Sir, – It appears Christian Aid has been drawn into the NGO morass where, among other things, aid was exchanged for sex.
Referring to the desperate women involved as “prostitutes” is especially deplorable.
As the Church of Scotland’s main charity partner, it must be thoroughly cleansed before a contrite organisation returns to its original remit.
The fact is, like most NGOs, Christian Aid had spread its tentacles into other fields. It has been rightly criticised for supporting the violent, US-led regime change in Haiti in 2004, for conducting deeply misleading campaigns against reducing trade barriers in Africa, and for its profoundly anti-Israeli stance in the complex Palestinian conflict.
It’s far too closely associated with Fairtrade, a form of market manipulation that harms infinitely more poor farmers than it helps. It should cut its ties with the controversial Trade Justice Movement, which uses “human rights” language as a way of articulating highly partisan criticisms of global trade liberalization and international trade law.
Above all, it must focus on poverty alleviation rather than climate change.
It needs to be wary of alarmist campaigns like Stop Climate Chaos, where simplistic models spew out unscientific “what-if” scenarios. Computer-generated alarmism is “garbage in, gospel out” and a religious organisation should be impervious to such false prophesies.
Rev Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
Time to harness tidal power
Sir, – With BiFab under threat it appears that, in the next few months, we are going to see a skilled workforce once again being put on the dole.
Burntisland, Methil, Rosyth and the yard in the Western Isles are at risk.
We will see the usual political nonsense but no real help.
The Tories at one time protested about time and production being lost due to strikes.
I, as a welder, lost more productive time being trapped on the dole.
Forward planning is non-existent.
It is not rocket science that we need to look to the future production of electricity.
Wind turbines seem to be the favoured option these days.
What if we get a real hurricane like we had in the ’60s? How many would survive?
Build a tidal power station across the mouth of the Forth that will provide power for centuries and high dams to store it. Put the country back to work.
63 St Clair Street,
Council must bin unfair tax
Sir, – I have read with interest articles regarding Perth and Kinross Council charging to uplift brown bins.
When the council were making “difficult financial decisions”, did they ever consider a reduction in salaries for their high earners and/or a cut in expenses?
Bin this bin tax as a matter of common sense.
52 Balmanno Park,
Bridge of Earn.
Conspicuous by their absence
Sir, – I refer to the article in yesterday’s Courier by Craig Smith in relation to the good work carried out by the Fife Migrant Forum.
Craig failed to mention that also in attendance (at the Scottish Affairs Committee immigration inquiry )were SNP MPs, Cosla, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and NUF Scotland, all discussing the effects Brexit may have on those they represent.
Missing from the meeting were Conservative,Labour and Lib Dem MPs who are committee members.
No doubt each of them will have had far more important things to do than sit and listen to the concerns of those living and working in Scotland.
I hope their absence is noted by the constituents they are elected to represent.
Football a place for hatred
Sir, – The argument about the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act rumbles on, with the Scottish Government apparently concerned that, if it is repealed, the police will not be able to make arrests of people singing sectarian songs before, during and after football matches.
Some might think that police time could be put to better use.
Meanwhile, apart from a scuffle between players before the start of the Calcutta Cup match on Saturday, a rugby match that was emotionally highly charged passed off without incident.
I have heard of no reports of disorder following the match.
What is it about football, and the sections of society that follow it, that makes it a vehicle for unpleasantness?
Need to be proactive
Sir, – It is rare, if not non-existent, to find myself in agreement with Tories.
But their call to Fife Council to get serious about moving the Levenmouth rail campaign forward (Courier, February 21) and the particular steps they propose seem to be timely and appropriate.
Getting the trains back is desperately needed and I see no other equivalent remedy to this area’s decline in sight.
Following the campaign, it does seem there is a window of opportunity presenting itself right now.
The Transport Minister (Humza Yousaf) appears sympathetic and the latest studies he has commissioned by Transport Scotland might help pave the way towards a serious breakthrough.
As a key actor in the whole exercise, Fife Council cannot just sit back and take matters as they come.
They need to be more assertive, determined and professional to ensure that this opportunity does not end in yet another report with no action.
We need concrete commitment, such as extra capacity to accompany the process and we need more elected members and officials to get wholeheartedly and determinedly behind it.
Mergers a cause for concern
Sir, – Controversial plans to integrate railway policing into Police Scotland will not happen by April 2019 and no new date for the integration of British Transport Police (BTP) has been given.
Research disclosed that BTP staff, uncertain about the merger and their future, felt “a profound sense of loss and anger”.
The Police Scotland merger of eight regions into one national force has hardly been a resounding success and some would say that it was a colossal management and financial failure.
Similarly, there are concerns about the way Scotland’s single fire service is being run, so much so that the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have passed an unprecedented vote of no confidence in Chief Officer Alasdair Hay and his senior leadership team.
Obviously the SNP-dominated Scottish Government has not heard the expression: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
138 Springfield Road,
Police secrecy is unacceptable
Sir, – We all understand that there are times when some police officers have to ‘play the cards close to their chest’, while others fail in their duties simply because they are human.
Those situations will always be with us, but of late we public taxpayers have seen the most deplorable acts of police secrecy that leave us wondering if accountability exists at all between our police force and the public which employs them.
We have no more idea about what actually took place in Kirkcaldy almost three years ago regarding the death of a Mr Sheku Bayoh than we did on day one….although it has cost we taxpayers £75,000 to keep the police officer concerned sitting… in her own home while further sums are also being paid to two other constables connected to the case.
How can the so-called “inquiry” take several years to come to some conclusion?
Perhaps the Chief Constable of Durham, Michael Barton, was correct when he recently stated (as part of another inquiry) that Police Scotland were inept and had a culture of secrecy and risk aversion.
We taxpayers are fed up with having to foot the bill for unnecessary police secrecy!
Archibald A. Lawrie.
5 Church Wynd,