Sir, I am increasingly concerned about the behaviour and attitude of First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. She would appear to have forgotten, or chosen to ignore, the result of the referendum, when the Scottish people voted decisively to say “no” to independence.
Her duty, as First Minister, is to honour and respect that decision, and while she is entitled to seek more, devolved powers for the Scottish Parliament, she is not entitled to continue to blatantly challenge the referendum decision and make demands of Westminster relative to matters which the people of Scotland agreed, by their vote, should remain devolved.
Ms Sturgeon’s repeated visits south to “lecture” the English, Welsh and Northern Irish as to how they should behave; how they should conduct their affairs; and make strident “demands” as to what she will require to support continuing government in Westminster. is very concerning.
Her behaviour and attitude that the SNP will hold the “balance of power” after the next election, and will only support further legislation if the rest of the United Kingdom meets the SNP’s “requirements” displays a breathtaking arrogance and lack of judgement.
I am as fervent a Scot as any but Nicola Sturgeon is doing us great damage and will alienate our English, Welsh and Northern Irish friends very quickly if she continues with this strident attitude.
Common sense surely tells us that we, the Scottish people, are much better and more secure if we remain as one United Kingdom.
Do we yet again want the continuing spectre of no longer being a part of the United Kingdom; no longer entitled to a British passport; having to apply to become a member of the European Union; risking losing our Scottish naval shipbuilding contracts to England; losing thousands of jobs at Faslane and the whole Helensburgh area and possibly Leuchars as a major military base; thinking we can realistically “go it alone” in the North Sea with a collapsed oil price?
It is time it was made clear to our First Minister that her ambitions have no place in Scottish politics. The referendum vote showed that.
Hamish Carlton. Gowrie Cottage, Dunkeld.
No hard facts on hare figures
Sir, I would urge caution on those postulating a dramatic “increase” in local mountain hare populations in Scotland without offering any hard facts (Mountain hares thriving, March 23).
Due to the lack of any sort of agreed and established method of monitoring mountain hares, there is simply no reliable information on trends or population figures.
The figure of 350,000 quoted in the article is from a 20-year-old report which itself acknowledges that it is based on limited information.
Current work planned by SNH and the James Hutton Institute aims to provide us with an effective and reliable method of monitoring this important upland species.
When this is concluded, it will be possible to more confidently report on the state of our only native hare. Until then, speculative optimism is misplaced and irresponsible.
This species needs a cautionary approach which ought to start with a reduction in the numbers of mountain hares subject to culling on grouse moors.
Duncan Orr-Ewing. Head of Species and Land Management, RSPB Scotland.
Get a move on, Andrew!
Sir, I was highly amused to read Andrew Arbuckle’s description of his spell with a Porsche Boxter. I reckon the BBC would do well to sign him up to replace Clarkson on Top Gear. He would be a smash hit, testing cars of various colours on the race track at a maximum speed of 45mph.
I always like Andrew’s column irrespective of the subject, but if he finds himself “tootling” along at 45 on a 60mph road, and notices an old bloke in a wee silver car behind him, would he mind getting a move on? I’ll be wary of slow black cars from now on. Despite advanced years and always sticking to speed limits, I’m not a “tootler”!
James Thomson. 14 Vardon Drive, Glenrothes.
Headline was misleading
Sir, I must take issue with your misleading headline, Wind power public backing up to 71% (March 18), as the facts show this to be nothing of the sort.
From a total adult population of 4,200,000 in Scotland 1,008 were asked if they agreed with wind energy as part of a mix of renewable and conventional generation. They were not asked if they wanted more wind energy or even if they agreed with current targets for renewables.
So, 715 people out of more than four million agreed to wind as part of a mix. They might have meant a small part, we don’t know. That is hardly 71% of the population backing wind power!
Brenda Herrick. Harbour Road, Castletown, Thurso.
Tables turned on Alex
Sir, For the past five years with the exception of the past four months we have witnessed a weekly situation in Holyrood where female political party leaders were limited to asking Alex Salmond short questions on Thursdays, then having to sit down and remain silent as he spat responses at them.
What a delight to see that same former First Minister in a face-to-face situation where the Conservative defence minister, Anna Soubry, did not have to tolerate his verbal detritus. Mr Salmond sat there like a man sitting on a broken bottle and he hated it.
Colin Cookson. Glenrothes.
Demeaning to over-60s
Sir, In response to RMF Brown, I would just like to say that the tone of his letter is demeaning to anyone over 60 years old.
He states that the vast majority of over 60 year olds voted “no” in the referendum.
He fails to mention how many of these voters were actually Scottish.
I think that would be much more interesting data than his sweeping assumption that all people over 60 haven’t enough savvy to realise that they are being led by the nose.
This was very plain to all intelligent people of whatever age when all the Westminster parties came racing up to Scotland in a panic just before the day of the referendum.
So, RMF Brown, please remember that it is mainly over 60s who do a lot of good work in their communities, take part in debates, sit on committees, and do other volunteering work as well, and all of that requires brain power.
Mrs June Reid. 12 Findhorn Street, Fintry, Dundee.
What about other inaccuracies?
Sir, Now that the First Minister has admitted that the facts on oil industry income published before the referendum were inaccurate, when will she admit to all the other inaccurate information published by the “Yes” campaign in the Scottish Government funded book “Scotland’s Future”?
Garry Barnett. The Garden House, Campsie Hill, Guildtown, Perth.
More fiasco than consultation
Sir, I see that Dundee City Council’s new refuse strategy is to begin in Broughty Ferry next month.
In the council’s Improvement and Expansion of Domestic Recycling Services Report, paragraph 10.2 states: “An extensive programme of public engagement at each implementation phase will be built into proposed project timescales, to include grassroots consultation (via public meetings, community groups etc) as well as advertising campaigns in local press, targeted leaflet drops and one-to-one engagement via house-to-house-visits and community hub information sessions.”
Maybe the Environment Department should get out its dictionary and look up the verb to “consult”!
Simply informing us all that the scheme is to start in April is by no means a “grassroots consultation”. And what has happened to the leaflets, house to house visits etc?
Some of the residents in Church Street have had a letter informing them of all the necessary bins they are going to have to find room for. But I have not, and neither have my direct neighbours. Additionally, some purple bins have been delivered to some households as have collection calendars. But again I have had neither of these.
Am I to start putting out my black bins fortnightly or not? And when are we going to get the myriad of multi-coloured bins that are going to turn our back gardens into bin recesses?
This so-called “extensive programme of public engagement” is beginning to look much more like a total fiasco.
Nicholas Keith Nicoll. 41 Church Street, Broughty Ferry.
Determined to justify liability law
Sir, It seems the cycling brigade are determined to justify their “presumed liability law”with any put-down that they can muster, Dave Brimner of Montrose being the latest “champion”.
I am not of the “cyclists don’t pay road tax” brigade, as he puts it (Monday’s letters). He then witters on about motorists paying “vehicle excise duty” not road tax but, of course, as a self-confessed driver he must surely know that without the vehicle excise duty being paid (the duty that got him a tax disc to display on his vehicle) he would not have been legally entitled to drive on any road.
Cyclists across the full width of the carriageway he dismisses with an offhand “shame on them”. I would refer him to cycling law 67 of the highway code never ride more than two abreast and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.
The proposed law is to unfairly penalise motorists most of whom are perfectly happy to consider the needs of other road users (and I include myself as one such driver).
The Bradley Wiggins wannabees must start to realise that unlike the annual Etape where the roads are closed to traffic while the race is being run, main arteries are there to accommodate predominately vehicular traffic going about its daily business.
Ian Allan. 5 Marchside Court, Sauchie.