I AM appalled to learn that Boris Johnson has stripped out the Dubs amendment from the Withdrawal Agreement Bill as reported in David Pratt’s article (Cruel Tory attitude to the world’s most vulnerable kids is typically shameful, January 17).

This amendment, submitted by Lord Alf Dubs, a Labour peer, is designed to allow unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to come and live in the UK. As a refugee from the Nazis himself, Lord Dubs was seeking to protect children.

READ MORE: David Pratt: Cruel Tory attitude to most vulnerable kids is typically shameful

The government’s argument that it would weaken the its negotiating hands in EU trade talks is seen by David Pratt and Lord Dubs as a cynical indication of the type of people running the UK today.

What does the Good Book say? “For those seeking to harm little children, ‘twere better for them to have a millstone round their neck and be cast in the depths of the sea”.

The English Channel would be choked with Tories.

Jim Lynch

IT WOULD be nice to have a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland as suggested by Professor Alan Dunlop (‘Indy supporters should back Scotland-NI bridge crossing, January 18), but it really isn’t practical with present technology, and the cost would be astronomical.

He has estimated a cost of £15 billion for the project – a 20-mile-long bridge in water depths that exceed a thousand feet in places, to be built in some of the stormiest waters around Europe. The cost per mile by his reckoning is about £750 million.

READ MORE: The Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge offers opportunities for all

The Queensferry Crossing cost £1.3 billion for a 1.6-mile crossing, in water depths which are never more than about a hundred feet and in a sheltered estuary. The cost per mile for that was about £820 million.

Does it seem likely that the Irish Crossing could be built at a much lower cost per mile in such a perilous location?

There has never been a bridge of this length, built over open seas of this depth, anywhere in the world.

There are longer bridges in shallow lagoons, but they are in no way comparable with the conditions in the North Channel.

James Duncan

IF the Channel Tunnel could not be built with public monies, what chance has such a bridge between Scotland and Ireland? The Channel Tunnel was constructed with private monies and went bankrupt halfway through. It has never made any profit worth having and shipping still continues. Shipping does have a beneficial value, in that passengers, including lorry drivers, get an enforced break during the crossing.

Bob Cotton
via thenational.scot

JIM Todd’s long letter was an interesting read for a football fan of my vintage (Use of VAR is showing up football’s cheats for what they are, January 17). His reference to referees reminded me of a story told to me by the late, great Bob Crampsey.

Tiny Wharton (a big man by any standards!) was refereeing a Partick Thistle v Hearts match when he saw the need to send off Hearts’s outside left, Johnny Hamilton. Now, Johnny had false teeth, which he would leave in the dressing room before kick-off. On sending him off, Tiny reportedly said, “time to be re-united with your teeth Mr Hamilton”. I like that, and can’t imagine any present-day referee making such a remark.

In Saturday’s paper you printed pictures of George Foulkes (way too big an image!) and Ian Murray. I love their devotion to Heart of Midlothian FC, but not anything else!

Ian Baillie


JUST read Graeme Macpherson article “Cheaters must be severely punished to deter others” (January 19) and completely agree.

However, in all too many cases “cheaters” are not severely punished but merely suspended for a period of time then allowed to return to the same sport to continue, often with a much enhanced physical body.

When someone cheats and builds muscle bulk, gets found out and is suspended, you can’t “un-bulk” or remove the muscle the cheat still has. If they get caught, they should be banned from ever competing in that particular sport ever again, end of story. Do that and you may just get the message through. Otherwise, the sport officials are only kidding themselves, (and the paying public).

READ MORE: Cheaters need to be severely punished to deter others

Root it out, no matter what level it is at, be it individual, local, regional or national. Ban them all, sports competitors and officials, even a complete country as is happening to Russia at this precise moment.

If individuals are “clean”, they can compete under the United Nations flag or European Union flag or no flag, but never under the flag of the banned nation.

Sport may restore to some semblance of credibility if they have the guts and strength of will to do the right thing.

Jim Todd

ONE simple question. Are Celtic and Rangers the only football teams competing in Scotland? Just asking as I barely see a mention of any other teams.

Alexander J MacDonald
via email