Madam, – While we have been naturally focused on the UK and the outcome of the European Parliament elections here, across the EU the predicted surge of the Far Right in Hungary, Poland, France, Austria, Italy and the UK did not do as well as expected.
Overall, the centre ground held.
The Scottish results indeed make Scotland look rather mainstream in European terms.
Yes, the populist Brexit party took 14 per cent of the vote.
But that’s less than Le Pen’s 23% and similar to the eurosceptic AfD in Germany who got 11%.
Pro-remain parties in Scotland took 62% of the vote while pro-Brexit parties took just over a quarter at 28%.
The same cannot be said for England and Wales where the Brexit party came first with just under a third of the vote, the LibDems second in England, and Plaid Cymru second in Wales.
The two main parties at Westminster, Tories and Labour, were decimated.
Pushed by the Brexit Party, Tory candidates for the leadership will now talk up even more the fantasy of a no deal Brexit.
So, the choice remains Brexit or no Brexit?
If it is Brexit then it’s May’s deal, which has little support. Or, even more damaging, no deal Brexit.
The Commons may still be opposed to a no deal Brexit but unless they can figure out, finally, what they are for, the end of October deadline will soon figure strongly.
Scotland, having again shown itself to be a mainstream European country, will be watching this askance as this Brexit lunacy continues.
In the EU as a whole the centre has held, as it has in Scotland.
But in England and Wales, the deep Brexit, political and social fractures have just become much worse.
The centre cannot and will not hold for the UK and where its fractured and fractious politics go next is unclear indeed.
Faced with this situation Scotland has a chance to remain part of that European mainstream, but that can only be achieved through independence.
Flat 3, 2 Marchmont Road,Edinburgh.
Scottish voters deserve respect
Madam, – No matter how the Tories and Labour spin the EU election in Scotland they took, in rugby terms, a right good shoeing.
Both parties take their brief from London and that brief so far has been one of ignoring an elected administration in Edinburgh.
The Tory party in Stirling summed it up by telling people to ignore the SNP, an incredible act of disrespect after the EU result.
This kind of behaviour sums up what some British Conservatives in Scotland think of the electorate and it’s little wonder Ruth Davidson and her party were once again rejected at the Scottish polls.
As for Labour they sat on the fence with a confusing message and lost a really good MEP in David Martin.
The liberals had a good night and I’m sure were boosted by the demise of the Tory party.
The Brexit party with absolutely no policies bar one were the surprise, but again benefited from the Tory party demise.
Who knows where we are headed now but if Westminster unionists continue to ignore and disrespect Scotland then it will end with the very thing they are trying to avoid.
Democratic deficit over PM
Madam, – One of the key themes of Theresa May’s time as Prime Minister has been that she must respect the will of the people with regards to the majority of referendum voters who wanted to “take back control from unelected European bureaucrats”.
How does this square with the fact that, at this momentous, contentious and possibly ruinous time in our history, our next Prime Minister will be appointed not by the people of the UK.
Mrs May’s replacement will instead be chosen by the votes of the members of the Conservative Party – all 124,000 of them, with an average age of 72 – out of a total UK electorate of 47 million.
Democratic it ain’t.
5 Carmichael Gardens,
Sturgeon wrong in assessment
Madam, – As part of her ceaseless separatist narrative, Nicola Sturgeon maintains Scotland voted differently to the rest of the UK in the EU election.
In this, she is wrong on two counts.
A numerical majority across the UK, not merely in Scotland, voted for Remain parties opposed to Brexit – and seek a second referendum.
But also, regrettably, in all parts of the UK, voters heavily backed nationalist parties with similar isolationist dogmas.
The Brexit Party seeks to separate the UK from the EU, ending a 50 year union.
The SNP’s objective is to separate Scotland from the UK ending a 300 plus years’ union with, considering Scotland’s significant deficit, no imminent prospect of joining the EU.
Overturn Perth Kirking decision
Madam, – I think there is a very sad contrast between a council which is prepared to spend £20 million turning the City Hall into a big museum to “tell the history of Perth” and the abandoning of the Annual Kirking of the Council .
It is a very important parade, which is, living history.
When I led my first Kirking of the Council at the start of my term as Provost, I was embarrassed that at the end of the parade the Provost thanked the Moderator for turning out and then said goodbye.
For the next Kirking the Council agreed to have a tea and biscuits reception at the end of the parade to thank the High Constables in a much more civilised way.
Now the Council wish to abandon the whole annual parade.
They fail to realise that the Annual Kirking is a very important symbol of citizens who were elected for the “Common Good” showing the public by attending the church, as a body, that they would work together with a high measure of honesty and integrity, and that councillors elected from all over the very large geographical area of Perth and Kinross could co-operate for a common purpose.
The High Constables gave style and dignity to the parade-surely the council should reconsider this decision to cancel the Annual Kirking?
9 Riverview Park,
Skewed logic on Fife rail route
Madam, – As more reports are awaited on solving Levenmouth’s transport challenges, it has become clear the whole arrangement is upside down.
Basically, it is based on the false logic a strong case needs to be made to justify reopening the line.
Yet as the largest urban centre in Scotland with no rail connections, and one suffering serious and increasing disadvantage, the sensible approach would be to demand the Scottish Government justify why they are not providing adequate transport links.
Recognising and admitting the Government’s responsibility for ensuring strategic transport connections might then avoid further endless, costly and repetitive studies which always seem to support the case anyway.