Sir, – So Pete Wishart MP believes “gentle persuasion” is the key to winning IndyRef2 (Independence activists urged to play long game, Courier, December 28).
I would suggest that sensible, responsible, patriotic Scots who support the union will require a great deal more than gentle persuasion.
Only a separatist with no interest in the massive financial implications to our people of creating an independent country could be so unbelievably naive and lacking in common sense.
Rather than a baseless assertion, Mr Wishart might want to provide the people of Scotland with realistic, costed, economic facts and figures to support independence.
The track record of the SNP regime so far is woeful, with virtually every aspect of governing Scotland going downhill very quickly, as evidenced by the state of the Scottish finances and deficit.
Their supporters need to waken up to the facts, as confirmed by their own Andrew Wilson, that to achieve some sort of freedom the people of Scotland will endure decades of austerity, reduced services and increased taxes.
Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford offer no facts and figures to support their ambitions and supporters seem not to care.
It would appear SNP leaders are happy to commit my country to an isolated, backward, economically challenged regime, outwith the UK and the EU to achieve their emotionally challenged ambitions. Sensible, responsible, patriotic Scots who value the union will ensure that our people are not harmed by this senseless, reckless behaviour.
Mission behind indy ambition
Sir, – In reply to the letter by FR Noel- Paton ( Scottish-indy ‘dream world’?, Courier, December 24) where he suggests the present furore by the SNP is related to the Declaration of Arbroath.
In my opinion this is doubtful, as the recent high volume of activity by the SNP is solely to fulfil the personal ambitions of Nicola Sturgeon. who wants to go down in the history books as “The Woman Who Freed The Scots” and went on to become a world class statesman
Foolish view on right-of-way
Sir, – I feel I must point out to Marc Mills the spokesman for David Samuel Asset Management, the agent to the owner of the Abbeygate Centre in Arbroath, that pedestrian access down Applegate through the car park towards what used to be Orchard Street has been a public right of way for over 700 years.
The names would give the clue to their usage.
The monks from Arbroath Abbey had apple trees, they were in an orchard and the route to and from was by Applegate.
As Arbroath prepares to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and includes in the tapestry depicting the history of the town a representation of the Arbroath Apple, it seems foolish to suggest a right of way does not exist.
The assertion it is private land does not detract from the fact that by “habit and repute” this has been a public right of way for a very long time.
I hope common sense will prevail and the status quo, which has been in practice for over 700 years, continues smoothly for the people of Arbroath.
20 Muirton Road,
History is more complicated
Sir, – History is rather more complicated than Alex Orr, who calls for young Scots to be taught about Scotland’s role in the African slave trade (Time for a reckoning on slave trade legacy, Courier, December 24) thinks.
For example, Mr Orr and our young people could usefully learn about the enslavement of Scottish coal miners, salters and the destitute here in Scotland throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.
In 1606 the Scottish parliament placed ‘coalyers, coal-bearers and salters’ in a condition of permanent bondage to their employer.
The law also allowed for the destitute to be enslaved.
In 1775 Westminster passed an act to free Scottish colliers and salters, however it was largely ineffective.
It took a further act of the British parliament in 1799 to finally free them.
Who will pay compensation to whom for those two centuries of bondage?
To ask the question is to show the absurdity of trying to compensate for ancient wrongs.
Also, whilst remembering our country’s role in the slave trade, we should never forget that it was the Royal Navy which over more than half a century at great expense suppressed the world’s sea borne slave trade.
6 Inveralmond Grove,
Congestion is a bridge too far
Sir, – Well done to Liz Smith MSP for raising the issue of congestion on the Forth crossing (Shock over no talks on Queensferry Crossing congestion problem, Courier, December 28)..
Unfortunately she didn’t ask the obvious question of how on earth the SNP managed to approve the building of a bridge that couldn’t cope with a rise in vehicles from 26 million a year to 28m.
However, like all opposition MSPs she doesn’t say how her party would fix the problem, which is excusable since it would involve tacking two more lanes onto the bridge or reopening the old bridge.
What I would like to hear from the Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, however, is what her and her party’s policies are for fixing and transforming the Scottish education system.
There has been hardly a cheap from her since she was appointed in 2016.
Gong as ‘odious as unsurprising’
Sir, – Nothing illustrates why we reject Tory domination in Scotland better then the decision to reward the failed former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith for his shocking attacks on the poorest people in Britain.
Following the greed of the Tory bankers which led to the financial crisis and the decade of austerity, the decade of Tory governments have achieved two main economic targets.
Firstly of course they doled out a huge tax handout to the bankers and hedge fun managers who both largely caused the crisis and also largely fund the Tory Party. Secondly they then blamed the poor, sick and disabled for being “scroungers” and successfully set about making them poorer and sicker by making massive cuts to the NHS and the welfare state.
These cuts were organised with great relish by Iain Duncan Smith.
The United Nations described the consequences of his attacks on the poor as “tragic”.
All the people now living in dire poverty, all the mentally ill and disabled people thrown into misery and destitution by the Tories are probably beyond caring.
But for the rest of us the decision to bung Iain Duncan Smith a knighthood is as odious as it is unsurprising, given the Tory record of looking after their own at everyone else’s expense.