Madam, – While unbelievably, our politicians enjoy their annual summer break and the rest of us ponder an uncertain future, we Scots are facing the most difficult period in both our economic and political history.
Never before has democracy in our Nation (Scotland) been under such an attack from the most populist right wing government ever seen in Britain.
Brexit manifested in the form of Leave or Remain, has become the political dividing line particularly in England/UK.
This disaster has polarised into two camps which have completely blurred the accepted divisions of the main political parties.
Brexit Tories are now bedfellows of extreme Brexit Labour voters.
The Tory and Labour parties are split and in turmoil, if not total decline.
The Lib Dems, the temporary refuge of Remainers from both Tory and Labour, are now being led by a leader who has turned her back on Scotland.
As an observer of English politics all I see is the collapse of the political status quo.
A Westminster Parliament stuck in a quagmire, unable to extricate itelf from the impasse.
The political narrative is about suspending Parliament, of finding ways of ignoring no confidence votes and of making political comment that has little foundation.
With Boris Johnson the situation has just become even more critical and we are now entering and witnessing the final chapter of the greatest act of self-harm this country has ever encountered since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Through three years of turmoil Scotland has remained steadfast, consistent and predictable.
Clearly from day one the electorate has consistently voted remain. Welsh nationalism is on the rise and a United Ireland has been seriously talked about in Northern Ireland.
Even the English are beginning to say they would be happy to sell out the UK for a no deal Brexit.
From this background of chaos, like never before an independent Scotland provides a route out of the chaos. Better together is dead and meaningless even to the most staunch of no-to- independence supporter of 2014.
The task must be to make our dream of independence happen, and soon.
Charles Melvin Gardens,
Politicians must make agenda
Madam, – Politicians must take back control from mercenary un-elected special political advisers who have caused and are causing major disruption in the country.
We currently have Dominic Cummings acting as a de facto joint prime minister and dominating a Cabinet too fearful of their jobs to oppose him.
Similarly, Jeremy Corbyn has been for too long in the thrall of Seumas Milne, Katie Murphy, Andrew Murray and Len McCluskey, rendering him an ambiguous and indecisive leader unable to form a meaningful opposition.
The increased use of special advisers, especially where they are given any management function, is detrimental to our democracy. True democracy demands our elected representatives, while recognising they may have to consult with the permanent civil service for advice, have the ability and courage to do the job they were elected to do.
93 Denoon Terrace,
Livestock farms not to blame
Madam, – The climate change conference in Geneva reported last week and media outlets chose to concentrate on feeding us with the story that eminent scientists at the UN IPCC say livestock farming is a major cause of global warming.
Common sense tells us that agriculture and livestock are pretty insignificant as far as the climate change story is concerned.
Methane produced by ruminant livestock is a tiny fraction of global methane emissions.
Most methane is produced by natural processes in swamps, jungles and bogs or is released from oil or coal extraction.
Rice paddy fields probably produce as much or more methane than all the world’s ruminants but we haven’t heard any suggestion that we should stop eating rice.
If you want to understand why we have a climate change problem, go to Heathrow and watch one aeroplane landing and another taking off every two minutes or so, with plans in hand to build a third runway.
Or go to Poland or Lower Saxony and watch them digging out vast quantities of lignite to burn in their power stations for cheap electricity or go to Brazil and see them tearing down vast tracts of rainforest.
Or you could go to China and other countries in Asia where they are constantly building new coal-fired power stations mainly fuelled by Australian coal.
Just please don’t try to pin all the blame for climate change on farming and particularly the largely pastoral beef, dairy and sheep production that we have in the UK.
Denhead of Arbirlot,
Cleaning up an effluent society
Madam, – I read with interest Paul Charters’ letter “Fly-Tippers should feel the full weight of the law”, (Courier, August 9).
Whilst all right-minded folk would concur with Mr Charters that we live in an effluent society in which old sofas and mattresses are often dumped up country lanes and local beauty spots, I feel it is high time councils threw their full weight behind removing the barriers which prevent many from doing their civic duty.
Yes, there are those who are downright lazy and anti-social, but there are also many who simply don’t have the physical means to take sofas and mattresses to designated council skips, and – believe me – councils are not shy in charging for the uplifting of these items.
Additionally, I’m sure many would agree that as local authorities become more and more grasping, the problem will only get worse.
It doesn’t take any great intellect to predict that when Dundee City Council follow the dubious example of Perth and Kinross and bring in a brown bin charge for next year’s collection of garden refuse the problem of fly- tipping will only escalate.
I hear councils bemoan the cost of clearing up fly-tipping sites but I’m sure that I’m in a growing number when I say my sympathy is wearing thin.
In recent years in Dundee, the number of general waste bin collections has halved and the brown garden refuse bin is emptied even more infrequently.
I would also wager that even when people are asked to stump up for the emptying of the brown bin the collections will not increase in frequency.
There will be no added value for paying for this service. All that will happen is that the hard pressed council tax payer will generate an extra £1 million or so for the council coffers.
Yes, Mr Charters is correct in saying fly-tipping blights our neighbourhoods and countrysides and something ought to be done.
But perhaps it is about time councils led the way by making it easier for people to dispose of their waste, and stop starving essential resources.