TOO often we’re told that the private sector has better lawyers than the public sector when it comes to arranging contracts, and its too difficult and costly to either cancel contracts or ignore bids from certain companies.

However, following the admission from the chief of P&O that it knowingly broke the law when sacking its British-based crew, maybe its time to even up the score.

Any company that has broken the law should lose any protections they may have over contracts with the public sector – or anyone else – and if that company is no longer trusted to act with integrity (and breaking the law would imply that they don’t) then councils, health boards, government departments and everyone else should be able to either withdraw from contracts with that company or block them (and any subsidiaries) from applying for public contracts.

READ MORE: P&O boss says the company 'did nothing illegal' in extraordinary U-turn

Can you imagine someone appearing in front of a House of Commons committee and saying they wilfully defrauded the benefits system? Their feet wouldn’t touch the floor as the Tory government and police grabbed them and whisked them off to jail. The same should apply to the chief of P&O. He should have been arrested on the spot. If his attitude to employing and sacking staff is so lax then what do you think his attitude would be about passenger safety? I certainly wouldn’t be willing to travel by P&O to find out.

In a world of cancel culture – when even an off-the-cuff remark from years ago could end up with you on front pages of the paper as a hate figure – why has no paper launched a campaign against Peter Hebblethwaite, P&O’s chief executive? Where are the cancel culture calls for him – and his board of directors – to be banned from ever holding a directorship ever again?

Where are the calls for a nationwide boycott of P&O and all its parent and/or subsidiary companies? It’s clear the establishment will circle to protect Hebblethwaite and his cronies so it’s up to the public: P&O must be boycotted until its chief exec and board are sacked (and without a payoff) and all sacked workers are reinstated.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren

THE two reports in Monday’s National, regarding whether an independent Scotland would stand up to Nato and Scottish sites being named as high priority for Russian nuclear targets in a Nato report, highlight the urgency for withdrawal from Nato and its serial wars and the removal of Trident and other nuclear targets in Scotland.

READ MORE: Scottish sites named as 'high priority targets' for Russian aggression in Nato report

This is by far the biggest danger facing our country and it must be given priority over the bread-and-butter issues of cost of living and climate change, though very important they are. Scotland needs to get rid of the nuclear targets and get out of the dangerous Nato.

Colin Beattie
via email

RECENT correspondents have criticised the apology for the murder of innocent people (mostly women) for the “crime” of being witches. I could not disagree more because of the simple truth that justice delayed is justice denied. Surely there should be no time limit placed on past injustices, no matter how long ago.

Until you have experienced the pain suffered by relatives of, for example, the Hillsborough tragedy or Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland, when justice was delayed for so long, do you have a right to comment?

READ MORE: Plans in place for memorial to those killed as witches

When new compelling evidence is presented relating to an old case of injustice, in all humanity it must be taken into account. If it was not so then the Birmingham Six and Guilford Four would have languished in jail for many more years. We have known for centuries that witchcraft is a myth, so just why should those poor souls burned at the stake because of fevered beliefs at the time not now receive a pardon? They could, after all, still have descendants bearing the guilt of their ancestors’ "crimes".

Richard Walthew

JAMES Wilson, who wrote and signed the American Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and coined the words “we the people”, came from Ceres in Fife and studied at St Andrews University. He wanted independence from the UK, more specifically from Westminster and King George, he wanted to create a new country.

“We” shouldn’t be Lord George Foulkes, Lord Jack McConnell, Murdo Fraser, Anas Sarwar and all; they have sold our safeguards and rights. They accepted Brexit, they shore up Westminster and Tory rule, they voted against more powers for Scotland, they stripped out Scotland’s assets. “We” should be James Wilson, take back the best and make some new ones.

Brian Powell
St Andrews

ANYONE who doubts the need for Scottish independence should read this week’s New Statesman. A brilliant piece by Nicola is accompanied by this quote from Jason Cowley’s editorial: “Britishness [is] seen as an extension of Englishness”.

Tony Kime