NOWHERE was the war at sea followed more closely than in the Western Isles of Scotland. Each time it was announced over the wireless that a ship was lost, the islanders wondered if husbands, sons and brothers were safe.
I WAS interested by Dani Garavelli’s linking of Stuart Hall with the Nazis, “cruel, cold figures who stalked the concentration camps” (12 May). This presents an inaccurate image of the Nazi attitude to exterminating “undesirables”. Sadism and perversion were not their driving force; indeed Adolf Eichmann, chief architect of the scheme, was described by psychiatrists as perfectly normal. Equally normal were the many other Germans, both civilian and military, who willingly joined in.1 comment
YOUR article on the Dutch design for a “cyclist-safe” roundabout carried welcome information for those of us who enjoy travelling by bike (News, 5 May). The fact that the Scottish Government is to examine the feasibility of introducing it is particularly welcome.1 comment
JAMES Temple-Smithson, Head of the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh states: “The EU has an obligation to act when it fears that fundamental democratic rights are being threatened” (Letters 12 May). That is good to hear.4 comments
“DITCH the Tories not the Union” says Gordon Brown (News, 12 May). Obviously his recent sabbatical has not improved his intellectual insight.3 comments
THE European legislation in 2009 banning seal products on animal welfare grounds was both unnecessary and ill thought through. Seals are wonderful animals and should be allowed to thrive, but at the same time – and quite apart from the sporran industry – they are also decimating the salmon population.
AS CHAIR of the Scottish Commemorations Panel, appointed directly by Scottish ministers to consider and recommend on an appropriate programme of commemorations for the centenary of the Great War, I can assure your readers that the commemoration is a firm priority for all involved (“Fears of Great War battle with Bannockburn”, News, 28 April).
GERALD Warner’s column (Strictly Speaking, 5 May) is an inversion of reality.
THIS week the Scottish Parliament will have its first opportunity to debate voting rights for prisoners, in the Stage 1 debate on the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill put forward by the Scottish Government. The bill proposes that all convicted offenders who are being held in prison on the date of the referendum should be barred from taking part, whether or not Westminster meantime grants some prisoners voting rights in elections.
BRENDA Mitchell, a lawyer and the founder of the pressure group Cycle Law Scotland, admits that she wants to change civil law so that motorists in accidents with cyclists would be presumed liable and then have to prove that the cyclist was at fault (News, 28 April).
I WAS surprised by the vote in response to Scotland on Sunday’s opinion poll question “Is it ever morally acceptable to celebrate someone’s death?”, with 11 per cent voting Yes and 89 per cent voting No (21 April). It would be interesting to know if the majority of No voters had Margaret Thatcher in mind when they cast their vote and were not really thinking any further.
THE Black Watch is to have a bronze soldier statue erected at the Black Watch Corner in Belgium during May 2014. This kilted Highlander statue depicts a Great War soldier of the Black Watch holding a Lee Enfield rifle with an 18-inch bayonet.
EVER since the SNP formed a majority government at Holyrood, Scotland on Sunday seems to have adopted a consistently critical stance towards the party’s promotion of independence. Headlines such as “Scotland to face pension timebomb after independence” (7 April) and “Alert over passports following Yes vote” (14 April) are, I think, not untypical. Then there’s Brian Adcock’s wickedly funny cartoon, pillorying Wee Eck on an almost weekly basis.
IT IS by no means certain that the SNP would control the first elected government following independence, so why nourish the opposition with speculation over adopting sterling and joining the EU? Why not say they would retain sterling for as long as it does not harm Scotland and have preparations for a Scottish currency in hand from an early stage; and even David Cameron, hardly a democrat himself, has offered the UK a referendum on Europe if the Tories are elected for another term.
I NOTE your editorial (28 April) suggesting that if Alex Salmond wants to win the independence referendum then he needs to develop a vision of “indy-lite”, and capture the votes of people who would like to see more powers for Holyrood, short of independence.
THE European Parliament’s debate on the situation in Hungary was certainly robust, and maybe even a little feisty at times, but to characterise it as “spewing hate” as part of an EU “vendetta” against Hungary is nonsense (Gerald Warner: “We should fight Hungary’s corner”, 21 April). The EU has an obligation to act when it fears that fundamental democratic rights are being threatened. These rules were approved unanimously by all member states and ratified by all national parliaments.
THE response to Cycle Law Scotland’s Road Share campaign to introduce strict liability in Scotland has been encouraging (News, 21 April), although there are misconceptions that I hope I can clear up.1 comment
HAVING thrust off the soporific effects of the “Scottish” Labour Party Conference, I can only wonder at the total collapse of their political credibility.1 comment
MARY Lockhart’s highly polarised contribution to the “Another Voice” column (21 April) gives a stark warning of what might befall Scotland should independence materialise in 2014. While Scotland is traditionally instinctively left of centre, it is likely that, post-independence, a battle would break out between the far left, Labour and the SNP for control of the political and cultural future of the country.6 comments
THE UK is being forced to close coal-fired generating plants by EU directives to reduce CO2 and thus save the planet.11 comments
I READ with some dismay Alexander McKay’s letter in Scotland on Sunday on 21 April.1 comment
BMA Scotland is delighted to hear recently that the number of Scots donating organs has increased by 74 per cent. The whole transplant community has worked tremendously hard to achieve this with significant support from the Scottish Government.1 comment
WITH regard to the increase in the number of horses being slaughtered in Spain (International News, 14 April), Raphael Minder refers to Alberto Martin, who has been forced to sell 50 of his 70 “beloved” mares and, a few paragraphs on, he refers to Spain as a “horse-loving country”. He also quotes Martin saying: “I don’t believe anybody in my family ever faced a crisis like this.”1 comment
IT IS time our politicians and civil servants learned the basics of the banking business – but not from their banking friends and lobbyists. Top bankers constantly reassure politicians that economic collapse can’t happen here and customers believe their deposits are guaranteed by the State, but we all conveniently forget that we are the State and we are the guarantors. So far no one has expropriated our savings directly as in Cyprus, but depositors have been bailing out all the banks for years – it is done by inflation and derisory interest rates.
DANI Garavelli misses the point (“Flying the flag for free speech”, 14 April). You printed a photo of real people planting a saltire that the paper had doctored into the shape of a swastika (The Week, 7 April). Perhaps this is not actionable, but it certainly warrants an unequivocal apology to the people involved.1 comment
DAVID Torrance (The Week, 14 April) has fallen for the SNP’s rewriting of history.3 comments
THOSE who believe that the SNP’s proposed Scottish “Navy” will employ the 12,000 or so currently dependent on the Trident and other Royal Navy bases in Scotland really do live in a fantasy land. One is tempted to say those who believe this deserve what will surely come.7 comments
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Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
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