Readers' Letters: Air firms share blame for anger of passengers
Abuse towards people simply trying to do their job is not to be tolerated (“Edinburgh Airport suspends phone helpline after passengers abuse staff”, 16 July).
That said, someone has to sort out the ongoing luggage fiasco. I flew from Frankfurt Airport to Edinburgh last Sunday, 10 July, and am still waiting for a suitcase which German airline Lufthansa failed to load (despite it being checked in with my partner’s bag, which did arrive).
I have spent a lot of time this week trying to be reunited with it – there’s much-needed medication in there – but Menzies Aviation, who handle bags on behalf of Lufthansa, do not answer the telephone.
Edinburgh Airport’s Twitter account replies to every passenger who makes this point with a link to their blog post about Menzies and fellow baggage hander Swissport, which contains no useful information. So it’s no wonder people are phoning the airport itself, and venting their frustration; the airport should take some responsibility and ensure their partners communicate with customers. I understand that the current situation is unprecedented, but a little reassurance from the firms involved that we’ll soon see our items again would go a long way.
Currently, it seems they don’t give a flying fig.
Steven Robertson, Musselburgh, East Lothian
Bill Cooper has inadvertently done more for the Scottish independence cause than Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Nationalists have done in recent times, by claiming that Scotland is “not a country in the real sense of the word” (Letters, 15 July).
Scotland is a country – a real country, which is defined by having its own government, and occupying a specific territory. It is certainly not “only a country in the context of Great Britain”. That is the equivalent of saying that France is only a country in the context of Europe. Planet Earth is only a planet in the context of the universe.
We have our own history, and our own languages, Gaelic and Scots, now classed as “minority languages”, as well as English, the dominant language. When abroad, when we tell the local people that we’re Scottish this generally elicits a very positive response. On the other hand, I can recall an English girl asking me if we had electricity in Scotland. This was in the 1960s.
Despite my love for my country, I prefer to call myself an internationalist, because, in the 21st century, we are connected with people around the globe, thanks to modern technology. We have learnt that humans share the same basic values, but poverty, war, political oppression – as well as natural disasters – can make the world a very unequal place, despite our best intentions.
Carolyn Taylor, Broughty Ferry, Dundee
While I agree that we need to sort out democratic system with measures such as STV voting, abolition of House of Lords and a fully federal UK, Bill Cooper is incorrect to suggest Scotland is not a real country.
It has a completely separate and distinct legal system, education system, established Church and was, until the Union with England in 1707, a completely independent country. To suggest it is not a real country is to completely insult intelligence of people in this country.
Let's not begin any argument about whether or not Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are separate countries; in the past eight years the Unionists have chosen not to believe that those who voted for Scottish independence in 2014 have a valid opinion and it is as much our union as theirs, whether they like it or not.
Peter Ovenstone, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
The Union of Scotland with England and Wales was achieved by agreement and the consent of the respective parliaments, creating a new joint parliament, each separate parliament voting itself out of existence.
That must mean that the future of Great Britain, now incorporated into the The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, can only be determined by that joint parliament (Westminster). It is already agreed that constitutional matters are reserved to Westminster. They cannot be determined by a part of GB unilaterally.The devolved Scottish Parliament may regard itself as representing a quasi-independent country but that is illusory. It cannot have the power to break up the UK any more than, say, Cornwall or Yorkshire, or even Wales.Consequently, the question of whether or not Scotland should separate from England and Wales can only be determined by the Westminster Parliament, where there are representatives of both former states. So why is the Scottish Government not putting down independence motions in Westminster?
Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh
I would like to express my thanks for yesterday’s well-reasoned and sensible editorial on the subject of independence. Some days I despair at the sheer intransigence of some correspondents on both sides of the independence debate. I wish they could see that an approach which totally rejects the validity of a Unionist or Nationalist point of view is not the answer – on the contrary, it's part of the problem.
This is an issue which will only be resolved by patient discussion and, at the end of the day, some form of compromise. Otherwise, the divisiveness and bitterness will simply go on and on and that is surely in no-one's best interests.
David Hamill, East Linton, East Lothian
Let young speak
There is a joke: “Once a king, always a king; once a queen, always a queen; but once a knight is quite enough”. I am reminded of it every time I hear Alex Salmond’s slogan, “Once in a generation”, uttered by some Tory MP, along with “Now is not the time”. Two meaningless phrases that hide a lack of thought and policy. Generations have come of voting age since 2014, and the UK has changed beyond recognition. Our democracy demands that they have a say in their future.
Frances Scott, Edinburgh
In her latest “sermon on the mount”, on the subject of democracy, Nicola Sturgeon said that when it came to the subject of Scotland's separation from the UK, where the Tories go, Labour follows in a “cynical political calculation”. I think it more likely that the harmful effects of any separation are so obvious that Labour find it necessary to oppose it even if it does allow the SNP to accuse them of being “Red Tories” (which is itself a “cynical political calculation” by the SNP).
She is obviously rattled by the resurgence of Labour in Scotland under Anas Sarwar because the SNP for many years has been the wolf in Labour's clothing and is gradually being exposed as an incompetent one-issue populist movement.
Mark Openshaw, Cults, Aberdeen
Sir Keir Starmer has been a huge disappointment as he has yet to offer any clear policies for the future. He is defined by being not Jeremy Corbyn and not being Boris Johnson, but this is setting the bar incredibly low. His vision for Europe appears to be a complete fudge which is neither fish nor fowl. He should have pointed out to the voters who backed Brexit that they did not intentionally vote for a lower standard of living, but now that is what is heading our way, according to unbiased experts.
To avoid this pain, he should be bold and seeking to rejoin the EU single market and customs union. The single market was Margaret Thatcher’s idea and could not be perceived as left wing. There is consensus in British industry that single market membership would boost our economy. Membership would also solve the “Northern Ireland problem” as it would restore a level playing field between the Republic, Northern Ireland and the British mainland.
It should be pointed out that 49 per cent opposed Brexit in 2016 and you can be confident that many of those who voted for Brexit have had a rude awaking as to the reality of Brexit, so Keir Starmer should be pushing at an open door. Sadly, he always appeared halfhearted in his support for opposing Brexit so maybe his stance is no surprise.
Vincent McCann, Edinburgh
Nicola Sturgeon seems to want us to believe that she is blind to the fact that what is of the most importance to the majority of Scots is the financial benefits of being in the United Kingdom. Until the SNP can tell Scotland what the financial and economic advantages of separation would be, she can rant about the supposed democratic deficit all she wants.What is the point of having some imaginary democracy that the SNP claim we don’t currently have if it means we are poorer for it?
The Centre for Policy Studies are warning that separation would lead to higher prices and higher taxes for Scots. That is clear to those of us who acknowledge the financial benefit of being part of the United Kingdom. The SNP and Sturgeon can’t explain in detail how they will replace the £2,000 per person benefit of being in the UK. The First Minister may take us for fools but we are not turkeys voting for Christmas.
Jane Lax, Aberlour, Aberdeenshire
The First Minister states that her “new” paper on the best route to breaking-up the UK takes the fundamental view that decisions about Scotland are best made by the people who live in Scotland. Fair point, you would think. But it is identical to the phrase used by Nigel Farage and others in the campaign to break-up the EU. Brexit, Scexit, what’s the difference?
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh
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