IT was unfortunate to read Kirsteen Paterson’s coverage in Saturday’s National about foodbanks struggling for resources (‘Foodbank fatigue’ threatens help for struggling Scots, September 8).

The existence of food banks is both a triumph and a tragedy as it reveals both the best aspects of humanity, when a little girl asks for donations for her local food bank instead of birthday presents, and the worst, when relentless political and macro-economic decisions drive men, women and children to the brink of economic oblivion.

During my 14 years of working with food banks and The Trussell Trust, I have seen the crippling effect of the economic recession in 2008, the impact of greater scrutiny in the assessment process for Employment Support Allowance in 2010, the pain caused by 14% and 25% reductions to Housing Benefit because of a spare bedroom under the Welfare Reform Act in 2013 and, since 2015, the gradual rollout of Universal Credit which tells people to wait up to five weeks until their first payment.

The selfless generosity of the public towards food banks, across the United Kingdom, has continuously blown me away but the milk of human kindness can only extend so far before the mother cow begins to feel the heat of the slaughterhouse. And our news is currently dominated by reports of growing interest rates, food price rises and higher international tariff charges in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit.

The future economic prospectus is neither good for the benefactor nor the beneficiary. Perhaps our former Prime Minister was, in fact, correct when he said: “We are all in this together.”

Ewan Gurr

READ MORE: Scots hit with ‘foodbank fatigue’ after 2014 donation boom

I WAS encouraged to read George Kerevan's column (10 years on from the global financial crash, we need to bust its myths, September 10) – a historically astute analysis of finance capitalism, and the Growth Commission's recommendations on banking regulations.

Ten years on, the global meltdown remains the great crime of our time. The self-styled "masters of the universe" played the casino of subprime lending, and the risks were entirely borne on public policy and working people.

The result was a horrific lost decade of institutional public cruelty where millions have suffered.

Few have seen the inside of a jail cell, or seen punishment for this unparalleled institutional malfeasance – and every meaningful effort to reform and safeguard against future crashes has met with silence.

Therefore we look to the Growth Commission, and its dangerous recommendations. We cannot expect Scotland to adopt these financial regulations wholesale, use the Bank of England's money unilaterally, tie our economy to constrictive deficits and expect to have effective fiscal and monetary control of our future, especially when disaster is likely to strike again. It is hard to read it as a recipe for anything but the most damaging continuing austerity.

Therefore, instead of just socialism for rich bankers and the already wealthy, why not a measure of socialism for everyone?

Mr Kerevan will join the Scottish Socialist Voice's forum this weekend on strengthening the financial case for a Yes vote, and putting forward better arguments – ones which will benefit millions, not just millionaires.

In addition, Susan Rae from the Scottish Green Party and eminent economist Professor Margaret Cuthbert will provide welcome breadth to the platform.

And crucially, trade union representation, absent from the Growth Commission's evidence sessions, will be present. Scotland is a wealthy, productive country – its workers and their representatives should have a say as to how we make the most of it for everyone.

The Voice Forum will be held at the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh, this Saturday at 10am. Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite. All welcome!

Scott Macdonald
Scottish Socialist Party Lothians branch

READ MORE: 10 years on from the global financial crash, we need to bust its myths

AS James Duncan said in his letter yesterday (September 10), a bridge to Ireland may be a pipe-dream.

He is also right to point out how much better it would be to invest in Scotland’s system of ferries, terminals and roads.

One has only to visit our near neighbours in the north to realise how Norway, Iceland and even the Faroes are powering on with dozens of projects of this kind. There are tunnels everywhere, and fleets of ferries linking their smallest remote communities and offshore islands. There is energy in abundance too; oil of course, but also hydroelectric and geothermal.

I looked with envy and amazement at this kind of infrastructure investment. How life on Scotland’s long coastline, more than half that of the UK, could be transformed if we had the economic powers of our small northern neighbours! All we need is the will to claim them.

Peter Craigie

READ MORE: Letters: Bridge to Ireland is nothing but a pipe dream​