Imagine an Independent Scotland - Readers' Letters

Multiple actions and recent leaked documents from the UK Government show that Scotland, as a nation, is ignored and treated with deliberate contempt.

Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 10:00 am
Would John Lennon have been able to Imagine an Indy Scotland?
Would John Lennon have been able to Imagine an Indy Scotland?

This treatment of our people and our economy is extremely damaging, not least to the Union. Of 12 opinion polls in 2020, ten have shown that a majority no longer trusts the UK to run its affairs and the desire for independence is growing. So, as it’s the week of John Lennon’s birth and death, let’s Imagine… let’s visualise an independent Scotland. How might it look?

One would hope it would have fair and inclusive systems for all citizens, designed for us, by us, the Scottish people. We can create a happier society which uses the abilities, creativity and ingenuity of the Scottish people to the best advantage.

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Where we use our wealth and massive resources to afford much better pensions, protected healthcare and improved education services.

Where we use land reform to better manage our largest (but inefficiently used) resource.

Where we support our growing creative and technological industries.

Where we can invest further in green energy and create jobs for our people, for our children. Self sufficient in food, water and energy.

A society which still has a central government probably made up from new parties but where power has been greatly devolved to local areas.

A country without nuclear weapons where Scots Law is a bulwark of a written national constitution.

Scotland is world renowned as a nation of builders. A nation of makers; innovators and thinkers. Our history is a testament to our talents, humour, generosity and spirit. As our future could be.

Scotland’s trust in the UK Government has been dissolved. It’s time the Union was too. Let’s go forward in hope, not fear.

EILEEN BUDD

Glen Clova, Angus

Drunk on power?

The ridiculously convoluted permutations of whether or not one can purchase an alcoholic drink in Scotland, as recently announced by Nicola Sturgeon, are enough to provoke mass dipsomania among the populace.

A detailed options appraisal algorithm is now needed to establish the chances of success, which will depend on a number of disparate variables, such as the type of establishment (pub, café, restaurant or hotel), the status of the customer (resident or non-resident), the local Health Board area (Central Belt or otherwise), the seating arrangements (inside or out) and the precise time of day (before or after 6pm).

As far as I can work out, the best bet is to book a hotel room and reserve a dinner table beside an open-able window. That way one can enjoy an evening meal within the comfort of the dining room whilst balancing a glass of wine on the external windowsill, sticking one’s head through the fenestration at regular intervals to quaff its contents.

ANDY DAVEY

St Andrew’s Road, Peebles

MSP must go

Once again, we read in your editorial (12 October) that Margaret Ferrier has no intention of standing down as an MSP. This is a complete embarrassment for the SNP; however, in another way it will seriously play upon the voting intentions of constituents in next May’s Holyrood elections.

At a salary of over £80,000 and a pay award of £3,300 next year, where else is she going to get a wage of this kind? It is up to the Westminster government to act on a recall petition in order to get rid of her.

Michael Baird

Dornoch Road, Bonar Bridge

Truth Un-Covid

So, Ms Ferrier thinks that Covid caused her to act out of character. On the contrary, it has clearly exposed her true SNP colours!

(DR) R W Wild

Alnwickhill Road, Edinburgh

Testing shambles

According to the latest testing information available, there was a total of 71,000 Covid tests carried out in Scotland from Monday to Friday of last week. According to the First Minister, the Scotland-wide daily available testing capacity is 30-40,000, which would give a weekly potential of 150-200,000 individual tests. This raises the question as to why the full testing capacity is not being realised when the current R number is between 1.3 and 1.6.

Is it the case that the daily testing availability is being suppressed to negate the high number of cases revealed in the public domain or is there a fundamental system failure due to a lack of trained testing personnel?

Either way it is a shambles.It would appear to me that the true figures about Covid, just like the details concerning the Salmond enquiry, are being fed to the Scottish public on a “need to know basis”!Has anyone heard of 'Glasnost' or has that been removed from the Curriculum for Excellence syllabus as well?

ARCHIE BURLEIGH

Meigle, Skelmorlie, North Ayrshire

Hard questions

In response to Catriona C Clark (Letters, 10 October), Ruth Davidson is representing those in the country who want to know about other matters which the government should be dealing with. After all, Covid is not going away and we need to learn to live with it and part of that learning is the reassurance that our FM and her cabinet are handling other matters.

Sadly, we have lots of examples that they are not. For instance, they ignored a warning weeks prior about the mess the exam results would become; paid little attention to details within the Crime Hate Bill which, if elements of it had been passed, would have had the likes of Putin and Kim Jong-un envious of the powers in a so-called democracy; knowing that lots of people in confined spaces like halls of residence and Freshers’ Week parties would lead to more cases and not having testing available at each university; not asking for the recall process to be started for the ex-SNP MSPs Margaret Ferrier and Derek McKay.

But back to Ms Clark’s main dig re: the Alex Salmond enquiry. She has obviously not listened to or read of the frustrations of the SNP-appointed chair of that committee, who was ready to “throw in the towel” due to lack of co-operation – the fact a court action will need to be undertaken to get the paperwork the committee asked for; the fact that papers already submitted had so much blackened out they were unreadable; a law firm has been hired (at taxpayers’ expense as cited in last week’s Scotsman) to help the First Minister answer questions.

More crucially, Ms Clark should be asking why there had to be an enquiry at all. After all, the FM is a lawyer by trade, with excellent recall, but it was reported she couldn’t remember a date of a meeting or who it was with and didn’t keep notes/minutes of meetings with some of the key people the committee have spoken to or wish to speak to.

Ruth Davidson is also representing those taxpayers, like me, whose taxes were used to pay Alex Salmond the half million he won in his court case. That amount of money would have been handy to buy PPE, hire more care workers, help alleviate poverty etc.

So I hope Ms Davidson continues to ask questions because eventually there will be nowhere for Nicola Sturgeon to hide and the committee and the public might get some answers.

Elizabeth Hands

Etna Court, Armadale

To catch a fiefdom

John McLellan (Perspective, 10 October) questions Nicola Sturgeon’s integrity and Peter Murrell’s “convoluted explanation” over the Salmond affair investigation.

I find it extraordinary that most SNP MPs, MSPs, councillors and members seem to accept that it is perfectly in order, and raises no questions of potential party/government conflict or concentration of power, that the SNP’s Chief Executive is Murrell, Sturgeon’s husband.

He became CEO in 1999; they became an “item” in 2003. She became SNP Deputy Leader in 2004, then Leader and First Minister in 2014. I gather that when Alex Salmond handed over to Sturgeon, he advised them that Murrell should not remain as CEO. That annoyed them, it is alleged, and initiated the current Salmond/Sturgeon estrangement.

In January 2019 you reported former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill saying Murrell should “move on”, and that such a husband/wife situation in the top positions in media, business or the public sector would not be tolerated. Exactly - the SNP should not appear to be a family fiefdom. Shades of the White House?

JOHN BIRKETT

Horseleys Park, St Andrews, Fife

Fuelish obsession

Discussions have started with other potential buyers of Prestwick Airport after its planned sale collapsed (your report, 8 October). The SNP -dominated Scottish Government forced through the purchase of this white elephant for £1 in 2013 and has, so far, pumped in £43.4 million of loans. No company will buy Prestwick Airport to be burdened with repaying the £43.4m. Another costly write-off for Scottish taxpayers.

If this were the only bad decision that the SNP Government had made since 2007 then they could be forgiven. However, BiFab, deaths at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the eye-watering costly merger to create Police Scotland, the Sick Kids hospital, two new ferries for islands five years behind schedule, highest drug death rate in Europe and many more failures show their incompetence.

However, fuel poverty must rank as their biggest failure, with 619,000 households in fuel poverty and 279,000 in extreme fuel poverty. This is mainly caused by the SNP obsession with wind electricity where subsidies, constraint payments and environmental charges have seen our electricity bills rocket.

The Scottish Government's obsession with climate change will see gas banned from our homes and since electricity is four times more expensive than gas, this will escalate fuel poverty numbers.

CLARK CROSS

Springfield Road, Linlithgow

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