Sir, – It is being spun that the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon did well before the committee investigating her government’s handling of accusations against Alex Salmond.
In fairness, if there is anyone in Scotland would could spend the best part of eight hours talking about something but not actually saying anything of value it is the first minister.
If someone can work out how many times she said “I can’t”, “I don’t”, “I am not sure”, “to the best of my knowledge” and other such phrases, it might well by very interesting.
What is beyond doubt is that the process failed in dealing with this matter at the time.
This committee is about that failure, not Alex Salmond.
Ms Sturgeon was in charge of that failure. She admits she got drawn in to things and made mistakes.
That contributed to a failure of due process. She says she takes responsibility.
“Taking responsibility” has a particular meaning in politics.
I wonder if that really is her intention?
Mamie’s Cottage, Aberfeldy.
Economies will adjust and grow
Sir, – In spite of the various crises it has gone through during the past 150 years – such as the two world wars and the Great Depression – the UK economy has shown an average annual growth of 1.8%.
We grow richer because human ingenuity produces innovations which raise productivity and enable us to buy things more cheaply.
The recent financial crisis and pandemic are the periodic shocks we should expect.
The financial crisis provided a shake-up of capital and resources; the pandemic accelerated trends already evident such as online sales and those working from home.
Some city centre premises will reopen; others will be converted to meet the housing shortage caused by our planning laws. The notion that we have passed our ‘peak wealth’, leaving our children to be poorer than ourselves, is another gloomy prophecy from misanthropic Malthusians. Economies will adjust and wealth will continue to be created.
This tiresome climate fad with its incoherent “green deals” will pass and humanity will continue to be better off in the future than it was in the past.
Dr John Cameron.
Howard Place, St Andrews.
Tory government is leading the slide
Sir, – The Salmond affair at Holyrood is sad and no one should glory in the outcome, although I suspect some might.
I note with some sorrow that the Scottish Conservatives have argued that Sturgeon should resign if proved she was in contempt of parliament. This would be the proper thing to happen if so proved.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. But it is rather rich for Tories to preach to us about propriety in public life.
It is the Tory Government that is leading the decline in standards in public life.
They should clean up their own act before preaching to others.
Lour Road, Forfar.
Greater exposure to fraud for card users
Sir, – News that the limit for contactless card payments is to be raised to £100 is alarming, as the downside for the cardholder is greater exposure to fraud.
The banks should therefore also provide a no-quibble refund scheme, as experience shows that they look for every excuse to avoid refunding fraudulent transactions, and have an institutional disregard for customer welfare.
Protocol breach will hit UK’s standing
Sir, – I am dismayed that the UK Government once again is acting unlawfully by imposing a grace and favour extension to the previously agreed Northern Ireland Protocol, without any discussion with the EU.
This unilateral action is a violation of the post Brexit agreement.
Our international reputation will surely be tarnished.
It will be perceived that the UK Government cannot be trusted to meet its obligations.
Old Brechin Road,