I WONDER if any of your readers have any experience of Royal Mail. I posted a small package, in good faith, first class, and with all the additional trappings of “track and trace” and “signed for” (which used to be completely unnecessary, as first class guaranteed next-day delivery.)

The total cost of this was £6.45, a lot, considering that the envelope was small, containing only a CD and a card and was, in any case, only going to Richmond, London.

This was posted on May 28, with next-day delivery being assured. However, as I write on June 6, the package has still not arrived. My “track and trace” told me delivery had been attempted but refused by the recipients, so the parcel would be returned to me.

I was astonished at this, as it had been previously agreed with the recipients (a classical music group) that the CD would arrive, and be gratefully received. I contacted them and they assured me that no attempt to deliver had ever been made and that therefore nobody had refused delivery!

Subsequent to this I have attempted to contact Royal Mail on three occasions (by telephone, which requires a 45-minute wait, on average, in order to speak with an operative) and established that the package appears to be languishing somewhere in the sorting office in Richmond.

I have been at pains to establish that I do not want it returned to me, but to actually be delivered!

Hopefully, this message has now sunk in, but the frustration, exasperation, and anger still remain. Royal Mail, like so many other British institutions, used to be an international byword for excellence and reliability.

Now they are a joke. What went wrong? It just might be privatisation ...

Brian D York
via email

RETURN to sender!
Future unknown.
We won’t surrender
Our nuclear-free zone!

I wrote a letter to Sir Starmer,
England’s Tory clone.
I said, not one step further,
In our nuclear-free zone.

I sent a letter to Mr Corbyn
Why did you have to leave the CND?
Was it because you supported Trident?
And against reforms of the SNP?

I wrote to the other party, Tories
And Inbetweener LibDems.
In the land of dopes and Tories
And numpty Labour clones.

I’m gonna vote for independence.
My country will be free.
No more servile dependence.
I’ll vote for SNP!

Return to sender!
Future unknown.
We won’t surrender.
Our nuclear-free zone!

Donald Anderson

THE Scottish Government should be intervening to resolve the EIS-FELA college lecturers’ strike.

The SNP are constantly being lambasted by Labour and the Tories over their “failure” to close the attainment gap.

That gap is currently measured by assessing young people’s progress in achieving specific literacy and numeracy levels at particular points in their primary and secondary school experience. This reliance on purely academic criteria at school level undervalues the contribution of further education teaching.

As various academics have pointed out, it should be possible to develop instead a system of assessing the eventual overall educational achievements of young people from various social backgrounds when they leave further or higher education.

That would be a much more valid way of evaluating progress in overcoming disadvantage in Scottish education.

The contribution of further education lecturers in developing the talents of their students needs to be recognised.

The Scottish Government could and should intervene with the Scottish Funding Council to get them to prioritise making an offer that aims to achieve pay parity with school teachers.

John Dennis
Secretary, Dumfries & Galloway Trades Union Council

I’M obliged to Stuart Mackenzie (Letters, Jun 4) for letting us know about the passing of John Edgar, a true scholar and a gentleman whom I had the privilege of knowing.

I met him a few years ago when he was canvassing door to door for the SNP, and this was the start of a long friendship conducted via email.

Despite his superior intellect, he tolerated and encouraged my occasional ramblings on the web pages and even commented “We make a good team”. (If so, I was very much the junior partner, but it was typically generous of him to say that.) If I had his brains I’d be running this country by now!

Farewell John, God Bless!

James Stevenson