A FEW weeks ago I was in Berlin. I was fascinated and horrified while being given a tour of the former Berlin Wall.

Little did I realise that within a few short weeks I would be incarcerated within Glasgow’s own wall as a consequence of Glasgow’s partnership with Berlin in staging the European Championships.

This wall encircled the north side of the city and the innocent bystanders of East Dunbartonshire all the way to Torrance. This barrier was built from metal railings and guarded by hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers and police. I was told that if I tried to cross this wall without permission I would be arrested, which I suppose was an improvement on how East Germany’s Stasi guarded their wall.

If you were inside the enclosed sector of Glasgow’s own West Berlin then tough luck if you couldn’t reach your work, medical services, nurseries or even shop for provisions. At least West Berlin had an airport which they used in the Berlin Airlift. Our Glasgow version of East Germany’s dictator Erich Honiker had arranged this partition so that we were also cut off from Glasgow Airport and any chance of flying off to a more democratic regime.

Admittedly I had potential warning of this loss of freedom while visiting Byres Road the previous Sunday. How I laughed when I saw the well-heeled West Enders behind a wall of steel looking with bewilderment at the occasional passing cyclist and wondering if this could really be the justification for the chaos that reigned around them. Then on Wednesday I awoke to find that West Bishopbriggs was hermetically sealed from the East.

Initially I wondered if the Brexit negotiations had ended prematurely and we were cut off from Europe. Everybody I met was busily converting their confusion to anger as they realised they were limited to where they could walk as the bus services were cancelled. This frustration was nowhere to be found in the media, who had decided this paralysis was a wonderful occasion to be celebrated. In other words this is likely to happen frequently with no attempt made to consult with those affected.

I read somewhere that Glasgow has more than 90 parks and many of them very large. Does the city really need to impose transport paralysis on thousands of its citizens so that a few athletes can go for a vigorous cycle?

Bruce Wilkinson
West Bishopbriggs

READ MORE: Thrilling finale to Glasgow European Championships cycle race

I HATE to complain, but were all the recent road closures throughout Greater Glasgow really justified just for a few cyclists? I didn’t see much excitement generated, in fact I’d prefer to watch the grass growing while paint dried. But I heard a lot about small businesses losing money and essential health and social care staff not being able to get to their work.

Pardon my naivety, but I can’t see what’s wrong with using the huge velodrome in Bridgeton. Road racing isn’t even environmentally sound, because each bike has a car and maybe a motorbike shepherding it around. And money spent on smoothing out the cycle route could have been better used on Glasgow’s major pothole problem. Time for a rethink?

Derek Ball

I’D like to make a couple of comments on your brief article “Peekaboo autism clue” (August 8). I am aware that ASD stands for “autism spectrum disorder” but that is not the only name for the condition.

Many people on the spectrum prefer to see autism not as a disorder but as a difference. Living in society as currently constituted is a problem not because there is something “wrong” with the autistic brain but because society as currently constituted is built around the neurotypical brain. In a society geared towards the autistic brain, the neurotypicals would struggle.

Your phrase “if their brains respond less than they should to the game” genuinely shocked me. Less than they “should”? You mean “less than average” or “less than the neurotypical”. Because an autistic brain responds exactly as it should, just not as it should in order to fit in current society. Similarly the phrase “lower levels of response to social stimuli indicated a greater risk of autism”. Autism is not a disaster. It is a difference. The phrase should read “a greater likelihood of autism”.

I’m not, in any case, very sure what new discovery this research has brought. To me the results seem circular: a difference characterised by lower response to social stimuli and greater response to non-social stimuli can be predicted in infants by ... a lower response to social stimuli and a greater response to non-social stimuli. Who would have thought it.

Max Marnau

READ MORE: Early signs of autism can be detected playing Peekaboo, study finds​

I HAVE been searching online to get some Saltire bunting, but cannot find a Scottish supplier! It’s all made in England! If any readers can help I’d be really grateful.

Love the paper and have had a reservation order with my newsagent ever since The National was first published. Keep up the good work. It’s very much appreciated.

Elizabeth Wilson