Lessons on bigotry

I am writing in response to the article on sectarianism in Wednesday’s Evening Times by Tom Wood. While I share his concerns about sectarianism in Scotland I believe his analysis and solution are seriously flawed.

His answer of abolishing state-run Catholic schools appears to place the blame of continued sectarianism firmly on the existence of such schools.

The obvious problem with this analysis is that there are plenty of countries throughout the world which have Catholic schools but do not experience the problems of sectarianism that Scotland does. For example, England (where I lived until I was in my teens) have many state-run Catholic schools but it does not see the sectarianism that is seen in Scotland. Catholic schools exist in Scotland because of the sectarianism and discrimination that Catholics faced in Scotland in the last century.

Some may say that such discrimination is a thing of the past but it is important to remember that the violence seen in Glasgow in recent weeks was caused by those out to prevent peaceful marches that supported Irish unity and republicanism. The problem lies not with Catholic schools but with those who think it is acceptable to use violence to prevent peaceful marches. The answer therefore lies in considering the legality of counter demonstrations and their policing.

Michael Docherty, via email

Slow down on M8

As an avid reader of your newspaper I was saddened to read of yet another crash on the M8 but not at all surprised. Whilst I hope that there were no life threatening injuries, or god forbid deaths, I feel very little sympathy for a lot of the drivers who use the M8.

The section on which the crash happened has a speed limit of 50mph but in my experience, cars, vans, lorries etc continue to drive at breakneck speed. Some of the driving I have witnessed down the years beggars belief.

James Campbell, via email