Sir, – Richard Clark (November 28) sounds bitter and sad with his claims of imperialism keeping Scotland down.
Neither does he provide any evidence for his claim that Scotland has a strong financial base to justify separation, rather, like other presumptions by the SNP, which have been called into question and proven wide of the mark,he attempts to justify his claims by deriding the achievements of others.
As for imperialism, just who are the imperialists?
I like, many, welcome independence, but a different kind from that desired by Richard Clark. Real independence, independence from the EU.
It was Nye Bevan who called Britain “an island made of coal, surrounded by a sea of fish”.
Membership of the EU robbed Scottish fishermen of their livelihood.
Demands from the EU robbed the miners of theirs,while Germany continues to build coal- fired power plants.
The SNP, of which presumably Richard Clark is a supporter, wants a people drugged with
historical legend, replete with holy national sites such as Bannockburn and other such myths.
These things are the dead, empty heart of nationalism which is always said to be unique in every country but is always drearily similar.
If little Iceland can stand up and refuse to join the EU for fear of losing its fishing industry, why can’t the SNP?
Then perhaps we would be on a road to true economic independence instead of the false unrealistic promises it continues to make.
George Cormack. 2 McLauchlan Rise, Aberdour.
Fife road safety action call
Sir, – I recently stood as an independent candidate in the Rosyth by-election and am grateful to the 66 people who entrusted me with their first-preference votes.
All candidates acted in a professional and fair manner.
I am obviously disappointed that I did not win, however, I wish Sharon Wilson every success in her new role as councillor for Rosyth and North Queensferry.
I enjoyed meeting various members of the public during the campaign and hearing their concerns.
One of the top concerns was regarding road safety issues and, in particular, pedestrians walking on the road at Brankholm Brae, Rosyth, to access the new Sainsbury’s store.
Issues with speeding also came up a few times. I certainly hope that the new councillor will take these issues on board and will take appropriate action to address these concerns.
Alastair Macintyre. 18 Webster Place, Rosyth.
Cut off funding to terrorists
Sir, – As the UK Government prepares to officially enter yet another conflict, I only hope I am wrong about the following assertions.
France had been bombing Syria for some time, then the Paris attacks happened. Russia entered the fray and then Flight 9268 happened.
What do we think might happen when the warmongers in London join in as they pretend to make a difference?
Recent history has shown that the illegal war in Iraq only served to make the UK a target for extremism.
Surely the best way of dealing with the threat is to starve them of finance and weapons? But then where’s the profit to be made in that?
Richard Clark, Craigton, Monikie.
Unending cycle of violence
Sir, – David Cameron’s calls for war in the House of Commons against ISIS is following exactly the same script used by Tony Blair 14 years ago.
Mr Cameron does not have any plan to deal with ISIS. Bombing ISIS has been going on for 14 months and has achieved nothing.
His public discourse reminds me of King Lear’s statement: “Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!”
Demagogues in parliament and the media bellow for more bombs and more enemy corpses.
The military and war profiteers provide them. The public cheers the slaughter. Victory is assured. The nation rejoices when the newest face of evil is eradicated. But when one face of evil is exterminated, another rises to take its place.
Mr Cameron thinks the population is uneducated, unaware and can be relied upon to accept any preposterous story.
The Western media are complicit because they fail in their responsibility to hold governments to account and make it impossible for valid information to reach people.
Mr Cameron’s bombing will generate counter-violence. The cycle will not stop until the killing stops.
Alan Hinnrichs. 2 Gillespie Terrace, Dundee.
Eye on the polls not the people
Sir, – Until a few weeks ago, Nicola Sturgeon could walk on water.
A landslide electoral victory and another one coming up, an effective “trust me, I can fix it” approach, a well-disciplined party machine and, it appears, civil service, to do her bidding.
Scotland needs strong, able leadership, independent or not, SNP or otherwise.
More than money, this country needs reform of its public services to be more effective and cheaper and a populace willing to eat, smoke, drink and make itself ill less and behave better, work harder and learn more at school.
We need to get real about a truly balanced energy policy to secure supply and restore our international competitiveness by scrapping carbon taxes. This includes fracking.
In 2007, Alex Salmond, faced with nine departments, 27 agencies, plus councils and 152 quangos, said: “If you are going to have joined-up government you need less bits to join up.”
Not much happened because he faced a wall of inertia, job protection and an endless round of elections, apart from the easy target of Police Scotland.
Tony Blair’s biggest regret was not Iraq but not using his 2002 landslide to truly reform the UK. Like the SNP, his priority was to keep the polls high.
Allan Sutherland. 1 Willow Row, Stonehaven.
Ducking the hard questions
Sir, – Another First Minister’s Questions and another masterclass from Nicola Sturgeon in avoiding awkward questions.
Kezia Dugdale had the temerity to raise the £7.5 billion oil revenue shortfall that would have faced Scotland if we had believed the projections included in the SNP’s White Paper of fantasy economics.
Ms Sturgeon, of course, simply ignored all that, preferring to try to mock Ms Dugdale for “siding” with the Tories with regard to the £1.5 billion of further cuts that the First Minister believes will be coming our way by the end of the decade.
Of course, everyone knows Ms Dugdale was not remotely siding with the Tories, rather she was exposing how much worse things would have been if we had followed the SNP’s preferred direction.
Meanwhile, looking on at First Minister’s Questions was one of those who had been so determined to wind up the oil numbers to make the figures work in the SNP’s very own dodgy dossier, namely Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor.
Alex Salmond had bunked off from Westminster for the day, as they were only discussing the possibility of bombing IS in Syria.
He on the other hand, had an important engagement unveiling another portrait of himself at the National Portrait Gallery.
As the SNP’s Foreign Affairs spokesman, there is clearly nothing that anyone can say to influence his view on Syria.
As ever, the main point will be how he can cause the most divisiveness with the rest of the UK.
Keith Howell. White Moss, West Linton.
Scots travellers are ripped off
Sir, – I recently used the Stena Line ferry from Cairnryan to Belfast and was charged £320 return for a car and two adults.
I thought that this was extortionate when you can cross from Calais to Dover with a car and two adults for £139 return.
The ferry from Liverpool to Belfast, a journey of approximately five times the distance, is £258 return.
Stena has just announced passenger numbers from Cairnryan to Belfast have reached record numbers so they cannot use the lack of numbers as an excuse.
If you are like me and think this should not be allowed to go on, you should contact the Minister for Transport at Holyrood, Derek Mackay or Danny Kennedy Minister for Transport for Northern Ireland at Stormont.
Why the disparity in prices against Scottish travellers?
T. Gardner. Main Street, Bankfoot.
Gaelic television starved of funds
Sir, – As often with the Autumn Statement spending review, the devil is in the detail.
Tucked away is the scrapping of £1 million in funding from the UK Government for BBC Alba, the Gaelic television channel.
This means that BBC Alba will become reliant on its two other sources of support, the BBC and Scottish Government.
The decision to remove funding from Gaelic broadcasting is cultural vandalism. This fantastic television station serves an audience of 700,000 people, far outstripping the number of Gaelic speakers north of the border.
Its output includes news, current affairs, drama, entertainment and children’s programmes. It has also provided a great boost to Scottish rugby and football through the televising of matches.
This decision further illustrates how under-served Scotland is when it comes to public service broadcasting. Television licence payers, for example, currently pay in £335m every year but just £35m is spent on Scottish television production.
These plans, which will be detrimental to the development of the language and the creative sector, should be abandoned and the decision reversed.
Alex Orr. 77 LeamingtonTerrace, Edinburgh.