I’D like to commend all of the organisations involved in Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday, who are shining a light on this important issue. Sadly, suicide is one of the main causes of death in young people today.

At The Boys’ Brigade, we are committed to not only providing an educational and fun environment for young people, but one which also addresses important issues, such as mental health.

There is still a huge amount of stigma around mental health, especially in males. At our recent annual conference, we welcomed Young Minds UK, the mental health charity, along to speak to our volunteer leaders, providing them with great insight and advice to help when working with the 17,000 young people we have in Scotland alone.

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It is one of our priorities to be able to equip our volunteer leaders to be able to support any of our members who may need it, as well as raise awareness amongst all the young people who are part of The Boys’ Brigade family.
John Sharp
Director for Scotland
The Boys’ Brigade Scotland

NICOLA Sturgeon recently stated that she wants Scotland’s population to rise in line with the population growth of the OECD nations. Quite why she has tied our future population growth to highly fecund nations such as Mexico and Turkey has never been explained.

At the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit, held recently in Manchester, David Coleman, Emeritus Professor of Demography at Oxford University, stated: “Migration alone cannot realistically keep us with the level of public services and pensions to which we are accustomed and to keep the balance between people of nominal working age (16-64) and those aged 65+, the population of the UK will have to rise to 200 million by 2100.”

Coleman stated that technically there is space for another 135m people in the UK. Scotland’s share of an extra 135m people would be about 13m in addition to our existing population.

Having more and more people live here will not solve Scotland’s problems. We should be concentrating on increasing productivity, boosting our education and skills, eradicating underemployment and making sure that Scots in their 50s and 60s who are able and willing to work are given the opportunities to do so.

The SNP policy of EU membership and thus uncontrolled EU population movement into Scotland is against the interests of Scots. Only by leaving the EU will Scots be able to control our population and decide who can live and work here.
Jim Stewart
Musselburgh

DONALD Trump thumps his war drums and his popularity jumps. He is prepared to risk the lives of millions of innocent people and many of his own troops to deflect attention.

He is like a Pavlovian dog in this respect, a quick learner.

While across the Atlantic our very own Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary, watches this phenomenon and learns quickly also. Thinks Fallon: “I could bang our considerably smaller war drum and shout about the perceived threat North Korea’s alleged long- range nuclear weapons,” that could according him, reach London as easily as America.

He forgot to mention that they would also be able to reach Faslane naval base as well and wipe out the fireworks stationed there and the entire country of Scotia.

Fallon is operating under the delusion that the rest of the world thinks like he does, that we are a resurgent power now that we have two new aircraft carriers in our naval fleet – forgetting that they have no aircraft on board thus rendering them next to useless!

The mere fact the Conservative Government thinks the British are as unquestioning or as slavish as their American counterparts and as ready to jump into line for Queen and country shows just how far removed from reality they really are.

There may be a minority of right-wing tabloid readers who would jump to attention at the first sign of Kitchener-style banner headlines, but the rest of us would stand back and say “Not in our name!”

Like Trump and his cohorts, May and Co do not want scrutiny of any of their Brexit fiasco as, like Trump, they will be found wanting at every turn.
Ade Hegney
Helensburgh