WHO is Brian Quail? I think the answer is he is a man taking on a giant, and we are letting him and his little group do it by themselves – and it is not good enough.

He will probably go on doing what he does, get shoved in jail again and again. We who know of him will admire him for fighting the good fight, but the message is not getting to where it should because we are not helping him.

His message is clear and straightforward: these weapons are a threat to every human being on the planet, are not a defence, are totally destructive and should be outlawed.We in Scotland are more vulnerable than most other places, as we happen to be part of a nuclear arsenal, and so more liable to be a target for first strike.

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If we leave that situation to small groups we will never be rid of these terrible weapons and maybe it is about time that ALL groups who have a wish for a nuclear free Scotland get together and devise some means of getting the general public to be aware.

Is the distribution of a leaflet to every household out of the question, explaining the devastation one weapon would cause? Such a leaflet might open a few eyes; in Brian Quail’s name.

James Ahern, East Kilbride

I HAVE been enjoying the various recent astronomy/space-related articles appearing in The National. These are pretty well written and show a better grasp of the science than most newspapers do (when they ever mention science at all!). However, it would have been be nice to see them include a bit of home trumpet-blowing when there was due cause (as was done in the cover page features article re Clydespace on August 3) In particular the good July 31 article on the wonderful NASA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) makes no mention of Scotland or the fact that the Professor Gillian Wright of Royal Observatory Edinburgh UK Astronomy Technology Centre has led the European team which largely designed and built the MIRI instrument (mentioned in the article) a crucial component of the JWST. So let’s not forget that there’s more to Space than USA’s NASA (currently unable to launch humans into orbit) and let’s hear it for Scotland and Europe.

Further, not to leave England out, the nice August 2 article re Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope focused on its 60th birthday and its mastermind Sir Bernard Lovell, but could have lavished further praise on Jodrell for its being selected in 2015 as the global headquarters of the world’s largest telescope – the Square Kilometre Array now being built in Australia and South Africa with a radio-wave collecting area well over the area of 100 football fields.

I am not a great fan of league tables but feel duty bound to mention a Telegraph survey of some years ago that ranked countries in terms of their rates (per capita) of output of prestige journal papers on astro/space topics and of how often these were cited by others. Israel and Scotland were at the top of the list. Must be fake news of course as our UK masters assure us we are too small to survive alone.

Professor JC Brown, FRSE, OBE Astronomer Royal for Scotland

YET again a Labour politician, this time Iain Gray, (Children’s commissar calls for more teachers, The National, August 5) states “since the SNP came to power there are 4000 fewer teachers in our schools”.

The SNP was in a minority government from 2007 to 2010. During that period, for public funded schools, there was a drop in teacher numbers from 53,411 to 50,498 i.e. a reduction of 2913. There was also a reduction in pupil numbers from 692,215 to 673,133 i.e. 19,082. You may recall during that time there was a minor problem in 2008 of a major financial crisis due, at least in part, to Gordon Brown, the Labour Government’s chancellor, reducing banking regulation.

Since 2010, when the SNP actually became a majority government, the number of teachers has dropped from 50,498 to 49,985. So that is by 513.

There is no acknowledgement that in 2010 the UK Government initiated the austerity programme. Nor that, along with the LibDems, the Labour Party voted with the Conservative Government as recently as January 2015 to extend austerity, including plans to slash public spending by a further £30 billion.

Nor is there any acknowledgement that, over that same period a large number of schools were built using the Public Finance Initiatives (PFI), introduced by Tony Blair’s Labour Government and which has resulted in an ongoing huge drain of funds on the education budget paying excessive amounts to private companies.

So let’s not fall into the trap set by those who are really responsible for the cuts. Don’t put the blame on the SNP Government who have had to respond and who have done what they can to mitigate against the worst effects. Blame those parties who reduced bank regulations, initiated PFIs and voted to support the introduction and continuation of the failed austerity agenda.

Jim Stamper, Rutherglen

SO our wonderful Westminster government has decided, following the shameful price hikes by the big four energy firms, to commission an independent review on how to keep prices down. Well isn’t that something?

Saint Theresa has obviously had a Road to Damascus moment while wandering like a vagabond in the Swiss Alps, and remembered she recently positioned herself and her government to be the one who will look after the many, not the few. Well, if we powered the nations needs with hot air, we wouldn’t need to worry as that is all this is – a piece of political window dressing designed to make us believe she really gives a damn for any of us.

To save the country several millions of pounds on this review, let me tell you, Maybot, how we could do this. Take the energy needs of the UK back under a state-managed, not- for-profit undertaking. This would slash energy prices by hundreds of pounds. If we were to take this bold initiative, and send these money grabbing companies back to whence they came and used all charges for upgrading the national grid and investing in ground-breaking renewable energy technology, of which the UK is a world leader despite the best efforts of the Tory Party in ruining and discrediting it, we would have more than enough to meet the country’s needs.

As long as the energy industry is driven by market forces and is more concerned with shareholder dividends than the welfare of its customers, no amount of tinkering with switching suppliers, fixed tariff deals or any other puerile suggestions will ever make any real lasting difference. But one major factor stands in the way of this idea ... the fact that the Conservative Party is bankrolled, in part, by the energy companies themselves.

Ade Hegney, Helensburgh