Sir, – I noted in your 25 years ago archives section (October 28) a report of moves to transform uneconomic farmland into golf courses, which would provide farmers with extra income and relieve rising pressure on existing golf courses.
Over the next few years these suggestions were put into effectand not a few newgolf courses werebuilt but, inevitably,the law of unforeseen consequences took full effect.
What was foreseen as an ever-rising tide of new golfers did not, in my experience, happen, and now the reverse is under way and I have noted that many of the new courses and clubs have gone defunct.
The existing clubs, along with the remaining new clubs/courses now service the same number of golfers with the result that many clubs are being run on depleted income.
I further note from newspaper reports, including in your own, that some of the bigger golf resorts such as St Andrews, are still intent on building new golf courses and I wonder, do they think about what they are doing?
David MacDougall. 40 Willowbank, Little Dunkeld.
In praise of police efficiency
Sir, – I would like to put on record my appreciation of the police in Carnoustie, particularly PC Campbell.
My shop window was broken on Sunday evening at 6.08 pm (I know because that’s when the alarm went off ).
On Monday, PC Campbell visited the shop to look at the damage.
On Tuesday, after taking the time to look at CCTV and makeinquiries, he charged someone.
This constable is a shining example to us all in what is a very difficult profession.
Unfortunately, I have to pay the full cost of installing the temporary boarding and the replacement window but one Dave’s loss is another Dave’s gain – he’s the local joiner.
Dave McNicoll. Carnoustie Golf Shop, High Street, Carnoustie.
Double standard of Christians
Sir, – Why do some Christians have such a problem with Halloween? It is just kids dressing up to be scarier than the things which scare them, which seems quite healthy. Every year my teacher friends receive letters from religious parents requesting that their kids do not take part in school Halloween events.
Despite the work of many religious believers to de-literalise their holy books, some do believe that angels are real. The corollary of that I, suppose, would be that they believe demons are real too.
A few months ago I took part in a public discussion about the nature of “spirituality” with a former president of the Pagan Federation.
We agreed about many things. He described himself as “a deeply religious man.”
To paraphrase a well-known phrase often debated in December, I’m sure he knew the “real meaning” ofHalloween.
Based on the ancient harvest festival of Samhain, Halloween, like Christmas, has psychological and seasonal resonance for everyone regardless of the modern mythology attached to it.
Parents, of course, must be free to request their child’s non-participation in Halloween events but we should remember that all Scottish schools are still statutorily obliged to hold religious observance throughout the year.
Depending on the ethos of the school, these assemblies can sometimes simply be Christian worship and are often led by evangelising outsiders.
Families who have read the small print know that they can ask that the school provides alternative activities for their child at those times but many are concerned not to stigmatise their child or become “that awkward parent.” Do those Christians who object to Halloween get the irony?
Neil Barber. Communications Officer, Edinburgh Secular Society.
Saudis whip up Islam tensions
Sir, – With much of the media focused on images of barbarity coming out the lands occupied by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the brutal practices of the real Islamic state, SaudiArabia, receive scant attention.
The reasons for this are as sickening as they are obvious: a major oil supplier to the West and a nation that casts itself as the mortal enemy of Shia Iran has been courted and coddled by the UK since the end of the Second World War to keep the oil flowing.
Britain maintains a special relationship with the Saudi dynasty that contradicts every ideal the UK allegedly stands for.
Nobody should hold his breath waiting for the media or Government to expose the draconian policies of the Saudis.
If Britain is to devise and implement an effective Middle East policy, a reassessment of its relationship with SaudiArabia will be essential.
Since the media and Government rarely reprimand the Saudis, the public have little understanding of the grave human rights abuses that take place there.
According to Amnesty International, the Saudis executed 102 people in the first six months of 2015.
Death by sword beheading often public is the preferred punishment for adultery, homosexuality and witchcraft (basically, not having radical Sunni Wahhabi beliefs). Children and the mentally handicapped do not escape the sword.
Fifteen of the 19 911 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Nothing has been more corrosive to the stability and modernisation of the Arab world, and the Muslim world at large, than the billions and billions of dollars the Saudis have invested since the 1970s into wiping out the pluralism of Islam the Sufi, moderate Sunni and Shia versions and imposing in its place the puritanical, anti-modern, anti-women, anti-Western, anti-pluralistic Wahhabi Salafist brand of Islam promoted by the Saudi religious establishment.
Alan Hinnrichs. 2 Gillespie Terrace, Dundee.
Where would Scots cuts fall?
Sir, – I read with interest the mock outrage by Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie when he accused Chancellor George Osborne of being in “absolute denial” regarding the proposed tax credit cuts which haveballooned out of control since their introduction by Gordon Brown, from around £4 billion a year when first introduced, to £30bn this year.
Mr Hosie made these attacks in the full knowledge that an independent Scotland would be facing additional cuts of around £8 bn (double austerity) merely to keep itsspending on par with the rest of the United Kingdom.
As most people understand, the way forwardis to grow the economy and create better-paid jobs over time througha higher minimumwage and growth in knowledge-based industries.
In this connection, the UK has the fastest-growing economy of the major Western countries, with more jobs being created than the whole of the EU combined.
The only dark star on the horizon is Scotland where the economy is now flat-lining and unemployment rising due to a fixation on independence by the SNP which is undermining business confidence.
Rather than Mr Hosie expressing concern for Mr Osborne’s future, he should explain exactly where the extra cuts would fall if we voted yes, with no revenue from the Barnett formula, oil prices in meltdown and businesses moving south of the border.
Ian Lakin. Pinelands, Murtle Den Road, Milltimber.