Sir, I have been reading with interest that Dundee City Council are to look at legislative powers to fine householders who fail to take their waste bins in from the street.
I have noticed throughout the town that waste bins line pavements where there are properties with multiple flats.
Currently, we are being issued with waste bins for glass and food, along with the existing bins for general waste, paper and plastic and garden waste. Each householder will now have to find space to store the five waste bins, notwithstanding the food bin, located within their property.
Looking at areas which are made up of flats, which can have six or eight individual properties, that means that outside the property there can be 30 to 40 waste bins. As space is restricted where are the residents supposed to store the bins?
Although the council is trying to comply with European directives, the practicalities for storage for residents with restricted space presents problems.
By issuing so many waste bins, surely, the council is only adding to the current problem?
Furthermore, information has been posted to all the residents with instructions as to how the waste bins should be used and when to put them out for collection.
What is the cost to the council tax payers for the bins, production of the recycling booklet and cost of postage?
Helen Manini. 12 Dunkeld Place, Dundee.
PM’s errors of judgment
Sir, Kieran Andrew’s interesting piece in the Courier on Saturday March 7 suggested a way out of the Tories current forthcoming election dilemma with a deal offering Scotland full fiscal autonomy, aka devo max, in return for EVEL (English Votes for English Laws).
Given that devo max was excluded from the referendum ballot paper, at David Cameron’s insistence, to limit voters’ choice to a single question, no doubt encouraged by poll findings at the time pointing to a comfortable victory for the No campaign, it would seem like an error of judgement.
However, to be fair, polls leading up to polling day seemed to vindicate that decision until the eleventh hour when one poll pointed to a 2% lead for the Yes campaign.
Cue the intervention of Gordon Brown and panic among the three main party leaders at Westminster prompting them to sign a pledge guaranteeing more powers for Scotland along the lines of devo max.
However, when the No vote prevailed the government felt secure enough to muddy the waters, led by David Cameron’s insistence that any decision about further powers for Scotland had to be determined at the same time as his move for EVEL.
That decision, which the Scottish people took as a breaking of the pledge previously given, resulted in a massive upsurge in support for the SNP. Lord Ashcroft’s poll predicts difficult days ahead for the Westminster parties, brought about, it has to be said, by two major errors of judgment by the PM vis-a-vis the original referendum ballot paper and the use of EVEL as a justification to break a promise.
If this sounds harsh you only have to look at his posturing over the pre-election debates and his attempts to dictate the agenda in the run- up to the election.
Fortunately, the broadcasters have stood firm and he will have to exercise his judgment once again when he receives his invitations to join the various planned debates. A ‘no show’ could prove embarrassing as the broadcasters have indicated an empty chair syndrome.
Allan A MacDougall. 37 Forth Park, Bridge of Allan.
Persuasive, but still just theory
Sir, Although very persuasive, the theory of evolution remains, at this time, just that a theory. Before declared as proven a number of significant obstacles must be cleared: the question of reality (epistemology), dark matter and the phenomenon of time require determination.
While scientists working with the LHC (large hadron collider, Cern) may find answers to some such exotic questions, it is most unlikely that the human mind, at its present stage of “evolution”, can achieve the holy-grail of science.
Perhaps the ancient Bhuddists came nearer the mark with their chanting of Om Mani Padmi Hun (The Jewel In The Lotus Flower). It serves to keep followers reasonably satisfied and happy.
Kenneth Miln. 22 Fothringham Drive, Monifieth.
Can’t take all world’s waifs
Sir, The Sierra Leonean sprinter Jimmy Thoronka who vanished after last summer’s Commonwealth Games has been found sleeping rough in London. No surprise that he has now very belatedly claimed asylum.
He says his passport was stolen but that is a favourite ploy of bogus asylum seekers since the authorities then don’t know which country to deport them to.
The UK has enough immigration problems leading to housing shortages and welfare and NHS meltdowns without adding to the problem. Britain certainly cannot afford the turmoil caused by all the world’s waifs and strays and pseudo asylum seekers. He should be deported immediately.
Clark Cross. 138 Springfield Road, Linlithgow.
Sleepwalking into fascism
Sir, With the proposed absorption of the British Transport Police’s operations in Scotland into Police Scotland, the last opportunity for any possibility of disinterested scrutiny of that increasingly powerful and unaccountable body will disappear.
Under the previous policing structure of eight forces, local scrutiny and accountability was provided by police authorities and serious wrongdoing was subject to robust examination by an outside force.
With this latest development, Scotland continues to sleepwalk further into fascism and unassailable state hegemony. It is time to proscribe the SNP and close Holyrood.
John Gordon. 1 North Street, Glenrothes.
Alex to serve in hour of need
Sir, If, as seems increasingly likely, neither the Conservatives nor Labour are able to obtain a parliamentary majority after the general election, what better way for Alex Salmond to serve our United Kingdom in its hour of need than by accepting the post of Prime Minister?
He is the only politician of sufficient stature and wisdom to undertake the task and I feel sure that the Queen would be delighted to invite him to form a national government of real unity which would meld our nations together in the spirit of the settled will of the Scottish people as demonstrated through the referendum!
John Eoin Douglas. 7 Spey Terrace, Edinburgh.
Why is UN so ineffective?
Sir, How is it that all of the independent sovereign nations of the world gathered together cannot act effectively against ISIL? It is, after all, an unrecognised self-proclaimed rogue “state” which stands condemned by all. They murder, invade and desecrate virtually unhindered.
The UN, surely, if able to muster near unanimity in the General Assembly, should have the necessary authority to act. A current bar to unanimous action is the veto wielded by states in the security council. But do any of those support ISIL? Surely that is inconceivable.
Perhaps some reform of the UN is needed. Should the General Assembly gain the power by means of a majority of, say 80 or 90%, should they then be able to overrule the security council when only one veto has been wielded?
Mike Scott-Hayward. Sawmill House, Kemback Bridge, Fife.