OILY Jeremy Hunt, when pressed by Laura Kuenssberg about replacing crumbling reinforced aerated autoclaved concrete (Raac) in schools, vowed that the government will “spend what it takes to sort out this problem as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Scotland is ahead of the game. The Scottish Government knew the location of buildings containing Raac because it, health boards and councils had been assessing the situation for months. Unlike England, which is flying blind having to shut schools, Scotland didn’t privatise building safety inspections or cut staffing.

READ MORE: Scottish Government won't get UK cash for Raac concrete problems

But back to Hunt’s promise to spend as much as it takes to fix the problem. He knows, or should, that governments with a central bank and currency can always find the money, whether it’s for bombs, banks or bairns, usually in that order.

But Hunt’s neoliberal masters at the Treasury quickly backtracked on his rash pledge to make schools safe for children, saying the funding must come from the education department’s existing budget – nor would local authorities get any more dosh when forced to bus kids to other sites.

The destruction of public services wrought by Tory austerity and New Labour with its PFI obsession is nearly complete.

Scotland must get out before it’s dragged down the plughole.

Leah Gunn Barrett

THANKS to unfathomably incomprehensible ineptness and incompetence, schools in England have had to close as they are literally falling apart and are too dangerous for pupils to go back to.

The blame for this debacle rests firmly with billionaire banker Rishi Sunak. 300-400 schools per annum were in need of repairs. When he was chancellor, Sunak decided he would only fund repairs to 50 schools per year. The Tories still defend this. Over the last two years, the number of schools the Tories have managed to rebuild is four.

READ MORE: Which schools in Scotland have Raac and are any closed?

The British Unionist Labour Party of “Sir” Keir Starmer are offering no alternative. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, the Red Tory ex-Bank of England employee, said there will be no wealth tax, no mansion tax, no income tax rises for the rich, no increase in capital gains tax.

Starmer’s Red Tories have looked at the sewage discharged by private companies into rivers and seas, the extortionate gas and electricity prices, the expensive and unreliable railways. They look at all those problems privatisation caused. Starmer and his goons think “let’s do the same with our NHS. Letting private companies run it will make it so much cheaper.”

It should be remembered that it was Labour who introduced the Work Capability Assessment. This horrific ordeal was then expanded by the Tories to include the terminally ill who had more than six months to live.

“Scottish” Unionists look at the Westminster system and think that the problem would be independence. It is impossible to exaggerate the level of stupidity and ignorance that has to occur in order for this to be a defendable proposition.

“Scottish” Unionism exists solely for the benefit of the financial system and the billionaire class.

Alan Hinnrichs

WITH reference to the brief article in Thursday’s National regarding the latest apology from Edinburgh Academy on the historic abuse at the school during the 1970s, I’m bemused why the media coverage has been muted regarding the revelation that both Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College chose to protect their educational reputation by moving on sexual predators without any report to the police or warning to the unsuspecting new employer/establishment that was unfortunate enough to expose its pupils to such horrible predation and potential psychological damage to innocent young kids.

That decision was unforgivable and yet most media coverage of this faux pas, during the Lady Smith inquiry process, has been muted in my humble opinion. Why?

Bernie Japs

THANK you, Gerry Hassan, for providing enlightenment to an “auld yin”. I refer of course to the word “woke”, which is currently in vogue within the political arena (The war on woke, Aug 27).

When I first encountered its use outwith its sleep context, its meaning not given, I consulted my dictionary (1997 edition). To say I was puzzled would be an understatement. As a result of Gerry’s article I am now fully aware of why it is being used, as well as the term “cancel culture” and the purpose and intentions of its usage.

Bobby Brennan

WHAT a waste of money, spending £8 million on portraits of Charles III to be placed in every school in Scotland, when we have lots of families struggling to find enough money to both feed and clothe themselves! The money should be spent on education. I do hope the Westminster government will think again.

Susan Swain