Sir, – I am grateful to Debbie Porter (Letters, August 1) for destroying the Brexiteer argument that foreign workers take jobs from locals.
Further to her correspondence, soft fruit is not the only area of Scottish farming which is under threat.
Last week a national newspaper published details of how the Institute of Economic Affairs, a right wing pressure group with close links to Tory Brexiteers, has been seeking donations from US agri-business in return for access to Westminster ministers.
Of particular concern to Scottish livestock farmers is that this offer is likely to be of interest to American beef producers.
Most American beef is currently banned in Europe under EU regulations on growth hormones but a UK farming industry, without EU protection, would be left vulnerable.
Two points are indisputable.
Firstly, the whole Brexit fiasco was brought about because the hapless Cameron could not control the warring factions within the Tory party.
Secondly, irrespective of how effective or ineffective a government proves itself to be, the farming community appears to vote overwhelmingly for the Tories at a general election.
Such an election appears increasingly likely as Mrs May’s government blunders from one self-inflicted crisis to another.
Can I please implore the farming community to prove me wrong on my second point?
Please consider the benefits
Sir, – From the furore surrounding the Keep Bankie Park Green camp one could be forgiven for thinking Anstruther’s green space was under threat from an industrial complex or rapacious property developer.
The truth is far from it.
What is being proposed is a relocation and modernisation of a council-owned and run care home which has happily co-existed with Bankie Park for decades but is now becoming unfit for purpose.
As a frequent visitor I know that the lift is unreliable, the corridors are too narrow for modern wheelchairs and bed-moving equipment and that the rooms are too small and lacking en suite toilet facilities.
What is missing in the current debate is a reasoned consideration of the rebuild plans.
And what is disappointing is that elected councillors – who should know better for they are responsible for the eventual decision and are obliged to consider all the pros and cons – are being pressurised into taking sides.
I urge those who have signed KBPG’s petition to study the proposals and have a re-think.
A modern, state-of-the-art care home is surely at least as much a community asset as a play park.
They might also like to consider how they would be affected if unfortunate enough to develop dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinsons or other such afflictions in later life and there was no Ladywalk to provide the loving care it does now and that we all hope we might expect in extremis.
W W Motion.
Campaigners flying high
Sir, – I write in support of all protesters to this new flight approach for Turnhouse airport and feel I should place a superb idea to you all adding strength to your opposition.
All protesters should sign their names stating they will never fly from any airport again thereby not adding to the disturbance to millions of people already in this situation.
Cancelling any holiday flights already booked would certainly add strength to your protest and although you could lose money it would be for a very good cause.
You could form a group with the suggested name NOMBY, (not over my back yard) and I suggest a website, oseby.com, (over someone else’s back yard).
I feel sure this letter will spur you on to greater heights, though sadly not in aeroplanes.
Robert C Oliver.
62 Edenbank Road,
Elected state head preferable
Sir, – In extolling the virtues of the royal family Charles Wardrop (letters, August 6) lists a whole range of unjustified expenditure.
He must, however, realise that lots of wrongs do not make a right.
He names wind turbines as giving us only 5% of our energy requirements, which is in conflict with the claims of windfarm companies.
What research has he done to prove them wrong?
He claims that the royal family are value for money by the tourists they attract.
Someone should do a poll on visitors to this country and ask how many are visiting to see the royals – the biggest tourist attraction in England is Legoland.
The ever growing privileged family is now costing us £345 million a year (Republic movement stats.)
An elected head of state would cost a tiny fraction of this.
93 Whyterose Terrace,
Issue blown out of proportion
Sir, – Bob Taylor claims Jeremy Corbyn must change the culture of the Labour Party to avoid charges of anti-semitism (letters, August 4).
I have been a member of the party for 49 years, although only a paper member in recent years.
I have never heard any expression of anti-Semitic views by party members in that time.
Mary Lockhart’s comments about Mossad were perhaps ill founded, but they were no more anti-Semitic than suggesting that the Russian security services interfered in British and American elections was an example of anti- Russian racism.
On the general point, surely the Labour Party has the right to draw up its own rule book without having it dictated by an unelected international body such as the IHRA.
While the actual definition of anti- Semitism has been adopted, the party has rightly amended some of the list of examples which seem clearly intended to stifle criticism of Israel.
One example is that it is regarded as anti-Semitic to describe the Israeli state as racist.
The state of Israel from its beginning has operated on the basis of the misnamed “right of return” – that anyone of Jewish origin from anywhere in the world is allowed to emigrate to Israel.
At the same time these Palestinians driven from their homes by Israeli paramilitaries in the 1940s are denied the right to return to the country of their birth, and indeed mercilessly gunned down by Israeli soldiers when they attempt to exercise that right.
It is beyond my understanding that anyone could fail to describe that as fundamentally racist.
Indeed that perception has very recently been reinforced by recent legislation in the Knesset which takes away more of the few rights of Israeli Arabs.
The IHRA definition in general is a serious attack on freedom of speech on an issue of great significance for world peace.
I have never supported Jeremy Corbyn and believe he has not been an effective leader of the Labour Party, but it is clear that this issue has been blown out of all proportion to attack him and his supporters.
Legitimate to ask questions
Sir, – When did disagreeing with the politics of a country, such as Israel, become anti-Semitic?
The images from TV news programmes, showing huge dividing walls, and treatment of a poorer nation, does stir up strong opinions.
However, when does this turn into anti- Semitism?
If belonging to a political party means being unable to exercise free speech, what is the point?
Discussing the sensitivity of politics in Israel, seems to be untouchable.
A rather chilling wake-up call
Sir, – Recent stories regarding our overuse of the earth’s natural resources should be a wake-up call for everyone who cherishes this planet.
Until someone grasps the nettle and addresses the burgeoning world population we are going to continue seeing more and more of these distressing images of people begging for help to find water and food to give them a basic life.
Instead of aid we should be giving them birth control advice before it is too late to save the planet.
110 Caesar Avenue,