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READERS’ LETTERS: Preserve our Dundee cundees

The Broons at the but 'n' ben. Supplied by the Sunday Post.
The Broons at the but 'n' ben. Supplied by the Sunday Post.

Sir, – Over the years I’ve heard The Broons and Oor Wullie referred to as The Browns and Our William.

Or Jock Tamson’s Bairns called John Thomson’s Children.

A lot of the flooding in Dundee is blamed on blocked drains – not cundees.

We have one cundee sooker in Dundee, a big area to cover.

Oh, and a bairn is now a young goat – a kid.

There is a lot of talk about keeping the Scots language live and the Dundee dialect is unique. It’s not slang as slang means a secret language.

F Hutton. Tofthill, Dundee.

BBC should not show bias in telling Scotland to blindly follow Westminster

Sir, – I listen to Radio Scotland daily and in the main enjoy their approach to presenting the news and other programmes.

However at times the BBC allows some bias into their broadcasting and I particularly noticed this recently when Dr Chris Smith, British virologist (Naked Scientist) was on a morning show. He gave a hospital system as an analogy whilst trying to explain to us why all four nations within the UK should be treading the same path in relation to Covid.

He justified his argument saying that it was much more efficient to all be signed up to one system, as in hospital directives.

As a lifelong political activist, I don’t expect people to share my views just because I’d like them to, but I don’t pay a licence for anyone to subliminally lecture me on why I should not wish my country to follow its own government and “the science” as we try to get through Covid.

The four-nation approach was implemented at the start of the pandemic and to all intents and purposes this worked at least at the start. However very quickly things changed and three out of the foursome followed their own path at certain times.

We all have to make plans to come out of Covid, but should we follow the “mither ship” blindly just because we are obliged to because of a financial settlement?

My heartfelt thanks and admiration go to all who look after us via the various frontline occupations. I wish all of us the very best of luck in getting good health back.

I never forget those who have died and others who are suffering long-term illness but let’s not have the BBC broadcasting bias in allowing a guest speaker to subject us to his personal views on how Scotland should just do as Westminster tells us. Subtle it was not.

Linda Clark. Inchgarth Steet, Forfar.

Conundrum over Census identity

Sir, – I have just received my invitation (command?) to complete the Census for March 20.

As yet another ill-thought out and half-baked piece of legislation hits the Scottish statute books, I have a problem.

If I am feeling my “feminine” side, I could self-identify as female and if a whole load of people self-identified as not what they really are, it rather destroys the point of a Census surely?

Indeed, my dear wife is threatening to self-identify as a cat.

Would this contravene some law or regulation?

I need to know.

John D. Ridley. Spoutwells Drive, Scone.

Pension claims must be called out

Sir, –Stephen Windsor in his letter to your newspaper ended with the question “why all this supposed concern about pensions?”.

That he needs to ask this shows the disingenuity with which he writes. He is trying to paint a picture of “don’t worry. It’ll all be all right” when the reality is a whole lot different. He quotes Baroness Altman stating that “if no agreement was reached the courts would have to decide”.

Why would anyone who has been working and paying UK national insurance which will provide them with a pension when we stay in the UK want to place the risk of their whole future financial security on a court case?

I certainly wouldn’t.

Many people hearing the proclamations by Ian Blackford will not realise that his claims are not based on fact and may think “well why not vote for independence”.

That is exactly why this misinformation must be stopped. Politicians misleading the public with claims of financial security where there would be none need to be called out.

Jane Lax. Craigellachie, Aberlour.

Charge more to spend a penny

Sir, – I read in The Courier about the budget savings proposed by Dundee City Council and object most strongly to the proposed closure of the automated public toilet in Broughty Ferry. A lot of people who visit the Ferry use the car park where this toilet is.

The council benefits from the council tax it collects here, but when it comes to cuts this area seems to be hit every time.

I find it appalling that people who arrive here cannot find a public toilet in the town centre, especially when we are being encouraged to shop locally.

Why not just increase the charge? No-one will object if they have a need to use the facility, or follow the example of Perth and other councils where toilet charges are a bit higher.

Is there no-one with even a little vision on our council?

Georgena Barr, Hamilton Street, Broughty Ferry.

Nato subterfuge is required in the skies over Ukraine

Sir, – Unexpectedly, for a whole week the Ukrainians have successfully fought off the unprovoked invasion of 100,000 Russian troops on their peaceful and democratic country.

The West finally began introducing economic and financial sanctions that were unthinkable only a fortnight ago. The war has changed that.

But some mental blockages still remain, which may doom Ukraine and Europe.

With no promised bread-and-salt welcome waiting for Russian invaders, the Kremlin switched to total war and scorched-earth tactics. Civilians and key infrastructure are targeted in line with the Russian army’s dirty methods developed during the wars in Chechnya and Syria.

The 65km-long Russian column of military vehicles inches ever closer to Kyiv. Hundreds of Belarusian tanks are also poised to strike. The combined Russian and Belarusian forces of 150,000 men will attack imminently.

Yet, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson express regrets they cannot unfold a requested no-fly zone over Ukraine. They fear a Russian-Nato confrontation that could escalate to nuclear war. But no Nato forces would be involved if Moscow’s own Crimea tactics of ‘little green men’ without insignia were followed. Deniability is the key. Nato countries’ planes could operate with Ukrainian colors painted on them and under Ukrainian command.

The same is true of missiles and anti-missile systems that can be overnight installed in western Ukraine. The Ukrainian government and army are permitted to defend their country with whatever means they may secure from friendly states.

It is their right. The right to defend their own land. Only the Ukrainians stand between autocratic Russia and the European Union. If we are serious about democracy and human rights, we need to protect them by enabling Ukraine to fight effectively.

How about a bit more of Perfidious Albion’s infamous and deniable subterfuge?

Dr Habil Tomasz Kamusella. Reader in Modern History, St Andrews University.

Putin should be put in a prison cell

Sir, – It should surely be obvious to everyone in Russia that Putin has gone too far even by his usual low standards, and has no place in the healthy future of the world or even his country.

The generals and oligarchs need to take steps now to remove him for the sake of their country and the rest of Europe as well.

Ideally a prison cell would be his deserved abode but exile would also suffice.

The problem is finding a country that would accept him. Perhaps his Chinese friends might take him in.

As long as he stays in power he is a threat to the whole world, his madness capable of previously unimaginable horrors.

I feel very sad for the Russian people who innocently allowed him to build his power base beyond control or accountability.

Ken Greenaway. Torr of Kedlock, Cupar.

Fear will encourage other aggressors

Sir, – Why are politicians in Europe, UK and America reacting to Putin’s atrocious activity in Ukraine with such a dreadful lack of resolve fuelled by fear that any armed resistance to Russian forces might provoke more military threats from the Kremlin ?

We have not witnessed such a cowardly and totally erroneous response since the days of Chamberlain in the 1930s.

Do they not understand that allowing Russia to triumph today will simply lead to yet more aggression tomorrow and aid Putin’s invincibility propaganda?

Meanwhile, how many more innocent people are to be slaughtered and who is going to pay for the criminal damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure caused by Putin’s actions ?

Doing nothing also sends a clear message to China that similar atrocities will be tolerated in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Derek Farmer. Knightsward Farm, Anstruther.

Independence would undermine security

Sir, – You report Nicola Sturgeon’s call for further action against the Putin regime. Perhaps Ms Sturgeon should reflect on how her demand for independence from the UK is undermining the security not only of the UK but of Nato.

If Scotland were to separate from the world’s fifth-largest economy it would be left defenceless and the most important submarine base in Europe would be closed.

The nuclear strike force based at Faslane is a vital cog in the machinery of Western defence and without it, we would be open to Putin’s nuclear blackmail.

You cannot reason with people who are unreasonable. You cannot trust Putin and Lavrov an inch and other dictators who may emerge to threaten our way of life.

An independent Scotland would be a gift to Putin.

The SNP should end its opposition to nuclear weapons immediately and drop their foolish separation agenda, because unity is strength.

William Loneskie. Justice Park, Oxton.

TPF must act now to cut Russian ties

Sir, – It is good news that Tayside Pension Fund (TPF) is “actively considering” cutting ties with Russia’s Sberbank. Let’s hope they actually do.

Meanwhile TPF is also investing in fossil fuel companies which, through air pollution, harms and kills its 236,000 members. Please do more than “actively consider” this.

Mary Henderson. Luke Place, Dundee.