Madam, – As the Brexit drama continues to play out at Westminster, it seems our SNP Government is determined to not be outdone and is working away to devise its very own constitutional crisis.
This includes the real prospect of domestic priorities having to suffer in the pursuit of a second independence referendum (‘Secret preparations for second vote, Tories claim’, Courier, September 26).
The head of the Scottish civil service has warned of the risks, including the impact of trying to prepare for an independence referendum re-run whilst at the same time dealing with potential Brexit outcomes.
This results from the SNP leadership’s obsession with an overriding ambition to separate from the UK, and as a consequence not being prepared to do the sensible thing and wait for the impact of Brexit to become clear.
Meanwhile, as SNP MPs rant in the House of Commons about the actions of the UK Government, the SNP’s own constitutional affairs minister is equally determined to avoid listening to the Electoral Commission, the independent body set up by parliament to oversee UK elections and referendums.
The SNP is blatantly trying to avoid the Electoral Commission fulfilling its well established duty to review the question proposed for any second referendum.
The problem, of course, is the SNP wants to benefit from a question that gifts it the positive Yes response, while updated research suggests the commission would recommend a more neutral approach.
While the SNP leadership so often likes to claim the moral high ground, when it comes to getting ready for a second independence referendum it seems any pretence of virtuous action is to be the first casualty of its independence at any cost mentality.
Convention out of the window
Madam, – What is happening to our political system?
In times gone by a prime minister was expected to resign if they were defeated on a major policy point.
Our current PM has been defeated six times on motions in the Houses of Parliament and carried out an unlawful act to protect himself, which was supported by our head of state.
It is claimed the Queen cannot make her feelings known and must act on her advisers’ advice.
If this is the case why do we need her?
Let’s get back to democracy.
This man must be stopped before he ruins this country!
93 Whyterose Terrace,
Trust in UK’s key institutions
Madam, – Trust is the essential foundation of democracy, the law and all the institutions of a free society.
If we can trust neither our MPs nor our judges to honour our choice in the referendum, the future for this country is dark indeed.
In 2016 the Leave campaign won the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
And in 2017 we elected both a government and an opposition who promised to honour that choice.
Since then the majority in Parliament, led by the Speaker and assisted by every arm of the establishment, has sought to frustrate the referendum result.
Now we have a minority government, which cannot govern and an opposition preventing the renewal of parliament through a general election.
Who is to say that when we do get a general election, it will make any difference?
The decision of the Supreme Court indicates that even a genuine Leave majority in the House of Commons would have the greatest difficulty in honouring the referendum result.
When change cannot be effected by rule- governed democracy to which all assent, then trust in and assent to our institutions can only crumble.
Our MPs and our senior judges clearly prefer a future of autocracy punctuated by riot and revolution.
I do not!
6 Inveralmond Grove,
Border raiders beat booze curb
Madam, – The universities of Sunderland and Newcastle claim that alcohol sales in Scotland have reduced by 7.6% since the Scottish Government introduced minimum pricing.
I doubt if the survey took into account the amount of alcohol purchased across the English border.
In addition to Scots crossing the border for the sole purpose of buying alcohol for both their personal and friends’ benefit, English border supermarkets delivery vans are making deliveries to Scottish border towns.
Add to this regular visitors to England topping up at the English supermarkets on the way home.
I personally have rarely had to buy my favourite tipple in Scottish supermarkets since the advent of minimum pricing.
I think the survey should have considered the amount of alcohol purchased across the border, which I believe could equate to the 7.6% reduction reported in sales since the new legislation was enacted.
If that is correct the only losers are the Scottish public unable to get their alcohol from across the border.
I do, of course, realise the nanny state supporters answer will be that less alcohol is being consumed.
I do not believe this to be the case.
Climate strikers’ tactics wrong
Madam, – Leaders, teachers and school strikers who “have led the way in waking the leaders up to the climate crisis” hope and expect that all governments will adopt stronger measures against adverse climate changes.
Their main effort must be to curb release of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, by all nations.
That demands “decarbonisation” of homes, hospitals, transport and industry.
Profound alterations to ways of life will result and terrible economic damage is inevitable.
Decarbonisation is horrendously costly.
The last prime minister, Mrs May, allocated trillions of pounds for it in the UK, costs confirmed by the Chancellors of the Exchequer.
The Chinese, US, Indian, Russian and many other world governments, who collectively emit much more than half the planet’s greenhouse gases, are not complying with efforts to curb them, indeed they are opening many new coalfields.
Very drastic energy policy U-turns would be needed by those in charge of these nations for the school strikers’ efforts to be effective.
Therefore, one must ask whether those favouring these strikes are adopting the wrong tactics, since the non-complying governments are certainly not going to curb carbon.
Dr Charles Wardrop.
111 Viewlands Rd West,
Taking the temperature
Madam, – Not one expert, scientist, ecologist or climatologist has been able to tell me what the ideal global mean surface temperature ought to be.
I would have thought this might have a bearing on their argument
19 Forth Park Drive,