Sir, – With reference to Steve Scott’s interview with Colin Sinclair, head professional at Carnoustie Golf Links, in Tuesday’s Courier, a few comments are appropriate.
I do not take issue with anything Colin says about the importance of nurturing future golfers.
Nor do I question the importance of making golf more accessible to a mixed clientele by hopefully introducing a nine-hole course.
And neither do I disagree with his stating that we now have wonderful facilities at Carnoustie.
However, I do take exception to Colin’s statement that “some golf clubs are not overly friendly and some are not friendly at all to beginners”.
Knowing Mr Sinclair as I do to have robust opinions on diverse subjects, I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he is not referring to the three remaining golf clubs in the town.
To even suggest that Carnoustie golf clubs are not welcoming to one and all is disingenuous at best and a calumny at worst.
My own club, The Carnoustie Golf Club, of which I have been a member for more than 40 years is certainly very welcoming.
I do not think it would have survived for 176 years if it had been otherwise.
Otherwise this was a good interview.
Spelling out costs to NHS
Sir, – John Page’s letter (July 4) about charging patients for not keeping doctors’ appointments rang a bell.
I recently had an appointment in Dundee’s Victoria Hospital and the appointment letter – a model of its kind – actually raised this subject. One sentence said: “If you fail to keep this appointment you will cost the NHS £177”.
I thought this was a splendid idea, laying it on the line.
Breakfast off menu for gulls
Sir, – In reply to the article in The Courier re bin collections in Perth city centre (July 4), would it not be sensible for the council waste management department to introduce a night collection – say from 10pm to 6am – to prevent the gulls from tearing the bin bags to bits?
We all know birds awake at sunrise so it should come as no surprise that they will scavenge for breakfast.
This scheme appears to work in countries abroad, in Spain for instance, and the problem of rubbish strewn across the streets is avoided.
It may also assist with childcare in the early mornings if both parents work, as a partner who has worked at night could be home to put children to school. Surely it’s worth a try.
Country not company
Sir, – Could World Cup commentators please note that England has beaten the South American country of Colombia, and not a company called Columbia, who make motion pictures?
Why anyone but England?
Sir, – There has been coverage in the Scottish media of what is cited as excessive pro-England bias from TV football commentators.
I watched the England Colombia match in a bar in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, where a sizeable number supported Colombia –arguably highly excessively. And presumably on Saturday these impassioned Colombian fans will adore Sweden.
Is this simply good-natured, traditional rivalry with our closest neighbour or is it symptomatic of something newer and darker?
Don’t leave it to criminals
Sir, – The responsibility for the high number of drug deaths in Dundee lies partly with the UK and Scottish governments.
Because the best way to reduce these is to legalise drugs so that users are not exposed to the more hazardous mixes, and are more likely to be offered treatment when they buy (for example) from a pharmacist. I am glad to see a Green MSP has brought up decriminalisation.
This would have the further advantage of taking drugs out of the criminal underworld where they lead to extortion, abuse, stealing and murder.
As a resident of the Blackness area I am only too aware of this problem.
Tough action the only way
Sir, – Drugs deaths in Scotland are appallingly common. Being an echo chamber of “progressive” liberalism, the Scottish Parliament cannot muster anything in response beyond decriminalisation, tackling dealers and support for addicts.
Utterly absent is the principle that illegal drug abuse is irresponsible and selfish. The amoral “harm reduction” approach focuses on relieving the human misery currently manifesting, but at the expense of maintaining the cycles that produce it.
It’s time to regain the understanding of the wider consequences of drug abuse. It’s not just a matter of personal risk assessment; abusers endanger the wider public, cause pain to their families, and massive cost to their unfortunate employers or, more likely, the state.
Not another penny of taxpayers’ cash should fund organisations peddling “we’re here to help you take drugs safely” messages – especially in schools.
Persuade people that the dangers of drugs can be managed and the deterrent against experimentation is diluted.
There is every justification to use the full power of the law to deter people from destroying their own lives and blighting society through such selfish irresponsibility.
We should protect young people by fiercely attacking supply chains, deterring personal possession, communicating the dangers, making it clear that illegal drugs are not an acceptable choice in Scotland, and, above all, insisting that it is wrong to endanger others while expecting them to foot the bill for one’s self-centred pursuit of fleeting sensation.
Scottish Family Party,
Mystery from the deep
Sir, – Last Sunday I was walking over the old Forth Road Bridge, around 4.45pm, one of only a few folk around.
I stopped for 10 minutes, to observe a bit of action on the water, between the bridge and the South Queensferry pier, where a tug boat was hosing off huge water cannon sprays, forming beautiful mini rainbows.
Meanwhile a large rescue type helicopter was carrying out a series of manoeuvres, hovering over the waves, and sending up whirling vortexes of sea water splashing into the air.
It was all very noisy and nice to watch from the bridge parapets above.
And then, as all the activity was calming down, I suddenly noticed a shadowy black silhouette, skimming and darting, through the dark waters below.
It was just under the surface, and for a minute I thought it might be the helicopter’s shadow but no, once the helicopter had taken off, the silhouette was still there and it was moving.
From my high view point, it reminded me of looking down into a basin full of water, with a large stickleback in it, as we often did when we were children.
But this was no stickleback, and with its side fins, and swallow tail, it looked more like a big shark, than a fat whale shape.
I am no expert but going by a comparison with the many small boats and sailing yachts that pass under the bridge, this must have been around 15 to 20 feet long.
It was just a short encounter, and it wasn’t long before it headed off towards the shore.
As there were only a few people on the bridge, and none near my vantage point, no one I spoke to afterwards had seen anything.
It would be nice if someone else has seen this large fish or whatever it is.
As another weekend approaches, perhaps I can encourage others to keep an eye out for any unusual movements in the Forth.