I READ your article on making Glasgow city centre a more attractive place ("Goodbye suburbs, hello green spaces and quiet life ... of Glasgow city centre", The Herald, May 13) and I felt compelled to respond. I have always been a great fan of Glasgow and its people but the city centre as it stands is an absolute disgrace. A national embarrassment given it’s our largest city with COP26 coming in November.

The streets are filthy, litter is everywhere, chewing gum and vomit is omnipresent, the roads are potholed and the pavements are a patchwork quilt of trip hazards and disrepair. Obviously, the pandemic has been a huge factor with half-empty streets and boarded-up buildings, but the whole place reeks of we don’t give a damn any more.

There are also no green spaces to speak of and vehicles still dominate everything with air pollution returning to normal levels quicker than almost anything else.

I really don’t know how you will get families to move here with the city centre in this condition. The council, working with the Chamber of Commerce, needs to take a grip of this chronic situation with an urgent look at how this place is maintained and how it can be kept cleaner, otherwise no more investment in Glasgow I fear, and definitely no place for a family to live.

Fergus Murray, Lochgilphead.

* I LISTENED on the radio to Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, stating that the current poor appearance of Glasgow is a consequence of Covid restrictions reducing efforts of the cleansing department and that the city will be spick and span for the forthcoming climate change conference. I trust she is correct with the latter point, but she is giving a good impression of Pinocchio on the former.

For some time before Covid, Glasgow’s appearance has been a disgrace. Buchanan Street gets reasonably well looked after but you didn’t have to stray far from there to see streetscapes far from desirable. A typical example is St Enoch Square and adjacent Argyle Street in the mornings when either Christmas markets or funfairs are on and a walk down Union Street with pavements with piles of refuse.

Duncan Sooman, Milngavie.


THE UK is to hold an inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic as from spring 2022 ("Public inquiry into the UK’S coronavirus response will start in spring 2022", The Herald, May 13). This is to be welcomed. Or is it? It is worth considering recent past major inquiries, for example, Edinburgh trams, Grenfell Tower fire, current English and Scottish child abuse proceedings, and the Iraq Chilcot inquiry as reference pointers.

Beginning in spring 2022, there will be at least one year to establish a chair and a panel to oversee the process. The terms of reference will be interesting as to whether there is one UK inquiry, or are there to be four with each devolved nation having concurrent processes?

At least two years of evidence and witness participation will follow, taking us to 2025. A further year will follow to consider all the above and again a further year prior to issuing any report into the public domain. We are now in 2027 with a fair wind and assuming no major health or economic disruptions over the next six years.

Probable costs will be somewhere between £50-£100 million.

Nobody will be removed from any post. Nobody will go to jail. Presumably "lessons will be learned"? The legal profession will do exceedingly well from all above. Am I missing something?

Robert Wolfenden, Biggar.


DAVID J Crawford (Letters, May 14) maintains that the power of nuclear weapons is not as a weapon of war. This view is reflected to a large extent in the circumstances in which it was decided that Britain should have such weapons. This significant decision in October 1946 was made by Prime Minister Attlee and a small group of members of the Cabinet, much influenced by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, who said: "We’ve got to have this thing over here whatever it costs, we’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack flying on top of it." Yes, there was the influence of British pride, but there was also the view that, with the availability of the weapons, some British influence could be exercised upon the actions of the United States and it could help to act as some constraint on Russia under Stalin.

Mr Crawford also refers to the nuclear weapons held by India and the resource allocated thereto, particularly during these times of profound distress during the pandemic. In August 1945 John Maynard Keynes, the English economist, had observed that Britain is "virtually bankrupt and the economic basis for the hopes of the people non-existent". It was necessary for Britain to secure a substantial loan from the US, which was not easily obtained and was not paid off until 2006. It was during these hard post-war times for the country that Britain embarked on the manufacture of nuclear weapons and the full extent of the New Jerusalem, envisaged by the Labour Party after the war, was not to be realised.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


WITH boarding school, family heirlooms and paintings of ancestors (who they?) a lost cause, and Mum and Dad long gone, Maureen Sugden’s list of rules for upper-class status confirms my lowly non-U station ("Issue of the day: How to tell if you are posh, darling", The Herald, May 14 ).

Anyway, it’s back to my nicely ironed Herald, then front-of-TV dinner. Chips and Buckfast, Doll? What’s not to like?

R Russell Smith, Largs.