Lack of industry

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JIM Stamper (Letters, 2 March) seems to think that I deride the public sector, which is untrue. There are many in the public sector who perform admirable and essential work: doctors, teachers, binmen, firemen and so on are only a few such instances.

He writes that “it is often implied that public and private workers are different, mutually exclusive animals” and continues by commenting that “those employed in the public sector often move to the private sector”, which is, I am afraid, simply not true. Having been actively involved in recruitment throughout the British Isles for well over 30 years, I can assure Mr Stamper that, as a rule, private sector employers do not want people who have worked in the public sector. Of course, there will always be exceptions, but they are few and far between.

The “influx of jobs” to Edinburgh of which he speaks, are, in many cases, administrative and in Holyrood, as at Westminster, we are overburdened by box-tickers. Where soldiers are losing their jobs, civil servants are staying put.

Where I agree with Mr Stamper is the need for more entrepreneurs. These do not come from the public sector, for the most part, but from those who work in the sharp end of business.

The loss of Parsons Peebles, Scottish & Newcastle Breweries, Tennents, Dryburgh’s Brewery, Bruntons, Bauermeisters, Ferranti among others confirms that the jobs he thinks have flowed into Edinburgh since devolution may simply have replaced industry with pen-pushers in Holyrood and Leith, which is not the way I want to see this country going. Does he?

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive