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READERS’ LETTERS: Gaelic signs help keep our history alive

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Sir, – I note that Jill Stephenson’s letter on the Gaelic signs debate in The Courier’s Boxing Day edition was another attempt to make Scotland fall into line with her version of British Nationalism.

Her claim was Scotland wasn’t different from the the other countries in the UK.

I disagree – Scotland is different from the other UK nations. The first clue is in the name, “Scotland”.

We have different customs, a different history, different religious practices, and three indigenous languages, all of which are recognised by both governments and the European council for minority languages.

It would appear her politics are of a desire to make all Scots, as the Australians would say, “prisoners of mother England”.

As for Gaelic, the whole point of the Gaelic signs initiative is to raise awareness of the language and to keep it alive, as it is a vital part of our Scottish history.

I am sure if Ms Stephenson cared to read up on how its speakers were persecuted in centuries past, she may feel a bit different.

She is correct in saying we have things in common with the other nations that share this island, but we have much in common with many nations across the planet who are our friends.

She should stand up for our differences and celebrate them, as that is what makes for better understanding.

Finally, I am Scottish and I am proud of my history, unique culture, language and the many other things that make me who I am.

It is not exclusive but inclusive and all are welcome to share it.

That does not mean I dislike other cultures, and I certainly would not like to be enrolled into her imaginary British Nationalism that attempts to make us all the same.

Bryan Auchterlonie, Bluebell Cottage, Perth.


Words and phrases to avoid

Sir, – The time for making New Year resolutions is rapidly approaching and I trust that politicians, climate scientists, government spokesmen/women, the BBC, Green Party supporters, spin doctors and others promise to refrain from using the following words and phrases in 2018:

“Lessons have been learned; it is not a figure we recognise; the best emission reduction targets in the world; it’s all Westminster’s fault; Scotland leads the world; save the planet; we must eliminate fossil fuels; we are committed; we will set up a committee; it’s the right scheme in the right place; wind and other renewable sources play a vital role in meeting Scotland’s energy needs; extreme weather; catastrophic climate change; global warming; rising sea levels; Scotland will generate 100% of electricity from renewables; restrain temperature increase to 2C; Police Scotland is a success story”.

I am sure readers will have their own favourites so let’s hear them.

Clark Cross, 138 Springfield Rd, Linlithgow.


MP’s card useful and Scottish

Sir, – In Letters to The Courier “Give us care, not Christmas cards” (December 22) Brian Batson is less than generous in his comments about our current MP for Angus, Kirstene Hair.

Firstly although the cards bear her picture and signature, they are not published and paid for by her.

Like most other political parties, they are promoted and published by her constituency office. Unlike other parties, her cards are printed in Scotland.

As well as boasting of his own charitable giving regarding foodbank donations, Mr Batson also feels it necessary to criticise hers – about which he has no knowledge.

How does he know to which charities she subscribes?

He cannot. His letter is based on assumptions.

I, too, received this card which plainly says there is no cost to the taxpayer.

It has been placed by our telephone because it contains useful numbers.

Lastly, Kirstene Hair is MP for all her constituents in Angus, and not just Conservative voters, and a darned good job she is doing too, as far as I can see.

John Dorward, 89 Brechin Road, Arbroath.


Scotland a colony forever

Sir, – Jacob Rees-Mogg doesn’t like the idea of the UK being treated as a colony during a Brexit transition period by the EU. He is happy for Scotland to be treated as an English colony forever though.

Harry Key, 20 Mid Street, Largoward.


Too many gongs handed out

Sir, – I see yet another celebrity has been awarded a gong, as The Courier reported JK Rowling displaying her Companion of Honour accolade (December 13).

Soon many will follow in her wake as the New Year’s honours are handed out.

As far as I am concerned this has long lost its glory, as so many gongs are dished out.

No doubt many will languish in a drawer at home – you can’t walk about with them pinned to your jacket.

There are countless ordinary people who do so much for others, friends and neighbours helping with everyday needs when trouble strikes. They are the silent Samaratins.

Their accolade is just a good heart, and you can’t pin than on your chest.

God bless the unsung heroes.

Thomas Brown, 3 Church Place, Bankfoot.


Don’t take away our Post Office

Sir, – Having read in The Courier (December 15) about the impending closure of Letham Post Office when the lease runs out at the end of January, I have to express my anger.

Such a large estate as Letham needs a Post Office. There are many elderly people, like myself, who rely on it for Post Office banking, buying stationery, and other services.

For the present landlord to consider another use for the property is purely idiotic.

To relocate the Post Office to the local Co-op store is ludicrous.

How much space will be lost to accommodate the Post Office?

The former motorcycle shop is up for sale. Why not apply for planning permission to turn part of that into a Post Office?

Our local MP and MSPs, not fogetting our councillors, should be insisting that the Letham Post Office and its services should remain.

Alister Y. Allan, 18 Castle View, Letham.


In a froth about wearing frocks

Sir, – I realise I am slightly at odds with our current society where anything goes, so long as it’s politically correct.

That said, may I ask in all earnestness – what is wrong with British racing champion Lewis Hamilton gently poking fun at his nephew for wearing a princess frock?

I grew up at a time when boys were boys and girls were girls, but now society seems intent on confusing the two and, at times, encouraging everyone to be something in-between.

I wouldn’t usually jump to the defence of Lewis Hamilton but when you hear charity spokespeople calling for him to apologise and even be stripped of his MBE, surely it’s time we all calmed down and developed a sense of perspective and humour.

A charity called Ditch The Label castigated Hamilton for “publicly shaming” his nephew and for denying him his freedom of expression.

They fail to acknowledge that Hamilton’s young nephew laughs all the way through the fun-poking video; hypocritically, neither do they mention Hamilton’s own right to freedom of expression.

I really do think it’s time charities like Ditch the Label ditched the need to go looking for offence, and lent a balance and realism to their views.

As for Hamilton’s nephew, I’m sure he’ll make a full recovery from the psychological trauma of having his uncle laugh at him for wearing a pink and purple princess frock.

Jamie Buchan, Grove Rd, Dundee.


Scotland a colony forever

Sir, – Jacob Rees-Mogg doesn’t like the idea of the UK being treated as a colony during a Brexit transition period by the EU. He is happy for Scotland to be treated as an English colony forever though.

Harry Key, 20 Mid Street, Largoward.

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