After projections recently showed the number of pensioners is set to increase by 28 per cent it’s high time the SNP started listening to warnings about an ageing population.

The National Records of Scotland has estimated the hike over the next 25 years, which would unfortunately bring with it a rise in conditions such as dementia.

Hospitals across the country are already struggling to cope with increasing numbers of patients, particularly those with diseases linked to living longer.

The Conservatives’ shadow health secretary, Miles Briggs, has said the NHS is already struggling as a result of the SNP’s failure to plan for an ageing population and he said the problems would only worsen as that demographic increased.

The elderly population has rocketed in the last 10 years north of the border and the growth is even larger in rural constituencies like here in Argyll and Bute.

In fact, according to the NRS forecasts, by 2039 the number of over-75s in Scotland will have gone from 430,000 to a massive 800,000.

In contrast, the population of 0-15-year-olds will rise by only one per cent in the same time.

The Scottish Government must act now or the problems being experienced right now by hospital staff and patients are only going to get worse as the years go on.

There is going to be a heavily increasing elderly population north of the border in the coming years. They risk being served by an NHS which sadly won’t be remotely equipped to provide the help they need, and is being centralised to near breaking point by the separatists.

Perhaps if the Scottish Government dropped its obsession with both another independence referendum and centralising everything in sight, they could concentrate on steering clear of this iceberg.

Cllr Alastair Redman,

Conservative, Kintyre and the Islands

Michael Thornley, in his letter on Geilston House and Garden (‘The Trust must get its house in order’, Helensburgh Advertiser, July 27), queries the claim made by the National Trust for Scotland that Geilston makes an annual loss of £85,000.

He is quite right to question this. When looking at ‘The Report of the Board of Trustees, 29 February 2016’ we can see that the Trust has a designated fund of £2,581,000 set aside for Geilston House and Garden.

The income from this fund generates £75,000 per annum which substantially reduces any losses.

The Trust’s own accounts also raise some important issues.

For example, in 2016 it paid out £449,000 in redundancies. Despite this, it still had 23 members of staff earning between £60,000 and £150,000 and recently advertised three fund-raising posts of £40,000 each.

Recently Argyll and Bute gave planning consent for Leabank House in Cardross to become a conference centre.

Geilston has enormous potential in this and other similar areas.

It is a pity that the Trust has allowed the house to deteriorate to such an extent that it needs a considerable amount of expenditure.

Look how successful Ardardan has been. And Newhales in Edinburgh, for example, which has much lower visitor numbers than Geilston, has a tearoom.

The Trust claims it has not finalised plans for Geilston, but it has already asked Argyll and Bute Council to designate the estate as an Area for Action.

Clearly it has development in mind. As long as this maintains the appeal of house and garden, it would be acceptable, but a large area of private housing would ruin Geilston’s appeal.

The Trust’s accounts also show that 38 per cent of its income comes from donations and legacies.

The danger to the Trust is that its mismanagement of Geilston may deter future donors from leaving a legacy to the Trust.

The Trust may be legally correct in saying that it is free to sell Geilston, but it is certainly not acting in the spirit in which Miss Hendry gifted Geilston to the Trust.

Allison Hillis,

Via email

I am researching the history of the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert III, which was broken up for scrap at Faslane in 1955.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who worked on her demolition and has any memories or photographs of this sad event.

Mike Keulemans,

via email

In a few days we will mark the anniversary of the greatest single-act war crime in history - the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Apart from a few conscientious people holding commemorative ceremonies, this will be ignored by the media, political parties, and the general public.

This chronic denial has profound implications for us all.

It is precisely and solely because we justify Hiroshima, that we are prepared to repeat this atrocity, and worse.

We have Trident because we justify Hiroshima.

Our moral nihilism is sustained by an utterly bogus historical narrative, in which we are always the innocent ones threatened by the Evil Other.

History tells a very different story.

Weeks before Hiroshima, in July 1945, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended that “with atomic weapons a nation must be ready to strike the first blow if needed”.

The resultant war plan – JIC 329/1 – singled out for obliteration 20 Soviet cities. But the US only had two bombs, destined for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After these experiments proved so brilliantly successful, US production of nuclear weapons went into overdrive.

Russia had no nuclear weapons then, and didn’t get any till 1949.

As agreed at Yalta, on August 8, 1945 the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria.

Marshal Aleksandr Vasilievsky inflicted a crushing defeat on Japan’s Kwangtung army, which had occupied North-Eastern China and Korea, and routed them within a matter of days. South Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands were seized.

The Soviet Union was now poised to invade mainland Japan. Both America and Japan dreaded this, so a deal had to be done – and quickly.

The US dropped the demand for unconditional surrender of the Emperor, and Japan agreed to surrender.

When Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki was asked on August 10 why Japan needed to surrender so quickly, he explained: “The Soviet Union will take not only Manchuria, Korea, Karafuto, but also Hokkaido. This would destroy the foundation of Japan. We must end the war when we can deal with the United States.”

Prof. Joseph Rotblat was the last living survivor of the Manhattan Project and a pupil of Albert Einstein’s.

His verdict is highly authoritative. Speaking at the Pugwash Conference of December 1992, he demolished the myth that the atomic bombs had been developed “to shorten the war and save lives”.

He quoted General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, who said in March 1944: “From two weeks after taking up the post, there was never any illusion on my part that the main purpose of the project was to subdue the Russians”

So much for all the pious talk about “deterrence”.

Brian Quail,

Via email

The school holidays are now well under way, and Sea Cadets – a national youth charity with 400 units across the UK – is urging people to stay safe as it launches its Water Savvy campaign.

More than 300 people drowned in the UK last year, and more suffered life-changing injuries through near-drowning.

But many of these tragic incidents could be avoided through good knowledge of water safety.

Sea Cadets’ Water Savvy campaign highlights the importance of staying safe in, on and around the water, and making others aware of the dangers.

We offer water-based adventure to 14,000 young people aged 10 to 18 across the country who –along with our 9,000 volunteers –undergo specialist water-safety training. But we want to spread the message further.

There are a number of things you can do to ensure you, your family and your friends stay safe.

When swimming in open water, stay close to the shore, make sure you are appropriately dressed, and let someone know where you’re going.

If you fall in accidentally, cold water shock can be deadly and it’s vital you do not swim or try to get out.

Instead, focus on floating and keeping your airway above the water.

You can find lots more tips and information by downloading our free Water Savvy guide

Tye Shuttleworth

Head of Inshore Boating,

Sea Cadets