Sir, – For several decades I have spent a great deal of time motorcycling and driving around our beautiful country.
I have just returned from a few days away on Arran and noticed that my car had very few insect strikes. In the past my motorcycle visor and later my car windscreen would have been splattered with hundreds, if not thousands of insects.
I can only assume that farmers are using such massive amounts of pesticides that insect life is being slowly killed off.
This obviously has a major knock-on effect which goes a long way to explaining the alarming loss of bird-life.
We are aware that bees are necessary in pollinating our crops but all other insects and beetles are necessary in pollination.
If nothing is done soon to reverse the poisoning of our planet I fear for our future.
Sport is the great unifier
Sir, – Noting recent reports and correspondence about Scots football fans cheering for “Anyone but England”, I would ask them to pause for thought.
My mother was from Glasgow, my father from London. I lustily sing Flower of Scotland at Murrayfield (and rejoice when the Calcutta Cup comes back where it belongs – as she did, as a girl, in 1925), but can equally root for England v the Aussies at Lords.
There is no contradiction.
Sport should bring nations together, rather than divide them, according to the principles held by Baron de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics in 1896.
Lindsay GH Hall.
Rivalries run deep in football
Sir, – In response to Martin Redfern and his letter in Saturday’s Courier , “Why anyone but England”. He seems to think if you are a Scot and don’t support England in the World Cup there are dark forces at work, no doubt the fault of the SNP.
Martin obviously has no understanding of football rivalry and the complex issues surrounding Scottish/English football and its history.
Can I just say to Martin everything that you think that is wrong in the world is not the fault of Scots who don’t support England or the SNP?
A recent survey found that most Scots couldn’t care less about the England football team.
And why would they unless you live in Martin’s world where everything is an SNP conspiracy?
Village is worth a detour
Sir,– As a former employee of the Perthshire Visitor Centre, now rebranded Taste Perthshire, and a native of Bankfoot, I found it excellent news that this well-known establishment is to have an overhaul to help it attract more bus parties.
It is good for visitors and for the village, in that it will create more jobs.
And it is also a chance for Bankfoot to make more of its appeal to tourists.
When I worked at the centre I always noticed how many visitors were charmed by the views of the Obney hills, truly the beginning of the Highlands, but also that there were no postcards of Bankfoot and the surrounding area for them to buy.
It would be an ideal opportunity to highlight the village and to make the point that it does exist, and is not just a name on a signpost pointing off the A9.
Seeds of a plan to save waste
Sir, – We have an ever increasing number of plastic pots in which plants were sold.
May I suggest that plant sellers set up a system to take them back in order to reuse them.
The Garden House,
Cheers for club kindness
Sir, – I would like to thank the Brechin City directors for giving us over-80s our season tickets for free.
It is much appreciated.
PM laid low by Cabinet woes
Sir, – Not everyone has a head for heights and Mrs May’s vertigo has made her incapable of dealing with a split and unruly Cabinet, all to the detriment of the country.
Getting on with the day job
Sir, – Keith Howell in his most recent “SNP bad” letter accuses the Scottish Government of “seeking to impose its will on the rest of us”, allegedly by prevaricating over calling another referendum.
So far as I can see it is the unionist press, and Mr Howell and his fellow unionists, who obsess about another referendum, while the Scottish Government seldom mentions it.
As for “seeking to impose its will”, he’s got the wrong government: a Conservative Government which Scotland didn’t vote for, is imposing on Scotland a policy which Scotland firmly rejected, and which will have dire consequences for all of us.
It is a policy brought about by an unnecessary referendum, designed to resolve issues within the Conservative Party.
Members of the government lied about the likely consequences, and, it would seem, may have been involved in financial manoeuvres which breached electoral law, in concert with the DUP, whose support the g overnment bought with huge amounts of our money.
Westminster has been brought to a standstill by Brexit, with Conservatives fighting like ferrets in a sack and Labour, like jackals, waiting on the sidelines ready to pick over the remains.
Meanwhile the Scottish Government, as best it can, in the midst of this unnecessary chaos, gets on with the day job.
Time to act on children’s care
Sir, – As a coalition we warmly welcome the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, to her new role. It was pleasing to see one of her first actions being to recognise as “completely unacceptable” the fact that one in five children and young people seeking mental health treatment are having this rejected.
For some time we have expressed our concerns over the increased demand on child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
This leaves many thousands of vulnerable children and young people in limbo and it is pleasing to see the Cabinet Secretary fully accepting the 29 recommendations outlined in the recent report on these so-called “rejected referrals”.
It is clear from the report that for many of these young people their needs are not severe enough to warrant CAMHS, but in these circumstances they must be provided with appropriate alternative support. More disturbingly, it is appears that some clearly require treatment but this is being rejected, often without any face-to-face meeting with a specialist. This situation is wholly unacceptable.
We have been arguing for some time that there should be nationwide provision of schools-based services, and it is good to see this report recommend just that.
Investing a fraction of the mental health budget on school-based counselling services helps to keep children in school and avoid an unnecessary and often stigmatising mental health diagnoses, as well as reducing the burden on already stretched and costly CAMHS provision.
What is required now is prompt action, and we look forward to working with Ms Freeman on delivering this.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition.