READERS’ LETTERS: Windrush affair a sorry, shameful chapter

© GettyPrime Minister Theresa May hosts a meeting with leaders and representatives of Caribbean countries at 10 Downing Street.
Prime Minister Theresa May hosts a meeting with leaders and representatives of Caribbean countries at 10 Downing Street.

Sir, – The more that emerges from this Windrush scandal the more I feel sick to my stomach.

The British Empire was a murderous, racist entity ruled by a super elite establishment.

Of course, as time has passed, the Empire has virtually disappeared.

However, what we now see is that the British establishment is still fundamentally racist to its core.

The proof comes in the treatment of these and many other people in the same situation.

Many of the people affected by this scandal have worked here in the UK for at least 40 or more years.

As such there should be a very simple solution as they all had a National Insurance number.

This means the HMRC is aware of their working history.

It has all the records of how long everybody has worked and how much they have paid into the system throughout all their working lives.

That is how they calculate what pension entitlement we are due.

The UK Government know exactly what they have been doing to these people.

Following revelations this week everyone can see what has been going on.

A scandal really is too easy a word for this, and understates just how appalling it is.

In my view it is racism at its very worst.

If we take it as such, I would like to ask whether or not racism really is illegal in this country?

I am sure there will be many apologists wringing their hands over all this.

No doubt they will attempt to excuse the situation by saying it was all a mistake.

However, there can be no such excuses – this has been going on for years.

Shame on everyone involved.

Dave Stewart.

5 Main Street,



A colonialist mentality

Sir, – The utterly reprehensible comments by Esther McVey about the so-called rape clause and the forced apology by Amber Rudd and Theresa May to the Windrush generation and Ross Thompson belittling the victims of Saddam Hussein all show once again the cruel inhumanity of the Tories.

Recently many UK citizens from the Commonwealth have been contacted by the Home Office and told they are not eligible to stay in the UK.

They have faced harassment and violations of their rights as well as the denial of health care, housing and employment.

The Home Office insisted they prove that they have been in the UK continually since January 1973 by providing four relevant documents for every year of residence.

The treatment of the Windrush generation was the deliberate result of a government policy to victimize and expel migrants.

In 2012, legislation was passed requiring people to possess documentation of their right to be in the country in order to work, rent or access health and welfare benefits.

This disgusting mind-set the Tories have for anyone who is not extremely rich was also manifest by Esther McVey.

In trying to defend the indefensible “rape clause” for Universal Credit she simply showed herself to be a ruthless unfeeling careerist who only cares about herself.

Ross Thompson too mocked and belittled the victims of Saddam Hussein then tried to justify it by claiming he had supported the war to remove him.

What this shows is the centuries’ old colonialist mentality of the British state has not gone away: the mind-set of Empire, conquest and duplicity persists.

It drips and oozes from Tory party members, voters and elected officials.

Alan Hinnrichs.

2 Gillespie Terrace,



Beware political correctness

Sir, – I have known Mike Goss since he first came to the area as a young minister.

It will come as no surprise to Courier readers to hear that Mike and I have opposing views on a wide range of topics: gay marriage, physician assisted death, abortion, narcotics decriminalisation, global warming, fracking and so on and so forth.

The great thing about a national institution like the Kirk is that it is, by definition, a “broad church”.

The ordination vow recognises “liberty of opinion on such points of doctrine as do not enter into the substance of the faith”.

So Mike and I have rubbed along very well for many years and will continue so to do.

Apparently Carnoustie pupils want to “no platform” him, but surely the town’s robust teenagers are capable of holding their own in any debate about LGBTQ+ rights.

It is only when they enter university they need to morph into “snowflakes” and cower in “safe-spaces” to avoid hearing politically incorrect opinions.

Rev Dr John Cameron.

10 Howard Place,

St Andrews.


No strangers to bitter infighting

Sir, – There is no divide in the SNP.

According to Jill Stephenson (Courier, April 20), the “party management is no longer as sure-footed as it was”.

This is quite a ridiculous claim, and one that I would go as far as to say is entirely hypocritical.

The major divides between Remain and Leave cliques within the Conservative Party have been causing major friction within the UK Government, as well as those who seek to replace Mrs May as PM.

This has been highlighted with the failings of Mrs May to control Boris Johnson following the Salisbury Incident, as well as bypassing Parliament to secure strikes on Syria so that her own anti-war MPs wouldn’t defy the whip.

I won’t even mention Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative Party’s Iago.

The SNP have consistently voted as one, against disgusting Tory policies such as the “rape clause” of Universal Credit, and will continue to do so.

Infighting is not only a Tory problem though, as shown in the last two years of Corbyn’s Labour.

Blairite MPs and MSPs conflict behind the scenes with pro-Corbyn ones, not to mention the pro-Brexit or pro-EU Labour politicians, as seen in the local branch’s leadership election.

Disagreement between Kezia Dugdale and Mr Corbyn, for example, was rife when she was leader.

The Scottish Parliament is currently under attack, and is understandably focused on the fundamentals of Scottish democracy, before party gain, unlike a certain party in government south of the border.

As for your correspondent’s views on Cambridge Analytica, I will put it like this; the SNP went into a cake shop to look at the produce, saw it was off, and left.

The Conservatives bought the whole counter.

Lloyd Melville.

East Garden Cottage,



No need for subsidies

Sir, – My late father, Robert Ovenstone, worked from leaving school in 1941 at the age of 14 years old till he retired at the age of 65 years in 1992 and presumably paid his tax and national insurance when in employment.

However, according to your correspondent Jill Stephenson it is the English taxpayer that funds Scotland’s “free” services.

She appears to suggest we should be more grateful for their generosity here in Scotland.

Unfortunately for Jill Stephenson the HMRC usually send each taxpayer, of which I am one, a breakdown of how the taxes they pay contribute to national spending.

Sadly that will include helping to pay for things I don’t particularly want to pay for such as nuclear weapons.

Therefore, it is not just English taxpayers that help to fund Scotland’s “free” services but businesses and individuals here in Scotland.

Countries such as New Zealand and Norway somehow manage to run their own countries from contributions from their own taxpayers.

Despite this fact, the implication from the letter of Jill Stephenson and other unionist letter writers is that Scotland, with a larger population than either country individually, needs to rely on the English taxpayer to “subsidise” Scotland.

We don’t need to rely on English taxpayers.

In fact we have elected to make a positive contribution to the United Kingdom of Great Britain – including those who elected to vote for Scottish independence, something that unionists do not seem to be prepared to recognise.

Peter Ovenstone.

6 Orchard Grove,