THE magnificent Remembrance display at the Tower of London ("May pays tribute to 'immense sacrifices'", The Herald, November 5) which will be followed by less spectacular but equally humbling tributes across the UK is a reminder that we must never forget the terrible tragedy of war and the sacrifice of all those whose names appear on war memorials, not only in our cities and towns, but also in the tiniest of villages and our island communities.

The photographs and documentary films of the Somme, Ypres, Passchendaele, and all the other battles of the war that was supposed to end all wars, and the sight of the enormous war cemeteries with their white headstones still have the power to move us with horror and pity, no matter how many times we see them. And so they should. It has always seemed to me cruel beyond belief that men who fought in the First World War, returning home in many cases both mentally and physically scarred, had to endure sending their own sons to war, barely 20 years later. Perusing the Intimations page of a September 1944 edition of The Herald's sister paper, the Evening Times, I read of the birth of a baby daughter to a soldier who had died of his wounds four months previously, and the death of a father of five who was killed in action, as was an only son, taken from his heartbroken parents. However, although the tragedies and devastation that war always brings to ordinary people are well documented, it does not appear to deter UK governments from taking part, as almost every year of this century has seen the UK involved in foreign wars; and neither has it stopped us from supplying the Saudis with arms which they have used against civilians in Yemen.

I have never previously bought into the belief that the creation of the European Union prevented further war, believing that two European wars had left Europe exhausted. But watching film that was taken of French and Belgian towns and villages left in ruins and rubble after the First World War, and bearing in mind the terrible bombing raids on Scotland, on the rest of the UK, and across Europe during the Second, has made me think again. If there is even a possibility that the EU has stopped further carnage from taking place throughout this continent then that alone more than justifies its existence, and the priceless benefit of being a part of it.

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road, Stirling.

AMIDST the plethora of letters to The Herald on the pros and cons of Brexit, I’ve been puzzled at the lack of reference in them to the weekly Friday commentaries by Ian McConnell, your business editor, and articles like the ones in today’s paper warning of the impact of Brexit ("UK economy grinds towards halt as Brexit fears take growing toll", Herald Business, November 6).

Why is this? Do Brexiters not agree with him? Do they feel uncomfortable at what he writes? Do they not read the business section? I am equally puzzled at the lack of letters from Remainers who use his analysis as support for their position.

In particular, given the consistency of Mr McConnell’s articles, I am surprised that counter arguments have not been put forward by those who favour exit from the EU. They must have some and I’d be keen to read them.

Willie Towers,

Victoria Road, Alford, Aberdeenshire.

IAN Lakin (Letters, November 6) repeats the well-known claim that the top five per cent of earners contribute 50 per cent of tax while the bottom 44 per cent contribute nothing as something we should be thankful for. On the contrary, this is a sign of a dysfunctional society.

First, we should ask ourselves how so few have cornered so much of society's wealth that they are able to pay so much tax. Secondly, we should ask how so many have so little that they aren't able to pay any.

John Jamieson,

60 Craigie Road, Ayr.

I NOTE with interest your front-page lead story ("SNP slated for decade of delays on crucial projects", the Herald, November 6). It was only a matter of time.

Key public services are failing. The SNP can dress it up any way it likes but the truth will out. Success seems to elude the SNP and it is simply because its policies are not fit for purpose.

The next few weeks will prove to be key to the SNP's survival as a potent political force as it deals with the new rates of income tax and the role the Greens will play in the budget. Nicola Sturgeon is fond of batting all criticism aside, especially at First Minister's Questions, but the day of reckoning awaits. If the upcoming budget is not passed, the Government will fall.

Waiting in the wings is the teachers' pay dispute and the Alex Salmond case. It is going to be no easy task, even for someone of Ms Sturgeon's undoubted skills, to successfully navigate all these hurdles.

Dr Gerald Edwards,

Broom Road, Glasgow.

ANY devotee of the affairs of Parliament must surely now despair at how government is being conducted. The tactics employed by members (and permitted by the Speaker) are in fact akin more to a bear pit than to a place of national business. Moreover, the scripted questions and answers, repeated ad nauseam, are unworthy even of a pantomime. It is probable that away from the prying cameras the conduct of affairs in private is even worse. The most important matters affecting the whole country are in reality being reduced to political footballs to the detriment of their solution and are manipulated for the well-being only of Westminster`s parties, in particular of the two major protagonists.

Meanwhile this country, advertised as the fifth or sixth most globally wealthy, is experiencing major problems in almost every aspect of its existence, some of which are the direct result of Government action, or inaction, and which show little sign of being eased even in the distant future. That situation is exacerbated by the in-party squabbling and by the politicising for party gain of the issues themselves, which characterise the present Westminster activities. The Mother of Parliaments is growing old disgracefully.

It is obvious and inevitable that the main sufferer in all of this is England, which is either unable or unwilling to do much about it. This is not the case elsewhere in this “glorious Union”, particularly in Scotland where the desire for independence is growing day by day. It is being recognised that the Westminster system is not serving the country well and change is an imperative.

J Hamilton,

G/2,1 Jackson Place, Bearsden.