STV is generally viewed as more politically objective in its news and current affairs programming than BBC Scotland, which maintains a strong pro-Union bias and in recent years has had an increased tendency to become a propaganda mouthpiece for the Tory party and the UK Government.

(This statement is made while acknowledging that the news programmes of ITV, as well as the BBC and Sky, struggle to approach the higher level of professional impartiality of Channel 4.)

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It was therefore disappointing to listen to Rona Dougall’s introduction to her Scotland Tonight interview with Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth on March 27, when she stated that “the performance by our pupils in maths, science and reading has fallen dramatically on the Pisa world rankings” without any appropriate context and without making any reference to the rest of the UK.

Perhaps this should not be surprising because even Channel 4, like the other UK TV channels, is quick to make international comparisons when quoting figures on Scotland’s drug deaths but appears reluctant to make equivalent comparisons when quoting NHS statistics, child poverty figures or even knife-crime statistics.

With regard to education it appears that many, including TV journalists, do not appear to comprehend that through Curriculum for Excellence the Scottish Government aims to produce not only academically well-educated students but well-rounded students, whereas education in England is still focused almost exclusively on exam results. Scotland’s approach has been praised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and although in the narrow measure of Pisa tests results have slipped, they have also slipped over the period of the pandemic in both England (even with questions around school selections not conforming with OECD requirements) and Wales (which under Labour has had the poorest Pisa results of all the “four nations” and is below the other nations in all three measures of maths, science and reading).

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Latest data indicate that more Scottish students than ever are attaining positive destinations on completing their studies and overall are enjoying greater success in this regard than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK.

It would appear that all of the UK’s TV channels need to work harder to give the general public, particularly those purportedly serving viewers in Scotland, more complete and more balanced information on which to base their future decision-making, especially with another General Election looming.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

IT is heartbreaking that there are still no convictions of those who knowingly caused the horrible mess we know as the Post Office Horizon miscarriages of justice. So much information is now in the public domain and yet no-one has been brought to book.

May I suggest that the police pretend that instead of Post Office execs and IT creeps, the people they are after are small Scottish women? Before you know it, even if they were accused of accounting inconsistencies (rather than leading people to commit suicide), their homes would all be extravagantly dressed up like TV murder scenes and their reputations would be publicly trashed.

They could do the same with those Tories who profiteered through the pandemic or ignored the rules when handing million pound contracts to mates who could not deliver.

Amanda Baker

LESLEY Riddoch may well be correct when she gives Humza’s term in office a six or seven “could do better” (my school report card all over again ) and again when she states “it’s a sair fecht” (After a year in the job it’s time for Yousaf to let go the shackles and fight, Mar 28).

Mr Nice Guys won’t “cut it” but when you look to our leader at Westminster Stephen Flynn, he is a nice guy for sure but seems to have that cutting edge to his questions and a steely, at times angry, response to the behaviour and downright lies that come from the other benches.

But we have to remember Humza is in the government, Stephen in the opposition, poles apart when they are on their feet. How would they mark out of 10 if the roles were reversed I wonder! Food for thought?

Ken McCartney

CHANGING the clocks. What is this really all about? We are surely the only mammal which tries to adjust the natural annual change in correlation between sun and Earth. There is a tendency to presume that the sun revolves around the Earth whereas tiny planet Earth orbits around the sun.

We have longitude and latitude, equator, north and south tropics, North and South Poles. In midwinter there is total darkness at the North Pole for several months, total daylight at the South Pole over the same months and vice versa six months later. It’s the natural way of the solar system!

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Why does mankind have to adjust effects of those natural phenomena to suit the way we live and thereby further complicate our understanding of the natural world, as if our species had not already ravished and raped our planet enough in following our seemingly thoughtless unlimited indulgence? Leave sun and Earth relationship alone, get used to it, live with it, then we and our precious planet might be the better for it.

Tom Gray

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I WAS going to pass what I initially thought was very reasoned comment on Friday’s call to prayer hosted by the First Minister at Bute House, but after lengthy consideration I am now too afraid of the possible legal consequences. How has it come to this?

Dr Iain Evans