Letters: Charles and Camilla are totally unsuitable to be King and Consort. William should be next in line

I’M writing as someone who was born the year the Queen ascended the throne. I have no reason to quarrel with the Queen, who has been a steady pair of hands at the helm. But her promotion of Camilla, first to the Order of the Garter and more recently her suggestion that she becomes Queen Consort, when Charles comes to the throne (“Queen urges nation to back Queen Camilla in her jubilee message”, February 6), compels me to speak out.

I think that Charles is totally unsuited to be King, however long he has waited. He comes across as a weak man who doesn’t have the personality to be a leader. If he’d lived an ordinary life, I believe he might have become a middle manager, but no more. He has espoused good causes, but doesn’t have the qualities to be a leader or even a figurehead. He sounds pompous and out of touch when he speaks publicly.

I think he behaved disgracefully in his first marriage, carrying on an affair with Camilla throughout. Their attempt to reimagine themselves as a future King and Consort are disingenuous and cringeworthy.

I think he should be put out to grass, not because of his age, but due to his unsuitability to become King. People are understandably reluctant to speak out, due to respect for the Queen. But her recent promotion of Camilla should be challenged.

There needs to be a conversation about who should succeed when the time comes. In my view, Charles should step aside and let his son, who seems more personable and in touch, take the top job. Others may have different views, but at least there should be discussion. We live in the 21st century, not the Middle Ages, and there should be healthy debate about these issues which affect us all.

Patsy James, Edinburgh.


I NOTE your Big Read article headed “They believe hell is real: Why all religious interventions on sexuality must end” (February 6).

Christians really do believe in things. They believe God made the universe. They believe Jesus was God and man and he died for sinners and came back to life. And yes, they believe hell – and heaven – are real.

When Jesus said “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife”, they believe this tells us something important about marriage and sexuality. When the Bible says God created us male and female, they believe this is an unchangeable reality.

Of course, most people know these are the traditional, widely-held beliefs of the Christian Church worldwide. But some like to react with shock, astonished to find anyone who believes such things. It is a strategy to make our beliefs look suspect. They also caricature these beliefs and the people holding them. A particularly cynical strategy is to hijack concerns about mental health, portraying Christian beliefs “harmful” and deserving of being banned.

Many Christians are concerned a ban on conversion therapy is an attempt to outlaw aspects of ordinary Christian life. Physical and verbal abuse is already illegal. So what’s left to outlaw? Unfashionable beliefs?

The piece focused on Blair Anderson, leader of the End Conversion Therapy campaign, who says he experienced efforts to repress his sexuality as a teenager. We don’t have his family’s side of the story so we must take his word for it. He says his parents really did believe in heaven and hell. And says he was told to “live in a celibate and chaste way”. But this is the Christian sexual ethic.

Disagreements within families are always painful. Even well-meaning parents can get things wrong. But Blair’s response to what happened is to seek to punish Christians for their beliefs.

He’s not alone. His fellow activist, Jayne Ozanne, told the Scottish Parliament: “The sort of prayer … where any outcome is acceptable and right is good and should be encouraged. However, when there is a predetermined purpose I think that must be banned.”

Most people know when a Christian prays, they have a purpose in mind. But if that purpose reflects Christ’s teachings on sex or sexuality, some people want it banned.

It’s one thing to disagree with a person’s religion, it’s another thing to want to ban it.

Simon Calvert, Depute Director, The Christian Institute, Glasgow.

* BLAIR Anderson is at odds with the Equality and Human Rights Commission when he says that “helping someone to live within the rules of their religion” can cross over into conversion therapy.

The commission has said that any legislation on conversion therapy must be carefully drafted in order not to catch legitimate and appropriate counselling, therapy or support which enables a person to explore their sexual orientation or gender dysphoria, and to avoid criminalising mainstream religious practice such as preaching, teaching and praying about sexual ethics. Furthermore, the Commission said that LGBT people should not be prevented from “seeking spiritual support from their faith leader in the exploration of their sexual orientation or being transgender” and that “encouraging people to comply with religious doctrine that requires refraining from certain types of sexual activity should not fall within the definition of conversion therapy either”.

The commission’s eminently reasonable position allows people who want to explore their sexuality the freedom to seek support, advice and counselling. This may include support from a faith leader and recourse to religious teaching. A tolerant society will ensure that the space to explore and discuss these issues exists for those who want it.

Anthony Horan, Director, Catholic Parliamentary Office, Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Airdrie.


I WAS amazed at Barry Didcock’s appreciation of Michael Gove (“An unlikely saviour, but can Gove become Asterix of the North?”, February 6). To suggest that he is the brightest of Boris Johnson’s gang is like claiming that the Titanic is refloatable.

Mr Gove once failed as a stand-up comedian on television. Later, his only successful joke was to promise that Brexit would allow us to eliminate VAT from household energy bills – and that joke was on us.

The newly-announced levelling up cash is merely Mr Johnson and Co trying save their skins.

The only way to truly level up the UK is to stop giving the very rich south-east of England any more help.

We should maybe forgive Mr Gove for trying to get into an Aberdeen nightspot for free. After all, he was not invited to the Downing Street parties – or maybe he was too mean to take a carry-out? However we must remember that he is one of the few Scottish Brexiters and is still supporting a mendacious leadership.

JB Drummond, Kilmarnock.


YOUR front-page lead headline (February 6) read “Winging it : Scots Gov will NOT claim £50m owed by airport”. The article related to the repayment of a loan to Prestwick Airport. However, the facts in the article showed that the Scottish Government had deferred repayment until March 2023. Even Edward Mountain, the Conservative Deputy Chief Whip at Holyrood, used the word “defer”. This is somewhat different to writing a loan off.

The whole saga of Prestwick Airport may well merit a lengthy article, but your coverage was misleading.

Douglas Morton, Lanark.


YOUR recent article on the odd ideas of Historic Environment Scotland (“Castles and heritage sites across Scotland could be left to crumble”, January 30) begs several questions.

First, surely the whole point of preserving/conserving/maintaining a structure is precisely because it has historic or cultural value – ie, “like a museum piece”. Presumably it’s not done simply to collect stone in one place.

Second, if all structures have a “finite life”, then this logically applies to privately-owned listed structures as well as state or council-owned. In which case, how can the state insist that the owner maintains that structure “as is” indefinitely. In other words, what is the point of listed buildings, if their dissolution is only a matter of time, and that time may well be imminent?

Third, I cannot help seeing global warming, in this case, as being a useful bogeyman, rather than a serious problem. The principal destroyer of stonework is frost, so a warming climate should help, not hinder, the maintenance of stone buildings. Coastal sites partially excepted, of course.

Fourth, the figures seem to require some explanation. We are told that HES has a budget of about £100 million (with or without site revenue?), but spends only £8.3m on actual maintenance, including visitor centres. In my ignorance, I’d have assumed the majority of funding would go to the declared objective of preserving Scottish historic sites. Even if we add in the greater sum of £14m in grants to privately-owned buildings and preserved railways (surely a lesser priority than the state properties?), we still have only about a fifth of income actually spent on any building (probably less, as visitor centres, ground maintenance and the like are apparently included with actual building maintenance). Where, exactly, does the remaining £80m go?

Graeme Allan, Keith.


MARGARET Forbes (Letters, February 6) writes eloquently about the unacceptable impacts of wind farms on people and the natural environment. What she says is accurate other than her belief that “ the RSPB does not approve of wind turbines”.

RSPB believes wind power has a role to play in the UK’s fight against climate change but it is calling for a more strategic and long-term planning approach to wind development than is currently being taken in order to ensure turbines are sited in areas with as little impact as possible. It objects to proposals to site turbines in areas of deep peat and locations which involve direct flyways which would be hazardous, if not devastating, to birds; however, its expert opinion is often ignored by decision makers bending over backwards to accommodate the interests of the wind industry.

Due to limited resources, it now means that it can only focus on priority sites or species and the same applies to NatureScot, which has also been effectively gagged. It seems all birds are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Aileen Jackson, Uplawmoor.

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