Scottish Tories fail to stand up for Scotland

Kirstene Hair, the new Tory MP for Angus, who unseated Mike Weir of the SNP in the June 8 election.

Sir, – I feel obliged to respond to the comments by Kirstene Hair, the new MP for Angus (Regardless of how you voted MP pledges to work for you, July 5).

First, I would assume any elected MP would support any constituent regardless of how they voted.

Ms Hair stated there is clear evidence of the Westminster Government’s commitment to the fishing and farming industries.

What clear evidence?

Have they promised to provide the same level of subsidies to farmers?

Have they guaranteed after Brexit there will be no EU fishermen fishing in Scottish waters?

Will all regulations be passed to our devolved Scottish Parliament?

She suggests a strong local representative is needed to stand up for their interests in Westminster.

I assume she means in contrast to a self-obsessed SNP representative who only thinks of independence, and not Mike Weir – an MP for Angus for 16 years.

Anyone who came in contact with Mr Weir found him to be a great servant of the people and who at every opportunity both listened to and supported his constituents.

His length of service clearly showed he was respected by all and not in any way self-obsessed about his politics.

It seems to me the person obsessed with independence is Ms Hair and the small band of Tory MPs.

It’s probably better than talking about their party’s policies.

Finally, the mantra of fighting for the interests of the UK is clear to see.

Even in the short time since the election there is enough evidence to show the interests of Scotland will not be upheld or pursued by our Scottish Tories.

The vote on the single market, the bung to the DUP and the crowing and cheering by the Tories when they won the vote on keeping the cap on public sector employees are all signs of this.

Where were our 13 Scottish Tories then?

Nowhere to be heard or seen! Only an empty promise from the Secretary of State.

There are no Scottish Tories. There are only Tories.

It is not rhetoric but actions on which politicians will be judged.

Daniel A Wood.
1 Charles Melvin Gdns,
Kirriemuir.

Interest groups setting policy

Sir, – With regards planned road changes on the A94 at Coupar Angus, the travelling public is probably not aware that our council planners have decided to install not one but two sets of traffic lights on the main Forfar to Perth road, just inside the newly-extended 30mph limit adjacent to Larghan Park.

The lights will be only a few hundred metres apart and one set serves only a small two-street housing estate.

This location is, of course, where a two- year-old was killed late last year.

However, the A94 is a main arterial route and has only two other sets of permanent traffic lights on the entire distance between Forfar and Perth – and one of them is also in Coupar Angus.

Should such a change be made without consulting everybody affected by it?

Or is it acceptable for a local interest group to “persuade” politicians to act in what could be said to be a less than balanced way without any check to their actions?

For most Courier readers, the first they will know about this is when there is suddenly stationary traffic where previously there was none.

My point is not to promote any particular opinion but to state that such proposed changes should be more widely discussed before they are approved.

J Driver.
Dundee Road,
Meigle.

Sturgeon should stop spinning

Sir, – We learn the SNP Government has told civil servants to pass Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from journalists to special advisers – or spin doctors to you and me – for vetting.

Seemingly, the SNP government employs 13 taxpayer-funded spin doctors to, in essence, put a particular and, inevitably, favourable gloss on governmental policy and activity to the media.

Nicola Sturgeon fondly presents the Scottish governmental system as superior to Westminster and emphasises she is the First Minister for all Scotland – and thus, presumably, fully accountable to us all.

However, that information about the government, the First Minister and the wider SNP establishment in power is filtered to the media in this manner raises questions about Ms Sturgeon’s stated commitment to open government.

Does Ms Sturgeon need reminding that we as citizens are the masters and she and her colleagues our servants?

After 10 years in power is the SNP leader forgetting that today, in a fully-functioning democracy, the people require, as a minimum, transparency from their elected representatives, regardless of how well entrenched politicians have become?

Martin Redfern.
Merchiston Gardens,
Edinburgh.

Thank you, Ninewells

Sir, – My 95-year-old father recently passed away in Ninewells Hospital.

Can I just say I was overwhelmed by the care and attention provided by the very dedicated nursing staff of the A&E department, the AMU ward and latterly Ward 4.

Genuine compassion from the consultants right down to the tea boys was extended to all my family, and it was greatly appreciated at what was a difficult time.

In this day and age it was fantastic to experience such professionalism.

Thank you, Ninewells.

A Wujec,
109 Patrick Allan Fraser Street,
Arbroath.

Redressing the legal balance

Sir, – In keeping with protocol, the Government tries to sell new legislation by highlighting the maximum sentence available.

The majority of the public are surely worldly-wise.

The bottom line remains that all the legislation on the statute, absent adequate enforcement by authorities and application by the judiciary in sentencing rapidly loses both effect and credibility.

To proffer an example (necessarily stark to make the point), the common law offence of breach of the peace carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

It bears no resemblance to that which is handed down from the bench, to the extent that its very availability is news to most.

The solution is frustratingly simple – minimum sentencing.

It exists for firearm possession and affords the bench a starting point of five years’ imprisonment.

It can be mitigated “where there exist exceptional circumstances”, but the bar for such mitigation is set very high – and rightly so, in my humble opinion.

It is submitted that had this legislation carried a minimum sentence of even six months’ imprisonment, its deterrent effect would be much greater – perhaps even “lapping at the shores of adequacy”.

The bottom line is that minimum sentencing would do much to redress the balance wherein mitigation has become an “excuse culture”, where the offender gets a slap on the wrist and the victim a slap in the face.

Ron Rose.
Bridgend,
Braco,
Dunblane.

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