Madam, – I read the other day about Jacob Rees-Mogg’s campaign to be elected MP for Central Fife in 1997 and couldn’t believe he was unsuccessful!
I appreciate he was a young man then, so young he had to be chaperoned by his nanny round the streets of Coaltown of Balgonie in his Bentley, but it is said he charmed the local populace with his exquisite manners, his olde world charm, and his remarkable compassion.
As well as his high breeding, wealth and massive brain, young Jacob also had the benefit of his exemplary education at Eton and Oxford, a privilege granted to oh so few, which, along with his high moral character, was surely enough to qualify him for the highest offices in the land, never mind the opportunity to transform the derelict pits and bings of post industrial Fife.
But unfortunately the good people of Central Fife did not recognise the gift horse in their midst, and instead voted for some local cove, long forgotten, who went on to become first minister of Scotland.
The redundant miners and industrial workers, and their progeny, could now be bankers and financiers, hedge fund managers even.
The streets of Kennoway could be overshadowed by towering office blocks, the wide open spaces of Glenrothes populated by glittering mansions, the streets of Methil choked by Porsches and Jags and the Levenmouth Rail Link a high speed reality.
But the good people of Central Fife are left to rue their missed opportunity, and now JRM is a national hero, nannying our glorious but immature Prime Minister Johnson, as he seeks to emulate the spectacularly successful redevelopment of British industry and life, brought about by the much lamented government of his predecessor Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
5 Carmichael Gardens,
Lessons haven’t been learned
Madam, – It’s almost 12 years since the bankers’ greed caused a huge world wide recession and cost the UK tax payers £7.4 trillion in lost output.
But what have we learned?
Not much it seems.
When Carillion collapsed costing the UK pax payers millions the collapse was characterised by “recklessness and greed”.
And now Thomas Cook has gone bust.
Again the UK tax payers will foot the bill for getting holiday makers home.
Again it turns out that the main bosses got millions in bonuses and salaries before the company went bust.
And what have the Tories done to prevent us from being ripped off?
Nothing. Well not quite nothing!
What was Boris Johnson’s first priority when becoming leader?
A nice fat tax cut for the mega rich bankers and rip off artists. Truly sickening.
Welcome to join the debate
Madam, – For many months now Broughty Ferry Community Council has been looking to recruit new members to assist in its work in representing community opinion in all manner of things, including local planning and licensing applications.
People like Stephen Koral, whose letter (Aldi store refusal shows priorities are wrong, Courier, September 23) referring to the Aldi planning refusal appeared in The Courier, would be a most welcome addition to our membership.
His forthright views could well have an effect on deciding how the community council should react when considering its support or otherwise to local planning applications for example.
I wonder if he had sight of the 35 pages of the city’s planning department report on the Aldi application which recommended refusal before he put pen to paper.
He would have learned that the reasons for refusal were many and varied and not confined to those of the local community, but to a much wider consideration.
The Clearwater roundabout/Balgillo Road traffic problem is under active consideration both by the community council and local elected members.
A glance at the minutes of the community council meetings displayed in Broughty Ferry library would have provided that information.
Above all, Mr Koral’s letter provides ample evidence that we still live in a democratic society where freedom of speech prevails.
John J Watson.
39 Elie Avenue,
Improving ASN delivery
Madam, – As a coalition whose members support children with additional support needs (ASN) we greatly welcome the establishment of a review to examine how additional support for learning is delivered in the classrooms and how this can be improved.
Its findings will be submitted to the Scottish Government and CoSLA by the end of February 2020.
While there are some excellent examples of best practice, for many with ASN their experience is not good, often lacking the necessary vital classroom support which impacts not only them but their fellow pupils and teachers.
For some time now we have expressed concern over the increase in the number of those with ASN, almost 70% since 2012, against the background of a fall in the numbers of specialist ASN teachers and support staff in key categories.
Spending per pupil with ASN has also been cut by more than a quarter over this same time period.
It is vital that those with ASN get the care and support they need, which is also key if we are to close the educational attainment gap.
We would urge individuals, be they pupils, parents or teachers and other practitioners to share their experiences.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition.
4 Queen Street,
Farming firms left out to dry
Madam, – I refer to the article “Fear key sectors could be ‘brutally exposed’” (Courier, September 20).
The National Farmers’ Union of Scotland are right to take the UK environment minister Teresa Villiers to task on how the agri-food businesses in Fife and Perthshire rely on a workforce predominantly from outside the UK.
The possibility of a No Deal Brexit, or even a hastily cobbled deal in these final weeks, is deplorable.
Farming businesses and their key employees are being left out to dry.
East Neuk and Landward.
Practising what they preach
Madam, – Whilst I applaud the energy and zeal of the climate change protesters, I note that around every school there is discarded plastic drinks bottles, crisp packets and other assorted packaging.
The Dighty Park area behind Monifieth High School is particularly blighted by this litter.
So instead of making disparaging remarks about world leaders, how’s about some of the junior eco warriors clean up their own mess?
Or is it a case of “we will happily take a day off school to highlight the problem, but someone else can sort it out”?
7 Fontstane Road,