Sir, – Allan Sutherland is a long-time contributor to your letters column and his unionism is well known.
However, even by his standards, the level of “Scottish Cringe” he displayed in his latest letter (“No credit on either side”, August 16) plumbed new depths.
To suggest that a legitimate political demonstration (the “All Under One Banner” march recently held in Inverness) should not take place, simply because the tourists were watching, is beyond credible.
Indeed, I am willing to suggest the majority of those tourists were from other independent European nations.
Many of them no doubt wonder why Scotland has not chosen independence already and why we continue to allow ourselves to be dictated to over matters such as Brexit by an aloof and elitist London.
Furthermore, to suggest that the ability to march in defence of your views is a “disgrace to democracy” is similarly misguided.
Indeed, the right to peacefully and publicly protest is one of the hallmarks of a well functioning democracy.
The fact that Scotland’s population is one of the most politically aware in Europe may put Mr Sutherland off his cornflakes in the morning but it is something the rest of us celebrate.
Meanwhile, the fact that there are marches in the street – including one planned for Dundee this weekend – is not the fault of the SNP but rather that of a Westminster Government who betrayed their “Vow” of 2014.
The UK-based government rides roughshod over the expressed wishes of the Scottish people over issues such as Trident, Brexit and austerity.
331 Clepington Road,
Marchers share the same goal
Sir, – I had to have a laugh at the letter in Thursday’s Courier from Allan Sutherland regarding the marches for independence.
Firstly his account of the numbers is somewhat at odds with the police account.
However, the numbers aren’t really the issue.
He appears to think these marches are an embarrassment to Scotland.
Well, that is an opinion he is entitled to hold although probably around half the country might disagree with it.
He also talks about his beloved Scotland.
Well, the people that go on these marches feel the same way but the difference is they are prepared to do something about it.
These marches have passed off without incident apart from a very small bunch of union flag-clad people with a megaphone.
Peaceful demos are part of the democratic process and people should be allowed to demonstrate.
The marches are not organised by the SNP, hence the name of “All Under One Banner”.
People involved in the wider independence movement are involved in many different ways to reach the goal.
Some prefer to march, some prefer to work through the SNP and some prefer to write columns.
Whatever the preferred method of those involved, it is a growing movement with diverse opinions.
However, we all know that Mr Sutherland blames the SNP for just about everything and his latest letter pretty much confirms that.
Must protect rural peace
Sir, – I am a member of the north-east Fife planning committee that turned down the application to develop Carphin House into a bespoke wedding venue.
Councillors were unanimous in refusing the application because of the detrimental impact on the local farm business, restricted and disputed access and the impact of noise generated by full-on partying.
Yet four months on, that is exactly what Luthrie residents are suffering.
The owners have resolved to use a loophole in planning legislation that could allow weddings 28 times a year.
The potential impact on the community, as demonstrated by the event on August 4 and subsequently reported (“Wedding venue owners vow to carry on despite complaints about noise”, Courier, August 15) , is awful.
Cattle stampeding, residents ridden off the narrow road, huge tailbacks and, worst of all, noise levels into the small hours that disturb sleep and distress residents.
What has it come to when a small, tranquil, rural village can have its amenity and quality of life destroyed, even when councillors have stuck up for the community and refused planning permission?
If the law allows that, then the law needs to change and I sincerely hope the Scottish Government pays attention.
We really do need to start protecting our peaceful, rural environment before it vanishes under a welter of noise and disrespect.
As for those thinking about using Carphin House as a place to celebrate their happy day in the future – please reflect that your pleasure will come at the expense of a bullied and harassed community that doesn’t want you there. Financial gain and pleasure, at the expense of others’ distress, shouldn’t have a place in today’s society.
Councillor Tony Miklinski.
Prayer can create change
Sir, – I refer to your article regarding the backlash against the Rev Scott Burton for his speech at the Perth Pride march apologising to the LGBT community for the abuse they have suffered at the hands of the Church (“Minister faces backlash for opening Pride event”, Courier, August 15).
I agree that over the years the Church has unfairly condemned homosexuality in relation to Romans 1.
In that chapter of the bible, homosexuality is just one of the many flaws that are mentioned including envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice and gossip.
Those other flaws are rarely preached on when an exegesis is done of Romans 1.
However, as someone who struggles with same sex attraction and has been celibate for 18 years – which of course is my choice – I believe that God’s love is conditional on repentance which was not mentioned by Scott Burton.
However, the other churches who are condemning this move need to actually wake up.
The Church as a whole is asleep when it comes to prayer.
I tried to organise several prayer meetings over the last four months, contacting all evangelical churches to come together and pray for this event, happening in this city.
Out of eight churches I contacted, the average number of people at our meetings was four, which is rather pathetic.
Instead of condemning Scott Burton and his speech, perhaps the churches and people need to ask themselves where were they when they were asked to come and pray on this issue?
Prayer changes things, condemnation and criticism does not.
117 Simpson Square,
Time to cut the ties with the UK
Sir, – The more I look at the Tory Brexit, the more it resembles Labour’s disastrous Iraq war.
No one in power appears to be able to explain why it is necessary.
At the very same time, no one knows how to pull it off.
And just to compound things yet further, no one knows how to get out when it goes horribly wrong.
The blithe confidence of the UK establishment, which believes that through bluster, aggression and talking loudly at foreigners – in this case the 27 other European nations – it can achieve anything, is shocking.
Consider this – Scotland has the option of the lifeboat of independence and fast-tracked EU membership.
So ask yourself: Is that not better than a Scotland tied to Brexit Britannia, with Theresa May dragging the UK under?
It is time to cut the rope.
10 Llain y Capel,
A cover-up would be ironic
Sir, – Despite the ongoing investigation into Boris Johnson’s remarks about the burka and whatever your views, one thing surely remains abundantly clear: there must be no cover-up.
I am sure we all agree on that.
10 Aithernie Court,