LAST weekend the Scottish newspapers carried some horrific reports of racist attacks on social media and in person on Scottish minister Humza Yousaf and former MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. All decent people will of course be sickened by this and we would agree that there is no place in Scotland for racism, sectarianism, sexism or homophobia. But, as history shows us, it is not enough to quietly deplore these violations of basic human rights.

We need to face up to reality that these running sores are all too embedded in our society and culture and emerge too easily. We need to challenge them vocally whenever we encounter them. It is not enough to be silent when we hear racist, sectarian, sexist or homophobic jokes in social company.

As a football fan I recognise the steps made by clubs to counter this. But any of us at a game need to challenge our fellow fans, however awkward that might be. The best example I every heard was at a league game some years ago. A young fan of the opposition was making animal noises at our goalkeeper, a talented young black Frenchman whose saves were frustrating him. One of our fans looked towards him and pointed. “That’s f****** racism,” he shouted. “That’s f***** illegal”. The other fan was silent for the rest of the game.

Iain Whyte
North Queensferry

IT would appear that stealth has given way to in-your-face labelling of food products in most supermarkets these days and that Scotland the Brand has a fight on its hands. It is becoming increasingly difficult to buy stuff that hasn’t been bundled up in Union jacks, whether it’s milk, meat or vegetables.

Yesterday I was shopping in my local Co-op for potatoes and happened upon a bag labelled “County: Angus; Country: UK”. Now, as far as I’m aware, UK is not a country, never has been, never will be, so how come Scotland has morphed into UK-land?

How do we fight this? I’ve already commented to the staff in the Co-op about Union jack-draped milk only to be told that their Scottish supplier hadn’t delivered that day. In Tesco, asking for Scottish pork chops, I was told that they only had British.

As far as I can see, one way is to vote with our feet and use our local butchers and fruiterers. Unfortunately, not everyone has accessible independent shops or can afford to buy there in this age of austerity. So we can either accept this blatant take-over bid or start creating a stooshie on social media, among our circle of friends and acquaintances, in-store or writing letters.

And get behind the Scotland The Brand campaign. Wear the badge, carry the bag, but do something!

Morag Forsyth

I ENJOYED immensely Hamish MacPherson’s article on the last years of King Robert the Bruce (Looking for Robert: In search of the Bruce’s final home, The National, February 6).

Where he attended Mass is perhaps inadvertently omitted, but almost certainly it was at least occasionally in the tiny church of St Mahews, Cardross. St Mahews fell into disuse after the reformation, but in the 1950s was fully restored as an operating Catholic Church by the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

I have attended Mass there on a number of occasions and often felt the presence of our great king. It is an invigorating experience.

Alan Clayton
Strachur, Argyll

I REALLY enjoyed Hamish MacPherson’s article on Robert the Bruce. Could I add, in case it is not common knowledge, that a piece of The Bruce can actually be seen in Glasgow?

Hamish says that Bruce was buried in three places, his body being in Dunfermline Abbey, which I knew well as a boy. We were always told that when the tomb was rediscovered in Victorian times his bones were placed in pitch before burial to protect them once and for all.

One of the people there at the time was Doctor Hunter, and it was while I was looking round his museum, The Hunterian in Glasgow University opposite the Hunterian Art Gallery, that I saw a memento of his trip to Dunfermline. Namely, in one of the cases there you will see one of The Bruce’s toes.

Richard Easson