Sir, – I have read a lot recently about robots increasingly taking over jobs that hitherto have been done by humans.
This is a trend that will no doubt impact at different times, at a different pace on different sectors of society.
However, I do think that this trend is marked and has been impacting significantly for some time on the running of this country.
We seem to be under the rule, at Westminster, of a robotic Government that has a programmed way of doing things that cannot alter as circumstances change.
Like all robots they inhabit a world that is different from the rest of us.
This Government and the Tory Party have stuck to policies that have long been discredited and are detrimental to the majority but they continue to do the same old things in the same old way.
People on average wage are earning less than they were 10 years ago whilst the wealthiest in society continue to get tax cuts.
London has more billionaires than any other European city, yet one in five workers earn less than the living wage.
An Audit Commission report recently stated that for a group of schools built under PFI the cost was 40% more than if built through Government borrowing.
Big business gets rich whilst the rest of us get poorer.
Yet again the Government response is that all is fine and working well.
This Government needs reprogramming and quickly.
Brian Batson, 7 Lour Road, Forfar.
Charity must start at home
Sir, – The French President thinks that we should take in more refugees from France.
Does he not realise that as immigrants are already in France they are his responsibility.
Immigrants cannot pick the country they wish to settle in – if they do they become economic migrants, which is entirely different.
According to Google earth figures, China, which we think of as the world’s most overcrowded country, has approximately 373 people per square mile.
Britain has 650 per square mile, France has 295 per square mile.
At that rate it is standing room only here and France has therefore more space for them.
Instead of more immigration we should be encouraging emigration.
No thanks Mr Macron, Britain has done more than enough for immigrants to the serious detriment of our NHS, other public services, living standards and quality of life.
This is reflected in child poverty and people sleeping rough.
We should be eternally ashamed of this current situation.
Charity begins at home, as it should and must be.
T Gardner, Bankfoot, Perth.
Best solution is not to speed
Sir, – In his letter (Courier, January 19) Jamie Buchan states he is suspicious that most speeding tickets are issued to raise money and to bleed the motorist dry .
Here is a radical idea to deny the authorities this money – do not exceed the speed limit.
John Johnston, Annfield Farm, Dunfermline.
In support of a plant-based diet
Sir, – On Saturday David Lawrie reported on his attendance at the 2018 Oxford Farming Conference.
He was concerned about the fact that the number of people becoming vegan has been increasing in recent years.
This is clearly of concern to the farming industry and he suggested that in order to counteract the trend it would be necessary to educate ‘young people about how food from the UK is among the safest, most humanely produced food on the planet’.
However, he fails to mention that one of the reasons why many people are becoming vegan is a result of the recognition that production of meat is often not seen as an environmentally friendly way to produce protein for human consumption.
In 2017 the Food Climate Research Network produced a well researched and detailed report entitled ‘Grazed and confused?’ which involved over two years of investigative work and which looked at the effects of grazing, what it means for greenhouse gas emissions and hence climate change.
One of the conclusions was that it would be necessary to reduce meat consumption by at least half if we are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Switching to a plant-based diet would release land which could help safeguard the world’s wildlife and potentially feed more people than can be supported through animal meat production.
Isla Browning, 23 Braehead Avenue, Edinburgh.
V&A will not cure city’s ills
Sir, – The Courier’s leading article last Friday declared a new era beckons for tourism in Scotland with half a million visitors predicted to visit the new V&A in its first year.
I’m no cultural philistine, but I’m not convinced by the claims being made by various leading figures about ‘growing the local economy, creating jobs and sustaining communities’.
I think £80 million on a museum is a shocking waste of money and could have been better spent on much more deserving issues in Dundee.
If you are eating out of a Foodbank on the outskirts of Dundee you are unlikely to be able to even afford the bus fare to the waterfront to visit the new V&A.
For £80 million we could abolish Foodbanks and feed Dundee’s poor.
For £80 million we could avoid the forthcoming round of public sector cuts about to be imposed on this city by the council and thus protect jobs and services.
For £80 million we could employ more nurses and doctors at Ninewells Hospital.
For £80 million we could employ more General Practitioners to alleviate the desperate lack of them locally.
For £80 million we could have built desperately needed council/social housing to alleviate the homeless problem.
Jenny Marra MSP says: “We need to make sure that the museum will reap benefits for everyone in the city.”
I doubt very much it will benefit any of Dundee’s poor living on the housing estates in the north of our city.
Jim Barlow, 35 St Nicholas Place, Dundee.
Lack of value for money
Sir, – This week the parking charges will go up at Ninewells Hospital from £2.20 to £2.30.
We will all have an opinion on whether there should be any charges at all.
However I would like to see some return for my money.
Firstly, I suggest the introduction of machines that can take cards so that you don’t have to scramble around for change (this is the 21st Century after all).
Secondly there should be the provision of adequate lighting so that it is safer to negotiate the deep puddles that you have to wade through on a regular basis within the car park areas.
S Wallace, Meethill Road, Alyth.
Nigel Farage must return
Sir, – As a leave voter and a Ukip supporter I am very much saddened by the state of disarray that the party currently finds itself in.
It is now facing its fifth leadership campaign in 18 months.
Things clearly have not been the same since Nigel Farage resigned.
This party whose aim was to get us out of Europe from the beginning still has a vital role to play in British politics.
It is needed to make sure that our exit from Europe goes ahead.
At the moment I am having serious doubts that it will, or at the most I fear it will be a greatly watered down version as a fudge gesture.
The cabinet is full of remainers including, of course, Theresa May herself.
The Prime Minister is incredibly weak when it comes to standing up for our own interests – the recent negotiations with Macron provide painfully clear evidence of that.
Not only that, she has said she would vote remain if there was a second referendum.
Can we really trust someone like that to deliver on Brexit?
In my opinion no one has the capability, charisma or sheer single mindedness to hold Theresa May to account other than Nigel Farage.
Please return to frontline politics Nigel –your country needs you.
Gordon Kennedy, 117 Simpson Square, Perth.