I REMEMBER when the word globalisation was new, trendy and on everyone’s lips. We never stopped to consider air miles, carbon footprints and pollution, or wonder if growing roses out of season to supply us in the west was the best crop for farmers in Kenya. Nor did we query the consequences of having Bengalis and Vietnamese supply us with prawns to the detriment of ensuring their own food supplies.

The first world had created that global village which would benefit us all, with manna (demand) flowing from us across the “village” . Our so-called “needs” would and indeed did increase here. That demand in turn would keep the produce flowing in and across the rest of the “village”, serving up the likes of winter strawberries and avocados.

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Cheap food in all seasons, cheap throwaway clothes. Free trade has come at too high a cost for many, and wasn’t fair enough for many more. Those sweat shop factories, locked doors, fires in the third world, remember those? And now, our planet suffers from contamination, conflict, floods, fires, famines and trade wars.

The emergence of the coronavirus may have halted the USA-China trade war, so that “global” is “down” and “local” – containment, closing borders, support, solidarity, pulling together – is “up”. But as ever with fear, deaths and threat of recession seen on a daily, if not hourly basis, is it any wonder we see the rise of dog-whistle xenophobia and racism? Why not? It is the Chinese virus that is threatening us according to Trump.

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Coming out of this, and we will, we have to acknowledge that our local-ism isn’t confined to street, community or town. Neither is it confined in the longer time frame to Scotland/rUK. We need our world, we need our planet.

The current Tory government has slowly, possibly too slowly for some, come to the realisation that they must build some economic resistance to recession with a view to having industries, services, businesses and a ready-in-place workforce to pick up. It will not be business as usual. It is understandable that many want to see positive change away from structures such as credits and benefits that are far from supportive and appropriate.

As we see altruism stepping in to support vital public services, the voluntary sector, and workers everywhere, let’s not forget we need to maintain, sustain and develop our political resilience, especially at grass roots, to secure our independence.

Selma Rahman

BRITANNIA Hotels, based at Altrincham in England, sacked 12 workers at the Coylumbridge Hotel in Aviemore on the spot last week. This was put down by a spokesperson for the group to “an administrative error”. In Scotland we have an expression for such a statement: “Aye, that’ll be right.”

Anyone among you who has ever worked for a company knows full well this was no administrative error and had to have had its inception pretty high up in the company hierarchy. In my mind this was a deliberate action, which the company thought they could hide amongst all the Covid-19 maelstrom of news.

When this crisis is eventually over and we are thinking of a break, look carefully at who owns the hotel and give Britannia Group a body swerve.

Charlie Gallagher
Sullom, Shetland

JUST a quick wee word. When I was in the supermarket last week a couple were mouthing their gums at everyone who had a fair bit in their trolleys. “Look at them, greedy bastards taking a’ that food, nae wonder there’s nothing on the shelves.” Now they may be right ... on the other hand they may be wrong. The fellow shopper could be doing a collective shop for their vulnerable neighbours so please keep the heid!

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

READERS P Davidson of Falkirk and David McEwan Hill of Sandbank, Argyll, responded to my short letter on how we used to chap on the doors of the vulnerable and elderly by confessing their own childish and disgusting misdemeanours. Chicky-melly was quoted, where they used to tie a piece of string to someone’s door knocker just to annoy them and other disgusting tricks.

Do they realise that thousands of weans have just been released from schools on this our darkest hour and may carry on these disgraceful traditions? If any of the wee basturts come near me they will get a swift boot up their chorus and verses.

One version of chicky-melly, I believe (it wisnae me of course) was to thread a button and tack it on tae a windae with chewing gum, putty or plasticine, hide some distance away, tug the thread and rattle the windae with the intention of sending someone into pre-senile dementia.

On a serious note, I have just heard that my great granddochter, aged seven, has been quarantined at home with her family, having contracted coronavirus from a teacher. I trust she will soon be well and wish all other sufferers the same.

I also trust in Nicola and not in Boris to lead the medical and social revolution needed to create a better and fairer society when this crisis is over.

Donald Anderson