Sir, – Despite Brexit brouhaha and Holyrood agitation as opposition parties demand higher taxes for Scots to counter Westminster funding cuts, it seems Holyrood Tories have more important concerns.
I refer to a recent tirade from Conservative spokesperson Douglas Ross who is furious over air weapons licensing delays, taking particular umbrage with authorities who have advised owners of unlicensed weapons to store them in an “appropriate” place.
Angrily, Mr Ross somehow construed this to mean “at a friend’s house”.
However, Mr Ross appears out of touch, as the British Government follows these self-same guidelines.
After all, did they not recently dump a Trident missile off the coast of Florida, presumably for our American friends to take care of meantime?
Regarding Mr Ross’s hyperbolic assertion that licensing of potentially lethal weapons is a “major inconvenience “ for owners, I would suggest that if our wayward missile had not plunged into the ocean but rather landed on top of downtown Tallahassee then that would have been a “major inconvenience”.
35 Fort Street,
Air gun rules ineffective
Sir, – The new air weapons licensing deadline came into effect on January 1 but many who applied for a licence have not yet received it from Police Scotland.
The main reason will be that many people applied at the last minute.
Those without licences are being urged to leave their weapon with someone who already has a licence.
The Scottish Government is to blame for this fiasco since Police Scotland does not have the manpower to register and monitor the 500,000 air weapons claimed to be in circulation.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the new licensing regime provided even greater protection for Scotland’s communities by helping keep these firearms out of the hands of those who might misuse them.
What rubbish. Only the responsible air weapon owner will apply for a licence.
Will the number of licences applied for and the weapons handed in total anywhere near 500,000 or has the SNP been misleading us?
138 Springfield Road,
England our largest market
Sir, – A growing number of native Scots are alarmed at the tiresome anti-English stance of the SNP.
Our brothers and sisters in England find it difficult to understand, as we do, why Ms Sturgeon’s party is prepared to embrace the EU and a possible second referendum when our largest trading partner is England.
Ms Sturgeon is not being straight when she voices her fears for our whisky industry. If we leave the EU she knows it will not make any difference due to the popularity of the cratur world wide.
In fact, her court battles over minimum pricing has damaged the whisky industry more.
What goes around…
Sir, – I read with interest the Scottish Government Brexit Minister Mike Russell bemoaning Prime Minister Theresa May’s dismissive attitude regarding the proposal made by the SNP to keep Scotland in the EU single market after Article 50 is triggered.
What I found most astonishing were Mr Russell’s complaints that Mrs May had failed to consult the Scottish Government on its proposal.
Doesn’t Mr Russell realise the staggering hypocrisy of his remarks?
When the SNP administration decided to lower the drink- drive limit there was no consultation with the licensed trade.
When the Scottish Government decided to abolish all unitary constabularies in favour of Police Scotland there was no consultation with the rank and file.
Furthermore, The named person scheme has never been put out to consultation with health visitors, social workers and teachers, the people who have been imposed upon to play surrogate parents.
Now, I do realise that it is not all one sided and that there are, at least on paper, certain merits to lowering the drink-drive level, having a strong, single police force, and an adult at hand to help kids, however, surely it is better to win hearts and minds and take people with you.
As it so happens, the licensed trade is in a bad way and morale in our public services such as police, social work and teaching has never been at a lower ebb.
I hear all the time in my line of work that middle-aged teachers, health professionals, police and prison officers are desperate to get out and pray for some early retirement deal.
So, when next the Scottish Government is complaining about Westminster failing to consult them, perhaps someone should remind Mr Russell and his colleagues that what goes around comes around.
Immigrants taking jobs
Sir, – Tory policies are proving to be disastrously wrong. We have had austerity forced upon us for more than seven years. Council budgets have been squeezed to the point they can no longer provide services.
The NHS is overloaded to the point of collapse due mainly to uncontrolled immigration and health tourism.
We have foodbanks reporting vastly increased numbers of users. The number of homeless and people living rough has doubled in the last few years.
The Tory view is if they imposed cuts to social security they would be able to cut borrowing and balance the books.
The facts are when they set out on this course, the national debt was £600 billion and, according to latest figures, the debt is now a disastrous £1.7 trillion.
It is time to create decent jobs with decent wages and conditions and restore a bit of national pride which is sadly missing at present.
To illustrate the gravity of our failed immigration policy, while the quarterly unemployment figures show a welcome drop of around 32,000, the headline figure remains at 1.6 million where it has been for several years. This proves the new jobs are being filled by immigrants.
Marvellous Jim Kelly
Sir, – It was great to read your article about Jim Kelly of Honeybus.
The big groups of the 1960s used to release new records on Friday and Jim knew every word and chord on Saturday.
After the Honeybus era he returned to Dundee and we met up but Jim wasn’t well. He had that brain haemorrhage but although his speech was slightly impaired he could still play his guitar and every chord to perfection.
140 King Street,