Readers' Letters: Braverman is gambling with safety of public

In yesterday’s Scotsman (18 January) I read of Suella Braverman urging the Metropolitan Police to “double down” on their efforts to root out what amounts to corruption of the most worrying kind. Her language, taken from the world of gambling, through the non-language of boardroom buzzwords, also fails to reassure.

The Met has been guilty of serial complacency, both in its recruitment procedures and in subsequent instances of covering up serious breaches of conduct, which have been shown to be criminal. How many more cases such as David Carrick are lurking beneath the surface?

In fact the buck stops with Braverman and she must realise that the Met's efforts at purging need to be more, much more than doubled.

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Bill Simpson, Carnoustie, Angus

The buck stops with Home Secretary Suella Braverman when it comes to rooting out police corruption, reckons reader (Picture: Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images)

Time for a reset

The government has claimed to be on the right lines to foster economic growth. But that is a very dubious claim. Some may ask what else can they do? That is a fair question.

The government claims that austerity is vital to bringing inflation down and growing the economy. They claim that any sign of giving in to public sector workers will cause inflation to accelerate again.

This is the same mistake that a Labour government made in the 1970s. That government also tried to keep a tight control over public sector pay. The result then was the chaotic winter of discontent. The result now will be a failure to modernise a key area for environmental strategising – the railways, and further ongoing decline of a National Health service which is on its knees.

Inflation is connected to global factors such as energy price rises and on the whole the present round of wage rises across industry has not caused inflationary pressures. Public sector workers are likely to settle well below the present inflation rate if the government gets serious about managing problems and negotiating.

But Government seems content to sit on its hands and blame trade unions for the strikes. Government culture wars mask the fact that their inflation managing policy is on the backs of workers – getting them to yet again accept real wage cuts. Keeping wages down by promoting continuing disputes simply adds to deflationary pressures, leading to further falls of investment in the UK.

Is there nothing else government can do? At Davros there has been a call to tax the rich – not much chance that this government will do that. Instead it has brought in the Edinburgh reforms to free bankers from regulations – which will threaten banking stability again – as in 2008. Nor will this government address the 330,000 shortfall of workers caused by Brexit. With three quarters of UK firms claiming that the Brexit deal has harmed their trading relationship with the EU this government has a responsibility to sort the Brexit mess it has created. The solution is simple – come clean on the damage done by culture wars and reset.

Andrew Vass, Edinburgh

Royally insecure

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The Duke of Sussex is fast becoming a danger to the royal family and the royal households, as he provides so much detailed information in his book about the internal layout of royal residences, information which could be used by intruders. At the same time he expresses paranoid and unwanted views about the future upbringing of children of the next heir to the throne, including their safety.

Is this man too dim to realise the significance of his words and actions? Senior members of the royal family must now have reservations about Harry attending the forthcoming coronation, concerned not only that will he seek to use the event to collect and then divulge private family conversations in yet another book but that his presence may draw seriously harmful attention.Surely this level of public exposure by Harry and unwarranted pressure on the royal family has to be stopped, if only for reasons of security.While the royal family admirably and wisely remain silent, there is surely nothing to stop a government minister now making a carefully worded statement in parliament relative to the various security issues stemming from the Duke of Sussex’s book.

Leslie Howson, Edinburgh

Gaelic gateway?

In the recently announced drive to promote and normalise the Gaelic language with events during Gaelic Week next month, I wonder if consideration could be given to revising the spelling of Gaelic. There are no monoglot Gaelic speakers left, and in spite of Gaelic medium schools very few people now speak the language. Its survival as a living language depends on Gaelic becoming more accessible to English speakers for whom the spelling is a major obstacle. Gaelic has never been the language of all Scotland, and attempts to politicise it ring hollow, unlike the close relationship between Welsh and Welsh nationalism. Past and present leaders of the SNP have not been Gaelic speakers, unlike some Labour and Liberal MSPs.

There is strong evidence that Gaelic was once spoken in the South West of Scotland, at least until the reformation, but the few written records were in Scots – perhaps even then written Gaelic was problematic. Other languages, such as Irish in the 20th century, and Dutch early in this century, have simplified their spelling, so why not Gaelic? It would at least encourage participation in Gaelic with its wealth of literature, poetry and song. The alternative may be a retreat into the academic discipline of a dead language.

(Dr) David Hannay, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway

Hopeless case

Nicola Sturgeon ignored public opinion, ignored a number of her own SNP MSPs and ignored a number of proposed very relevant amendments to the Scottish Gender Recognition Bill that may well have avoided the UK Government invoking the Section 35 order. The intervention from Lord Hope, highly respected former Supreme Court judge who has commented that the chances of the Scottish Government winning a legal challenge was “very low”, is significant. He also noted that the UK Government document outlining its reasons for blocking the Scottish Bill was “devastating” and the Scottish Government was risking a lot of time and money in taking the issue to Court. Will Ms Sturgeon listen?

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Richard Allison, Edinburgh

Frozen wastes

The situation we now find ourselves in here in Scotland is ridiculous and totally unacceptable. Talk about stagnation! We are caught in the crossfire between a devolved government which for 15 years has been totally obsessed with its very own fantasy and a Westminster government which appears to have absolutely no common sense or subtlety in dealing with its grievance-laden counterpart in Edinburgh.

It is abundantly clear, despite all their lip service on the really important aspects of our lives, that the SNP never did intend to actively pursue them and make them better. Instead the focus was solely on their obsession from the start and has remained there relentlessly. Quite how an organisation which has presided over one disaster after another over such a period believes it has the right to ask for a mandate to split our country asunder beats me. However, I now feel that, for the sake of our country, we should give them the referendum they crave. Then, when they have once again failed to persuade the majority of the people, we can put them back in their box and start to make some progress.

Ian G Hogg, Melrose, Scottish Borders

Scotland failed

From the party that claims to offer a route to independence comes a proposal to remove our existing independence and freedom of movement.

Having ensured that not only are there no new ferries, the existing vessels are not fit to provide even a basic service to some communities. Bus routes have been cut, ScotRail is a mess and mountain rescue is on standby to help any unwary pedestrian who falls into one of the many cavernous potholes on Scotland's city streets. We are to stop using our cars, supposedly. Never mind it is the only realistic way of navigating life for the people of Scotland and a great many businesses depend upon car use, you will be obliged to travel no further than walking distance. This is to be imposed "without investment". How could it be enforced without substantial investment? What would be the effect on Scotland's tourism industry? How would rural communities survive?

As the progress of the Gender Recognition Act proves, this administration is either ill-equipped to comprehend advice, or simply doesn't listen. They are most certainly not competent to micromanage our lives and decide whether or not we can to travel from A to B. That Scots continue to die needlessly in excessive numbers neatly summarises their failings. There are a great many more besides. This failed administration requires a blunt reminder it is employed by us to facilitate our lives, it has no authority to control our very existence.

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Hamish Hossick, Dundee

For the birds

The impact on safe places for women if the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill had been implemented is undeniable. Any MSP who does not understand there are men who would take advantage of this iniquitous bill are living in cuckoo land.

Lewis Finnie, Edinburgh

Cup of joy

I was amused by your article on Bill McLaren’s “influence” on the 1990 Calcutta Cup (“How Bill McLaren helped fuel England’s overconfidence ahead of 1990 Grand Slam decider”, 18 January). I still have the framed match ticket. I was there with an English friend. What could be sweeter?

Michael Grey, Edinburgh

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