AT the height of the can’t and hypocrisy surrounding the European Super League, the greybeards of Scottish football were pontificating about the game belonging to the fans. The SPFL have just extended a contract with Premier Sports allowing them to cherry-pick Scottish games.

Note this does not guarantee that they will show Scottish games, it just gives them the right at a few days’ notice to block clubs own pay-per-view schemes. In order to have a chance (no guarantee) to watch their sides, Scottish fans have to shell out for BBC, Sky Sports, BT Sports and Premier Sports at a whopping total of £983 a year. Plus pay-per-view games.

If the SFA and SPFL were remotely interested in their supporters rather than their wallets they would jointly arrange a deal with a single broadcaster which would cover all matches.

Ian Richmond


THE ABRDN brand name, created by some hotshot, hip, techy guy or gal that came up with the idea after using too much SMS, is the new funky in-name for all cool jargon-eezers who ditched drab old Standard Life Aberdeen (Standard Life Aberdeen stuns social media with radical name change,, April 26).

The rise of the consonant over the vowel could have serious implications for limited texters like me, who only use it when I have to. What would it be like if it caught on? How would you feel if you hailed from EDNBRA?

As an Aberdonian, I have to declare an interest. Mangling my home town’s name provokes a natural inclination in me to defend its fulsome right to be spelled correctly. So where could it lead to? How about a novel written in SMS shorthand for instance? Hang on a minute, that maybe worth exploring – it could save a few forests.

Mike Herd


HAMISH MacPherson writes in the Sunday National about Saint Margaret (Malcolm Canmore, the Great Chief who was married to St Margaret, April 25). In his historical columns he is not only improving our knowledge but correcting the bias that has arisen from Scottish history until recently being seen through an English lens.

In his piece he may have fallen into this erroneous view and accepted Margaret as civilising influence in Scotland. Some sources differ.

Malcolm Canmore was not illiterate: he could read, write and negotiate, whereas Margaret could only converse in Latin and Hungarian. Malcolm dispatched his first wife and mother of his three sons to Orkney, creating dynastic confusion, in order to marry this refugee from William the Conqueror.

She set about undermining all that was foreign to her: the Gaelic language, the Celtic Church, the clan system. Her charitable behaviour was an effort to buy allegiance in an alien environment and bankrupted the state. Papal sainthood granted 150 years after was for her part in Romanising the Celtic Church. Personally, I often wonder whether if that relatively austere church had survived in Scotland, our history would have been less tragic.

As a separate issue, St Margaret’s chapel in Edinburgh Castle was built after her time and she never worshipped there. After the death of Margaret there were five kings in five years, a chaotic outcome.

Iain WD Forde


KATIE Tunn’s article on enjoying the Scottish countryside responsibly in last Sunday’s National was timely (How to enjoy the countryside responsibly, April 25). However, one piece of advice she gave was dangerous and wrong. This was anent single-track roads. She said: “If there is someone directly behind you, please pull into the next passing place and let them overtake you”. That is completely wrong and highly dangerous.

The important advice is that one should always stay on the left-hand side of the road. If the passing place is on the left-hand side of the road then, yes, you go into it. However if the passing place is on the opposite, right-hand side, of the road you still stop on the left-hand side of the road opposite the passing place. The car behind then drives past you using the passing place to overtake.

I have seen so many near-tragic accidents caused by people driving into a passing place on the right-hand side of the road. Please correct this dangerous advice. It cannot be emphasised enough: ALWAYS STAY ON THE LEFT. Our country is beautiful, let us also keep it safe.

Madeline Macphail


I CAN make an appointment with my dentist, my hairdresser, my podiatrist, my beautician but just try to see a doctor and all sorts of difficulties arise. Receptionists will attempt to block any face-to-face contact with the GP, even suggesting that one visits the pharmacist to let her see one’s shingles! Got short shrift with that one! What exactly are GPs doing at the moment? Certainly not seeing patients.

Norma Macdonald

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