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Putin wants a weakened European Union

Russia's president Vladimir Putin.
Russia's president Vladimir Putin.

Sir, – Countries in Europe have been fighting each other for 1,000 years. But for 71 years there have been no wars in the territory covered by the EU governments.

If Britain leaves the European Union, eurosceptics in other EU countries will blame the EU for their home-produced problems, as is happening here, and demand a referendum on leaving the EU.

If they succeed, the union will collapse. Democracy in some countries will be in danger. NATO unity will come under pressure.

Insecurity and instability is rife in countries close to Europe.

In the Far East there is a new danger to peace, with China annexing islands far from its shores but close to the frightened nations of the South China Sea.

A union of democracies is a bulwark against current or possible future attacks on western civilisation.

President Putin has been trying to drive wedges into the European Union, occupying European territory and threatening its smaller nations.

Weakening the European Union has been one of Putin’s cardinal aims. The Brexiteers are about to help him succeed.

None of our friends and allies want us to vote for Brexit. Mr Putin, by contrast, would love to see us do so.

The UK and Scotland (part of Europe long before it became British) can more effectively strive for peace in the world by remaining an influential component of the European Union.

Robin AG Bennett.
Curling Pond Road,


Bought and sold for EU gold?

Sir, – It appears that Nicola Sturgeon has abandoned her supposed positive case for Europe and now fully endorses Project Fear. The chutzpah and the hypocrisy is breathtaking.

She is concerned about a right-wing Tory Government taking over if we leave the EU but it seems to have escaped her notice that we already have a right-wing Tory Government which represents Scotland on the Council of Europe.

It is this government she wants to save.

George Osborne declared that if we vote Remain then that will kill of any idea of Scottish independence for a generation.

Perhaps Ms Sturgeon can explain to Scotland why she is standing shoulder to shoulder with Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne, adopting Project Fear and giving them the lifeline they don’t deserve, while ending the dream of Scottish independence?

It is absurd that the SNP can claim it wants independence within an interdependent Europe while rejecting independence within an interdependent UK.

The SNP wants to take fishing, agriculture and our industries out of the control of Westminster (where we have a significant representation) and hand it to Brussels, where we have very limited representation.

I realise that in the new authoritarian SNP whose MPs and MSPs are forbidden from disagreeing with any party policy, the party mantra will continue to be repeated, but there are many SNP supporters, like myself, who wonder why we have been bought and sold for Brussels gold.

We elected the SNP to challenge the establishment, not shore it up.

David A. Robertson.
14 Shamrock Street,


Well done Perth city fathers

Sir, – Can I say how delighted I was to see on your front page of June 15 a picture of Perth and Kinross Council leader Ian Miller in front of the City Hall along with the proposal to turn it into a visual arts centre which would also house the Stone of Destiny.

As far as I am concerned, the only thing which would make the proposal even more perfect would be if a way could be found to develop the wonderful frontage of the building into a showcase tourist office for Perth and Perthshire, whereby visitors would be led from there into the visual arts centre and the Stone of Destiny.

As a Perthshire man born and bred I have been horrified at the recent plans to destroy the City Hall and am relieved and delighted with these proposals.

I have noted that some people given prominence in your columns on occasion have thought the City Hall to be an ugly building.

Well it is not ugly in my eyes. In fact I see it to be grand and I congratulate Perth and Kinross Council on its far-sightedness. More power to its elbow.

David MacDougall.
40 Willowbank,
Little Dunkeld.


Stone may have been toilet cover

Sir, – Oh dear. We have another wizard wheeze being promoted by Perth and Kinross Council anent a chunk of sandstone.

Anyone who has seen the intricate carvings on Celtic/Pictish monoliths and crosses cannot, surely, believe that a High King (Ard Righ) would endure the indignity of sitting on what some believe may be just a thick cesspit cover from the ancient Abbey of Scone, the monks having fooled the English raiders into believing it was the Stone of Scone.

The old name of Jacob’s Pillow probably describes the real Destiny Stone more accurately as it probably was a large pillow- like stone of marble covered in wonderful carvings.

Take a walk along the Annaty Burn between New and Old Scone (the Quarrymill Walk) and you will see many places from whence a stone resembling the so-called Stone of Destiny in Edinburgh Castle could be taken or quarried with little effort.

In the negotiations prior to the Treaty of Northampton in 1328 and on several subsequent occasions apparently, the English offered to return the Stone to Scotland.

These offers were not taken up and perhaps the reason for that is that both the English and the Scots, believed that what languished in Westminster Abbey was not Jacob’s Pillow.

All that besides, I have one question for Perth and Kinross Council. How many people visit Edinburgh Castle with the express sole intention of seeing the so-called Stone of Destiny?

John D. Ridley.
94 Spoutwells Drive,


Empty boasts over emissions

Sir, – It was announced that Scotland had hit its ambitious climate-change emission targets ahead of schedule.

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham was quick to claim credit for the SNP and called for even more stringent targets.

For the first time ever I found myself agreeing with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland who said: “This target has been met because of the loss of heavy industry, warmer weather, our changing share of European emission credits and some government policies”.

These environmental gains have come at a heavy price for the economy and jobs, with firms failing and unemployment rising to 150,000.

The pendulum is about to swing as passengers flying from Edinburgh and Glasgow, two million in May, increase when air- passenger duty is halved and then abolished.

Will the SNP boast of emissions savings when the lights go out due to unreliable wind electricity and there is no fossil fuel back up?

Clark Cross.
138 Springfield Road,


Has Labour given up hope?

Sir, – What is wrong with the Labour Party? It claims jobs and workers’ rights would be harmed if we left the EU. But unemployment in the eurozone is on average double that of Britain, and 24% in Greece and 20% in Spain. And workers’ rights have been forged over a century by legislation at Westminster, often by Labour governments.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to renationalise the railways, but EU leaders oppose national champions in their multi-national quest for a pan-European state.

Look at the hoops the Scottish overnment had to jump through to keep Calmac public. Look at the restrictions on the UK Government over support for the steel industry. Look at the ways in which TTIP will harm the public sector.

Following Brexit David Cameron will be out of office. A new election will be called. Has Labour given up on winning already?

William Loneskie.
9 Justice Park