I MAY be accused of arrogance for writing this and probably with some justification. While I believe there is a time to remain silent, I also believe there is a time to speak out. That time, for me, has arrived.

I was born in 1943 when Hitler was dropping bombs on my home in Aberdeen and Jews, gypsies and homosexuals were being abused and murdered in the Nazi death camps. I am old enough to remember the horror expressed when these camps were liberated and the obscenity of Nazi brutality was revealed to the world. We were so shocked that, over the years, I came to believe that such a thing would never happen again. Yet today I am afraid of what is happening in our country and across the world.

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The politics of the Middle East are complicated and all sides believe they have grounds for grievance and this leads to a desire to settle scores. Yet, nothing can justify the brutality of events on October 7. What happened constituted such a crime that words fail to express the depth of repulsion one feels towards those who carried out such an atrocity. We feel for the pain of the families of all who died, and we also feel for the hostages. Heaven knows under what conditions they are held and even if they are still alive.

That is not the end of the matter. The Israeli reaction has been so violent that a new horror has arisen. The slaughter of so many Palestinians in their homes. Babies killed, young lives marred or destroyed, people suffering, grieving and living in terror. Essential services of power and water switched off, and excessive overcrowding in the houses that still stand. This cannot be right.

This is not the end of the matter. British citizens who have lived their whole lives in this country are now living in fear. They no longer feel one of us. People are singling them out and threatening them because they are Jews. Why? Because of events thousands of miles away over which they have as much control as you and me. I am not a Jew but I know Jews. They are my friends and I do not want them to be hurt nor do I want them to live in fear. Each is one of us and they deserve to be treated as such. Of course there are the good and the bad, but that is true of any group you wish to name, religious, ethnic, political etc. They are people, and as such behave as all people do.

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It is time for this to stop now. Those who want to hate should go elsewhere to do their hating, they do not belong with us. Let us extinguish the hatred before it gets out of control as it did in the 1930s.

So long as people continue to hate, they will find people worthy of their hatred. The Jews today, who will it be tomorrow? Perhaps it will be you, and what then? There is no place for hate, just love (agape).

If you find some truth in my words then please give voice to your thoughts. It is only when ordinary people speak out that common ground can be found and small voices become magnified.

Thank you for reading this.

Angus Shaw
via email

I AM at my wits’ end regarding inept SNP ministers. This latest debacle about the phone bill is so farcical that you have to wonder why these people are in office. This is just the latest in a long line of mistakes. No wonder we are losing votes. The reason is simple: we have lost all credibility as far as the voters are concerned. They have only two choices left. They can either vote Labour or not vote at all because the rest of the parties are totally irrelevant. Humza has no choice other than to sack Michael Matheson. Failure to do so will render him a lame duck leader. I was willing to give Humza until the 2026 Scottish election but my confidence in him is waning fast. Swift action is needed here because the Unionists are laughing all the way to the polling booths.

Old John