

Don't let them use excuses

APPARENTLY under advice from their Legal Aid-funded lawyers and bolstered by the support of a charity Care4Calais, migrants are resisting boarding the dockside-moored Bibby housing barge because they claim to have developed a fear of water having been traumatised by crossing the Channel in small boats. Really? That trauma would presumably apply equally to any proposal to send them anywhere by boat.

How long before these creative advisors tell any migrant whose asylum claim has been rejected, or who is about to be sent by plane to Rwanda, Ascension or anywhere else for their claim to be considered, to claim a fear of flying? Any suggestion of using the only remaining route of the Channel Tunnel would no doubt be resisted by claiming claustrophobia.

In sum, do we have to get used to the idea that migrants can refuse to be sent anywhere irrespective of whether their claim to asylum has been rejected or whether they arrived here illegally?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

Let MPs use a barge

ON reading about the use of accommodation barges to hold asylum seekers, may I make a suggestion?

Why doesn't the UK Government buy a similar barge and moor it on the River Thames near to the Houses of Parliament? Then our exhausted MPs could stay on board this vessel and be spared the traumatic journey to their state-funded second homes after their parliamentary business is done for the day.

David Miller, Glasgow.

Mordaunt would make a fine PM

THE Conservatives surely missed out in not electing Penny Mordaunt as their leader. Seldom has there been a more forthright and honest MP of any party and her integrity is up front and solid. She would make a fine Prime Minister.

Many would disagree with some of her specific policy ideas and those of her party, I certainly do, but we live in a democracy and she is as entitled to her views as anyone else. There can be no doubting her personal honesty and integrity, qualities painfully absent in so many Scottish nationalists in positions of power.

Ms Mordaunt’s weekly mauling of the SNP at Westminster is, for pro-UK Scots, merely a bonus. She carefully distinguishes between Scots and Scots nationalists with a devastating wit; this clear distinction is something the SNP hates; many of them truly believe that they are Scotland.

At this year’s Edinburgh Festival, she claimed with ample evidence that the SNP fails because its approach is based on "real bile and hatred’’ (“Tory MP Mordaunt lashes out at SNP’S ‘bile and hatred’ over indy”, The Herald, August 7, and Letters, August 8). Who could witness politics in Scotland daily and honestly disagree with that view? She accused the SNP of using a “victimhood” narrative to describe Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom, which, she said, “winds me up”. It winds up many of us here in Scotland also.

Good on you, Penny.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Read more: Penny Mordaunt is wrong: it was unionists who stoked the hatred

Disgrace of credit card misuse

LOCAL government, Police Scotland, NHS Scotland, care services, the Fire Service, Scottish prisons and more I can’t think of right now have all been underfunded by the SNP Government for years. To learn that 58,000 bank card transactions have been made by civil servants on things like yoga classes, wellington boots and a "home disco" from eBay ("£14m credit card bill includes £10k on Sturgeon's airport VIP costs", heraldscotland, August 8) really makes the blood boil.

Before someone jumps up to say "but the Tories do it too at Westminster", just let me say that the SNP was elected to govern Scotland, not anywhere else. I don’t know what has to happen to make SNP voters see through them and the way they act with total impunity. but I wish it would happen soon.

Ian Balloch, Grangemouth.

Far from a ray of hope

LEAH Gunn Barrett (Letters, August 8) has previously expressed her contempt for the past and recent history of the USA, the country of her birth, and of the UK, her adopted country of the past few years – which of course we can all agree have not always been benign.

But to describe the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) led by Putin's Russia and Xi's China, as a "ray of hope" in our increasingly authoritarian world of anti-democratic totalitarian dictatorships, is quite astonishing and reveals the full extent of her selective interpretation of history and twisted views of our century's development to date – and sadly, its probable continuance for decades to come.

John Birkett, St Andrews.

Don't let China off the hook

ALTHOUGH Leah Gunn Barrett makes an interesting and startling point about carbon emissions caused by military activities, she may, inadvertently, have given China something of an easy ride in terms of overall emissions, and about military outposts.

I am cautious about using statistics when I don't fully understand their origin or composition, and I note that Ms Barrett does not give any comparative figure for China in terms of militarily-related emissions (whether in terms of Co2 or carbon) but I note also that various publicly-quoted sources indicate that China accounts for over 50% of global emissions, with the US at around half that or less (neither record being anything to be proud of, of course).

It's entirely understandable that China has rushed to catch up with the level of economic development of other countries (and that applies also to India, another big-league emitter) but all those coal-fired power stations can't be a good idea. They certainly make the banning of gas boilers in Scotland appear something of a token gesture.

I wonder also whether China's island-building in the South China Sea and its attempts at exclusion of shipping accounts for its single military outpost.

Brian Chrystal, Edinburgh.