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We cannot blame migrants for fleeing

We cannot blame migrants for fleeing

Sir, – Should we be feeling threatened at the mass movement of so-called immigrants or refugees heading our way?

We in Europe became rich and prosperous on the strength of our empires by stripping continents of their minerals and wealth while subjugating their populations.

We used our then superior technology and weaponry to facilitate this.

As our empires crumbled, the world’s countries were able to progress and become richer.

In recent years, the spread of electronic technology has especially enabled even the so-called Third World, to catch us up.

We now live in oil dependent economies so in the producer areas of the Middle East we use diplomatic means to pit nations against each other to try to secure a cheap source of this oil.

When this fails we then induce them to fight wars with the weaponry that we have sold to both sides.

In an area of the world where religious differences matter, this has dangerously exacerbated the situation by festering extremism.

A majority of these people on the move are not the poor and downtrodden but the educated middle classes.

They are teachers, medical staff and the small business owners who have seen their compatriots and families wiped out by shelling and bombing raids.

Why are we then surprised that these folks, displaced by war, use the latest mobile technology to communicate with each other. Can’t we see the irony in this?

Put yourself in their position.

Would you stay with the threat of imminent death hanging over the heads of you and your family?

It is little wonder that the desperate will endure any hardship to reach the safe haven that is the European Union.

Joseph A Peterson. Kilrymont Road, St Andrews.

Islamic invasion of Europe

Sir, – The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, said that the razor wire fence and new laws criminalising those entering Hungary illegally were essential in order to “defend Hungary and Europe” and “protect our way of life”.

He added: “Hungary is a country with a thousand-year-old Christian culture. We Hungarians don’t want the worldwide movement of people to change Hungary”.

I am reminded of the words of Colonel Gaddafi, Libya’s Islamic leader who stated on Al Jazeera television on April 10 2006: “There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest. The 50 million Muslims in Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within three decades.”

Research suggests that there will be 71 million Muslims in Europe by 2050. Where exactly are the politicians of Europe leading us without our consent?

Clark Cross. 138 Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

We must put Britons first

Sir, – I am, of course, like many people, deeply moved by the plight of the refugees coming into Europe.

But should charity not begin at home?

The way this country treats ex soldiers is disgraceful.

Up to 9,000 soldiers who have bravely served Queen and country are facing homelessness and poverty. That is disgraceful.

Instead of opening the doors to 20,000 Syrian refugees, could David Cameron not look at providing accommodation and help for those comrades who served his country?

There is very little help for soldiers to return to civilian life and many are forgotten about and fall through the net and end up homeless. While I am not unsympathetic to the plight of innocent refugees, I feel we should be looking after our own as well as helping refugees. The sad reality is, in this country we have the resources but not the will to do both.

Gordon Kennedy. 117 Simpson Square, Perth.

Take in soldiers not migrants

Sir, – As a card-carrying member and former activist of the SNP for more years than Nicola Sturgeon has lived, I was a great admirer of hers until her stance on immigration.

It is my opinion that there should be no immigration into Scotland from anywhere until homelessness and foodbanks have been addressed.

To me it is absolute folly to bring in thousands more mouths to feed when we are failing Scottish people so miserably.

On her offer to share her home with a Syrian Muslim family, why did she not do this with a Scottish family or a couple of soldiers who make up many of our homeless and who gave so much fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and have been abandoned by the army and the Westminster government?

To me they are more deserving of our gratitude and help than any immigrant.

There are some points Ms Sturgeon may not have taken in account.

The average Syrian Muslim family has at least two children and are called to prayer five times a day.

There would be no bacon butties or fry-ups as this would be offensive to her house guests as would a wee relaxing hauf at night after a long day in Holyrood.

Her house would need to have one toilet that does not faces towards the east or Mecca as it is offensive to use a toilet which does.

They would require halal meat. This deeply offends me but my opinion on this does not seem to matter in Scotland.

No First Minister, it would be much easier to house a couple of ex soldiers until they could be re-housed and you might gain more votes.

T. Gardner. Main Street, Bankfoot.

End of proud Scots tradition

Sir, – Is the SNP denying the Scottish tradition of invention and innovation?

Once again the SNP, in the guise of SNP Members Against Unconventional Gas, (SMAUG) is sending out signals to the world of an anti-innovation and anti-business Scotland, that actually makes Luddites look like forward thinkers. Their stance on shale gas and oil is ill informed.

They claim shale gas pollutes our water. In Scotland, our water comes from open reservoirs not sub-strata water and cannot be contaminated by gas.

They claim we cannot burn North Sea gas and unconventional gas together. Gas is gas no matter where it comes from.

We at present have one of the largest and most skilled deep-drilling workforces in the world, but due to the low oil price and high operating costs, nearly all drilling in the North Sea will cease in the next couple of years.

One projection is that 140 oil and gas fields will close.

Unless we use this highly-skilled and knowledgeable workforce in the very much safer shale oil and gas industry, all this hard-won knowledge will be lost.

Shale gas drilling is safer because you are not drilling into a pressurised reservoir, as you do in conventional oil.

When I attended school, we were taught to be proud of our Scottish traditions of invention and innovation. This does not appear to be the attitude of the SNP. Scotland had a shale oil industry in 1862.

I must congratulate the SNP on their choice of the name SMAUG. I am sure they are smug in their certainty that they are right and smug that they know all there is to know about the technical realities of shale gas production, gleaned from one discredited video.

George O’Brien. Guerdon Cottage, School Green, Anstruther.

A year of missed opportunities

Sir, – A year ago, Scotland suffered the humiliation of a no vote, the result of which left Scotland a laughing stock the world over.

Promises that were made to Scotland have not been fulfilled.

The vow turned out to be a complete sham and Gordon Brown vanished without a trace.

Alistair Darling, one-time campaigner to abolish the House Of Lords, was last seen measuring himself up for his ermine robe.

Despite winning 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland, every amendment that the SNP wanted to be included in the Scotland Bill going through Westminster (including full fiscal autonomy) was shot down in flames by the Conservative Party.

It is hard to not think what could have been.

RMF Brown. Hill Terrace, Markinch.

Nation must now move on

Sir, – Alex Salmond and the SNP are looking for excuses for another referendum, which they declared was a once-in-a-lifetime event. His excuse now is Trident was forced on Scotland and we were never consulted. I would like to point out that the Scots who voted against independence accepted that the UK policy of Trident was part of that agreement, so yes we were consulted.

Removal of Trident was part of the Yes manifesto.

Now that we have a slump in oil prices, they would be better telling us how they would have funded the many services they were relying on this money to provide.

The SNP were never going to accept the outcome of the referendum if it never went their way. They will constantly call foul. They should just accept the result was no and move on.

Alastair McLean. Ar Tigh Ceither, 4 Fletcher Place, Crieff.

Concentrate on priorities

Sir, – The Deputy First Minister looks to the future “with a sense of real optimism” (September 18). I wonder what fantasy world he lives in.

Like very many people who voted no a year ago, I look to the future in Scotland with a feeling of great depression. The Scottish Government goes on and on and on about independence, hinting at the possibility of a second referendum.

Do they really want so soon to repeat the trauma that the last referendum caused, leaving Scotland a divided country?

Of course the SNP will point to their electoral success in May. That cannot be denied, albeit that it was surely the consequence of a feeble Labour Party and an outdated first-past-the-post voting system. It is likely many who voted SNP did not support independence.

I look forward to next May with some dread. Unless the Labour Party can get its act together we shall have to suffer another SNP government which, like the present one, will almost certainly bang the independence drum while the functions on which they should be concentrating, especially education and health, continue to deteriorate.

No, Mr Swinney, I cannot share your optimism.

Alastair L Stewart. 86 Albany Road, Broughty Ferry.