I WATCHED the BBC2 programme The Super Rich and Us — what an eye opener! Gordon Brown has written a book in which he says the bankers should be jailed. I would certainly agree, and they should be stripped of all the assets they built up whilst robbing the poor, but Gordon and the others who allowed it to happen are also culpable.

These bankers knew that they were destroying lives in their pursuit of personal wealth but they treated them as collateral damage. It still surprises me that the public allowed them to get away with it. They gambled our money but they kept their houses whilst the people who were not responsible lost theirs. We even rewarded them with bonuses.

Tony Blair made himself very rich on the backs of the poor and there were many more who kept quiet while lining their pockets. This will not be a fairer society until the wages at the top are brought nearer to those at the bottom, and that includes MPs and I hate to say, union bosses whose wages are far in excess of the people they represent.

Do they ever wonder how ordinary people manage, or why children are going to school hungry? We have to stop giving percentage wage rises, as this disguises the fact that some people have their wages risen by the equivalent of a full year’s wages for poorer workers.

Rosemary Smith

East Kilbride

AS a coalition of independent and third-sector organisations we very much welcome the Scottish Government’s announcement of a consultation on the presumption of mainstreaming.

Mainstreaming ensures that all children are educated in mainstream schools, unless exceptional circumstances apply. Our ambition as a nation must be to ensure that all children and young people be able to reach their full potential, including those with additional support needs (ASN).

However, as highlighted in the Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee inquiry into additional support for learning, there are major concerns over the inclusion of children and young people with ASN in mainstream education. The poor experience many of these have in such an environment is clear evidence that more needs to be done if genuine inclusion is to be achieved.

This experience is due, in part, to a lack of resources. It should be noted that despite a more than 40 cent increase between 2012 and 2016 in the number of pupils identified with ASN in mainstream primary and secondary schools, the number of ASN teachers has fallen by 16 per cent over the same period, to a new low. In addition, the number of ASN auxiliaries or care assistants has declined by 13 per cent and the number of behaviour support staff by 15 per cent.

We very much support mainstreaming as a central pillar of inclusive education. However, if we are to deliver genuine inclusion and to close the educational attainment gap, a welcome ambition held by the Scottish Government, that means providing the necessary resourcing to do this.

With the upcoming Scottish Government budget, there is the clear opportunity for us to do just that and give those children and young people with ASN the best possible start in life.

The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition: Tom McGhee, chairman, Spark of Genius; Duncan Dunlop, chief executive, Who Cares? Scotland; Sophie Pilgrim, director, Kindred Scotland; Stuart Jacob, director, Falkland House School; Niall Kelly, managing director, Young Foundations

I WAS at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday when a question celebrating the 50th year of the Hamilton by-election won by Winnie Ewing was raised by Claire Haughey, MSP for Rutherglen.

It was very noticeable that the only applause came from the SNP benches. My wife always videos FMQs, and I anticipated seeing how the Chamber reacted, but the cameras only focused on the SNP benches. No Opposition MSPs applauded.

My first thought was ignorant ingrates, since no Winnie Ewing and no Hamilton by-election meant no Scottish Parliament and no jobs, ie MSPs would not exist.

I never gave it a second thought.

Jim Lynch


I’M sure I won’t be the first to point out an error in Saturday’s Long Letter by P Keightley.

Radio Luxembourg was never a pirate radio on a ship. It was based in the entirely land-locked (and independent!) state of Luxembourg in Europe. I used to listen to it on my dad’s valve wireless. The first ship-borne pirate radio station to broadcast to the UK (from 1964) was in fact Radio Caroline.Otherwise, I enjoyed the letter. Keep up the good work.

Alan Jardine

Kintore, Aberdeenshire

SORRY, Radio Luxembourg was never on a ship. Guess where it was! It was the best radio station going in the 1950s. Dan Dare, Dick Barton etc it was the best, but it wasn’t a pirate station either.

Brian Tweddle

via thenational.scot