Sir, – More evidence that the United Kingdom’s coat is on a shoogly peg appeared with Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a new Cabinet Committee focusing on the Union.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack stumbled and bumbled to explain what happened to the previous Union Unit.
So we still don’t know.
The new committee is ‘made up’ of the motley crew of Johnson, Gove, Frost and Jack.
None have a strong track record of engagement with the devolved Scottish Parliament, more likely a record of historical condescension.
This simply isn’t because of Brexit and Covid, it has been a slow moving juggernaut that has been heading in the direction of independence for 40 years at least.
This new move is simply moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic.
It wasn’t helpful then and again not now.
The Scots and Welsh are heading to the to the lifeboats, and the string quartet in the background is calming the herds.
Alister Jack this morning advised the ‘Levelling up’ Fund, would be administered by the UK government.
This replacement fund was announced in November, and it confirms the UK’s intent to Take Back Control.
This fund was intended to replace the EU Regional funds which went to devolved governments.
Another step down the UK Government’s path to pull back power into Westminster and reversing the direction of travel of 40 years.
Decision made on advice of experts
Sir, – Jenny Hjul criticises the First Minister for not being as decisive as the Prime Minister in her timetable for easing lockdown restrictions.
Could I suggest the Scottish Government’s ‘follow the science’ approach has been much more successful in lowering the infection rate, and saving lives, in Scotland, compared to the PM’s libertarian, ‘sunlit uplands’ approach has been in England.
Any time I converse with my friends and acquaintances, or see vox pops on TV, about which approach they favour, Scotland’s ‘slow and steady’, or England’s ‘get Covid done’, the majority favour the Scottish approach.
Which perhaps explains why Nicola Sturgeon has approval ratings of +24%, while Boris Johnson is at -42%.
In actual fact, Scotland may well end up easing restrictions earlier than England, or it may not, but the decisions will be made on the basis of rates of infection, pressure on the NHS, and the advice of the experts, and not on what the Tory Party paymasters demand.
And Ms Hjul knows this perfectly well.
Good to teach values and responsibility
Sir, – Whatever the criticisms of “curriculum for excellence” for Scottish schools may be, it is a fact that this did not originate with SNP.
Rather it originated with the Labour/Lib Dem administration in the Scottish Parliament
In his letter (Why are education standards falling, Courier, February 22) Robert Duncan is “appalled” that a grandparent is assisting their grandchild with a “full lesson” including education about the child’s “rights”, under the curriculum.
Apart from the clear benefit for children to know and have confidence in their ability to recognise and challenge inappropriate behaviours, individual rights are equally responsibilities and accountabilities.
If this sense of personal value and responsibility is being promoted in Scottish education, who in their right mind could possibly object?
SNP on Baroness and linesmans’ minds
Sir, – I have today received a single page brochure from the Baroness and the Linesman.
It mentions “SNP” 12 times “Independence “ 4 times and “referendum” 5 times.
It seems to have become detached from the substantive document outlining their policies.