A response to Brian McKenna (7th November 2017)

RATHER than celebrate the 2nd day of November in 1917 as promising the return of the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people back to them, if such an opportunity ever arose, which it did following the end of WW1 when the now defunct Ottoman Empire who, incidentally, had sided with the Germans, split apart into its separate tribal identities; Mr McKenna instead mourns the loss of a nation that was never actually a nation i.e. ‘Palestine’.

Though a zionist, with a ‘small z’, I actually support the national consciousness of the Palestinians.

Perhaps not though in the hands of a murderous terrorist regime such as Hamas who, incidentally, were democratically voted in by a people wishing to be taken seriously (their charter once included a “kill every Jew” clause...).

However, the history that anti-Israel groups typically present is not one grounded in historical fact.

Before 1948, before 1917, there was never actually a country called ‘Palestine’.

A loosely associated group of people living as tenant farmers on land they DID NOT OWN, calling themselves Palestinians, did exist though.

Much of the area was subsequently sold by the actual owners (Ottoman princes and suchlike) to the highest bidder who, incidentally, happened to be the Jewish people who had an obvious vested interest in reclaiming their ancestral home, in particular Jerusalem, which had, incidentally, been conquered and occupied for 1,200 years or so by marauding 7th Century Muslims coming from what is now Saudi Arabia.

You may have missed that piece of history on the conspiracy websites.

The Jews were actually there first and own most the land.

The other land does, of course, belong to the Palestinians.

Viva La Palestine. Viva La Israel. It’s a two-way street. Peace be with you!

Stuart Coleman, Dumbarton.

PORNOGRAPHY claim piles pressure on PM 's aide.

That is the first time I saw the word pornography used since recent sex allegations on women being sexually abused.

I find it astonishing our Prime Minister and First Minister, also women leaders of other political parties, to discuss the subject of pornography and for an inquiry into the effect it could have.

More-so, as in my opinion, it is degrading to all our women.

John Connor, Dunfermline.

HERE at Revitalise we have a bit of a mystery on our hands and I would like to tell your readers why we need their help to solve it…

For many of us, the simplicity of being able to hop onto a flight and get away is something we do without a thought.

But living with a disability can make things far more complicated and organising even the shortest of breaks can become a logistical and financial struggle.

I work for Revitalise, an incredible national charity that provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers, so we know just how important holidays are.

That’s why we’ve launched ‘Wish You Were Here’ - a campaign designed to shine a light on the reasons why taking a break is so important, particularly for disabled people and carers who cannot always take time away.

We’ve invited a glittering array of celebrities to send us a doodle or some words about a treasured holiday memory on a bespoke postcard.

We’ve already received signed contributions from stars such as Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Christopher Eccleston, Warwick Davis and Zoe Wanamaker CBE to name but a few.

But there are five postcards that have been left unsigned by mystery artists and we’re appealing for them to come forward and claim their creations.

We’re also inviting your readers to join in the conversation with us on social media and share their best guesses using the hashtag #whosedoodle.

To view the mystery postcards visit our website: www.revitalise.org.uk and why not tell us who you think doodled them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/revitalisecharity/ or Twitter: @RevitaliseNow.

Stephanie Stone, Revitalise.

AS a Living Wage employer it is important that we play our part in marking Living Wage Week, the annual celebration of the Living Wage Movement, which takes place this week.

The real Living Wage is independently calculated each year, based on what it is assessed is needed to cover the basic cost of living in the UK, and now stands at £8.75 an hour.

It should however not just been seen solely as an additional cost to an organisation because, as we have experienced, it brings considerable benefits.

This is borne out by research conducted on Living Wage employers.

When they introduced the Living Wage they experienced a 25 per cent fall in absenteeism, with 80 per cent of employers believing that the Living Wage has enhanced the quality of work of their staff and 66 per cent of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation.

Low staff turnover can have additional benefits such as lower recruitment costs and increased productivity.

Our success as a national water retailer, which undertakes the Scottish Government contract to provide water billing and efficiency services to the majority of the public sector, depends on the skills, enthusiasm, ambition and dedication of our employees.

Signing up to the Living Wage is not only the right thing to do, but marked an important milestone for us, boosting productivity and competitiveness through having a committed workforce.

We would urge other companies and organisations to sign up to the Living Wage and take advantage of the tremendous benefits this brings.

Tony Donnelly, Chairman, Anglian Water Business.

IN light of news surrounding the Paradise Papers I wonder how many companies across the length and breadth of the country are questioning how secure their documents are?

No one wants their business affairs aired like dirty laundry, but if documents are not stored securely, there is a risk of damaging their own – and their clients’ reputation.

The majority of data loss is the result of employees accessing confidential material and losing it or leaking it.

Naturally, organisations are not wanting to publically claim their technology is woolly, nor do they want to put the onus on employees - or ex-employees with grievances – and far too often cite the breach was due to a cyber-attack and skilful hackers.

As documents have to be legally kept for seven years, as long as they are legible and in black and white they can become public knowledge, despite being saved electronically or printed off and stored in a locked vault.

We are never going to be able to store data that is 100 per cent secure, but through creating several layers of security, database encryption, implementing distancing levels to files and separate and secure logins, organisations can mitigate confidential files coming into the wrong hands.

As the founder of a bespoke and efficient document management solutions provider, I have witnessed first-hand how other companies store confidential files which, at times, has been a horrifying discovery.

As good business practice, all business owners need to take stock of how secure their documents are, otherwise, they potentially run the risk of being lined up to appear on a future Panorama documentary.

Stewart Wright, founder YourDMS

IT'S World Diabetes Day on November 14, and for anyone – or their child - who has just been diagnosed, I wanted to let them know that having type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean you should wrap up in cotton wool.

I was diagnosed 20 years ago and throughout my teens I would inject insulin four or five times a day and test my blood glucose with finger pricks another four times a day.

I wake in the night when my blood glucose level needs attention, monitor my glucose levels as many as 13 times a day and weigh nearly everything I eat to work out the carbohydrate content so that I can inject insulin accordingly. Yet, oddly enough, I consider myself lucky.

You might think that having this condition may seem a burden, but it hasn’t ever held me back.

I’ve held down jobs, travelled the world and due to technological advancements, managing my type 1 diabetes with a flash glucose sensor and an insulin pump – technology only available because of medical research – has enabled me to become a healthy mum of two children.

I believe that a cure is within reach, which I why I work as a fundraiser.

I don’t fundraise for myself, but for children who have been diagnosed. I want them to have a ‘normal’ childhood where they can go to birthday parties and eat cake, or have sleepovers at friends’ houses with midnight feasts, without the fears of high blood glucose levels and the necessity of carb counting.

Constant thinking, adjusting, calculating, measuring, worrying and stress is a part of life for many people with type 1 diabetes, but with a cure, it will be all be gone.

Holly Davies, Fundraiser, JDRF