This week's crop of readers' letters to the Advertiser includes your views on the Helensburgh businesses battling to keep people supplied through the Covid-19 pandemic, thoughts on what the crisis might mean for the world's views of nuclear weapon, cabin fever during lockdown, and more.

To have your say on any topic of local interest, all you need to do is email your thoughts to or get in touch with us via the Send Us Your News section of this website.

Please try and keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can, and to provide us with your name and address.

We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.

Happy writing!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The community spirit that has been evident recently in Helensburgh in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak should be warmly welcomed in bringing the community together in common purpose.

So many individuals and groups have contributed to the support the town has benefited from that it would not be appropriate to single out individual contributions.

However, added to the impending upheaval of the closure of one supermarket in four weeks’ time, the current situation has thrown a distinct spotlight and additional workload on our small specialist businesses – the very businesses that help form the essential fabric of our town retail community.

The present circumstances have shown that a small business can readily adapt to the community’s needs and provide other support functions, such as the much-appreciated delivery service for their goods, that were hitherto unconsidered in the past.

They have risen to the current challenges with resilience and innovation and we must never take for granted the superb services they provide, particularly in these uncertain times.

Therefore, we, in the Community Council, should like to take this opportunity to show our appreciation for the facilities they continue to provide and encourage and confirm the support of the community for the vital part they play in the town now and in the future.

There is much food for thought once life becomes normal again, on maintaining and strengthening this bond.

Helensburgh Community Council, via email

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser : April 2, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As I was banging a pot outside my flat last Thursday (did I ever imagine these would be my opening words in a letter?), I reflected how gloriously unpredictable life is.

After many weary years of fighting against nuclear mass murder, it is astonishing to find support coming from the highest ranks of those considered my ideological “enemy”.

In a letter sent to all MPs, three former Royal Navy Commanders are openly questioning the deployment of Britain’s nuclear ‘Continuous At Sea Deterrent’, Trident.

Commander Robert Forsyth RN (retired), a former nuclear submariner and a signatory to the letter, commented: “It is completely unacceptable that the UK continues to spend billions of pounds on deploying and modernising the Trident nuclear weapon system when faced with the threats to health, climate change and world economies that coronavirus poses.”

Commander Forsyth was second in command on a Polaris submarine, Trident’s predecessor, and commanded two other submarines and the Commanding Officer’s Qualifying Course.

Other signatories with Royal Navy backgrounds include Commander Robert Green RN (retired), a former nuclear-armed aircraft bombardier-navigator, Staff Officer (Intelligence) to CINFLEET in Falklands War, and Commander Colin Tabeart RN, a former senior engineer officer on a Polaris submarine.

The director of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Tom Unterrainer, which circulated the letter, commented: “This pandemic and the inability of the British government to either prepare for or effectively respond to such an immediate threat to life demonstrates the twisted priorities at the heart of nuclear weapons spending. Rather than work to guarantee real security this government prioritises the acquisition and deployment of weapons of mass murder.”

Dare I hope that, as our national bard said: “It’s coming yet for a’ that; that man to man, the world o’er, shall brothers be for a’ that?”

Maybe this hellish virus may result in something wonderful - a truly human society.

Brian Quail, Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser readers' letters: March 26, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now that spring has arrived, I feel sure that gardens will be full of chatter as gardeners talk to their plants.

I fear that the current ‘lockdown’ has really got to me. I have now started to talk to inanimate objects.

Last night I apologised to a dessert plate for not including it in the dish washer – and went on to hand wash it!

I observe that strange behaviours are spreading. People are saying one thing but doing the opposite.

For example, Scotland’s (now former) chief medical officer told the nation repeatedly to honour her lockdown rules, but as we discovered at the weekend, she then flouted them by travelling to her second home on not one but two occasions.

Some politicians’ brains are acting like slot machines. When asked about the opportunities for testing members of the public to see whether they have Covid-19, they seem to press a button and out pops a number.

Professors also seem to be suffering from strange thoughts and behaviours. Perhaps it’s the pressure of so many live performances and interviews on media.

Whether it’s explaining the benefits of not closing schools; or encouraging us to enjoy nature; or avoiding meeting grandparents; or keeping our distance, they often end up saying “it’s common sense”.

I’ve never been too comfortable with the concept of common sense, especially after having a summer job as a ‘go-for’ in the steelworks.

My boss asked me to wash his boiler suit, which I did. My mother always seemed to use bleach. So I also applied bleach.

The result? a multi-shaded tie dyed boiler suit. For the rest of the summer I had to wear this ‘fashion garment’ to the sound of colleagues telling me: “It’s common sense you shouldnae use bleach.”

Perhaps I should relax and spend more time talking to my red hot pokers.

Finlay Craig, Cove

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Your letters to the Helensburgh Advertiser: March 19, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There has been much discussion about how we should refer to the coronavirus. I suggest calling it the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

CCP officials knew about the virus in Wuhan in early December. Instead of acting responsibly, they spent weeks censoring information, arresting citizen journalists, and punishing and silencing doctors who tried to raise the issue.

Naming it the CCP virus avoids linking it to the Chinese people who themselves are victims of the CCP’s authoritarian actions.

The Wuhan city government then hosted a Chinese New Year’s celebration attended by 40,000 families on January 18.

A new study conducted by the University of Southampton concluded that if non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as travel restrictions and social distancing, had been enacted three weeks earlier, the virus infection rate in China could have been reduced by 95 per cent.

On March 12, the deputy director of China’s foreign ministry information department, Zhao Lijian, made the shocking suggestion that the US Army may have brought the virus to Wuhan.

On March 19, CCP mouthpiece Xinhua News reported that there were no new cases of the virus in Wuhan, in spite of evidence suggesting otherwise.

Having friends in Scotland who were born and grew up in China, I am not surprised by any of the CCP’s responses to the situation. My Chinese friends are very familiar with its propaganda and how it runs the country.

By calling it the ‘CCP virus’, I hope people will realise the Chinese Communist Party put the lives and economic security of the Chinese people, and the world, at risk. All to protect its image.

Stepan Zatkulak, Townhead Terrace, Paisley

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

READ MORE: Click here for all the latest news headlines from across Helensburgh and Lomond