YOU printed a letter of mine (April 7) on the disgraceful way travellers were treated during a state-run “experiment” called “the “Tinker Housing Experiment”. This was only possible because of stereotypes of travellers that made them “different”, “not one of us”, “other”, and so “justified” the disgraceful action against them by the state.

In Seven Days, on May 8, under the article “Doing Putin’s top tormentors a favour…”, your pseudo-author says that they can “contact my friend Chloe ... and some of her drama friends and get them to pose as travellers ... to stalk Douglas Ross” all in the name of getting at Douglas Ross.

I have to ask, how do you “pose as a traveller”? Of course, to pose you have to be “different”, to fit a “stereotype”. Now let’s see, what stereotypes are there for travellers? Drunk, fighting, shop-lifting, pickpockets, untrustworthy or maybe in a trailer or gypsy caravan selling lucky heather or reading palms? They are yet again stereotyped as “different”, “not one of us”, “other”, and these stereotypes society has for them are negative, demeaning and belittling.

They do not show the reality that travellers live with. They do not show the lower life expectancy, the higher rates of unemployment, being shifted to the margins of society, given the worst areas to stop in that no one else wants; the disused landfill sites, the former scrapyards, being near sewage works etc. They don’t show the higher rates of mental illness and much, much higher rates of suicide because of those stereotypes and that marginalisation.

So, in trying to get a jab at Douglas Ross by presenting the “hilarious” image of Chloe and her drama friends “posing as travellers”, you are doing his job for him, marginalising travellers again by presenting stereotypes of them, stereotypes that lead to the awful life situations they live with. A situation caused by all of us when we do not treat them as equals, as part of us and our communities, our nation, our country, but instead as narrow stereotypes that we can “pose” as.

The awful reality of travellers’ life situations will be perpetuated so long as we – all of us – perpetuate those stereotypes and do not see them as equal humans of equal worth and humanity

Chris Ferguson

FOWK streivin tae scam ye on the phone or the computer are ae richt pain – we aa ken that thou thay can hae a certain entertainment value anaa. I hae fun wi the phone anes speirin “faw’s that noo” an “faw did ye sey ye wis?” tens tae hae thaim pit the phone doun richt awa. Cryin the caller ae loun or ae quine wull tae bambaze ana.

Hooiniver, ye cannae repone in Scots, or I shuid say it’s nae wise tae repone avaa on computer. Ae click tells thaim thair is somewan thare an yer computer wull be flummoxed wi spurious emails.

Hooiniver, the first line that shows up aye affords ae wee tait o fit thay are aboot. “Beloved in Christ” is aye ae give awa. Assurin ye thay are baunkers or lawyers is as guid as a rid flag.

I maun admit tae bein raither tickled by the lass faw claimed tae be Gaddafi’s niece wi £ms hiddled awa. Her speil wis, I’m ae cruik are you?

But ae new wan that cam in on Sunday set ae new ensaumple. It read, “I’m a poor widow living in the UK”. The usual scam o this kind is tae be a puir widdae wi echt bairns deein o cancer in ae kintra wi nae health service or sic like scenario, but bidin in the UK?

Noo, gin that disnae tell ye foo laich the UK haes sunk fan computer scammers see us fur ae tuil fur thair pliskies then fit does?

Further pruif, gin pruif wis needed, the suiner we are oot o this gameramous stramash cried the UK the better.

George T Watt

THE House of Commons heard a plea from SNP MP Alan Brown to the Chancellor, demanding the re-instatement of the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit claimants.

Back in April 2020, the Chancellor recognised that the need for assistance in the midst of the pandemic was urgent and introduced an uplift to Universal Credit, but alas this was only a temporary fix as the Chancellor wiped out the uplift from the benefit in 2021, plunging many into poverty.

The hard facts as pointed out in the House of Commons by Mr Brown clearly show that since the £20 per week uplift back in April 2020, energy costs have risen by 75% and petrol is up 50% – clear pieces of evidence that demand the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit be re-instated with immediate effect if thousands are not to go hungry.

On the issue of going hungry, did the Chancellor hear the warning from the Governor of the Bank of England to the Treasury Select Committee, that an “apocalyptic situation regarding food supplies and prices” is on the way? It is always said that prevention is better than cure, perhaps the Chancellor should have a reality check and heed that warning and re-instate the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit immediately.

Catriona C Clark