Sir, It is appalling that the so-called “unionist” parties (Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem) have, in Lord Smith’s Commission report, conceded virtually everything that the SNP want, just two months after a clear majority of the Scottish people decisively rejected separatism in the referendum.
The concessions, particularly on income tax, as the SNP well know, will prove unworkable in a truly united kingdom. They will inevitably lead to total separation, which is what the SNP want, but which the majority of the Scottish people have rejected.
The first inevitable result will be the defection of the financial sector from Edinburgh to London (the major finance houses have already made preparations for this) which will have a disastrous effect, initially on Scotland’s capital and thereafter on the whole country.
This will be followed by a, possibly, gradual drain away to England of what is left of industry in Scotland because of the long and costly lines of communication both with England and with the rest of Europe. Scotland will be separated from its main trading partner, England, and while it has at present one tenuous ferry link with Europe, with the departure of most of what industry is left in Scotland, that will wither and die. The result will be that Scotland will become the St Kilda of Europe.
And what of all the thousands of jobs which will be lost as a result of the SNP’s insane insistence on the submarine base at Faslane being closed at a time when Russia is becoming increasingly belligerent? As for warships continuing to be built on the Clyde some hope when English and continental yards can undercut us and, under independence, we will be just as much a foreign country as France or any other European country.
What will happen to all the great British institutions which are renowned worldwide? What will be the fate of our great universities and their world renowned combined research abilities?
Is this what we fought two world wars for in the 20th century, shoulder to shoulder with our English, Welsh and Northern Irish brothers and sisters?
James E D Cormie. 4 Craiglea Road, Perth.
Will lose ability to fund USO
Sir, I refer to the Courier reporting of the MD of Royal Mail appearing before the Business Select Committee.
Moya Greene said that the Universal Service Obligation would be endangered “if you allow cherry-picking”.
Anyone could have predicted that if the high-volume business is syphoned off, the ability to fund the USO by the only organisation which is bound by it becomes increasingly difficult.
The USO is an essential part of a national service and if Royal Mail remains the only organisation so required, whilst losing sections of its turnover, their prices will require to rise, further exacerbating the dilemma.
Higher prices for the rest with lower “competitive” prices in the conurbations would mean the de facto end of the Universal Service Obligation!
How long will it be, I wonder, before an investigative journalist discovers a link between the politicians who ended Royal Mail’s monopoly and the owners of/investors in, the other carriers?
Ronald Goodfellow. 6 Elmgrove Park, Monikie.
Flyover answer to Claypotts?
Sir, Your correspondent (November 27) seems to suggest a “roundabout” way to return the Claypotts junction to what has been tried before although that would swallow up several des reses or even move Claypotts Castle!
My suggestion would involve minimum change to the present layout and considerably ease the flow of traffic in all directions.
Build a flyover for all direct Arbroath Road movements which would then ideally have a clear, unrestricted flow either way.
The present ground level linkage would only require slight realignment of lead-in and lead-out lanes to what would be the underpass to and from Baldovie and Claypotts roads. As the approach from the Dundee end is already higher than the present junction that would ease the rise to the flyover while there is a plenty of room at the other end for the gradient before the Balgillo Road East roundabout.
Does anyone see any problems there? Incidentally, it would also help if the road between Claypotts and the Scott Fyffe roundabout was made a dual carriageway, but that is a separate development.
J R Ingram. 48 Marlee Road, Broughty Ferry.
Reality will kick in one day . . .
Sir, I read Jennifer Dempsie’s column on Gordon Brown in Thursday’s Courier and her cynicism left a bad taste in the mouth.
Like a number of youngish idealist SNP drones the realities of national politics escapes them. I have no doubts that she will end up, sooner rather than later, sadly disillusioned with her party leaders when they don’t, or are unable, to deliver on their “pie in the sky” promises.
She needs to take cognisance of the fact that “unfettered capitalism” is the dominant political force in the world today and it will crush any political party or country that seeks to curtail its ambitions.
Gordon Brown as a British Labour Prime Minister, like many before him, found themselves excoriated by its power. If there is one lesson in life that Jennifer needs to learn quickly it’s “Geopolitics Rule OK”.
Joseph A Peterson. Kilrymont Road, St Andrews.
More shops will close
Sir, Perth & Kinross Council seem intent on going out of their way to alienate every retailer in Perth.
With the village of sheds that will take away business from an already struggling high street and the constant desire to bring entertainment to our streets instead of shoppers, it cannot come as a surprise to them that more shops are likely to close.
It would appear that they make these decisions without meaningful consultation.
Perhaps instead of putting our hard-pressed businesses under siege, they could have used the City Hall? Then again, that might mean Perth and Kinross Council having to admit they got it wrong again.
Brian Falconer. 30 Market Court, Perth.
Arthur one of the first on STV
Sir, Your short account of the life of former STV presenter Arthur Montford could have made a few more points (Courier, November 27). As a continuity announcer his were some of the very first words to be spoken on Scottish Television when it began broadcasting in late August 1957.
This was the age when attendance at a football match was still the main source of entertainment for many men (and a few women).
In the late 1950s his Scotsport cameras almost antediluvian by today’s standards reached out to some surprising places. They even turned up on a temporary scaffold near the north west corner flag at Cowdenbeath’s Central Park in 1958. On a dour,dreich evening Arthur helped bring the first ever match (against Celtic) to be televised from that location.
Indeed it was not unusual for highlights of games throughout Scotland to be broadcast twice a week.
Younger readers will probably be familiar with the Scotsport theme tune of the 1980s/ 90s. The more old-fashioned version of the 50s and 60s was like a clarion call to sports lovers in living rooms throughout the land.
With his calm assurance, attention to detail and modesty Arthur Montford helped reinforce local pride in a game constantly in need of an ego boost.
Bob Taylor. 24 Shiel Court, Glenrothes.
Not just about dark and cold
Sir, As our dependence on a continuous electricity supply for the essential computers and systems that now control and make everything work has increased, our ability to produce that supply has fallen to the level of windmills and wood burning.
Has the government never considered that when the electronic wizardry stops, absolutely everything stops.
It’s much more serious than mere dark and cold.
Malcolm Parkin. 15 Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross.