Not three years from the last time we endured MPs telling us what an honour and privilege it was to be elected to parliament, there they are again supporting demands for a £10,000 or 15 per cent pay rise to push them close to the annual £100,000 they believe they so richly deserve.
And the justification? “To attract a better class of candidate.” Let me get this straight – if we give the refuse collectors a 15 per cent pay rise we’d get a better class of scaffy? One who quotes Plato, perhaps? If we paid an extra 15 per cent on our taxi fares we’d get a better taxi driver? No; of course not.
If a thing’s not broke, the saying goes, don’t fix it . . . well, our parliamentary system is broke, and in the hands of enemies of the people: if we don’t fix it, who will? Our children or grandchildren? Can no-one rid us of our rapacious, greedy and meddlesome politicians?
David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh
Our lives would be bleak under Labour
IT looks like the future would still be bleak under Labour leader Ed Miliband.
He has promised to retain the coalition cuts after the General Elections in 2015 his party wins, to attack state pensions and freebies for pensioners. He will cross anyone to win the keys of No 10.
Miliband will play follow my leader with David Cameron, down the road to disaster. Scotland’s future looks bleak in the Union.
Miliband’s speech rings a bell. This is what Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said a few months ago – no more freebies such as bus passes, TV licences, the Winter Fuel Allowance and free prescriptions.
Mr Miliband, her boss in London, will tell her what to do. After all, she must toe the line.
Peter Bain, Saughton Road, Edinburgh
Stability of the future in doubt
We keep hearing dire “warnings” from Unionist politicians about the “risk” of independence, but what is so reliable about the UK?
The next General Election is almost certain to result in another hung Parliament and with the Liberal Democrats facing political extinction throughout Britain, we are likely to see either a Tory coalition with UKIP, or a minority Government.
Westminster is not suited to minority rule and it is likely such a Government would toddle on weakly for a couple of years before yet another election would have to be called.
This does not sound like a stable future to me. Let’s also not forget that we face being isolated from Europe if Middle England votes to leave in the promised EU referendum and the fact that sooner or later the British economy faces another crash as the UK deficit continues to climb.
It is a recipe for a very uncertain future.
Running our own economy through prudent use of our vast resources after independence looks like a safe bet in comparison to the bleak outlook for Britain.
Gavin Fleming, Websters Land, Edinburgh
What will the council hand over next time?
The purpose of the Portobello Park Private Bill is to allow Edinburgh City Council to proceed with an illegal development on Portobello Park, contrary to the clear ruling made by the Inner House of the Court of Session (News, June 28).
Now that the period for objections to the Bill is over, the committee must take their time to consider the consequences of progress to vote by MSPs.
The Bill is likely to set a precedent for other local authorities as it demonstrates a methodology for overturning due legal process.
It also seems that despite the fee of £20, parliament’s officials are able to select the objections which are allowed.
Now that the city council are prepared to allow the Scottish Government’s influence over local education matters, what else will they hand over?
Archie Burns, Portobello
‘Right to buy’ policy had run its course
I WELCOME the move by the Scottish Government to scrap the “right to buy” from 2016.
This is a policy that has effectively run its course, and the time has come to instead focus on increasing the supply of affordable housing while ensuring those who are financially able to buy their home can do so in a sustainable fashion.
“Right to buy” has dramatically reduced the stock of homes available for social rent, resulting in ever-lengthening housing waiting lists and rising levels of homelessness.
Providing generous discounts to tenants who wished to buy their homes also saddled social landlords with increasing levels of debt, putting a further squeeze on finances.
Though much more work needs to be done to address Scotland’s acute shortage of social housing, ending this policy is a positive step in the right direction.
Keith Anderson, chief executive, Port of Leith Housing Association
Time for pensioners to act at ballot box
I WOULD like to support the letter from A Delahoy (July 1). Pensioners must unite against government plans.
The contributions made by OAPs, sometime for 50 years or more, must count when it is payback time.
The pension itself is ridiculous, but to even contemplate removing bus passes and heating allowances is just disgraceful.
People who have never contributed are getting the same benefits, sometimes even more.
It is time for us pensioners to do something about it
Phillis McCabe, Prestonfield Road, Edinburgh