Today’s letters to The Courier.
Sir, – I am slowly getting sick of the constant belittling and discrimination that my generation goes through, the most recent example being Bob Beveridge’s comments arguing that MPs should be no younger than 50.
Mr Beveridge makes the unfounded assumption that wisdom comes with age. I prefer to think that wisdom comes from upbringing and moral values and my generation’s upbringing has made us more open.
We are not as ignorant when it comes to accepting people for their sexual orientation, creed, gender or race. I am constantly horrified at the derogatory slang and racial slurs used by the “experienced” generation.
Some facts I would like to point out are: the prime minister who sent 8,000 troops to their deaths in the Boer War was aged 72; 1,000 dead in Korea, prime minister’s age 67; the mass murder of 12,000 Mau Mau in Africa fighting against British imperialism and foreign subjection in the 60s, prime minister’s age 85; and finally the age of the prime minister who passionately opposed the slave trade and rotten boroughs 23 years young!
I think it’s time the over-50s stepped aside and let the idealistic and passionate young people take over. It is, after all, my generation that is out on the streets every day at the moment campaigning for social justice.
Let’s make this change quickly. I’m not willing to wait to find out how old David Cameron will be before he starts Falkland’s War II. He is 45 already after all…
Valid reflection of the views of the people
Sir, – I would like to respond to your article on the Birks of Aberfeldy Hydro Scheme (March 9), on behalf of Aberfeldy Community Council.
Your article states that our poll “received little response” and that the issue has “failed to stir up public interest”.
This scheme has been hugely controversial and will now hopefully be coming to a close. We are content with the excellent turnout of townspeople that the applicant received at his open exhibition held in Aberfeldy Town Hall in January and which we, Aberfeldy Community Council, hosted, and also at our open meeting that evening.
We are content with the 25% poll turnout and have duly noted an increase of 87% more opinions polled than from the previous poll held in 2009.
There were no active campaigns either for or against the proposals during the polling period. We are content that the result is a valid reflection of the views of the people of Aberfeldy on this matter. There is no minimum turnout required to make a poll valid.
Over the past two years, a working group has sought to pull together all the relevant evidence on the scheme and I thank them for doing this. However, we must go with the view that has been expressed, and people and businesses in Aberfeldy have not found the proposal to be persuasive.
If others have evidence to the contrary they should forward this to the Aberfeldy Common Good Fund Committee, the five councillors who will decide on this matter.
Failing this, the people of Aberfeldy will require the committee to reject this scheme and we would expect our local councillors to vote accordingly.
Eric Slorance.Chairman, Aberfeldy Community Council.
Figures don’t add up
Sir, – In the last two BBC Question Time broadcasts, the Labour Party participants (Rachel Reeves and Caroline Flint) stated without correction that reducing VAT to 17.5% would benefit every family by £450. But only those spending £18,000 a year on full VAT items would gain so much.
As mortgages, rent, council tax, insurance, most food, utilities, TV and car licences, books, newspapers, prescriptions, dental fees, most foreign holidays, domestic travel and children’s clothes are VAT-free or at a reduced rate, few families can spend £18,000 a year on everything else.
Median family incomes are about £27,000 net.
The VAT saved on a £450 fridge or washing machine would be only £9.38, or £250 on a £12,000 car hardly deal-clinchers.
Vince Cable admitted after the election that his campaign talk of a “Tory VAT bombshell of £400” from a 2.5% increase was “unwise” (he meant “nonsense”).
Maybe the guests in this week’s Question Time in St Andrews could show greater fiscal literacy?
John Birkett.12 Horseleys Park,St Andrews.
‘Dust bowl’ of Fife?
Sir – The report on the farming page (March 10) made interesting reading. Deep ploughing, followed by severe, soil pulverising winter frosts, created the ‘dust bowl’ of the American Mid West, leading to the erosion of the top soil by high winds, followed by famine conditions, the collapse of farming in those affected areas and considerable population migration.
The comments from the gentleman with agricultural interests in Argentina are still valid. Driving through parts of Fife on blustery summer days, the soil, (often stinking of manure), blowing across the roads and fields, piling up on the roadsides and on the footpaths in public recreation woodland, is all too apparent.
I believe these conditions are caused by the repetitive, intensive nature of the farming in those areas, using similar methods to those mentioned. Although we must eat, I think the author of the speech made good points.
A T Geddie.68 Carleton Avenue,Glenrothes.
Sir, – Your correspondent Mr Cheesewright (March 10) seems to be unaware his car’s speedometer is set to read up to 10% above his actual speed.
If his cruise control was set to 60mph and 70mph, he may have been travelling at only 56mph or 65mph respectively.
Many of the drivers who overtook him were probably still keeping to the legal limit, and must have been very frustrated stuck behind Mr Cheesewright. This frustration causes accidents.
Sir, – With football often in the news for all the wrong reasons, it’s great to see Dundee United investing time and resources in primary school kids who, if they sign up for eight sessions, are given a free strip and two free tickets for United games every week.
Great value, and a win-win situation for all involved!
Rose White.397 Brook Street,Broughty Ferry.
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