Readers’ letters to The Courier discuss Scotland’s infantry regiments, our weekend supplement, the Mike Barile case, energy policy and speed limits.
Infantry regiment reductions will cut casualties
Sir,-I would appreciate if Jeff Duncan (March 9) could explain what advantages our infantry regiments would gain by reintroducing the archaic regimental class system?
Scotland is too small to maintain so many infantry regiments.
Scotland suffered the highest rate of UK casualties in two world wars. The more infantry regiments a country has on the battlefield, the more casualties you will expect.
As an ex-member of the 51st Highland Infantry Division, I support the reduction in our infantry regiments and the amalgamation, rather than returning to a system that punishes Scotland in the name of tradition.
James Mann.29 Airlie Drive,Monifieth.
Worthy of recognition
Sir,-As a life member of Hospitalfield Alumni Association and a former beneficiary as a student, from July to September 1944, I would like to record my heartfelt appreciation of the front page of The Courier’s Weekend supplement, written by Helen Brown.
It is gratifying when so worthy an institution is accorded such recognition for the efforts of directors, past and present, generations of canny trustees and active friends like the alumni.
David Lockhart (RSW).138 Cocklaw Street,Kelty.
Barile case may deter teachers
Sir,-To an outsider it seems that those who have, in effect, persecuted Mike Barile and his family have some explaining to do.
Good teachers are not two a penny and potential entrants to the profession may be deterred by the sort of treatment to which Mr Barile was subjected. Those who would deny pupils the right to be disciplined have a lot to answer for.
John Brennand.1 Brompton Terrace,Perth.
Pupils could entrap staff
Sir,-Now that Mike Barile has finally been given some justice, it seems, looking at the case, the Procurator Fiscal has some questions to answer.
The sheriff said that if Mr Barile had not been a teacher the case would never have been brought.
He also made mention of the severe provocation this teacher had faced. Having a good knowledge of the justice system, this is double speak for, Mr Fiscal why did you waste the court’s time?
Then, at the appeal court on the two occasions the case was heard, the judges, although not completely overturning the verdict, also gave much time to the same observations as the sheriff.
We have become a country where, when it comes to dealing with young folk, many are afraid to tell them they deserved the way in which they were handled.
The teenagers in Mr Barile’s case had been held physically although not in a way that caused any injury.
Consequently, it was deemed they had been assaulted. Heaven help us if we are now raising a generation that cannot tolerate any physical contact.
One wonders if the poor souls held by Mr Barile are ever going to get over the experience. In recent weeks we have heard a call for teachers to get involved if they see any physical harm coming to their pupils by way of any altercations between students.
If teachers are going to be dealt with like Mr Barile, is it little wonder they will stand back and let others deal with it?
It is not beyond some pupils to pretend to fight in order to get a teacher involved.
John Montgomery.24 March Crescent,Anstruther.
Coal retains huge potential
Sir,-I do not know Bill Duthie (March 10) but I applaud his letter advocating our coal reserves as a means of avoiding our coming energy crisis.
Some of us have been saying the same thing for many years and all responsible people should take note before the ongoing indifference and irresponsibility of our politicians leads to serious and long-term repercussions that will cost us dearly. The main problem is that no political party has, or ever had, a serious interest in establishing a credible long-term energy policy.
And that has now led to the fiasco whereby taxpayers are doling out huge subsidies for every windmill constructed and, even more serious, we are faced with the obscenity of repeating all the mistakes and dangers inherent in building more nuclear power stations.
It doesn’t have to be like that. We are fortunate in still having vast amounts of high-quality coal at our disposal, and in central Scotland, all requisite skills are available to rejuvenate our mining industry.
All we need are some grown-up politicians who have a sense of responsibility for the future well-being of our country.
Jim Parker.Scottish Mineworkers’ Consortium,9 Banchory Green,Glenrothes.
Sir,-Stephen Caldwell (March 15) rightly says that none of the major political parties has backed lowering speed limits. However, it should be recalled that Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats supported last year’s Calman Commission recommendation to devolve powers to the Scottish Parliament to set national speed limits, while the SNP later backed the move despite initially wanting nothing to do with the devolution review.
Thus, in view of the SNP’s silence on the substantive issue of speed limits, it would be interesting to know their intentions regarding the power, likewise with the unionist parties.
And it would also be instructive to know why parties presumably think different safety standards should apply north and south of the border.
I suspect that the proposal was more about political posturing than road safety.