Scotland remains a political laboratory

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Donald Trump.

Sir, – The Leave and Trump campaigns relied on post-truth, a technique which appeals to emotion, excludes policy detail, repeats mantras such as take back control and ignores factual rebuttals.

The SNP independence campaign blazed the trail, but failed, and now we are in the post-truth truth phase.

We now realise the real oil situation, our £15 billion deficit and what the SNP means by once in a generation.

We realise it would have been impossible to have become independent by March 2016, as evidenced by the four-year delay of implementation of devolved welfare powers. The UK is about to experience what the impact of Brexit means for inflation and interest rates, as inventories of items imported for resale run out and need replenished. These include white goods, food and electronics. They will be dearer due to the weakened pound.

With the ongoing threat of a second referendum, we may continue to be a laboratory for electoral politics because the voters may well embrace pre-truth which will be a combination of the actual experience after 2014 and deep mistrust of any more post-truth claims such as ease and speed of EU membership, currency, public finances, and the basic competence of Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers to run an independent country.

Allan Sutherland.
1 Willow Row,
Stonehaven.

 

Royals are good value for money

Sir, – Your correspondent Stephen Taylor (November 22) bemoans the costs of the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace

Mr Taylor should also remember the costs of building and maintaining Holyrood and the costs of the grace – and-favour offices in Scotland.

Arguably, we see a far better return on our spend from the royals than we ever will from the pretendy parliament in Edinburgh.

It is also, he must have forgotten, the major tourist attraction in United Kingdom.

How many tourists do we think would fly to the UK just to look at the Holyrood edifice in Edinburgh?

Derek Farmer.
Knightsward Farm,
Anstruther.

 

Standing up for workers

Sir, – Your correspondent Laurie Richards of Cellardyke (November 23) says my “antipathy to Amazon is becoming an obsession”.

I am happy to admit I am obsessed with standing up for decent pay for workers and for positive action to address our nation’s relationship with alcohol.

As this is only his latest letter on the subject I might suggest that Mr Richards’ antipathy to Willie Rennie is becoming an obsession.

Willie Rennie.
Member of the Scottish Parliament,
North East Fife,
The Granary,
Coal Road,
Cupar.

 

Why such high expenses?

Sir, – Recent figures show that travel expenses claimed by SNP members and their staff at Westminster are much greater than those of their predecessors from other parties.

Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, spent £39,258.

Her Labour predecessor, Gordon Banks, spent just £8,563 doing the same job. Perhaps she employs five times as many staff as Mr Banks did?

Malcolm Parkin.
15 Gamekeepers Road,
Kinnesswood,
Kinross.

 

Parking risk at school gates

Sir, – Those parents who stop and park on the single yellow line outside Grange Primary School in Monifieth to pick up children at the end of every school day should be ashamed of themselves.

There is a very clear sign stating no waiting between 8.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, but rather than have the children walking a few metres, these adults would rather cause chaos on this road, with vehicles struggling to get past these illegally-parked vehicles.

Will it take an accident before some action is taken to enforce the law?

Tom McDonald.
57 Durham Street,
Monifieth.

Assault on democracy

Sir, – The SNP Government is planning to siphon off millions of pounds of council taxation to fund a national education project. This is the latest in a trend to thwart local democracy.

In recent weeks it was revealed that two thirds of wind turbine planning applications rejected by local councils, some involving thousands of local objections, were overturned by a Scottish Government planning reporter.

Before that, responsibilities for police and for fire brigades were removed from local authorities, local colleges were closed and council taxes were frozen by central diktat.

Powers continue to be devolved from Westminster to Holyrood but the powers stop there – this suggests a steady drift towards totalitarianism. What will be the next assault on local democracy?

GM Lindsay.
Whinfield Gardens.
Kinross.

 

Reconsider ban on Mr Trump

Sir, – All Scottish Governments enjoy banning things from fracking and GM crops to fox hunting and The Donald but I think Miss Sturgeon should visit the real world and reconsider the ban on the 45th President of the United States.

Rev Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
St Andrews.

 

Poorest families were let down

Sir, – It is striking to note the findings of the Resolution Foundation, highlighting that while top earners were hit the hardest following the financial crisis, looking forward, the biggest losers are lower income families, with the entire bottom third of the income distribution set to see incomes fall in the years ahead.

In recent months it looked like the Government recognised that they had inherited welfare cuts that would mean significant income falls for the just-managing families that Theresa May had highlighted as deserving support.

The Autumn Statement did include some welcome measures to raise the minimum wage, tackle letting agent fees and reduce the taper rate at which benefits are taken away as families earn more.

But overall the commitment to just-managing families has not been delivered. This is clearly deeply disappointing and worrying for families on the lowest incomes.

Alex Orr.
77 Leamington Terrace,
Edinburgh.

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