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READERS’ LETTERS: No ‘honourable or democratic niceties’ for Scotland

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Sir, – Regarding Maaike Cook’s comment on the honourable and democratic outcome of Scotland’s 2014 Referendum (Letters, November 28).

My recollection is Scotland was cheated, with no honourable or democratic niceties by the Westminster Government, with their ridiculing, degrading and fearmongering language towards the Scots. Was it honourable and democratic for the Westminster Government to invite outside forces to interfere in the 2014 Referendum?

I have lived through part of Scotland’s turbulent political history and seen not only referendums lost, so I ask whether Maaike Cook, thinks all were lost through honourable and democratic means? Perhaps she can explain why Scotland has a devolved government, with limited powers, and why Westminster’s government followers sit within?

Scotland is still faced with Westminster governments who are the soldiers to the wealthy, and they fear more than loss of Scotland’s natural wealth of resources.

Scotland matters more than ever, and yes, we have the right to stand equal with other independent nations.

Mrs J. Moncur.

Park Place,



Dogma vs evidence in birth debate

Sir, – It’s no surprise the inquiry into maternal and neonatal deaths at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust found the underlying issue was an institutional belief in “natural” vaginal birth in a stand-alone unit.

Small educational, medical, political and religious bodies breed a “group think” which promotes dogma over evidence.

The bitter turf war between midwives and obstetricians obscures the fact low Caesarean section (CS) rates are not a sign of good maternity care.

The idea that vaginal delivery is superior to CS was long since abandoned by the World Health Organisation and it has no “ideal” CS rate. Its policy is: “Every effort should be made to provide Caesarean sections to women in need.”

Women who ask for CS are dismissed as “too posh to push”. As most women obstetricians prefer CS for the birth of their own children, this manifestation of female empowerment suggests more women are “too smart to push”.

Dr John Cameron.

10 Howard Place,

St Andrews.#


Nuclear power comes at great cost

Sir, – Nuclear power generation has been given another boost with the approval of Sizewell C, says Otto Inglis (Letters December 18).

It comes at a cost.

Hinkley C is getting a guaranteed price for each mega-watt to cover the cost of building over 35 years.

The cost of building has risen to £30 billion from the original £6bn, a 500% increase, according to a fact check from the National Audit Office (NAO).

This analysis does not discuss the decommissioning cost, a possible further 25%.

With a typical 40-year life and a completion date of 2025, Hinkley C and Sizewell C will be a legacy we leave our children. Perhaps we should let them make the call, rather than Westminster.

This cost will be borne by us all. If Scotland wants to avoid it we need to leave the union.

Alistair Ballantyne.




Why the delay on drug death figures?

Sir, – The latest figures for drug related deaths amount to more than one a week in Dundee alone. However, these relate to 2019.

Why does it take 12 months to collate these figures and why are there none for the current year?

One might conclude this year’s figures are being withheld as they may show a reduction in deaths owing to drug supply chains being disrupted by the lockdown, and overdue proactive action being taken by the police.

This would not sit well with the lobby for drugs legalisation.

George Dobbie.

51 Airlie Street,



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