LIAM Fox, Brexiteer par excellence, is displaying distorted logic.

He accused the EU of “intransigence” by not accepting the latest offer from Her Majesty’s Government on a future relationship with the EU.

He adds that a no deal is therefore most likely now and that the EU, by implication Michel Barnier the “baddy”, is to blame as the outcome will be detrimental to the EU as well because, amongst other things, “we know what is good for you lot over there”.

Liam Fox, the thrusting advocate for a new global Britain untrammelled by the EU’s four freedoms, should therefore be deliriously glad that the EU will not accept the modified Chequers proposals. But he is not!

The reasons are not hard to find. There is a dawning realisation that all will not be well after March 2019. Hence get the retro-blame in now! The EU was bad when we were co-members with veto, opt-outs and special entitlements, but now the staunchest advocate for leaving is accusing the EU of being just as bad if not worse, by not accepting our fair and honest proposals after we will have left by our own volition claiming Brexit means Brexit and bellowing that no deal is better than a bad deal.

No doubt, it’s the fault of those sleekit foreigners who want to keep control of their borders and their four freedoms and won’t let the UK cherry pick.

The hubristic gloats and chants of the Brexiteers are causing them to dread the consequences of their decisions and subsequent actions.

Liam Fox was bewailing the refusal of the EU to accept the outline Chequers document which focusses on the future after we have been taken out of the EU by Her Majesty’s Government. A reminder also that the yet-to-be- concluded Withdrawal Details must be fully finalised by October 2018!

The defiant posturing by the Brexiteers even threatening to renege on the agreed withdrawal payments due to the EU does not auger well either for the country’s future status in the world.

John Edgar

HILLWALKERS are angry that there are proposals from Argyll and Bute Council to raise the cost of parking from £1 to £9 for the day at the two council car parks at Arrochar.

Do they expect those who pay council tax to subsidise their hobby?

Locals paid for these car parks.

These outdoors enthusiasts who have travelled by car, often long distances, to experience the rugged countryside think nothing of filling their tank with £50 of fuel for the journey.

If there are three in a car that is only £3 each for parking.

Their equipment and boots are expensive yet they are complaining of a proper charge being imposed.

On their home territory they will pay well over £9 for a day’s parking.

They will spend very little if anything at all in local shops bringing their food with them.

Argyll and Bute Council should just get on with it and ensure that roadside or verge parking in the area is penalised.

Clark Cross

I CONCUR with Walter Hamilton (Letters, August 4) that testing is not cruel but necessary. Nearly 40 years ago my son went to school for the first time having moved into the area from abroad. He was lumped in with a cohort who had marched through nursery together and when we told the school he could read well they nodded wisely and carried on regardless. He came home with little boxes of flash cards and became increasingly bored.

When I approached the school to ask if his reading had been tested the teacher looked at her shoes. Reaching behind me and without looking I took a book from the class library and asked my son to read the first page and tell the teacher in his own words what it was about.

This he did without any hesitation and reading fluently and with expression.

This obviously surprised the teacher and also panicked her – the school involved the educational psychologist – who reported to us that the problem was not with my son but with the school. How many of our children are being ill served by teachers who do not want to do the basic work of ascertaining a bench mark for each child?

I may say that my own infant teacher did exactly that with a class of nearly 40 pupils, 60 years ago, and the first three years’ teachers collaborated to make sure each child had the start they needed mixing and matching the classes for each discipline regardless of age.

I remember only one child in my cohort who never learned to read and yet he could, due to his mother’s diligence in reading the daily papers to him, discourse on the affairs of the day to my mother who was his remedial teacher.

I have no doubt that a centralised assessment may present a challenge to some children but the teachers can surely use their skills to mitigate any problems that arise.

David Neilson

DETERIORATING working conditions are happening across the board. A debate needed on why this has happened. Has the austerity economy had its day? a new approach is needed. However some services are taking remedial action, with Aberdeen Royal Infirmary raising funds to have a therapeutic garden for nurses. All service industries must now have a strategy to combat the stress caused by the halving of its workforce. Staff must have a pathway to stress relief therapy at work. Women in abusive relationships must be able to approach their boss for support and protection. Support infrastructure for stress needs to be factored in: a gym; a quiet retreat; health walks and someone to talk to. There needs to be discussion on remedial answers to stress in the workplace.