Sir, – It is now inconceivable that Nicola Sturgeon has any intention whatsoever of participating positively in talks to find a consensus on the terms that the UK should adopt to leave the EU.
No one is fooled by her words on working in the best interests of Scotland when she has publicly stated that “self governance transcends Brexit, oil, national wealth and balance sheets”.
The SNP’s record in government over the last nine years shows that its obsessive goal of independence also clearly transcends achieving an adequate health service, decent education standards, an efficiently functional police force and a stable economy.
Ms Sturgeon’s confident intransigence on Brexit and her apparent desire to be ruled by Brussels rather than cooperate with the rest of the United Kingdom, may be a miscalculation based on the EU referendum result in Scotland.
Out of a total electorate of 4.13 million voters, 1.6 million voted to remain in the EU.
That equates to only 38.7% of Scots voting to remain, which is hardly a resounding mandate and something she may wish to ponder before pushing Scots to choose between remaining part of the UK or joining a dysfunctional EU.
She has also stated that she was not prepared to sit back and watch Scotland being driven off a Hard Brexit cliff edge, because the implications for jobs, the economy and living standards were too serious.
Yet here we have a Scottish Government that would happily ditch our largest trading partner, risking jobs, run a deficit of £15 billion and debts of £150bn with all the negative implications that it has for living standards, while having no clue as to what currency to adopt and no guarantee that they’d be able to join anytime soon its precious EU as a poodle state.
It would seem that Ms Sturgeon is determined to “save” us from her imagined Brexit cliff edge with the intention of driving us relentlessly towards the infinitely more dangerous political precipice of independence.
Iain G Richmond.
Fund your own referendum
Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon should heed her party’s former leader that there is very little appetite in Scotland for a further referendum on Scottish independence.
Hard-pressed British taxpayers might suggest, if she decides to ignore Gordon Wilson and other advisers, that her party should pay referendum costs out of its own funds. The SNP could ask supporters like Sir Brian Souter to pay.
Remembering all who died
Sir, – On behalf of the Festival of Remembrance Committee, may I endorse, and indeed commend, the recent letter by JA Laing.
Inevitably at these times, remembrance centres on the dead of two world wars but there are many more whose remembrance is equally worthy, who lost their lives in our nation’s service, whether in the many smaller wars since, or even in training accidents and similar.
Close to home are the dozen Gordon Highlanders who died in a forest fire in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus while on patrol against EOKA; the TA soldiers of 15 Scottish Para Battalion killed in a night drop exercise in 1974, and – on a personal note – the comrades of a colleague of mine who had been a trainee RAF pilot in a class of 12 – he was the sole survivor.
Some might argue they did not strictly “die for their country” but they lost their lives in its service, and thus ours, all the same.
They deserve mourning and remembering too.
Col ADF Maclean TD.
Festival of Remembrance,
Royal British Legion Scotland,
Angus, Perthshire and Fife Area.
Spare thought for dead of 1956
Sir, – I was struck that the next fortnight marks the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, a nationwide revolt against the government of the Hungarian People’s Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies.
Though leaderless when it first began, it was the first major threat to Soviet control since the USSR’s forces drove out Nazi Germany from its territory at the end of the second world war.
The revolt began as a student demonstration, which attracted thousands as they marched through Budapest to the parliament. As the news spread, disorder and violence erupted.
The revolt spread across Hungary and the government collapsed. A new government declared its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and pledged to re-establish free elections. By the end of October, fighting had almost stopped and a sense of normality began to return.
On November 4, however, a large Soviet force invaded Budapest and other regions of the country. The Hungarian resistance continued until November 10 and more than 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict, while 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees, many of these coming to Scotland.
We should spare a few moments to mark this brutal event 60 years ago and to mourn the deaths on both sides.
77 Leamington Terrace,
Bring back cinema staff
Sir, – As a frequent patron of my local cinema, I really believe it is time to bring back the ushers/usherettes who escorted people to their seats with torches and kept order in the cinema.
This week I went to my local cinema with my elderly mother who has macular degeneration. She found the whole experience very difficult as the cinema was pitch black and no one to guide us to our seats.
With the introduction of multiplex cinemas, the whole experience is becoming more impersonal. Many times I have witnessed young people unable to keep off their mobile devices for two hours, texting while the film is showing, with no staff members in the cinema to discourage this behaviour.
I really feel that ushering staff had many useful functions and since their demise, things have changed, not necessarily all for the better.
117 Simpson Square,
Disparity in power
Sir, – A very important EU trade deal with Canada, CETA, is currently being stalled because a small semi-autonomous region of one EU member doesn’t agree.
One assumes if Belgium decided to leave the EU, the Walloons would have similar powers.
How strange, then, that “the most powerful devolved assembly on the planet”, according to Westminster, does not have similar powers.
100 Crail Road,