IT inquiry needed

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I have just read that the “mutually agreed settlement” of the failed Police Scotland IT contract with Accenture will not result in financial detriment to the police budget (“Police Scotland ditches £60m IT project,” 2 July).

Does this mean that the expenditure is within budget, but Police Scotland, and we, the tax payer, get nothing of value in return?

Such a waste of public expenditure is surely worth some sort of public inquiry ?

From my experience of IT projects in large organisations, failure is never just due to one party to the contract, so we need to know the gory details to ensure it never happens again.

Derek Sharp

Blinkbonny Road, Edinburgh

Sex scene shame

Ofcom, the communications regulator, is meant to ensure high quality television, and to ensure people are protected from harmful or offensive material. These are its two most important legal obligations.

As the ITV2 programme Love Island reels from one crisis to another, one wonders what Ofcom is doing?

Already we have the revelation that presenter Caroline Flack “did not understand” why there was an outcry when Miss GB Zara Holland lost her crown, having had sex with a male she had met 24 hours earlier. Really? Is Caroline a suitable presenter of programmes watched largely by the young?

At any time, the programme revolves around young vacuous women and inarticulate men who have banal conversations, swear, smoke, drink a lot and try to get off with each other.

These people are being manipulated by the programme makers to have sex.

Now the programme has plumbed new depths by televising a teen having sex openly ten minutes after the watershed. This was no longer under the duvet and the other contestants sat around leering.

This programme is watched by young, impressionable, people. As a society, there must come a point when we have to say, “enough”.

John V Lloyd

Keith Place, Inverkeithing

Pilot study proof

For 14 years now Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) has been the membership organisation for development trusts in Scotland, representing their views and encouraging the growth of the movement.

Active across city, town, rural and island locations, we have always known of the positive social, economic and environmental impact that these grass-root organisations have upon their communities.

However, it is only in recent years that we have seen a shift in national policy to recognise and encourage community-led regeneration. The introduction of the Community Empowerment Act along with the Third Sector Regeneration Strategy are two such areas that reflect this.

DTAS was therefore delighted to be invited to participate in a pilot study with Education Scotland to measure the impact of development trusts, the results of which have been extremely positive. Sampling three very different DTAS members, the study found that not only do development trusts have a positive impact on the lives of the people within the communities in which they operate, their “can do” approach makes a strong contribution to local economies, complementing the place-making agenda.

The outcomes from this study are not just a reflection of the hard work and commitment of the trusts involved, but the community-led regeneration network as a whole. They are very much to be welcomed.

Ian Cooke, Director, DTA Scotland

Washington Lane, Edinburgh

Corbyn has to go

Many, like me, who are calling on Jeremy Corbyn to stand down, are not doing so because of his left wing policies but rather because he is an incompetent leader.

When he was elected leader of the Labour Party, he was also, de facto, made Leader of the Opposition and in that capacity he has missed so many open Tory goals. Then, his campaigning during the European referendum was rubbish. He claims he was very active, talking at town hall meetings up and down the country. But he was invisible. It’s no good speaking to thousands of the faithful; as a leader he needed to speak to millions, both supporters and those of the opposing view.

A leader needs to command the airwaves and the news agenda. It’s no good saying he couldn’t break through the media’s obsession with blue on blue fighting. Nicola Sturgeon managed to – and I’m not an SNP supporter.

No, Jeremy Corbyn fails the competency test and those who keep defending him on the grounds that he was elected by over 200,000 members, forget that there were nearly 34 million votes cast in the referendum. That is the size of the constituency for a leader.

As for criticising those MPs who have resigned from the front bench, they also have a mandate from their wider electorate, not just their Constituency Labour Party.

My own MP, Ian Murray, had to win a seat which has always been a three-way marginal. In order to get elected, he had to appeal beyond Labour voters to those who naturally supported a different party. The fact that not only was he the only Labour MP elected in Scotland in 2015, but also substantially increased his majority, suggests that he was, and is, doing something right. In resigning from the front bench, he has my complete support.

Judith Gillespie

Findhorn Place, Edinburgh

May for PM

Conservative leadership candidates Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom have said that the next leader should be someone who supported the Leave campaign. Why?

It looks like Leave only won because many voted for them thinking they had no chance of winning. It would be best if the next Conservative leader was someone who could start to repair the damage done to our economy and relations with the remainder of the EU.

Already companies like HSBC and EasyJet are planning to reduce investment. Surveys show many more freezing recruitment. I am not aware of any companies that have said they will increase investment following Brexit.

None of our allies have welcomed the outcome. Outside of the UK, only Donald Trump and Marine le Pen seem happy about it. Worst of all it has given the SNP a huge opportunity to drive a wedge between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

We need a conciliatory approach from the next prime minister. Theresa May seems to be the only realistic candidate. Her first action should be to reassure EU nationals currently living in this country that their residence and employment rights will not change.

Keith Shortreed

Methlick, Aberdeenshire

Going solo

The Spanish prime minister is understandably worried about secession movements in Catalonia and the Basque country, but comparison of these with Scotland is probably unjustified. Scotland was an established country before many of the present countries of Europe, including Belgium, Italy and Germany, and was a country for some centuries before the formation of the USA. It is not a region but one of the two original nations that formed the United Kingdom. In the event of Scottish independence, the UK would effectively cease to exist and it is likely that England would be in the same constitutional position as Scotland as a former partner in a defunct union.

Dr PM Dryburgh

Falcon Avenue, Edinburgh

Mixed messages

The trouble with our beloved leader’s pronouncements is that it is often difficult to determine whether she has her feet firmly on the ground, floating away on the clouds,or stuck in the mud.

Brian Mayes

Sycamore Gardens, Edinburgh

Result is final

I note that many people who lost the referendum have the naive belief that, somehow, they can have a re-run and get the “right” result.

Certainly, one might think so, reading Willie Rennie’s article (“Let’s fight to put UK back in the EU”, 2 July). It is rather like Belgium demanding another go at playing Wales, so that they can win next time around. Absurd.

While I sympathise with people who find that they have ended up with the “wrong” party in charge – and that seems to be the case at every election in Scotland, as far as I can see – that is how democracy works. However, those who got the “wrong” result may find that there is a lesson to be learned in it all.

Many of us who are pleased at the result of the referendum hold to a belief in that very prized state, namely democracy.

We voted to leave because the EU is not democratic and, as established, never will be.

There may be financial benefits to being a member state, but that is at the cost of not running your own affairs, or having them run by a club where no one can remove those in charge. It may be a gilded cage, but it is still a cage.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh

CAP in hand

Further to your report that the SNP’s rural economy secretary, Fergus Ewing MSP, has underlined the importance of CAP payments to Scottish agriculture, saying that “this is one of the reasons why this Government is working to protect Scotland’s place within the EU.” (2 July).

In the last few months, there have been plenty of stories in the press about EU farming cash being spent on wealthy farmers. There was a relative of David Cameron 
who was paid almost £400,000 for planting trees in Aberdeenshire. The Sheikh, who owns Scottish property via a tax haven, receiving £56,000. The business of an Aberdeenshire farmer who received over £3 million and another 20 recipients receiving between £500,000 and £1 million each.

Nicola Sturgeon should not be going to Brussels to protect the interests of wealthy farmers. In her rush to take advantage of the Brexit result to pursue her independence agenda, she seems to have overlooked the reason why Brexit won. After refusing to increase the top rate of tax, this is yet another example of the SNP pursuing the interests of the rich and not the interests of the poorly paid and the badly housed, that they profess to represent.

Phil Tate

Craiglockhart Road, Edinburgh