Sir, – It was Winston Churchill who said he would rather argue against a hundred idiots than have one agree with him.
Such prophetic words, uttered nearly 100 years ago, eerily echo my sentiments relating to the question of Brexit and the irresponsibility of the 650 members of parliament who represent the electorate of the UK presently.
William Gladstone undoubtedly was the greatest Prime Minister of the 19th Century and Churchill enjoyed equal stature and distinction in the 20th Century but who will step up to the plate in the 21st Century?
Sadly, there is simply no one.
Instead of trying to emulate Gladstone or Churchill our present crop run around like headless chickens.
They act like pigs in a trough and yet we, the electorate – albeit somewhat bemused – still put our trust in them to solve the issue of Brexit.
If it wasn’t so critical it could almost be comical.
Brexit has exposed deep (and I regret to say irreconcilable) fissures in our society and we are light years away from the fighting spirit and determination which the great man Churchill so ably identified and harvested within our nation.
We, as the UK, may never recover.
Tragically, we will be remembered for having committed kamikaze on ourselves.
At the same time we have burdened our grand-children and theirs to years of penury and misery.
I rest my case.
12 Den Park,
Proud to fly the Red Ensign
Sir, – It was fantastic to see the Red Ensign flying at Arbroath Signal Tower on September 3 – Merchant Navy day.
Well done to Master Mariner Captain Sandy Davidson who raised the ensign.
Unfortunately there was no such flag flying from Montrose Ball House.
Nevertheless, it was at least encouraging to be advised that Provost Ronnie Proctor, a veterans’ champion, and council leader David Fairweather are in full support of having the Red Ensign flying at both Arbroath and Montrose on Merchant Navy Day next year and are to raise the matter at council.
It was also good to hear that the Red Ensign was flying at Montrose Harbour, raised by Montrose port authority.
Next year, then, for the Ball House.
Full steam ahead to Messrs Fairweather and Proctor.
14 Graham Street,
Stats make for grim reading
Sir, – An old but true proverb tells us that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions – and our First Minister is proving exactly that.
Of the 15 Bills put forward to the Scottish Parliament in the past years, only two appear to have actually been advanced to the final stage.
With that inglorious record behind her, Ms Sturgeon is now using it as a “springboard” for the coming parliamentary year to tell us that £7 billion of our money is to be spent on “public buildings” and £60 million is to go towards providing mental health care for younger members of our community.
While I am both puzzled and saddened by such an enormous sum needing to be spent on supposedly unstable schoolchildren, I note that statistics show that only 34% of under 18 year olds were treated in the time span that the Scottish Parliament itself initially drew up – and that, of course, was on Ms Sturgeon’s watch.
Archibald A Lawrie.
5 Church Wynd,
Situation may well worsen
Sir, – I read with interest articles about the long wait some youngsters face for mental health treatment.
Meanwhile, according to teaching materials created jointly by Education Scotland, the Scottish Government and the NHS, pupils aged five will be asked to decide whether they are a boy, a girl or neither.
I will leave your readers to decide what effect this will have on the waiting lists.
31 Ferndale Drive,
We must talk up Ninewells
Sir, –I was rather disappointed to see Derek Farmer’s letter in The Courier on September 5.
His contribution adds to the growing list of public criticisms of Ninewells Hospital, which could easily be dispiriting for staff and discouraging for potential patients.
Obviously the hospital has been let down by the failures of a few individuals, but that is not unusual in large organisations.
In contrast, I and many other former and present patients are extremely grateful for the efficient and considerate care that we received from almost all of the staff that we encountered at Ninewells.
During the last 20 years I have been served by at least six departments at the hospital, most recently this year when I had a spinal operation conducted by a neurosurgeon.
I think that on all of those occasions I could not have received better care.
Everyone involved was helpful and efficient and I thank them all.
It is about time that the local community woke up to the fact that they should be grateful that they have, at Ninewells, an outstanding hospital which will serve them well when they need hospital treatment.
We should celebrate the fact that Ninewells is in Dundee and not repeatedly seek to denigrate it.
81b Dundee Road,
Worst offenders are not buses
Sir, – I read,with dismay, the article in The Courier regarding pollution on Crieff High Street (“Bid to fine drivers for idling engines”, September 4).
For anybody to suggest that buses should be removed from Crieff High Street because their diesel fumes are contributing significantly to air pollution is, quite frankly, absurd.
These buses are bringing in hundreds of customers to the High Street shops, businesses, cafes and pubs every day.
Where better for bus stops to be located than on the High Street?
These buses generally have low emission “Euro 6” diesel engines.
Stagecoach drivers, I understand, are under strict instructions to switch off engines if standing for more than a short period and onboard “Green Road” sensors connected directly to the Perth depot, can monitor this.
The Stagecoach Perth/Crieff/Comrie buses, for example, only operate twice hourly, in each direction, throughout the working day, so make up only a small proportion of the High Street vehicular traffic.
Private cars, on the other hand, proliferate on the High Street with only a small proportion, contrary to the claim in the article, likely to be equipped with stop/start technology which, incidentally, will only work under certain circumstances.
Perhaps, these are the main polluters?
Taxis also frequent this part of Crieff and where there are stances, in common with other Tayside towns.
Perhaps their drivers will be seen sitting with engines running for long periods.
Lastly, we have delivery lorries and vans, serving commercial premises all along the High Street adding to congestion and, yes, to local air pollution.
It is always easy to divert attention away from the private car user, toward an easy target, like buses, which are there for those without the use of the car or who choose to use them instead.
41 Oxford Street,
Egotistical rants are shameful
Sir, – A tennis star of yesteryear was famously very fond of shouting: “You cannot be serious” during high pressure matches when decisions didn’t go his way.
Well now what we surely cannot be serious about is the hypocritical, egotistical ranting of a woman who has made millions from the most unequal, anti-male sport in the world.
I refer to Serena Williams and the Wimbledon tournament, where women are paid the same as men but for less effort and better conditions.
The player went on to convince people it was not for the money that she complained, rather equality for women.
This was actually disrespecting the whole principal.
One wonders, have women’s equal rights crusaders sunk so low as to prefer winging bullying, abuse and complaining, so as to get the same money for half the effort?