Sir, – It was interesting to read that Dundee’s former royal arch is to be commemorated with granite paving slabs and four trees at the spot where it stood.
This prompts me to make a bold suggestion. Dundee City Council should commission and erect an Elizabeth arch to celebrate the reign of our monarch.
Even those who are not royalist in outlook would surely acknowledge her high level of commitment and dedication to the UK and the Commonwealth over so many years.
Presumably, it is hoped that the Queen will open the new V&A design museum.
There is clearly space in the waterfront development for such a structure.
The costs of the V&A have risen so much that they can perhaps cover the costs of an arch. If not, what about public subscription?
The best thing of all would be for the council to organise a competition open to all Tayside architects and architectural students. I feel they could match the talents of Kengo Kuma.
Clive Luhrs. 9 Vesper Road, Kirkstall, Leeds.
Wellingtonwas not English
Sir, – You did little for UK harmony with your On This Day feature on September 14 when you referred to the first Duke of Wellington as an English military commander.
If the reference was to Wellington himself, he came from an Irish aristocratic family and was born in Dublin.
If the reference was to the military, his armies at Waterloo and elsewhere were certainly not composed solely of English soldiers.
Gordon Dilworth. 20 Baledmund Road, Pitlochry.
Revealing road statistics
Sir, – It was interesting to read about the roads with the worst safety records (September 17).
One of the interesting facts was that for the whole of its length, the A9 is shown as a low-to- medium risk road.
Anyone who has read The Courier over the last few years would have got the impression that the A9 is the most dangerous road in Scotland and many politicians in Scotland have also supported that view.
Due to the fact the A9 is probably the longest road in Scotland it ,unfortunately, has more accidents but the key fact is surely the rate of accidents per mile.
It should also be noted that the figures quoted were for 2011 to 2013, before average speed cameras were installed.
Robert Potter. 44 Menzieshill Road, Dundee.
Lack of spaces for disabled
Sir, – Yesterday I paid my first visit to the new Marks & Spencer food store in St Andrews.
Unfortunately, I was unable to shop as there was only one disabled parking space. Unsurprisingly, given the demographics of the area, it was occupied.
I am amazed that Fife’s planners did not make the provision of blue badge facilities a condition of planning consent.
Laurie Richards. 100 Crail Road, Cellardyke.
Put money into real economy
Sir, – Jeremy Corbyn has hit on something when he talks of quantitative easing (QE) for the people but if he involves the private banks, this will inevitably become QE for them and their rich customers, as did our last £375 billion of QE, which represented a staggering £6,000 for every person in the UK but simply disappeared.
Just imagine, £24,000 for a family of four, yet they did not see it, or the effect of it.
Instead, it fuelled the stock market and the price of classic cars, as what the banks did not keep for themselves was lent to their speculator friends.
Any QE for the people, as Mr Corbyn clearly intends, should be injected into the veins of the real economy by means of a national investment bank aimed specifically at the have-nots in our society and not passed to the rich kids in the hope of a trickle-down effect because that will simply not happen.
Malcolm Parkin. 15 Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross.
Independent and irrelevant
Sir, – I refer to David Roche’s letter (September 17) promoting Scottish independence as “a noble aspiration”.
Noble aspirations do not put bread on the tables of Scottish families. Neither do they help Scotland’s national football team to win the World Cup, although there is no doubt we aspire nobly to do so.
Nor do they encourage hard-headed investors to risk their capital investing in a small and untested economy.
So far as I am concerned, the issue that is camouflaged by the SNP and its supporters is the reality of life in a small independent economy in a world that is increasingly dominated by unions of various kinds and the military might of the US and Russia.
An independent Scotland will be as relevant to the rest of the world as Alex Salmond was during his many failed attempts to garner international support for his cause.
The Scots are British citizens, enjoying the same democratic mandate as their English, Welsh and Northern Ireland counterparts.
In this capacity, we have influence and respect both within our union and pro-rata representation of MPs and MEPs, and in the wider world due to our collective history, democratic and tolerant culture and our parliamentary and judiciary system, copied by several Commonwealth countries.
Mr Roche appears ready to throw all of this into the bin for the sake of “noble aspiration”.
I, and many others in Scotland, are not ready to do any such thing.
It is one thing to vote for the SNP to run devolved policy in Scotland along similar lines to our old county councils.
It is quite another to vote for Scotland to become an independent and irrelevant country in global politics and economics.
Derek Farmer. Knightsward Farm, Anstruther.
Point scoring over refugees
Sir, – Last week I watched Question Time and listened to Alex Salmond spout on about how we need to accept more refugees.
But how these people avoid the big question and that question is one they need to answer: where are they going to live?
If people like the former First Minister want to sound credible, surely his party should now compile transparent lists of available houses that are empty and ready for occupation.
Let us all see proper lists of house numbers and street names.
Then we will be able to ask the other big question: if houses do actually exist, why are there so many people spending years on Scottish housing lists?
Why are there so many indigenous homeless, or is this another of those matters the SNP don’t like to mention.
Too often, politicians say the in-thing to score political points.
Colin Cookson. Stenton, Hatton Green, Glenrothes.
SNP must up their game
Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon expects a leap of faith by the people of Scotland if she is to call another referendum.
On the anniversary of the last vote, she tried to reassure us that an independent Scotland would be in our best interests. Yet there is so much evidence to the contrary.
First, the SNP’s performance in managing critical services for the last many years across health, education and police, has revealed many shortcomings. Why trust them to do a better job when responsible for everything?
Second, in the last referendum the SNP’s projections used assumptions we now know were grossly overstated, particularly the price of oil.
Now we know oil revenues are a fraction of what they claimed they would be. Why should we trust any figures the SNP puts before us?
Thirdly, we have the SNP’s ill-judged policies and laws.
Their named person legislation brings state interference into the family. Why trust nationalists to have a free hand over every aspect of our lives?
It is indeed an incredible leap of faith that the First Minister expects of us if she is to see the clear lead she is looking for.
Keith Howell. White Moss, West Linton.
The vow was never needed
Sir, – Jennifer Dempsie mirrors her partner’s opinion that the UK Government have not delivered on the vow given by the leaders of the Better Together campaign.
She has failed to put any detail to the complaint.
I emailed my local MP requesting details of where the Government have failed to deliver but have not received an answer.
The biggest mistake Better Together made was to make the vow.
It was never necessary. There were always enough sensible people in Scotland to vote no.
Mev Braid. 15 Kinkell Avenue, Glenrothes.