Get involved in general election campaign

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Prime Minister Theresa May.

Sir, – I fervently hope that the forthcoming general election will give the UK Government the mandate to deliver a Brexit solution that delivers a prosperous and safe future for the UK.

It must end these two years of Pete Wishart, Stewart Hosie, Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson, Joanna Cherry and Mhairi Black bobbing up and down waving their order papers, bleating about respect, austerity and “the will of the Scottish people” and being effortlessly swept aside by superior politicians.

They humiliate Scotland, as does the growing list of their car crash TV interviews posted on the internet.

I pray that they and their invisible colleagues, such as my 23-year- old MP, are replaced by the many decent, able Scottish Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem candidates.

Scotland’s SNP nightmare has to end soon. We all need to get involved in the campaign and vote in huge numbers to make it happen.

Allan Sutherland.
1 Willow Row,
Stonehaven.

 

Michael Foot’s achievement

Sir, – Now that a general election is to be held, which some may consider a foregone conclusion spelling the end of both Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, some facts from the past may be of interest.

Speculation about the likely performance of the present Labour leader in relation to that of his predecessor Michael Foot is worth considering.

In 1983, Michael Foot secured 209 seats to Margaret Thatcher’s 397.

Tony Blair, in three straight victories, won 418, 413, and 355 seats respectively while the Conservatives could only muster 165, 166, and 198 seats, all somewhat less than Mr Foot’s 209.

On that basis, the Conservative performance was on three consecutive occasions rather worse than Michael Foot’s.

So, perhaps in this election in particular, with all the various issues including Brexit that are going to be added to the debate, a foregone conclusion it may well prove not to be.

David Anderson.
15 Elm Street,
Dundee.

 

Start governing for Scotland

Sir, – First we had Idi Amin as King of Scotland, now we have Nicola Sturgeon as Queen of Scotland.

The Scottish taxpayer should not be funding these expensive foreign junkets as their principal purpose appears to have been aimed at spreading nationalist propaganda rather than securing business for Scotland.

Surely one of the first minister’s many advisers would have told her the latter would be illegal under EU law?

The nationalist MPs at Westminster are bringing shame on our country as they seek to undermine our Brexit negotiations.

Their immature behaviour is tantamount to treachery as a good deal will benefit all four countries in the United Kingdom.

My message to our MPs and MSPs is to put self-interest aside and start governing for us all.

Michael C. Smith.
Threapmuir Farm,
Cleish.

 

Westminster’s foot on brake

Sir, – Your correspondent Gordon Kennedy, accused the First Minister of ignoring economic realities in her pursuit of independence and a desire to retain EU membership.

Unlike Mr Kennedy, Nicola Sturgeon does have economic experts to advise her, whereas the data he quotes can be found on the pages or on the websites of the many unionist-supporting papers.

He seems to have forgotten that this debate first took place on David Cameron’s watch when the then Prime Minister conceded that Scotland could stand on its own economic feet.

The Barnett Formula calculates Scotland’s budget or annual grant from Westminster which is finite for the entire fiscal year.

Yes, new powers will in theory enable Holyrood to generate revenue by income tax variations but the value of any additional money raised will be deducted from the grant.

So Westminster has its foot firmly on the brake, leaving Holyrood to make cuts in the face of increasing costs.

This situation would apply no matter the ruling party giving the others scope to complain and criticise without having to put their money where their mouths are for as long as they remained in opposition.

Allan. A. MacDougall.
37 Forth Park,
Bridge of Allan.

 

A humane benefit policy

Sir, – I find it deeply troubling that the SNP had to trawl back through the records to 2105 to find a stick with which to beat the Conservative Government and Ruth Davidson with.

Even more troubling is the way this so-called rape clause has been distorted.

The choices for granting child benefits are to: give them to all children born to a mother (unaffordable); give them to the first two children of a mother; give them to the first two children, but allow a mother forced to bear a third child against her will to receive benefits for a third child.

The latter is a humane approach, though a clumsy one.

In hindsight, its author, George Osborne, must wish he had kept to the two-child rule, thus avoiding all the opprobrium and manipulation this clause has attracted.

Monique S. Sanders.
Ingledene,
Ladybank.

 

Leave God out of politics

Sir, -Theresa May’s Easter message appeared to suggest that God would have voted Leave which, as a theologian, I thought rather an odd way of looking at things.

Kemal Ataturk, who modernised Turkey after the Ottoman Empire collapsed, said only weak rulers need religion to maintain control.

He proclaimed: “My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not offend against reason or the liberty of his fellow men.”

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

 

Fears of our First Minister

Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon was quick to judgment on Theresa May’s call for a snap election.

Our First Minister never hesitates to portray any move by the UK Government in the worst possible light, yet she and her colleagues have taken every opportunity to seek to derail the Brexit result.

They claimed Mrs May did not have a mandate for Brexit unless it reflected the SNP’s wish list so should not complain now when the Prime Minister seeks support and a Westminster majority.

Meanwhile, as much as Nicola Sturgeon will seek to portray the opposite, there is no change in either the lack of appetite for an independence referendum re-run on the part of the people of Scotland, or in the UK Government’s logic for wanting to deal with Brexit negotiations first before any consideration of the SNP’s desire for a break-up of the UK.

The First Minister’s biggest concern continues to be that Brexit turns out to be a reasonable deal for us all.

Keith Howell.
White Moss,
West Linton.

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