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Your correspondent, Alex Orr, has more front than Porto­bello (Letters, 11 July). He berates Home Secretary Theresa May for stating the government’s intention to opt out of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty law-and-order measures and then to reapply to join those relating (primarily) to the European Arrest Warrant.

Ignoring the very valid arguments for taking this long-overdue step (when, oh when, will we take the same measures against the European Court of Human Rights to end the nonsense that it forces on us?), Mr Orr then correctly states that the European Commission might not allow the government to opt back into the measures it wishes to re-adopt. He then rants further about how this is an example of the nasty Tories making Scots suffer.

This is the same Mr Orr who seems to be the SNP’s unofficial press correspondent, so often is he in print to espouse its cause: and this is the man who has defended the SNP’s varying positions regarding Scotland’s EU membership. I would remind him that this is currently as follows: after a “yes” vote next year, Scotland will de facto no longer be an EU member state. We will then have to reapply to join (incidentally, we would not be allowed by the SNP to have a vote on this) and, strangely, the European Commission and the member states may not allow Scotland to pick and choose the things it likes (such as retaining the pound). Who would be making the Scots suffer then?

Any comment Mr Orr?

David K Allan


Haddington, East Lothian

JOHN Scott QC featured as one of your commentators on the recent European Court ruling regarding whole life sentences (10 July, and Letters, 11 July).

Why is it always a human rights defence lawyer rather than someone taking the opposite viewpoint whom you ask to contribute? Mr Scott states “a relatively small number of life prisoners go on to commit new murders when released, so the risk to the public is probably not significant”. Maybe not significant to him but certainly significant to the unfortunate individuals and their families who suffer such “new murders”.

As usual, Mr Scott and his ilk are more interested in the rights of the minority of law-breakers rather than the safety of the majority of law-abiding citizens. This brings to mind the oft-quoted remark of such defence lawyers – “better 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man be found guilty”.

Is it really the one innocent man they are concerned about or rather the 100 guilty men who are their clients?

John Elliot


Langholm, Dumfriesshire