Readers' letters: Soccer supporters must follow the rules

"There are no grounds for complacency, particularly in relation to race and religious bigotry”

The Tartan Army head for Wembley by train from Glasgow with LNER
The Tartan Army head for Wembley by train from Glasgow with LNER

Soccer supporters must follow rules

By all accounts within the medical profession the current spike in Covid cases can be traced to increased activity among football fans in the current European Championship tournament, but there are a number of points to consider.

First, the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act (2012) has emboldened a section of supporters throughout the land to show attitudes that many find unacceptable.

Perhaps the railway companies could have been more active in preventing travel to London for the Scotland England game; but there is only so much they can do when large numbers wish to travel.

The restrictions on freedom of movement still remain in the realm of advice, rather than instruction. It could hardly be otherwise in what is still a free society; so much depends on a sense of personal responsibility which too many refuse to exhibit.

Certainly, for the recalcitrants there is safety in numbers; they may be aware that the police cannot arrest or charge all of them. This is a safety valve which may be necessary at a time of real restriction.

Football in Scotland can hardly be seen to have received a free pass in the last 15 months. With many sectors of the economy, it has suffered from lack of attendances.

Even so, some strides forward have been made in the last decade to make grounds and stadiums more welcoming and civilised places.

There are no grounds for complacency, particularly in relation to race and religious bigotry. In recent weeks it has not been treated as a special case; its most strident followers still need to look at how they could have behaved in a more responsible way.

Bob Taylor, Shiel Court, Glenrothes.

Brexit lesson

The new argument against independence seems to be that because the UK departure from the EU was chaotic, shambolic and disorganised, independence will be as well.

What this preposterous argument implies is that the fraudulent, extreme right-wing clowns in charge of that process (Boris Johnson and his ghouls) should continue to rule Scotland.

Brexit was presided over by a man so bone idle he could not be bothered to go to five Cobra meetings during the worst pandemic for 100 years.

This was the imbecile whose government wasted £150m on unusable masks, £10b on a test and trace system that did neither, £16m on Covid tests that did not work. Yet unionists claim independence is the problem.

It was these same British nationalist wing nuts who applauded while 1.5 million EU citizens were denied a vote in the 2016 EU referendum. They have done a volte-face and are now saying that "Scots" living outside Scotland should get to vote in any future referendum in order to rig it.

Alan Hinnrichs, Dundee.

Fish farms’ dark side

The complaints about Scottish fish farmers are justified in what seems an industry which, while promoted as high quality, does indeed have a dark side.

Scottish farmed salmon has up to 20 per cent of its fish deemed unfit for human consumption and dumped, and too often given temporary exemption from SEPA ,who seem unable to police the industry.

It is also interesting to note that Scottish salmon framing is owned almost exclusively by Norwegian companies operating in Scotland, as the Norwegian fish farming rules are much tougher and protective of the environment, designed to strictly protect the Norwegian wild salmon and sea trout stocks.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.