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READERS’ LETTERS: Why did this Fife sporting stalwart get her marching orders?

Gina Logan was dismissed after a protest in Cupar. 
 Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Gina Logan was dismissed after a protest in Cupar. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media

Sir, – I refer to your front page headline in Saturday’s Courier concerning the dismissal of Gina Logan from Fife Sports and Leisure Trust (FSLT).

The dismissal came three days after the protest she organised to highlight the need to expand Cupar Sports Centre opening hours. I attended that protest, along with fellow Cupar councillor Margaret Kennedy, made a short speech and had some photographs taken.

We have been lobbying on this subject for the last three years because Cupar Sports Centre is disproportionately affected by budget constraints and FSLT have refused our efforts so far.

This mini demo is a perfectly reasonable and recognised way to draw attention to a community concern.

So why, three days later, did Gina receive her marching orders?

I would like to know, and have written to the head of Fife Council HR and the CEO Steve Grimmond to ask why – after 55 years of service and an MBE for services to swimming – Gina Logan was fired from her swimming coaching job.

Is it possible she has been unfairly treated?

As your comment column states, this “sends a poor signal about the importance of sport and the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle”. But what does it say about FSLT and Fife Council employment practices?

We need to get to the bottom of this.

Councillor Tony Miklinski. Whitehill Farm, Cupar.

Kindness should stand against any froth and bubble about masks

Sir, – I have been saddened over recent weeks to see the overall tone of your expanded letters page become a wee bit intemperate and confrontational.

The letter from Geoff Moore about the wearing of face masks is a recent example and one which I find personally offensive (Measures cut better late than not at all, February 28).

My wife has Covid. Despite having shielded comprehensively throughout the pandemic, leaving the house only when essential and always wearing a mask, still she caught the horrible virus.

Because her immune system is already severely compromised by chronic illness, the virus has affected her particularly badly and she will take much longer than normal to recover.

Against this background, Mr Moore’s dismissive suggestion that vulnerable folk like my wife should henceforth stay at home and wear two face masks to compensate for those like himself who choose to wear none is, in my opinion, ill-considered to say the least.

In these increasingly fractious times, I find inspiration in these lines from the poet Adam Lindsay Gordon: “Life is mostly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble. Courage in your own.”

Iain Stuart. Oakbank Crescent, Perth

Concern for our A&E medics

Sir, – Through the media we have heard of tremendous pressures being imposed upon A&E services across the country.

All quite sobering but experienced by others – until it happens to you.

On Sunday, I attended A&E at Kirkcaldy for what I thought was a fairly minor injury but which could have had complications.

The waiting area was filled with a never-ending stream of unfortunate souls seeking treatment for every conceivable ailment.

I cannot adequately express my admiration for the calm and orderly manner in which the medical staff coped with such a flow of sometimes quite distressed people.

The fact that at least one nurse was doing a 12-hour shift with minimal back-up should be a matter of overwhelming concern to the various government bodies which claim to determine policy in the NHS.

Ken Cameron. St Michael’s Drive, Cupar.

All the natural resources we need

Sir, – Once upon a time, you were kind enough to publish my regular stream of letters (most of them badly written) expressing concern and contempt at the low standards of our politicians.

One of my main worries was directed at the apparent lack of attention for our energy supplies – where was it coming from, and who was in charge of those countries?

Given recent events, that must now be a major issue for all right-thinking people and I applaud some of your recent contributors.

Of course they are right to condemn all those greenies and lefties. We do not have a “climate emergency” (in my opinion). We have a problem which, incidentally was first raised by Mrs Thatcher (a scientist) and it will be solved by scientists and engineers.

In the meantime, we should all be uncompromising and resolute in condemning politicians (all parties) who have refused to recognise Britain should always have had our own independent energy supplies.

And in Scotland we are especially lucky with our potential for developing not only oil, nuclear and shale gas but also our coal industry even if for no other reason independent supplies of coking coal.

We have all those natural resources – our only shortage lies in a lack of grown-up politicians.

Jim Parker. Banchory Green, Glenrothes.

PM denies Scotland’s right to choose independence

Sir, – The British prime minister has said many fine words about the sad plight Ukraine now finds itself in and I fully endorse them.

The right of any country to exist is paramount and the bullying of the said country and its people must be condemned.

As the prime minister has said, every country has this right and it is at this point that I begin to have difficulty with the PM’s words.

He and his ministers have spoken many times of people’s right to choose their own future.

A prime example is the recent Brexit debate, when Britain left a highly successful economic union with Europe with cries of freedom and the right to live and make our own rules and laws.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain but Westminster decided to ignore the people and force this disastrous policy upon us.

Where there is the right of the people’s view being upheld?

Now he point blank refuses to allow Scotland a second referendum which goes against everything he is at present spouting about countries and their people having the right to be independent and not bullied by their larger neighbour.

He is denying Scotland the right that he claims every country should have.

William Golden, Castle Street, Forfar.

Union affords us no safe harbour

Sir, – Scotland, our beloved country, has been on the front line against Russia for decades – but how did this come about?

Sputnik, the Russian basketball-sized satellite launched in late 1957 which sent shock waves through the Pentagon when it was suspected the Soviets could now launch missiles from space on the USA.

Admiral Hyman Rickover of the US Navy was appointed in 1945 to develop nuclear propulsion for their surface ships and submarines.

This was duly accomplished and in early 1954 the first nuclear-powered sub USS Nautilus was launched which was the first boat to complete a transit submerged under the North Pole.

Admiral Bill Raborn of the US Navy then designed the first ballistic missile sub or SSBN, the nuclear-powered USS George Washington which carried 16 Polaris missiles which went out on its first patrol in November 1960. So missiles could be fired from under the sea.

The Boeing B52 Stratofortress bomber had previously been given the task of dropping nuclear weapons on the Soviets with many every single day, flying around Greenland fully loaded awaiting the call.

Two crashed, one in Greenland and the other in Spain, but the weapons were eventually recovered.

Meanwhile, Churchill in 1946 made his famous Fulton Iron Curtain speech to President Truman which killed any doubts that the Soviets would become friends with the West.

The USA now changed tactics from bombers to submarines to launch an attack but the problem was finding a base for their subs.

The US correctly judged that any submarine base would be a target for the Soviets so they picked a site in Europe, in Scotland no less – Loch Linnhe, to be exact.

Harold Macmillan was horrified as that was on the doorstep of Glasgow, then the UK’s second-largest city which if attacked would be wiped out.

The US did not want to share their nuclear propulsion secrets either.

JFK won the 1960 US election so a meeting in Nassau between Mac and Jack brought an agreement SSBN boats would indeed be based in Scotland and JFK also agreed to share the nuclear technology.

The US subs would be based in the Holy Loch and the later RN subs would be based at Faslane, both on the Clyde.

That brings us to the modern day where the UK is militarily weak apart from Trident, with the defence of Western values strained by the rottenness of Westminster politics.

It is hard to resist the arrogance of bullies, oligarchs and populists when Boris – who is our PM – is leader of a governing party awash with illicit roubles.

One of the great lies about the union is that it gives Scotland a great safe harbour with endless benevolence matched by our military might.

Except that none of this is true. It wasn’t a week ago and far from true today.

We will be the first to be hit.

Ian Wallace. Chapman Drive, Carnoustie.

Putin reveals man’s inhumanity to man

Sir, – The world is appalled at Putin’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. As a child of the war years, memories of the struggle against Nazism are evoked.

Putin may have expected a relatively easy route but failed to factor in the Ukrainians’ determination to defend their country.

Blood is being spilt on both sides and will continue.

He may take the two major cities but to police and control the whole of Ukraine is a different matter.

The West has been dislodged from its complacency and is awaking to the fact Putin’s power ambitions may turn upon other neighbouring states and threaten Nato involvement and already is addressing his weakest flank, the Russian economy.

However, the sanctions imposed will impact on all the world’s economies and we must all brace ourselves.

Germany and other European nations are now aware they have surrendered to the Russian oil market and are heavily reliant upon it.

A lesson to be learned.

Nevertheless this may backfire in the long run on Putin as body bags return home and his allies, within and without, could turn against him. The sage words of Burns have never echoed truer: “Man’s inhumanity to man.”

David L Thomson. Laurence Park, Kinglassie.

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