Sir, – I write with reference to the letter from Martin Redfern (October 31) concerning Sir Brian Souter’s donations to the SNP and his campaign to keep section 2a in law.
This act by Sir Brian is a testimony to his generosity and to his moral stance against promoting homosexuality in schools. Mr Redfern’s intentions, however, were not complimentary, but rather destructive.
Apparently one cannot give to a political party and take the biblical view on marriage anymore. His letter reveals the current militant and intimidating standpoint against those who believe only in traditional marriage.
It should be remembered that 86.8% of respondents, more than one million Scots, voted in support of Sir Brian’s campaign, less than 20 years ago.
We are now being bullied into compromise on this issue, but that will never change the truth which was established by God.
12 Walnut Grove,
A question of motives
Sir, – We are being wearied by the latest hysteria among the chattering classes, namely “sexual harassment” in the seats of power at Westminster and Holyrood.
The media that is all in a froth about such happenings is the same media that has been promoting the sexualisation of society for years.
Ally this to a society that has lost much of its respect for the norms of social behaviour, then it should be of no great surprise that animal instincts rise to the fore in the interactions between male and female persons, thrown together in their respective workplaces and leisure outlets.
Thus far, the fingers of blame are being pointed exclusively at men.
But is there not a case to examine also the behaviour of women in our very progressively liberal society, and whether such behaviour in any way contributed to the events of which they now complain?
Men and women co-exist in all manner of workplaces, both public and private sector.
Surely they should be possessed of sufficient personal principles that, if they do not wish to be propositioned, then we should expect them to simply say no.
To say nothing at the time and then raise issues years later where they profess to be victims of inappropriate behaviour is cowardly and disingenuous.
It raises questions about past behavioural motives.
Pheasants are not to blame
Sir, – Mr Murdoch’s spurious claim (October 27) that there is a link between pheasants and lyme disease was eloquently challenged by Mr Watt of Persie estate.
My hypothesis is that the increase in lyme disease in humans is directly linked to the Land Reform Bill which allows unrestricted access to Scotland’s tick-infested mountains and moors.
Shepherds, stalkers and ghillies who work in this environment are less likely to suffer from tick bites as they dress for the conditions with tweeds, heavy socks, gaiters and stout footwear.
Scotland’s ticks, midges and cleggs must salivate at the sight of visitors in shorts, t-shirts and trainers.
An increase in lyme disease may be just one of the unintended consequences of this idealogical bill.
Disturbance to nesting birds in spring, litter louts, fires and wild camping are other issues.
Michael C Smith.
Clamp down on Mr Salmond
Sir, – The University of St Andrews quite rightly slapped down Alex Salmond for suggesting it does not have a proper mix in its selection of students.
This censure shows, yet again, Mr Salmond’s tattered reputation and lack of judgment.
All political parties carry unwelcome baggage but one day the SNP will have to clamp down on this self- publicist.
Benefits of new church centre
Sir, – Your article, Demolition only option for crisis-threatened Forfar church, implies that St Margaret’s Church is in crisis.
That is misleading because we are managing our running costs more efficiently now than ever.
This means we are able to do more work in the community, helping and supporting those in need, which is a central part of our role as a church.
However, what we do not have is the estimated £500,000 which will be required just to repair the non-listed, non-accessible, cold and uncomfortable sanctuary which we only use for an hour each week.
We need to be good stewards of the money given to us and we believe carrying out very expensive remedial work to our present building is not the best way to achieve that.
Our plan is to create a new worship space within a fully accessible community centre which would cost less than the repair and upgrade of the existing sanctuary space which we estimate would cost in the region of £1.5 million.
The centre could be used seven days a week by many more people in our community than ever use our sanctuary, and would offer a real benefit to Forfar for years to come.
Rev Maggie Hunt.
St Margaret’s Church,
Upgrade slow NHS computers
Sir, – A Scottish Government initiative is criticised by experts as having failed to make any difference to its short-term aims and for being “not cost effective”.
This is the Family Nurse Partnership which is an intensive home- visiting programme for teenage mothers.
This sounds sensible, until you discover these young mothers already have health visitors.
One expert said it is no better than ordinary health visiting, but four times as expensive.
Another expert said the £16 million to which costs have risen is money down the drain.
Another problem is the continuing story of NHS IT inadequacy.
Varieties of systems and slow download and upload speeds waste staff time and can result in patients’ records being unavailable to clinicians.
I visited my GP’s newly-opened smart premises to encounter a glum receptionist confronting a PC, saying it was very slow.
I expect £16 million could be of some help in modernising NHS IT.