Madam, – SNP conferences seem to exist in a bubble of unreality where the party faithful are fed on a diet of wishful thinking and unconditional expectations that border on misty-eyed delusion but are swallowed as fact.
After 12 years in government the SNP has perfected the art of political gripe and grievance while failing abysmally to maintain the effectiveness of our NHS, police, transport and infrastructure and, unforgivingly, failing to meet the educational needs of a whole generation of young Scots.
It has been almost five years since the “once in a generation” referendum and there has not been a single honest detail of how their fixation with independence would manifest itself in the real world.
We have been given no idea whatsoever what the effect of their reckless currency plans would be on pensions, mortgages or interest rates and the value of our homes and savings. Nor do we have any inkling of the actual costs of setting up a central bank, the replacement of 100-plus agencies and the associated cost or the value of that new currency.
We know nothing of the likely effect on capital flow, cross border business, defence, supply chains and the legal aspects affecting our relationship with our largest trading partner, the rest of the UK.
And there is that tiny wee problem of a massive deficit which only huge tax increases or a drastic reduction in services over decades could redress.
Ms Sturgeon’s madcap obsession with independence ignores the important point that, as we’ve seen with Brexit, it requires the other party to be sympathetic and compliant if success is to be had in negotiations and this certainly would not be a given.
Iain G Richmond,
A question of credibility
Madam, – I am struck by the call from Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, that the next UK Prime Minister should continue to refuse a referendum on Scottish independence.
I find this curious as in July 2016 a lady, also called Ruth Davidson, commented it would “not be wise” for the next prime minister to block a request for a second independence referendum.
At the time she noted that questions over trading markets, currency and borders were now “utterly different” following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
In fact, sources close to the Scottish Tory leader argued that denying a second independence referendum would provoke a public backlash in Scotland that could further drive up support for independence.
With public support for independence and another referendum rising, one would argue the response from the Ruth Davidson of 2016 is more credible than that of today.
2 Marchmont Road,
Split from UK banking system
Madam, – In her recent conference speech, Nicola Sturgeon addresses unaffordable housing by announcing a deposit fund for first time buyers, but has obviously failed to ask herself why house prices are so high in the first place.
The answer of course is the way the UK banking system creates money from thin air, and has driven a house price boom to the disadvantage of all but the very wealthy.
This distortion has also affected the job market and the economy in general, as people are often unable to relocate to where the work is.
An independent Scotland could escape the economic problems of the UK by having its own currency and central bank from the outset.
Unless this fundamental change is made, an independent Scotland will simply be run by the London bankers, and that is surely not the independence that Ms Sturgeon imagines.
Change to view on immigration?
Madam, – As a poll reveals a sharp rise in opposition to immigration in Scotland, are we about to see some back-peddling from Nicola Sturgeon around her relentless enthusiasm for inward migration?
While I’m personally comfortable about immigration, the reality is that opposition to immigration is increasing across Scotland as immigration rises.
This is despite migrants comprising only 9% of Scotland’s population compared to more than 14% across the UK.
Ms Sturgeon likes to portray the people of Scotland as liberal and inclusive, often attempting to draw a contrast with elsewhere in the UK. As Scotland’s attitude to immigration becomes increasingly similar to elsewhere in the UK, perhaps this is just another pan-UK commonality?
Worse off in employment
Madam, – Although, I am unemployed I agree to a certain extent about the jobless picking the berries.
There are a lot of problems with benefits. If someone took a job on who was on jobseekers allowance, once the berry picking finished they would be on to Universal Credit.
They would then have to wait about six weeks for money and would also be in arrears with rent.
I took a job last year that I was wondering whether or not to take.
I was told by my work coach that I would be better off by something like £30.
However the job did not work out for me.
I also discovered that when I was told I was on Universal Credit, I had lost my disability and severe disability money – a total of about £95.
42, Prior Road,
Unjustified climate alarm
Madam, – The recent BBC programme “Climate Change – The Facts” presented by Sir David Attenborough was little more than a highly politicised manifesto in favour of renewable energy and unjustified alarm.
It was suggested storms, floods, heat-waves and sea level rise are rapidly getting worse as a result of climate change yet the best available data, published by the IPCC and NASA, contradicts such exaggeration of empirical evidence.
As the inaccurate and misleading statements in the BBC’s endless predictions of catastrophe need to be challenged or we will have scientifically-challenged politicians like Nicola Sturgeon believing the world is facing a climate emergency.
Rev Dr John Cameron,
10 Howard Place,
Steer clear of referendums
Madam, – Those who argue a re-run of the now distorted Brexit referendum and the fanciful fairytale Scottish one are deluding themselves as people nowadays are bored to death with politicians endlessly repeating themselves: everyone has already said, or thought, everything that he or she has to say or think about these issues.
Politicians should steer well clear of referendums and the frenetic activity associated with them which only causes public rancour and division and solves nothing.