ON George Kerevan’s point that the war in Afghanistan was not fought for women’s rights (How 9/11 attacks led to not one disaster but two, Sep 6), I do not think there has ever been a war fought to specifically protect the rights of women, although there have on occasion been conflicts to stop genocidal actions.

There was a struggle in the UK in the early 20th century conducted by the suffragettes and their allies for universal suffrage and emancipation in relation to divorce, education, employment and fertility control.

READ MORE: George Kerevan: How the 9/11 attacks led to not one disaster but two

From my admittedly limited knowledge of Afghanistan, there might have been gains in some of these areas and it has been widely reported that for at least some girls and women, the last 20 years have seen the emergence of educational opportunities and careers which did not exist previously. Hopefully, these would have allowed them a potential source of income and consequently more self-determination and greater choices in their lives.

However, there have also been media accounts of attacks on women, and just a few days ago of shots being fired in the air to disperse a demonstration which may have consisted largely of women.

The book The Dressmaker of Khair Khana provides a first-hand woman’s story of life in Afghanistan, after the withdrawal of Russian forces from that region.

Peter Gorrie

I WOULD like, if I may, to add a little to Hamish Macpherson’s coverage of the anniversary of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman’s birth (Remembering Glasgow’s only PM and the last to die in Number 10, Sep 5).

There is, in Stirling, a larger-than-life-size statue of the former PM at the top of the Back Walk and right beside the former county council headquarters. Indeed I stood just beside this waving my Yes Saltire flag in front of Theresa May’s car as she made her visit to the city while still Prime Minister.

It is quite an impressive structure and must be nearly 20 feet in height overall from the base of the plinth. Apart from his name and relevant dates, it bears the inscription “An Empire’s Tribute”.

George M Mitchell

SOME 500,000 people were informed on August 16 that the modest £20-a-week uplift to their Universal Credit is being removed by the Tory government at Westminster. There is no moving Johnson and his Tory government on this issue. Appealing to the Tory government is a waste of time.

Instead I am asking our First Minister to step in, with the Scottish Government using cash reserves centrally and in local authorities to maintain the £20-a-week uplift for those on Universal Credit for as long as possible. This is the time to use such contingency funds to help the 500,000 worst-off people in Scottish society to avoid the extremes of of poverty such as malnutrition and eviction from their homes in the near future.

READ MORE: Welfare state ‘not safe in Tory hands' as report shows fate of claimants

Shortly we will see the end of furlough and protection of those jobs, and there will be a massive hike in the price of energy as well as food shortages due to the effects of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore reasonable to ask the First Minister to step in and protect these hundreds of thousands of people from the worst effects of poverty and social distress by reinstating this modest extra £20 a week for a longer period of time in Scotland.

I look forward to a positive response, as I believe the Scottish Government has a moral duty to protect its citizens from the worst aspects of poverty given the unique situation we are all facing together at this time.

Sean Clerkin
Campaign Coordinator, Scottish Tenants Organisation

IN his excellent book The Corporation, Joel Bakan argues persuasively that corporations can behave like psychopaths. In presenting his case, he invites a psychologist to list the characteristics of a psychopath.

This psychologist identifies: they are irresponsible (to achieve aims, others are put at risk); they are manipulative (of everything, including public opinion); they are grandiose (“always insisting that ‘we’re number one, we’re the best’”); they have a lack of empathy; they refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions; they are unable to feel remorse; and they are superficial (“their whole goal is to present themselves to the public in a way that is appealing to the public” but may not be representative of what they are really like).

I am sure readers of The National, when looking at these characteristics, will have no difficulty of thinking of a prominent Westminster politician who demonstrates each of them in abundance. It seems, however, that being a persistent liar as well is not

a trait of psychopaths, as it is with this individual.

Gavin Brown

ON page 19 of Monday’s National a brief article headed “Clashes in Baltic state” deals with events in Montenegro. Does nobody check what’s written in The National?

DM Robertson
Longniddry, East Lothian