Sir, – Alastair Walker of Guthrie (May 13) in challenging the feasibility of independence, follows his use of hyperbole concerning division in Scotland, which is biblical in scale according to the gentleman, by resorting to the “too wee, too poor” argument beloved of unionists everywhere.
A population of only 5.4 million can’t sustain itself apparently, which is, at best, a rather disingenuous statement.
There is plenty evidence to the contrary on Scotland’s doorstep.
We have a diverse economy, renowned worldwide for quality produce.
However, the result of having this economy of varied riches controlled by a union Mr Walker describes as “very successful” has left Scotland in such an impoverished state as to make independence unthinkable.
I don’t know how Mr Walker defines “successful” but I dread to think what a failed union would be in his estimation.
David Cameron, when asked by Andrew Marr about Norway’s rude economic health replied, and I quote: “They have an enormous oil (pause) they have as much oil as we do, but only four million people (actually 5.2) rather than 60 million people, which makes a difference.”
How such arithmetic works in Norway’s favour, but not Scotland’s, has yet to be explained.
335 King Street,
Restrictions costing NHS
Sir, – I refer to your news story about the cost of prescribing common over-the- counter painkillers on the NHS.
The problem with buying such medicines over the counter is one of quantity.
I take a widely-used and available painkiller at up to the maximum dose of 12 a day.
These are cheap enough and I would happily buy them, but the maximum I am allowed to buy is 32, less than three days’ supply, so I either visit the pharmacy every couple of days, come rain or shine, week in week out, or I set a day aside to trawl all the pharmacies in the East Neuk of Fife and St Andrews buying the maximum at each one until I build up a reasonable stock of the medicine.
Neither of these is an entirely convenient option, so every couple of weeks my GP authorises an online prescription for 100 or so and I can pick them up with my normal messages.
I am sure I will not be the only one in Scotland in this situation.
100 Crail Road,
Ian Brady’s life without remorse
Sir, – It defeats my sense of human and humane feelings for the innocents and their families, that anyone should even think of, never mind suggest that the ashes of Ian Brady be considered for scattering on the field of his victims.
All his despicable life he showed absolutely no remorse for what he did, for his victims and their families, none less than for the mother of Keith Bennett, who never saw the opportunity to put her son to rest.
It may appear hard of me to suggest that his remains be put where there will be no known grave, but the most he deserves is for the remains to be despatched via the most appropriate means, in his case, flushed down a prison toilet.
That way he can never be remembered, unlike his victims who will always be remembered as innocent victims.
SNP let off tax dodgers
Sir, – James Stevenson (May 16) who called for a crackdown on tax dodgers reminded me of the letter the previous day by Rod Selbie in which along with other questionable SNP achievements he listed the writing off of poll tax debts.
While many law-abiding, hard-up pensioners and low-income families paid their poll tax, the SNP decided not to pursue these tax dodgers.
82 Feus Road,
Union flag back in place
Sir, – I should like to express my delight at seeing this week the union flag once again flying proudly over the council chambers at the foot of Perth High Street instead of the St Andrews Cross which is now relegated, as a result of its ruthless appropriation by the SNP, to the status of a mere political symbol.
4 Craiglea Road,
The problem of poverty
Sir,- Anglo-Americans like having wars on things such a drugs, climate change, poverty, and so on, perhaps because it make us sound as if we are fighting for a noble cause.
I think most would agree that Richard Nixon’s war on drugs has been catastrophic while Al Gore’s war on climate change has been an expensive waste of time.
LBJ declared war on poverty in 1964 but more than half a century later it has clearly failed and not since the Great Depression have so many lived in long-term extremis.
With the Kirk poised to resurrect its own version – Make Poverty History – my letter of May 6 was simply a reflection on how things stand.
What most people don’t know is that UK citizens on benefits today are better off, in absolute terms, than those on average wages in the 1930s.
William Beveridge’s five giant evils were: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease.
His welfare state solved want and disease, leaving ignorance, sloth and irresponsibility.
As regards foodbanks, gauging the real level of “food poverty” (apparently a special kind of poverty which relates solely to food) is not easy.
A new service is being offered and naturally people are using it but defining poverty as having less than 60% of median income means the “poor” will indeed always be with us.
Rev Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
Speed limits are ignored
Sir, – I agree with lowered speed limits in busy areas but here in Anstruther, hardly anyone sticks to them and who will enforce them?
The police cannot or will not due to manning levels and, or, financial constraints.
The new cameras that Fife Council are or were going to install at black spot areas across the county has been delayed or cancelled and yet we see more and more 20mph signs appearing everywhere at taxpayers’ expense but no one takes any notice.
3 Fowler Street,