Sir, – The reason for Dundee Law being underused, undervalued and ignored for the last few decades is simple. Dundonians have lost their sense of place, their identity and their self esteem.
The city has been in decline for decades and we are now paying the price for the neglect.
What have we to feel proud of: jute, jam and jakeys?
I despair at news reports in the Scottish press, from yourselves included, covering banal and embarrassing traits that Dundonians and Scots as a whole are supposed to be proud of.
I cringe every time I see one of the many reports on deep-fried Mars Bars and so on that should be embarrassing but we decide to embrace as our culture.
A terrible diet is something to be proud of?
Should we also be proud of the widespread poverty, homelessness, high mortality rates, unemployment, drug use, criminality and the breakdown of traditional values?
No, but when Dundee is given a billion pounds to invest in the future of the city, we embark on a waterfront idea with the V&A as its cornerstone.
Can someone please explain to me who will benefit from this?
You just need to walk around the city to see that it is dying a slow death.
What can a museum that no-one has any interest in do to turn that around? What about the appalling job situation in the city?
I am from Dundee, I am back living here now but I hope to be moving again soon.
Improving the Law should have been done years ago.
But we are a city of sheep, ruled by donkeys.
The Law can join the list of shame of how Dundonians destroyed Dundee, along with the Royal Arch and countless other truly cultural buildings and areas of my home city that have been consigned to history’s junkyard.
They should not be forgotten and those that have ruined this city should not be forgiven.
Nicholas Burke. 12 Marryat Street, Dundee.
Don’t blame SNP for rugby defeat
Sir, – After watching the nail-biting game on Sunday in which Scotland were cruelly knocked out of the Rugby World Cup by a very dodgy decision, I wish to express my admiration for all the players that make up the Scotland squad.
They played with pride and passion and must be hurting after putting so much into this match, however, rest assured the people of this country will not forget the brave effort they made and with another referee may have been looking forward to a semi final.
It was sad to see their faces after the final whistle but no doubt some anti-Scottish Government contributors will contrive to blame the SNP for the loss.
Well done boys, most of Scotland is proud of you.
Bryan Auchterlonie. Bluebell Cottage, Ardargie.
Westminster pulls the strings
Sir, – Martin Redfern’s diatribe (October 19) against the First Minister and her party could equally have been written by your columnist Jenny Hujl. However, his inference that Nicola Sturgeon demanded a second referendum from the Prime Minister is inaccurate but she did make clear that her ultimate goal was to achieve Scottish independence.
Whether her critics like it or not she is politically opposed to David Cameron and her and her party’s job in opposition is to oppose and disagree with the Government.
Before any claims are made about breaking promises with regard to another referendum, she has clearly stated that she will only do this if it proves to be the will of the Scottish people.
And she will only do so if she feels that there is an excellent prospect of success.
In the meantime, those who continually criticise the running of the economy and the perceived failure to deal with welfare issues need to appreciate the fact that the Scottish budget is determined and controlled by fiscal levers retained at Westminster.
Allan MacDougall. 37 Forth Park, Bridge of Allan.
Give windfall to Scots councils
Sir, – Dundee City councillor and SNP finance chief Willie Sawers states (October 19) that the Westminster Government’s austerity programme is cutting millions of pounds from the Scottish budget.
However, last week the UK Government confirmed the Scottish Government would receive an extra £500 million in Barnett consequentials as a result of the Chancellor’s announcement of an extra £5 billion for transport, energy and housing projects.
This £500m windfall from Westminster could be handed to local authorities throughout Scotland to prevent budget cuts in the next financial year but it is more likely to be spent on a SNP pet project somewhere in the central belt.
Douglas W. Tott. Stoneyburn, Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay.
Fears for the nation’s future
Sir, – I accept that the SNP is, at least at present, a democratic party and that Nicola Sturgeon is no Hitler but I find the parallels between the situation in Germany in 1933 and that in Scotland in 2015 startling and worrying.
Now, as then, the governing party has a charismatic leader who, in the eyes of the faithful, can do no wrong and who seems to be admired by many of the public at large.
Now, as then, the governing party is a nationalist one.
Now, as then, the opposition to the governing party is fragmented and inept.
Now, as then, there is a scapegoat blamed by the governing party for all the ills of the country.
In Germany in 1933 it was the Jews; in Scotland in 2015 it is the Tories.
Now, as then, the governing party has a clearly stated goal.
In Germany in 1933 it was the gaining of Lebensraum in the east; in Scotland today it is independence.
Now, as then, the governing party is anxious to gain control of the broadcasting media.
Aberdeen is not Nuremberg and perhaps history does not repeat itself and I am being paranoid but I cannot help being frightened.
Alastair L Stewart. 96 Albany Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee.
Elderly must be persuaded
Sir, – In last year’s referendum on independence, more than 700,000 people born outside Scotland were eligible to vote. I was pleased to see that, at last, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson has conceded that not enough was done to win them over (October 17). People born elsewhere in the United Kingdom, the European Union, the Commonwealth, the United States and the Middle East needed a lot of reassurance about their citizenship and social acceptance in an independent Scotland.
They didn’t get that and before another referendum is even considered, the SNP has much work to do to give them that reassurance.
Equally, it is not enough simply to rely on the younger generation persuading their grandparents of the case for autonomy.
The over 60s are a very important electoral segment.
They have concerns about how they are valued in society, their care, their pensions, their welfare benefits.
Only in the latter stages of the September 2014 poll did Yes Scotland realise just how important they were to winning the vote.
In fact, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was able to intervene just weeks before the vote to sway enough pensioners round to the case for the status quo.
If the pro-independence campaigners want success in any future poll, then work must start now on persuading the elderly and residents born outside Scotland that the constitutional change is in their interests.
Bob Taylor. 24 Shiel Court. Glenrothes.
Letting down our defences
Sir, – For longer than I care to remember, I possessed a big stick with which I defended my home and family against those who might do us harm.
However, I was prevailed upon by the worldly wise to get rid of my stick, as it was the right and proper thing to do, thus bringing peace and harmony to our neighbourhood.
Now I find myself confronted, nay menaced by one or more who have retained their big sticks.
Wise ones, in your wisdom, can you advise me as to what measures I can now take to ensure the peace and safety of my home and family?
Ian Kennedy. Manse Cottage, 1 Gray Den, Liff.
Underspend is no bad thing
Sir, – The Scottish Government finances under the stewardship of John Swinney regularly report an underspend.
And apparently this is a bad thing for us.
Spending your pocket money wisely so that you have some left over is not best practice if branch office opposition parties are to be believed.
So while our finance secretary spends much of our block grant on new bridges, hospitals, schools, houses and roads, he also has to set aside tens of millions of pounds to mitigate poor decisions by the ones who are said to subsidise Scotland.
If by the end of each month you had money left in the housekeeping kitty, would you report this as a disaster?
Doubtful, instead you would use that money for something else much needed.
Or maybe you would just hide it away, out of sight of the ruler of your household, ready for the day when you have finally had enough and find the courage to leave that unfair partnership.
R Clark. Craigton, Monikie.