Sir, – On what grounds precisely does the SNP base its case for the holding of another referendum on the question of Scotland leaving the UK?
As I recall, a devolved Scottish Parliament was formed under the terms of an Act of Parliament of the UK in 1998.
With the agreement of Prime Minister David Cameron, a referendum on the question of Scotland becoming independent of the UK was held in 2014, which resulted in a marked defeat for the separatists.
Since their complete failure to win over the electorate in the 2014 referendum, the SNP has continued in its attempts to try to convince Scottish voters to support its cause.
There have been the usual woad-festooned marchers, clad in tartan, with independence banners at various gatherings – together with a multitude of utterances by key SNP figures to loyal supporters of the cause.
But the truth of the matter is the people of Scotland have made it quite clear that they do not wish to leave the UK.
So what have we got to do to convince the SNP of this fact? It really does seem that the minority SNP administration is oblivious to the fact that the Scottish economy is in such a diabolic state.
Recent GERS figures for Scotland make very hard reading; even the Finance Minister Derek Mackay seems to be in denial over this; but then perhaps that is hardly surprising.
The truth of the matter is the Scottish Government has no powers to challenge the UK Parliament over the question of its right to hold another ‘Scottish independence’ referendum. Westminster has the power over the constitution.
Without its agreement any referendum held in Scotland over such a matter would be irrelevant and illegal.
It really is totally unacceptable that a relatively small nation like the UK cannot remain united.
Over the centuries it has seen off many invaders and has never wavered in the face of adversity. It is sad therefore to find that the enemy is within.
Robert I G Scott.
NHS skills flight was inevitable
Sir, – Alexander Stewart, Conservative MSP, thinks NHS Tayside’s failure to fill the position of orthopaedic spinal surgeon is unacceptable.
He is rightly concerned, but does he offer any advice as to how to solve the recruitment problem?
The Conservative Party, to which he belongs, has boasted about creating a ‘hostile environment”, so is it any wonder that recruitment is a problem when prospective workers from abroad know they are unwelcome?
It is not just NHS Tayside that must take responsibility for the situation. This right-wing Tory government, including all its elected representatives – MPs and MSPs, promoting Brexit – deal or no-deal – must take responsibility for the consequences and spare us the crocodile tears.
Renewables a cost to us
Sir, – Bungs gifted to the renewables industry such as the Renewables Obligation, Feed-in Tariffs, Contracts for Difference, etc., cost £10 billion a year or £350 for each UK household. Some goes directly on to our energy bills, the rest on to industry which claws it back via higher prices, but either way be assured you will pay!
Intermittent renewables need vastly expensive grid upgrades and ‘constraints payments’. The latter mean we pay three times over: once to get the wind farm to switch off, again for the electricity it didn’t produce, and a third to get electricity from French nuclear plants or our own diesel generators when there’s no wind.
By 2025 costs to each family will reach over £500 but this won’t make any difference to global temperatures. Even if you believe in anthropogenic global warming our contribution is miniscule.
We must become the world’s leading fuel-poverty nation to show our moral superiority to China, India and the US.
Cut me just the tiniest break!
Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
Let us know how they vote
Sir, – I trust that both the national and local press will provide the list of all the Members who vote against the deal agreed by Boris Johnson with the EU, along with a note of how their personal constituents voted in the “2016 referendum” – ie. Remain or Leave.
Sorry to see the old Globe go
Sir, – when I first came to Dundee in the 80s, The Globe was one of the first pubs I used and liked.
It’s a shame to see the name go, especially as it was so near its bicentenary. I see the new business still has the sign “established 1823”. Surely that only applied to The Globe?
Perhaps the sign should now be “established 2019”.
23 City Road,
Killing ourselves by degrees
Sir, – In The Courier of October 19, Sir David Attenborough is quoted as saying humans have made “a desperate mess” of the planet.
As one of the most serious matters facing mankind, as we hang on to the edge of the abyss by tenterhooks, Sir David’s remarks should have made headline news, not a small mention on page 25.
However, planet Earth will continue to exist, with or without human intervention, for millions more years.
The “desperate mess” observed by Sir David is relevant to our survival on Earth, the planet has been instrumental in bringing humankind into existence and, having provided subsistence for thousands of years, is now entering a transitional stage, no doubt accelerated by ourselves, and humankind will face increasing constraints to life in the future.
It is not so much a case of destroying the planet, it is humankind committing suicide by degrees.
The only sure way of putting a brake on this ever-worsening situation is to effect drastic cut-backs on what we consume, destroy and kill.
For such a “war footing” scenarion some form of global rationing will, in the not too distant future, prove necessary.
Union St, Monifieth.
Do speed bumps really work?
Sir, – Is there no end to the incessant creation of road bumps? One could be forgiven for thinking they are actually breeding.
Their purpose I believe is road safety, but how can that be when they protrude menacingly from the ground as a hazard to motorists?
They are intended to slow traffic, but have local authorities measured the safe distance above ground level? Has any scientific research been accessed as to their effectiveness and whether they make any serious impact on road safety?
Equally they do nothing to deter speedsters, who simply view the bumps as somewhat of a challenge and speed over them with consummate delight. Surely the greatest need for councils is to concentrate on repairing the potholes in our roads, which have become the scourge of the nation?
David L Thomson.
24 Laurence Park,