Madam, – I refer to the letter from GM Lindsay (‘Double standard over new PM’, The Courier, July 27) in which he states the commissioners of the European Union are unelected and our first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, was not elected but anointed.
Perhaps the following will help Mr Lindsay compare democracy:
The head of state in the United Kingdom is Her Majesty the Queen, a position she was not elected to, but inherited for life.
The head of state for the EU, the president, is a rotating position for six months, held by the prime minister of a member state.
The head of executive for the UK is the prime minister, leader of the party with the most seats; selected by their party.
The head of executive for the EU is the council president, selected by a majority vote; a 2-5 year term renewable once.
Executive for the UK is the cabinet, which is selected by the PM.
The executive for the EU, the European Council (EC) are the prime ministers of member states.
Head of legislature for the UK is the House of Commons leader, appointed by the PM and serving at the PM’s pleasure.
The head of legislature for the EU, the European Parliament president , is elected by EP for a term of two years and six months, renewable once.
The legislature for the UK is the House of Lords, which is unelected, and the House of Commons, which is elected by the people.
The head of civil service for the UK is selected by the PM for an indefinite term.
The head of civil service for the EU is the EU commission president, elected by European Parliament on a five-year term, renewable.
In the UK civil service, the department heads are appointed by the government; the 380,000-plus civil servants by competitive recruitment.
In the EU, civil service commissioners are appointed by member states; 46 civil servants by competitive recruitment.
MSPs voted Nicola Sturgeon as first minister.
It was a two-horse race: Nicola Sturgeon won 66 votes and Ruth Davidson got 15.
I do hope this will help Mr Lindsay, and he should be informed that Google is wonderful.
News blackout a regressive idea
Madam, – Thank you for reporting the Fife Cultural Trust is planning to stop supplying local and regional newspapers to public libraries (The Courier, July 23.
I had not realised they had already stopped their subscriptions to national newspapers in January 2017.
This decision can only have been made by number-crunching bureaucrats who haven’t the faintest idea of the value and importance of libraries or newspapers.
To justify this by saying papers are available online is outrageously ignorant.
Online versions are no substitute for print copies; websites only offer a selection of what is printed, and access is often behind a paywall, ie. it depends on your ability to pay.
This also discriminates against the still-significant section of the population that is not digitally literate.
Local newspapers are under pressure as never before, and many have folded, even though they are an essential resource for local communities and for our local democracy.
Fife Council rarely misses an opportunity to trumpet its commitment to communities and its “Fairer Fife” agenda.
Depriving Fifers of local newspapers in order to save £5,000 is regressive in every sense.
Linda Holt (Councillor, East Neuk & Landward),
A Hub solution for Monifieth
Madam, – I recently attended a meeting concerning the Monifieth History Society and the access office at High Street, Monifieth.
They had put in a CAT Transfer for the building as it was lying empty, but were thwarted due to a lack of communication with Angus Council, and now the deadline for the CAT transfer has passed.
However, the way forward seems to be a straightforward lease of the building providing Angus Council undertakes repairs. There is currently no costing for these repairs.
The Cabin on Union Street, which was due for demolition a few years ago, is now acting as a community centre and is over-subscribed; the plan is to have a new building.
The Men’s Shed that operates next to the old Invertay School is on a month-to-month rental, and have had their CAT transfer turned down by Angus Council. They are finding it difficult to secure other premises.
The access office was moved into the library, but this is only one desk; the library itself could do with a huge upgrade.
All of the above could be housed in Invertay, but Angus Council have the site earmarked for other development. Meanwhile the old Invertay School lies empty, apart for being used as a storage facility for Angus Council.
There is a town centre improvement initiative for Monifieth with £107,000 of funding available. Would it not be a grand gesture from Angus Council to offer Invertay free of charge to Monifieth, and use this money to refurbish the building.
This community hub could serve the whole of Monifieth, house all of the afore-mentioned, and probably more.
7 Provosts Walk,
Show respect for Carphin, and us
Madam, – I refer to the article, (‘Officers ready to cast eye over preparations at controversial venue’, The Courier, July 27) in which the Carphin House owner, Mr Macallan, claimed “there are a small number of spiteful individuals trying to worry (wedding) couples without cause”.
This is a gross distortion of reality.
There were very good reasons why the Fife, and subsequently, Scottish planning authorities refused permission for the use of Carphin as a wedding venue, and the rationale has only become stronger over the last year.
This clearing in a wood (contravening a tree preservation order) is accessed by 600m of single track road with no passing places and runs through the middle of a working farm.
It is not a fit place to routinely host hundreds of wedding guests.
Further, the Luthrie Residents Group, representing 96% of Luthrie residents, is not a “small number of spiteful individuals”. Quite the opposite.
The group represents a law-abiding, decent community, united against the noise, harassment and disruption that has been visited on their hitherto tranquil village. It is disgraceful to suggest otherwise.
Mr Macallan owes them a public apology.
Cllr Tony Miklinski.
Practise what you preach
Madam, – I trust those who took part in school climate strikes are refusing to go on holiday with their parents if it involves flying.
Could I further suggest not travelling in their parents’ petrol/diesel car, no iPhones or computers, no goods from China, India, Japan or Indonesia, no wood burning stoves, or food cooked by gas.
Finally, no climate-changing burgers and chips, lamb chops or tasty bacon for them, despite there being one billion cattle, one billion sheep and 900 million pigs in the world. They must commit to reducing their emissions.
138 Springfield Road,