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READERS’ LETTERS: No wonder pensioners are disillusioned

(stock image)
(stock image)

Madam, – “From each according to means, to each according to needs.”

It’s an admirable social mantra.

However in recent years the word to has become synonymous with government.

Scots were never capital chasers and mostly aspired to living in council or social housing, but with encouragement from Westminster there was a rush to buy occupied houses at a significantly reduced price compared with market value.

Our first minister came from such a family of capital owners and, with others, helped reduce the housing stock of all councils throughout the land.

Only now, since the lady decided to make Scotland a socialist country, has the practice been stopped.

Unfortunately the legacy of the past has now caught up in the form of capital i.e. houses being commandeered to pay for the costs of providing care to pensioners.

In actual fact those pensioners being hit by such a policy have already been hit big time – once, when asked to pay 14 years’ more national insurance then anyone else to get a pension, and then again when their private pension pot was sealed into the system so it could not be spent, and therefore leave people dependent upon the state.

Is it any wonder senior pensioners are disillusioned by the state?

Particularly, the so-called socialist state purporting to represent and look after them.

Senior Scottish pensioners are being used as a cash cow to support incompetent government with the three whammies – 14 years’ national insurance for nothing, no pension pot on moral grounds, and having their capital, worked and paid for to provide for families, taken from them to pay for their care.

The saddest thing of all is they are the ones who have fought all their lives to provide the freedoms of democracy and a strong economy to provide for this and future generations.

For this they receive little thanks, gratitude or appreciation. Only blame and handouts.

Instead, the new social mantra should read “from those who have anything, to those in control who want it.”

Alan Bell.




Friendship does not bode well

Madam, – I am alarmed at the chumminess between Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.

Johnson needs money to right the wrongs made by the Tories, and Trump has bags of money to give him if there is a satisfactory trade deal between them, including Americans taking over parts of our National Health System, which Trump has already shown interest in.

They are two extreme right-wingers, similar to Reagan and Thatcher, and she sold off profitable parts of the NHS.

Further, Johnson’s much-publicised recruitment of 20,000 police will still be 1,000 short of the numbers we had when the Tories took power.

Alister Rankin.

93 Whyterose Terrace,




The largesse of our new Evita

Madam, – The Boris Johnson Cabinet looks more ideologically Thatcherite than any presided over by the Blessed Margaret herself, yet the prime minister’s initial policy proposals, admittedly incoherent and made on the hoof, show a hitherto unsuspected penchant for enhanced state spending.

Fixing the crisis in social care, levelling up per pupil funding in schools, upgrading 20 NHS hospitals, building a Manchester to Leeds railway line while recruiting 20,000 additional police officers from our cosseted Millennials is a wish-list not seen since the days of Clement Attlee.

How this is to be funded is one of these trifling details Boris leaves to his minions.

The obvious way would be to cancel the £100 billion HS2 rail project as well as any replacement for Trident when the current fleet is phased out in 2032, which will save £200 billion over 30 years.

As the first is an ‘off-limits’ vanity project and the second would annoy my golf club’s Bufton-Tuftons, I suspect it will be left to Chancellor Sajid Javid to overhaul Gordon Brown’s impenetrable tax rulebook, lower the overall tax burden, and boost the UK’s economic growth.

Rev Dr John Cameron.

10 Howard Place,

St Andrews.


Diversity means all views

Madam, – I have read, with some interest, of a proposed counter-protest event in the works called Dundee for Diversity, Not Farage, to coincide with the Brexit Party event at the Caird Hall on Thursday September 12 2019.

My own interpretation of the word ‘Diversity’ is similar to the definition from the Cambridge Dictionary – the fact that there are many different ideas or opinions about something.

I strongly believe there is room in our society for political diversity, lest we end up living in a One-Party State where that one party determines what is, and is not, fit for public consumption.

I respect the right to protest, as long as it remains civil and peaceful.

However, people should not be put off attending the event at the Caird Hall for fear of intimidation and I welcome the comments of an organiser of the counter-protest indicating the wish to avoid any foolish actions.

It should also be noted the Brexit Party fielded a diverse list of candidates at the recent EU election, ranging across class, gender, ethnicity, and traditional left-to-right wing views.

Candidates included the new Brexit Party MEP for Scotland, Louis Stedman-Bryce, a black, gay man.

Perhaps that does not fit the narrative when it is easier to demonise those with contrary viewpoints.

My own wish as a Brexiteer was solely to leave the political institution called the European Union. It had nothing to do with being anti-European.

I’ve worked on the continent and enjoy the different cultures.

Nor am I anti-immigration, although I believe the freedom of movement for EU member states, by default, favours immigration from Europe over immigration from the rest of the world.

To me, there is also something about the EU’s wish to protect its internal market that makes fair trade with the developing world somewhat problematic.

I hope a newly independent post-Brexit Britain can be a true champion for fair trade, with a sustainable immigration system that is fair to all.

Surely that does not make me some “right-wing extremist”, does it?

Peter Campbell.

28 Wentworth Cres,



Surely not another bail out

Madam, – After the £1 takeover of Prestwick Airport and the cost to the taxpayer of £40 million, could we not expect the SNP Government to realise this type of bail out was not a good idea?

Apparently not, as they are now considering buying the Ferguson shipyard for £1.

Despite taxpayer loans of £45 million to Jim McColl, owner of Ferguson Marine Engineering, he wants the taxpayer to pick up the £60 million overspend on the two CalMac ferries being built.

One has to question the financial judgment of the Scottish Government in firstly considering such a bail out again, and secondly having Mr McColl as one of their economic advisers.

Jane Lax.