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Trident costs a fraction of Scotland’s deficit

Vanguard-class submarine HMS Vigilant, one of the UK's four nuclear warhead-carrying submarines, at HM Naval Base Clyde, also known as Faslane.
Vanguard-class submarine HMS Vigilant, one of the UK's four nuclear warhead-carrying submarines, at HM Naval Base Clyde, also known as Faslane.

Sir, – Every time clear evidence appears, such as the annual GERS report, of the deficit Gordian Knot that an independent Scotland would face, rather than face the reality of massive cuts and tax rises, SNP ministers, spin doctors and apologists trot out the old canards of “we wouldn’t have the cost of Trident or the new aircraft carriers and we could grow the economy to close the deficit gap”.

In fact the annual running costs of Trident will be around £2 billion a year and £200 million for the aircraft carriers.

Scotland’s share of this will be less than £200 million, compared to a total budget spend of £71bn.

This is equivalent to £40 per year, or two cigarettes (80p a week) per inhabitant, or six days of the annual £13bn NHS budget.

And as for trebling economic growth to get our deficit down from 8.5% of GDP to the EU entry benchmark of 3%, Scotland’s GDP would need to be more than £400bn, not the current £160bn.

This would take almost 35 years on current growth rates, or 10 years at 11%, a level which only China and India have ever achieved.

Allan Sutherland.
1 Willow Row,


Sinister moves against families

Sir, – Regarding the proposal to ban the smacking of children (August 25) it must be borne in mind that no good parent would ever “assault” their child.

It is necessary, however, to deal with repeated and blatant defiance with the rod of correction, otherwise children will grow in their independence and rebellion and cause considerable grief to their parents and to society.

We already have a shocking situation whereby a pupil can defy a teacher to their face and get away with it, or a drunk can swear at a policeman to his face without any consequences.

This should cause us to take discipline far more seriously and to empower those entrusted with authority to take necessary action without fear of recrimination.

What is most sinister about this proposal is that it reveals how close we are to children being separated from good families by the state, a tactic used by totalitarian regimes to intimidate and weaken the family unit.

Stuart Wishart.
12 Walnut Grove,


Cut second serve in tennis

Sir, – Rather than changing men’s grand slam tennis matches to the best of three sets from the current five as suggested by Judy Murray (Eve Muirhead’s article August 25) it would make more sense to abolish the second service in both men’s and women’s tennis, which not only lengthens matches, increasing the exhaustion factor, but can also favour the server, particularly one with a very strong serve, at crucial stages in the match.

Women’s tennis matches, and mixed doubles, should then also be decided by the best of five sets.

John Birkett.
12 Horseleys Park,
St Andrews.


Speed limits are ignored

Sir, – Councillor Bill Porteous must live in cuckoo land if he thinks setting up a 40mph speed limit throughout Fife will work.

I stay in a village which is designated 20mph throughout. I could count on one hand the number of drivers who adhere to that.

Unless you have a resident police officer to monitor movement, your hope of it working goes out of the window.

Ina Cameron.
Lucklaw Road,


Flagging up roads problem

Sir, – Perhaps Fife Councillor Bill Porteous should take his 40mph speed limit proposal a stage further and require every vehicle to be preceded by a pedestrian waving a red flag.

Safety boots and leggings would, of course, be required as protection from pot-hole injuries.

Norman Brown.
Thistle Cottage,
Cunnoquhie Mill,


Will Willie be slowed down?

Sir, – People I have spoken to don’t seem too impressed by Councillor Bill Porteous’s proposal for a 40mph blanket speed limit on Fife’s roads.

What we really need to know is if his Liberal Democrat parliamentary colleague Willie Rennie MSP supports the idea and will he be keeping to 40mph on his whirlwind tour around the constituency?

Councillor Andy Heer.
Ward 16 Fife Council,
Howe of Fife and Tay Coast.

Clear choice for Scotland

Sir, – There has been a lot of talk recently about Scottish and British nationalism.

Scotland has a choice between being governed by an incompetent, corrupt, war-mongering and insular Westminster or a competent, democratic, peaceful and internationalist Holyrood.

I know which I choose and it has nothing to do with nationalism.

Andrew Collins.
Ladyburn House,
Skinners Steps,


Why Big Ben time delay?

Sir, – I wonder what is involved in repairing Big Ben’s tower that can take four years?

The time required for the construction of the Empire State Building in 1930-31 was about 14 months.

Norman Alm.
South Manse,


God revealed in natural world

Sir, – Sheena Lezske becomes the latest contributor to fall foul of the pen of Alistair McBay. He claims the lady is obsessed, yet, paradoxically, it is he who obsesses over readers’ opinions when expressed by Christians.

An obsessive compulsive disorder was previously considered an important window on the significance of the unconscious mind, revealing an alternate perspective to that of conscious awareness.

In correspondence, Mr McBay seldom constrains his views when engaging with those with religious views.

The majority of letters emanating from his agile mind include a broadside directed at Christians in general.

His irritated response to Sheena reinforces this tendency to demean message and messenger.

Mr McBay asserts the faith Christians hold rests on deference to any form of non-evidenced supernatural belief.

Not so. Christianity embraces not only abstractions about God, but also experience of God, desire for God, and trust in spiritual revelation. Christians accept created nature is God at source, existing as the ultimate reality.

Andrew Lothian.
69 Dundee Road,
Broughty Ferry.

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