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Majority of Scots prefer political pluralism

Nicola Sturgeon and SNP MSPs mark election victory at the Kelpies at Falkirk.
Nicola Sturgeon and SNP MSPs mark election victory at the Kelpies at Falkirk.

Sir, – In a television interview, Nicola Sturgeon said that the Conservative Party would be on a “collision course with the Scottish population” should it oppose a second referendum.

This comment contains an astonishing assumption.

It implies that Scotland’s entire population, in all its diversity, is united in the desire to become independent.

But independence support (around one million pro-independence voters) and the Scottish population (more than five million people) are by no means interchangeable terms.

Using them as synonyms is factually wrong.

It also suggests that support for independence is mainstream thinking although, in reality, this is not the case.

In fact, the Holyrood election result shows that the majority of Scottish voters prefer a culture of political pluralism. This is good for democracy and good for Scotland.

Regina Erich.
1 Willow Row,


Block named-person scheme

Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon is still hell-bent on this guardian for every child in Scotland scheme.

To me this is not democracy at work. It smacks of the way communist governments run a country, where the state interferes in everyday life, ordering people to do as they are told or else.

Perhaps Scots should be waking up to this fact and doing something about it. I hope that the opposition now in parliament will put the boot on this madness and stop it from happening.

June Reid.
12 Findhorn Street,


Would doctor refuse honour?

Sir, – In the past the Rev Dr John Cameron has drawn attention to his advanced education in science and, therefore, his ability to write with authority on science subjects.

He reinforced his standing by his letter of April 29 crudely disparaging honorary doctorates from which readers will conclude that he studied under “Cal Tech’s legendary physicist Richard Feynman”.

In his latest letter of May 7, Dr Cameron describes himself as a “religious scholar”, according himself this status here not with respect to Christianity, in which he served as a minister, but to Islam.

Given Dr Cameron’s eagerness to disseminate his polymathic knowledge to the benefit of us all, should not one of our universities offer him an honorary doctorate if only to give him the pleasure of contemptuously refusing it?

Or should we conclude that Dr Cameron fairly likes to blaw?

Gordon Dilworth.
20 Baledmund Road,


Pupils’ needs being ignored

Sir, – Michael Alexander’s interview (May 9) gave a good defence of the motives behind the directors of St Andrews Environmental Protection Association’s recourse to the court, however, they raise a number of interesting observations.

The interview mentioned a “centre of excellence” in conjunction with St Andrews University.

What might be illuminating would be sight of the minutes of any past meetings on that subject between them and any previous rectors of Madras. The alternative school sites which the directors claim have been discarded are all compromised.

Petheram Bridge is the town’s main car park and is too small. Station Park, the sweeping green jewel on the entrance to St Andrews, unconscionable to contemplate building a glass palace there.

The North Haugh is needed by the university for its new residences for 900 students.

Strathtyrum was zoned for industrial development in the past, so how much would that land cost?

If Pipeland is not to be reconsidered, this leaves the original plan of rebuilding on the Kilrymont Road campus.

If those plans had gone ahead, the new community school including swimming pool would have been ready to open this August.

Instead we have stalemate and the pupils whose needs are supposed to be paramount are the victims.

Joseph A Peterson.
Kilrymont Road,
St Andrews.


Last stand of Conservatives

Sir, – Far from being a triumph, Ruth Davidson’s victory is the union’s last stand in Scotland.

All Ms Davidson has done is sweep up the unionists from the referendum. This is as good as it gets for them, their vote share is unlikely to get any higher.

David Cameron is floundering left, right, and centre. After the EU referendum, the Tory Party will be engulfed in civil war.

And then we will have four years of a crumbling Government, austerity biting, and a re-run of the John Major years in the 1990s

Then Ruth Davidson will have to stand up and defend that every week. She’ll have to defend cuts to shipyards, foodbanks on the rise and everybody being squeezed by Westminster.

Ruth Davidson should enjoy the honeymoon. The euphoria of victory won’t last long.

RMF Brown.
Hill Terrace,


Referendum draws closer

Sir, – If those of your correspondents hailing the loss of the SNP majority study the figures they will see that the SNP got more votes this time than they did last time.

The loss of a majority does not, I am afraid, indicate any drop in support for the SNP, but the exact opposite and is entirely due to the vagaries of our proportional representation system.

Far from being dead and buried, Indyref2 just got closer.

Laurie Richards.
100 Crail Road,


Drawbacks of electric cars

Sir, – Your correspondent Gordon Pay argued against my claim that electric cars were expensive white elephants.

He and the green lobby will be dismayed to discover that electric cars are not so green.

Scientists have found that electric, hybrid and other supposedly eco-friendly cars produce as much toxic particulate pollution as the “deadly diesels” they are meant to be replacing.

Peter Achten, whose research is published in the journal Atmospheric Environment stated: “We found that non-exhaust emissions, from brakes, tyres and the road, are far larger than exhaust emissions in all modern cars.”

Electric and eco-friendly cars typically weight 24% more than conventional cars and, when they accelerate or slow down, create more brake dust, more rubber from tyres and more bitumen particles.

He concluded: “These are more toxic than emissions from modern engines so are likely to be a key factor in extra heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks”.

Still think electric cars are good for the environment?

Clark Cross.
138 Springfield Road,


Perth lights not required

Sir, – Regarding the issue of proposed expensive lights outside the Perth and Kinross Council headquarters, this is doing as councillors wish without any consideration for what the people of the Perth and Kinross area really want.

There has been mention of visitors coming to see the lights and it is fortunate there is an excellent viewing platform at the bottom of the High Street on Tay Street opposite the council headquarters.

Jim Balneaves.
4 Tayside Place,


Ignore Remain’s scare stories

Sir, – I see that the remain campaign is exhibiting signs of desperation in an attempt to keep voters shackled to the chains of the European Union.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s histrionic predictions of a possible war in Europe are nothing short of scaremongering and scraping the bottom of the barrel.

What is more, he seems to have missed out a couple of facts.

May I remind Mr Cameron it was the UK, USA and Russia that liberated us all from Germany in the last war when Germany tried to take Europe over.

We also have a great security in NATO if his dire predictions of war in Europe are remotely likely to come true. That seems to have been forgotten.

I only hope that the voters will see through this absolute nonsense and vote leave, as Britain is in danger of losing its identity if we remain in Europe.

Gordon Kennedy.
117 Simpson Square,

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