DESPITE my resolute resistance and a gallant rearguard action, I find myself sliding inexorably into what some might describe as “old bufferdom”, and at an age where looking back is decidedly better than looking forward.

Therefore, I read with interest the excellent letter from P Davidson (May 10) reflecting on the status of pensioners, relative to struggling young people.

I too have observed how pensioners are regularly portrayed as smug relics; well-off with not a care in the world other than perhaps the knowledge that Old Father Time has one beady eye on them and t’other on the rapidly dwindling sands in his hour glass.

Conversely, pensioners are considered an unsustainable drain on the public purse.

I agreed with the views expressed by the writer, who perhaps did take a circuitous route to the irrefutable conclusion that if the UK spent less on wars and bigger and more fiendish weapons of mass destruction and more on the populace – young and old – we would be better off.

This is where I feel pensioners in general can be criticised, as the voting block most resistant to change, and which consistently votes for politicians who perpetuate a system where wars and obscene military spending is considered a price worth paying to be considered a “world power”.

Of course, I exempt Brian Quail and similar doughty warriors (they know who they are) from such criticism.

Malcolm Cordell
Broughty Ferry, Dundee

So RBS is to be sold at a loss to the taxpayer! Here is a better suggestion. Let RBS hand over the value of the Scottish taxpayers’ share of their debt to us in kind – ie, by handing over to Holyrood banks and their assets now threatened with closure in critical rural areas, as the basis of a new Scottish National Retail Bank.

Then let Holyrood fund it like an old-fashioned building society from the input of Scots, many of whom, I am sure, would be only too willing to use an honest, customer-focused banking facility – I certainly would!

I am no trained financier, but at least had the sense to leave RBS a few years before the crash, after banking there for 40 years.

L McGregor

ANOTHER excellent article from Lesley Riddoch (The Faroes can teach us how to make big ideas a reality in months not years, May 10). Oh, it would be soooo good if the Scottish Government was paying attention.

Independence has SO many advantages over where we are now. It almost seems as if the Scottish Government have forgotten the movement that put them where they are now.

Can you recall the last time any member of the Scottish Government restated the prime directive? We MUST get back to basics. We have to create, and pay for, an all-inclusive, politically independent, independence movement.

Alastair Gilchrist

I SPENT a very enjoyable week in The Faroes in 2014 so read Lesley Riddoch’s article with interest and agree there is much we can learn from these very enterprising islanders. However, I was surprised she did not mention the feature which impressed me most and which I think would be very relevant to Scotland. The sub-sea tunnels are a particularly useful and safe means of travelling from one island to another. Little wonder the Faroese are choosing to return home. Imagine what such a miracle would achieve in our own Northern and Western isles!

Marjory Whitlie

GREAT stuff, Lesley, except that we are not the Faroes and Denmark is not the UK. The UK most closely resembles Spain in its attitude to its devolved areas. Even devolution itself is now under threat in Scotland.

Lorna Campbell

SCOTT Hutchison’s music dealt a lot with things like depression and suicide. That’s one of the things that attracted me and others to his music. If anyone out there is feeling particularly gutted because of yesterday’s news, please reach out. Below are some options (including some that don’t need phones, if that makes you anxious).

For everyone: Samaritans – call 116 123 or email

For men: Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – call 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight every day) or visit the webchat page:

For under-35s: Papyrus – call 0800 068 41 41 (Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm), text 07786 209697 or email

For under-19s: Childline – call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

For older people: The Silver Line – call 0800 4 70 80 90.

Will McLeod