WE urgently need an inquiry into public inquiries before any more time and money is wasted on a system that more often than not is counter-productive in its supposed aims ("Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry: Probe dubbed as ‘shambolic’ as it begins", heraldscotland, August 28).

I know lawyers need the money. I know politicians and officials must be relieved knowing that it will be years before there is a final report. They will be comfortably retired and the chances are that the public memory of the issues will have faded. Some actions may result eventually but that is usually dragged out for another few years and is certainly not guaranteed.

The Edinburgh Tram Inquiry (remember that?) has not yet reported after eight years. The Bloody Sunday Inquiry was 12 years. The Infected Blood Inquiry is hoping to publish after just six years. Is anyone taking bets on the delivery dates of the UK and Scottish Covid inquiries?

People with important and genuine grievances are encouraged to call for public inquiries without realising that it is a convenient way out for those responsible. Justice long-postponed is hardly justice.

We could deal with these issues by appointing a small investigative team to gather the facts and opinions with those affected given the opportunity to respond to their report and an independent assessor to consider the evidence. Let's start with the Scottish Government commissioning a time-limited report on the models in other countries. Sweden had already completed its Covid inquiry before the UK and Scottish inquiries started.

Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.

Why single out Christianity?

DOUG Clark (Letters, August 28) raises a fair question when asking if we should reconsider the teaching of religion in our schools. What I can’t understand is why he singled out Christianity “in particular". I understand one of the main reasons for RE is to help children appreciate the many religions that exist whilst encouraging tolerance. I try to respect other religions and fully believe in the freedom to practise a religion or not. It’s a fundamental pillar of democracy.

Not quite sure why Mr Clark launched his scathing attack on Christianity but I respect his right to do so. Is he suggesting only Christianity should be removed from the curriculum? If that’s not the case then why single out Christianity, “in particular”?

John Gilligan, Ayr.

• DOUG Clark refers to problems if we interpret the Bible literally. As a member of the Church of Scotland my belief is that the word of God is to be found in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments but taking into account later God-given knowledge given since the words were written down.

Religious education in our schools should take into account that we now live in multi-faith society and our young people should learn something of the world's religions other than Christianity. We refer to the three monotheistic religions Judiasm, Christianity and Islam which all trace their roots to Abraham and believe in one God (even if their understanding of "God" is different). Is it not true to say that all of Humankind is searching for meaning in life? We seek to find meaning through a study of and links to one or other of the world's religions.

I often reflect on the meaning of life but perhaps the best way of coming to some understanding of that is to start by wrestling with the question of what is it that gives life meaning and that might just give us some understanding of the purposes of God.

Ron Lavalette, Ardrossan.

Read more: If we were pro-European, we would not be cutting back on languages

Tale of another unwanted kiss

THE furore over Luis Rubiales kissing Jenni Hermoso ("Rubiales suspended amid legal action threats", The Herald, August 27)reminds me of a situation some 15 years since when as a driving instructor my pupil, an attractive and sociable teenaged single mother, took her test in the part-time driving test centre in Wishaw. I now withhold real names for what will be obvious reasons.

Following the test, with permission, I sat in the back to hear the verdict of the examiner, whom I suspect was a recently-retired official helping the DVLA out with a test backlog. He did a wind-up with her. "Well, Karen, I have to tell you concerning your est today" - pause, as her face fell and prepared visibly to sob - "you've passed." It took a couple of seconds for the penny to drop.Then she grabbed him round the neck and kissed him on the mouth, with tongue, for a full 20 seconds.

Sitting behind, I could see the red flush of embarrassment climb the examiner's neck until he physically disentangled himself.

"You're a lovely man! I could take you home and cuddle you all afternoon."

"I don't think my wife would like that," was the reply.

No officials were professionally harmed by this episode which has hitherto failed to trouble the mainstream meeja.

Bill Clark, Airdrie.

Nessie was a bear

WHILE I agree with much of what Denis Bruce has to say on the subject if Nessie, he starts off his letter (August 26) with a major error. Not many people actually seem to have read Adomnan’s account, but he is very clear that the encounter took place in the river, not the loch. The location was at a ford, where salmon are more easily caught, as evidenced by the fact that the body the monks saw was that of a fisherman.

The “beast" referred to is also known worldwide for its appetite for salmon, so what the author recorded was not the first sighting of a monster, but almost certainly the last recorded sighting of a bear, an animal which had been extinct in Ireland for centuries.

George F Campbell, Glasgow.

A poignant performance

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed an entertaining, energetic performance of the musical 42nd Street at Glasgow's Theatre Royal. I was glad finally to view it as I already had tickets for 42nd Street on 42nd Street, 213 W Broadway at the Ford Center for Performing Arts.

They were never honoured: they were for Tuesday September 11, 2001.

Isobel McEwan, Skelmorlie.

A Topic worth pursuing?

I NOTE the letter regarding a defective chocolate bar from Allan Steele (August 28). Judging by the delayed response it seems he might as well have sent his letter to Mars (far out in the Galaxy just past the Milky Way). Now he is caught Twix pillar and post as to whether to continue buying said product. Is this a Bounty worth paying I ask myself?

Robert Menzies, Falkirk.