Readers' letters: Comrade Briggs has got right idea on housing

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While John McLellan continues to conjure socialist straw men to blame for a housing crisis created by almost half a century of free-market extremism (News, December 29), it was refreshing to read Tory MSP Miles Briggs recognising the need for more state intervention in the form of “compulsory sale orders for unoccupied properties” (News, December 28).

Mr McLellan repeats the landlord's mantra that rent controls will “push properties out of the market”, without stopping to ask what will become of these homes. Will they vanish off the face of the earth? Will landlords sell them, thus increasing supply in the sales market? Or will the landlord class go in a collective huff and leave their properties sitting empty?

Comrade Briggs correctly identifies the solution to the latter threat by calling for assets to be seized where “viable housing stock is being wasted and neglected in this way”.

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Now that they're committed to the expropriation of bourgeois property, I look forward to working with Scottish Conservative colleagues in City Chambers to develop the policy further.

News columnist John McLellan says rent control measures don’t workNews columnist John McLellan says rent control measures don’t work
News columnist John McLellan says rent control measures don’t work

Ross McKenzie, councillor for Sighthill/Gorgie, Edinburgh

Now’s the perfect time to go vegan

Soon, the crackers and baubles will be put away until next Christmas, but you can extend the occasion for peace and joy by treating yourself to a gift that’s always in season: go vegan – you’ll be doing animals, the planet, and yourself a world of good.

Every vegan not only saves 200 animals a year from the abattoir but also helps combat the climate catastrophe and reduces their risk of cancer, heart disease, and other serious health issues. Going plant-based is easier on the wallet, too, especially during today’s cost-of-living crisis. Staples such as bread, pasta, rice, fruit, beans, lentils, and veggies are cheaper and healthier than animal-derived foods, and the price of vegan meat, egg, and dairy alternatives continues to drop due to rising demand.

Thousands of Brits have already taken note: nearly one in four is saving money by cutting out meat and eating vegan.

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And this month – Veganuary – is the ideal time for you to give it a go, too. Take PETA’s 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and download our free vegan starter kit (available at, which is packed with good ideas and easy recipes perfect for the new year.

Elisa Allen, Vice President of Programmes, PETA, London

BBC’s Glasgow bias grates on the ears

Am I alone in having become extremely concerned about the direction BBC Radio Scotland is taking or should we call it GBC (Glasgow Broadcasting Corporation)? There are some excellent presenters and they tend to produce acceptable content. However, there are those who fall far short and some topics banal and awful.

Presenters in the main are Glasgow-based, born and bred. On Wednesday this week we had a presenter whose grammar and word pronunciation was atrocious and slovenly: “stoppin, runnin, sittin, speakin, doin, si (sit), righ (right), an (and), bi (bit), abou (about)” and on and on and on. We really expect more from our national broadcaster. At this time of year my pet hate by some presenters is the Glaswegian “Hugomnay” – it’s “Hogmanay” in most of Scotland.

In their wisdom and to reduce costs, a swathe of quality, educated journalists/presenters were binned and replaced by younger models who clearly are not up to an acceptable standard.

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I look forward to seeing some improvement and diversity in 2023.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar

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