Sir, – While watching the demonstrations throughout the world against US President Donald Trump at the beginning of the television news, these same news programmes, at the end, covered the barbaric massacre of British tourists in Tunisia by Islamic terrorists.
If these demonstrators were interested in human rights, why were there no demonstrations then?
Where were they when hostages were beheaded in front of the television cameras?
Where were they when Christian churches were bombed and burned in Egypt and throughout the Arab world?
China and Hungary have already placed restrictions on Islamic expression on a permanent basis, not a temporary one as Donald Trump has.
Mr Trump wants these travel restrictions to force the seven banned countries to supply details of hopefuls wishing to travel to the United States. This is not being done at present and does not seem an unreasonable request.
These demonstrators who purport to be for human rights cannot be selective in their campaigns if they are to be credible.
Trump ban not anti-Islamic
Sir, – The hysteria generated by Donald Trump’s election has led to an outbreak of virtue-signalling in which a million otherwise sensible people signed a petition to stop his state visit.
His admittedly poorly-worded contention that power is an aphrodisiac had millions of women taking to the streets oblivious to the presence of the sex-slave trade in the very cities in which they marched.
Mr Trump’s latest “outrage” was to temporarily halt some refugee admissions while the vetting process is improved after which he will cap refugee admissions at 50,000 a year: the Bush-Obama average.
There are even exceptions. The order states: “Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, issue visas to nationals of countries for which visas are otherwise blocked.”
It is certainly not anti-Islamic as it applies only to failed or hostile states and doesn’t include any of the top 10 largest Islamic nations.
He is, in fact, following normal US practice in this area – a policy followed even by such saintly presidents such as Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter to say nothing of Franklin Roosevelt.
Rev Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
Protest about home affairs
Sir, – What is going on in this country of ours? The head of a country makes a statement or issues an order and we cannot wait to get our noses into their business.
Our own country is falling about our ears. Education, the police, the NHS and other very important services are in disarray but we choose to protest against our closest ally’s decision to ban certain people from their country for a limited period.
I would have a greater respect for this band if they said we don’t want your dollars here, we don’t want their support in Nato, or any other projects that require American money.
They should see what is happening on their own doorsteps and protest about it, not about something which is just futile.
13 Hawthorn Street,
Dangers of basic income idea
Sir, – Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an idea that, as far as I can determine, relies more on rhetoric without mention of the probable costs.
The cost of social protection in the United Kingdom for 2015/16 was around £24 billion and it is against this measure of annual spending that the viability and efficacy of UBI must initially be judged.
As an example, the introduction of UBI for those over 16, approximately 4.5 million, at the new state pension rate of £155 per week, would prove unsustainable.
As ever, the devil is in the detail and I remain to be convinced, especially when the proposers inhabit the tax-and-spend end of the political spectrum.
53 Grampian View,
Did lights benefit Perth?
Sir, – I note Councillor John Kellas claims that the expenditure of £216,000 on the Perth Christmas lights switch-on was “an excellent return on investment because it generated £1.62 million spending in the area”.
Setting aside the question of how that figure can be accurately known, several questions present themselves.
Does that figure represent gross income? If so, then the costs of providing the goods and services sold have to be deducted to calculate the net profit.
Furthermore, can Mr Kellas or any of his colleagues tell us how much of that income actually came to the council itself, who, after all, provided the funding?
I would suspect very little, and, in all probability, none. These glib statements about benefits to the economy are frequently made without any genuine attempt to judge whether the people of the area benefit from how their taxes are used.
Keep planning matters local
Sir, – I see the SNP has a new leader in Fife.
You reported that Councillor Hanvey wants communities to have a greater say on local issues.
He says that he believes passionately that communities should be supported and enabled to be at the centre of decision making. Good for him.
Let’s hope that attitude permeates upwards to his masters at Holyrood who so regularly overrule local planning decisions to the detriment of the communities Councillor Hanvey purports to represent.
Councillor Andy Heer.
Disrespect to Saltire
Sir, – I was disgusted to read your article that the Scottish flag is to be used as an Emoji symbol.
I am Scottish born and bred and proud of it and to see our national symbol and flag disfigured in this way is repugnant to me.
The flag, which has been carried proudly through wars for centuries and displayed across the world where Scots settlers travelled is now to be downgraded to the level of a cartoon character.
In some countries, such disfigurement of a national flag is a crime punishable by imprisonment.
I sincerely hope the governing Scottish National Party, its adherents and other Scots will treat this symbol, and any other similar examples, with the aversion which it deserves.
112 Garvoch Hill,
* Note: an earlier version incorrectly stated the cost of the Perth Christmas lights switch-on as £21,600. The correct figure is £216,000. We apologise for our error.