Our government is working for Scotland

© Supplied
The Ineos-owned refinery at Grangemouth, which employs around 1,300 people.

Sir,– Martin Redfern (August 12) praises the SNP for their efforts to end funeral poverty in Scotland, but sadly undermines this positivity by claiming this is only possible due to English subsidies.

He then laments that the Scottish Government does not enact more “legislation such as this”.

Mr Redfern should be made aware that our Scottish Government has indeed been busy improving Scots’ lives, with policies such as dispensing free sanitary items for women from low-income households.

Scotland has the lowest rates of still birth and early infant deaths in the UK, a situation which can only improve with the recent introduction of the baby box scheme.

The government is putting in place an independent living fund to help ease 16 to 21-year-olds into adult life.

Also, it is making funds available to assist young disabled people to live more independent lives.

There are now nearly 500 communities owning their own land with Scottish Government help.

Grangemouth refinery, Dalzell steel plant and Ferguson’s shipyard also benefited from a Scottish Government fully focused on improving all aspects of Scottish life.

With harbours, roads and bridges being built or upgraded, along with a programme of schools, hospitals and housing projects, and not forgetting a public sector outperforming all others in the UK, the SNP is getting on with the day job.

If there is a better alternative government, perhaps Mr Redfern will name it.

Ken Clark.
335 King Street,
Broughty Ferry.


Negotiator must have backbone

Sir, – I was appalled at the revelations from Brexit Secretary David Davis in your article (August 16) where he stated there will be no trade deals with other countries until the proposed temporary customs arrangements are in operation.

That is complete nonsense and defeatist. A tariff agreement with the EU and an agreement with others can run in parallel and needs to.

Mr Davis is not standing up for the UK’s interests but trying to find some kind of non agreement that will keep all parties happy.

Mr Davis is reported on the same page to be working a three-day week.

We need a leader in this negotiation with a backbone and willing to put in the effort 24/7 for the next two years to get the best and correct outcome for all of the UK.

He needs to be replaced immediately with a sound business negotiator before we have gone past the point of no return.

George Sangster.


Treat your NHS with respect

Sir, – At a routine visit to my local surgery, I was appalled by a fact that came up on the screen.

Apparently, during June, more than 170 patients had not turned up for appointments. When I mentioned this to the surgery nurse she told me that this was approximately one-and-half weeks of doctor/patient time.

We all want an efficient health service and as your local surgery is the first port of call, surely we have a duty not to waste the time of busy doctors and nurses. A simple telephone call to your surgery the day before will allow the receptionist to re-arrange the roster and avoid such instances. So please help your health service to help you.

Jim Robertson.
194 High Street,


Argument for independence

Sir, – Of course, if the UK Government manages to achieve a soft border and seamless travel and trade between the two Irelands, one of the major arguments against Scottish independence will have disappeared.

Laurie Richards.
100 Crail Road,


Nothing will stop Ms Sturgeon

Sir, – So a brute force cyber attack has attempted to breach Holyrood’s security and IT systems.

But why are the hackers bothering to try to disrupt proceedings?

The SNP government rarely bothers to pass legislation so there’s little genuine business to interrupt.

Plus we all know nothing as trifling as such large scale, professionally organised, highly determined cyber attacks will stop Nicola Sturgeon’s extensive tax-payer funded spin-doctor team churning out its daily diet of anti-UK rhetoric.

Martin Redfern.
Woodcroft Road,


America is ungovernable

Sir, – It is clear that neither Barack Obama nor Donald Trump has the answer to a nation riven between those who want to erase all memory of confederate or slave-owning US leaders and those who defend them.

The bien pensant blame Mr Trump for the escalating division but the fact is polls showed that at the start of Mr Obama’s presidency, 35% of Americans thought race relations were improving, 65% thought they were the same and only 5% thought they were getting worse.

By the end of his presidency, 15% thought they had improved during his two terms, 30% about the same and 55% that they were worse.

It looks as if America is simply ungovernable.

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


Success within prison service

Sir, – MSP Murdo Fraser proclaimed (August 19) that almost 25% of inmates in Perth prison play computer games instead of engaging in work or education.

My take on that would be 75% of prisoners are engaged in work or education programmes.

This is a great endorsement of the prison system and its staff.

One has to consider the many chaotic lifestyles and mental health issues some of these inmates have before coming into a prison environment.

Once again we have this Tory MSP spouting out total negativity against our services regardless of whether they have gained success or not.

I am not suggesting that just over 75% is the optimum result and we can rest on our laurels, but unless Mr Fraser can suggest a different approach with proven results, then perhaps he should say nothing.

Councillor Henry Anderson.
4 Muirmont Crescent,
Bridge of Earn.