Sir, I awaited the result of the football game between Scotland and Poland before putting pen to paper in response to Will Ramsay’s letter (October 8) regarding the Scots supporting England’s rugby team, who were unceremoniously put out of the World Cup following defeat by Australia.
I just wonder if the English, on hearing of Scotland’s sad failure to qualify for the Euro 2016 football championship, went into a state of mourning in our support by half-masting the St George’s flag on town halls and civic buildings around the country?
Or did those south of the border who watched the game on television leave their pints untouched to trudge home silently with heads bent?
Or will all English sports teams consider playing with black armbands to show their sadness?
I don’t think so.
The English have more than their fair share of success in sport so may I suggest they learn to take defeat on the chin and follow the splendid example of our wonderful Tartan Army who support our team through thick and thin and even stand proud in defeat stating: “Not tae worry!
We’ll dae better next time”.
Ron Blanchard. Kinghorn Road, Burntisland.
Bacon butties under threat?
Sir, When Alex Salmond said he wanted Scotland to be the Saudi Arabia of renewables, I did not think he meant it literally.
The SNP are trying their best to abolish drinking and smoking and I wonder what will be next on their radar bacon butties?
With the closure of power stations and a moratorium on fracking and UCG, how long before the lights go out and we become a desert?
My only wish is that Fergus Ewing had been in charge when oil was discovered in the North Sea as it would still be in place as he sat on his hands trying to make a decision and we would have all that wealth to look forward to.
Bob Duncan. Caesar Avenue, Carnoustie.
Time to bin the ‘war on carbon’
Sir, Global warming policies are ratcheting up electricity costs with the renewables obligation requiring utilities to buy an increasing share of trendy green power like wind.
Then there is the feed-in tariff which forces them to pay a minimum rate for “renewable” electricity that is higher than the cost of fossil fuel fired generation.
And under the EU’s emissions-trading system our electricity generators and manufacturers, such as steel makers, are required to buy credits equal to their annual emissions.
Yet in 2013 the late and unlamented Lib Dem partners forced the coalition to impose a floor price on CO2 emissions producing costs far higher than anywhere else in Europe.
In fact, the full range of climate policies adds more than 50% to the electricity price for large industrial users with results that are only too painfully obvious in Redcar.
As climate science becomes ever more contentious and Alex Salmond’s promised green jobs are nowhere to be seen, David Cameron should bin our war on carbon.
Dr John Cameron. Howard Place, St Andrews.
Oxfam needs reality check
Sir, I take Oxfam Scotland’s report on inequality with more than a pinch of salt (October 8).
For a start, thousands of people are at Calais trying to enter Britain in order to enjoy the standard of living of our poorest people.
In many cases these migrants have paid thousands of dollars to people traffickers to get that far.
Oxfam Scotland makes a misleading comparison when it claims that the four richest families in Scotland are worth £1 billion more than the poorest 20% of the population.
To fairly assess the wealth of most Scots, you have to include all the free public services and welfare benefits we are entitled to.
The NHS, free education and social security payments do not come cheap.
We take all this for granted and forget that it all has to be paid for.
If we each had to purchase these on the open market, we would need either a substantial income or significant personal wealth.
Incidentally, since when was it appropriate behaviour for a charity to campaign for socialism?
Oxfam Scotland needs a reality check; most British people are effectively among the richest of the planet.
Greater state interference to equalise incomes will only tend to seriously undermine our economic position and impoverish us all.
Otto Inglis. Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh.
Infirmary set for a sad end?
Sir, So what will happen to Brechin Infirmary now?
Well, it will join St Drostans House in the same street and become a sad, overgrown, untouched, unused monument to the continuing demise of the town.
Damned by the over-zealous Care Commission, St Drostans, a fine care home if a little old fashioned sits totally untouched and will soon be obscured by the unkempt gardens.
So we don’t have to look too far to see where the infirmary is going.
But the people who need its services should know it will be anywhere but Brechin.
Marcia Wright. Trinity Road, Brechin.
Failure to make an argument
Sir, – In reply to Derek Farmer’s contention, David Roche pointed out that life in small, independent countries like Norway and Denmark seemed “pretty good” to him.
Answering back (October 5) Mr Farmer described comparisons with Scandinavia as “old chestnuts”.
Since old chestnuts are matters which have been gone over time and time again, it was reasonable to expect from Mr Farmer a response which would address living standards and quality of life.
Instead, all Mr Farmer could do was quote tax rates which, by themselves, prove nothing.
Mr Farmer’s attempts to educate Mr Roche failed completely.
Gordon Dilworth. 20 Baledmund Road, Pitlochry.
Need for Forfar disabled access
Sir, – What a marvellous access to Asda from The Cross in Forfar.
I use a mobility scooter and find it excellent.
Now to my point. Reid Park has unsuitable steps. Surely Angus Council can fund a similar access as Asda to allow disabled people to enjoy this park.
Alex Ogilvie. 2 Westfield Gardens, Forfar.
Islamic threat to Europe
Sir, – Surely, as a humanist, Angus Brown (October 10) should be subscribing to the humanist principle of “abstention from profitless theorizing” rather than promoting ideological and incorrect views of Islam when he refers to the “vast majority of peace-loving Islamic people”.
Islamic conflicts around the world have shown it to be less than peaceful.
In places such as, but not only, Pakistan, people have been whipped up many times by religious leaders to burn churches and murder innocent people on the basis of rumours of the Koran or Mohammed having been insulted.
Mr Brown talks of “our multi-racial civilisation but this is more a case of separate development than of popular integration.
In suggesting “we need to adopt wider horizons of acceptance, moderation and peaceful coexistence between peoples of all views and faiths”, Mr Brown exposes his somewhat limited knowledge of Islam and clearly does not listen to today’s Islamic leaders.
There is such a thing as Islamic peace. It comes about when everyone is a Muslim. It cannot exist otherwise, the doctrine does not allow it.
But he can take heart, Colonel Gadaffi reckoned Europe would be Islamic in less than 50 years, without a shot being fired, due to Muslims moving to Europe. Our forward-looking political leaders have already set the demographics in motion.
We will have Islamic peace but I do wonder if Mr Brown’s or my grandchildren’s grandchildren will thank us for it?
Andrew Lawson. 9 MacLaren Gardens, Dundee.
Has BBC been cowed by SNP?
Sir, – The BBC is to send 80 staff to the SNP conference. Why so many?
Let’s assume it is not simply because the telegenic Nicola Sturgeon is good television.
Could it be to do with her determination to break up the UK?
Or will the strong BBC presence highlight the scandals rocking her party in Westminster and Holyrood?
Perhaps there will be a focus on the SNP’s lacklustre Holyrood record over the last eight years, failing Scots in such crucially important areas as education, the NHS and the emergency services. Or on double standards over fracking?
The them-and-us game with Westminster has become tedious but watching Ms Sturgeon play good cop to Alex’s Salmond’s bad cop is always entertaining.
She’ll assume her usual sensible role, designed to attract and retain as wide support as possible for the SNP.
He’ll adopt his favourite pose: that of renegade, demanding an immediate referendum.
Or does the massive BBC presence demonstrate something more sinister?
That the BBC is cowed by SNP intimidation. Though Fiona Hyslop is business-like in her approach to converting the BBC into the SBC, led by the ex-First Minister, accusations against the BBC and its journalistsof anti-SNP, anti-independence, anti-Scotland bias continue relentlessly.
Is Alex Salmond at last succeeding in achieving his objective of a compliant BBC?
Martin Redfern. 4 Royal Circus, Edinburgh.