IN Anthony Horan's letter (September 13) regarding assisted dying he claims legislation will place disabled people at risk; that disabled people will face some form of insidious pressure to end their lives. This is, purely and simply, scaremongering.

The truth is that the assisted dying law proposed by Liam McArthur MSP for Scotland is only going to apply to people with a terminal illness. The safeguards in an assisted dying law would protect and support the public. There would be multiple assessments of an individual’s capacity and understanding of the decision they are making and a cooling-off period to allow for a change of heart.

In addition, the claim that disabled people need protection from their own decisions is as offensive as it is false. Just because an individual is disabled does not mean they are any less competent or able to make decisions regarding their own life if they become terminally ill. It is opponents of assisted dying, not its proponents, who make dehumanising assessments of the ability of disabled people. Polling shows that a vast majority of disabled people support assisted dying for terminally ill adults.

Moreover, many of the highest-profile campaigners who have taken legal cases to the Supreme Court on this matter have been disabled. Gordon Ross, Paul Lamb, Debbie Purdy, Dianne Pretty, and Tony Nicklinson are amongst the many other disabled activists who have campaigned and taken court actions to try to change the law. Lord Rix was the President of Mencap and campaigned for disability rights for over four decades before he became an advocate of assisted dying and called on Parliament to change the law.

Discussion of these matters is, in one sense, moot. Mr Horan, on behalf of the Catholic Bishops he represents, is simply using disabled people's fears as a smokescreen for his faith-based view that only a god can decide when we die. But the humanist position is clear. No higher power, religious or political, has the right to dictate the terms of our death to us. As disability campaigners have said for decades, “nothing about us without us”. We all have a right to compassionate healthcare choices at the end of our lives, whether or not we are disabled.

Fraser Sutherland, Chief Executive, Humanist Society Scotland, Edinburgh.

Rhetoric of the far right

IF William Loneskie (Letters, September 14) had provided any actual evidence of his assertion that "illegal immigrants" are going to be "terrorist sleepers" or any other such bunkum ideas in his letter, one may have taken his views seriously.

What it amounted to was that Mr Loneskie has simply applied the familiar far right rhetoric to attack immigrants and to trivialise an extremely complex subject.

He went on to rubbish the RNLI, whose purpose is to rescue people at sea, the Human Rights Commission for upholding human rights and the Border Force for not cutting engines of boats carrying refugees. He went further and suggested that the military should "sail and slash" boats containing "smugglers", an extremely sinister and dangerous proposal.

Nothing in his letter contained factual evidence. He even included the tired clichéd aside of our "homeless people are left on the street, including ex-servicemen..." as if immigration or refugee status is responsible for Britain's homeless.

All of Mr Loneskie's views appear to have been lifted straight from the far-right, Ukip, Britain First handbook, designed to demonise immigrants and refugees.

Kevin Orr, Bishopbriggs.

Read more: Legalising assisted suicide will put vulnerable people at risk

Why cash use is rising

I NOTE with interest your front-page lead article ("Cost of living crisis sees cash use rise again", The Herald, September 14). Statistics indicate that around seven million people in the UK can be classified as "financially excluded", struggling to access fair and affordable financial services. More than a million of that figure have no access to a bank account at all and goodness knows how many have been excluded from bank services due to branch closures, especially in rural communities.

The impact of not having a bank account is far-reaching and include the payment of wages, pensions and any benefits. And what about payment for basic services? Not having a bank account can result in higher charges for utility provision and other everyday services, resulting in equality flying out of the window.

One-fifth of the UK population have no savings, an increase of over a million in the last year and this figure will only worsen as we approach winter. Around half of all in the UK have less than £1,000 in savings (July 2023); all under the Conservatives at Westminster’s watch.

Fraud cases and scam are on the rise with more than £700m scammed online in 2022 online.

Is it really any wonder that cash transactions are on the increase?

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

A solution to pylon problem

WHY does the Scottish Government refuse to locate the proposed 60GW of wind farm capacity outlined in the SNP Energy Paper on the Pentland, Lammermuir and Kilpatrick hills, which would ensure there is no requirement to desecrate the Flow Country with a massive array of windmills and a plethora of pylons as the short transmission line of cables to Edinburgh and Glasgow could all be placed underground?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.

You can't call them that...

ON a light-hearted note (“Auld Enemy give Scots a reality check with classy performance”, Herald Sport, September 13), could calling the English football team the “Auld Enemy” be deemed hate speech?

Stephen Downs, Falkirk.

No, no, no and no

WALTER Paul (Letters, September 14) correctly identifies the issue when God Save The King is played as an English national anthem, especially at sports events against any of the other three nations.

However, Jerusalem is the only song I can think of where the four questions posed in the first verse are answered "no".

Not very positive.

Allan McDougall, Neilston.

Hard to crack

ALAN Fitzpatrick's reminder (Letters, September 14) of Tommy Handley's ITMA (It's That Man Again) and acronyms reminds me that on one occasion Handley said: "NWAWWASBE". "What's that sir?" "Never wash a window with a soft-boiled egg."

The programme was nonsense, but fast and funny. Acronyms last.

David Miller, Milngavie.