Readers Letters: Buy Scottish and every one of us will benefit

Making Scotland rich depends on us. Buy Scottish products, use Scottish firms, holiday in Scotland. If we all do it we will put money where it is needed – in Scottish pockets.
Buy Scottish fare - such as Bell's pies - advises reader (Picture: Ian Georgeson)Buy Scottish fare - such as Bell's pies - advises reader (Picture: Ian Georgeson)
Buy Scottish fare - such as Bell's pies - advises reader (Picture: Ian Georgeson)

It is easy for shoppers. Just buy produce with the Scottish blue and white Saltire label. Tell the shop workers what you are doing. It will have an effect on what they order if enough of us do it. “When will your Scottish order come in? I’ll come back then.” I’ve said it so often and it does have an effect. The more people who insist on Scottish products, the stronger the effect.

Are Scottish products better than the Union Jack ones? I prefer Scottish vegetables and potatoes, Scottish meats, tinned soups and Scottish cheeses, milk and milk products. Scottish mussels and smoked salmon are the best, but everyone knows that! But have you tried Scottish-made crisps?

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The season approaches for Scottish raspberries and strawberries. If I can’t get them I find ones grown abroad sweeter and cheaper.

Scotland’s biscuit makers are already world-famous and bread and cakes baked locally are delicious. Scottish fish products and cereals are preferable in taste and easy to cook. Scottish chocolates and sweets have always led the way.

So try them out and know that you are “Making Scotland Rich again!”

I used to go abroad for holidays in the sun. Now I find I remember more about the Scottish ones I took and my recent ones in Scotland have left me feeling the better for them. Scottish hotels have become fantastic, even the less expensive ones, and it is nice to come home, not feeling very much the poorer for your holiday.

Be part of making Scotland great again. Humza Yousaf can’t do it all by himself

Elizabeth Scott, Edinburgh

Rubbish scheme

Lorna Slater, in Friday’s Scotsman, lambasts the UK Government for not yet granting a trade exemption to allow the deposit return scheme to proceed. England and Wales are working up a scheme of their own to be rolled out in 2025.

It would be sensible for the whole UK to have a scheme which is compatible to avoid cross border problems for producers and sales outlets but the Greens, and by implication the Scottish Government, have to do things differently and cooperating with Westminster does not feature on their radar. They prefer grudge and grievance politics, anything to blame the UK Government.

I assume Lorna Slater’s crackpot scheme would replace the current kerbside collection but that has never been mentioned, to my knowledge. Kerbside collection would be completely unviable if a large proportion of the recycled waste was going through her scheme.

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The SNP need to break with the Greens or they will suffer at the polling booths at the next election.

Jack Watt, St Ola, Orkney

Councils taxed

It’s puzzling that Mary Thomas can boast about Scotland’s allegedly lower council tax bills (Letters, 1 May).

Through the Barnet formula we receive annually £1,200 more per capita than our southern neighbours, but despite this local government finances here are under severe strain and expenditure is being cut to the bone. Examples are East Dumbartonshire, with a shortfall of £20.6 million, and Glasgow City Council facing a black hole of £50m in their budget.

Local authorities north of the Border have little control over how they spend their allocated money, 90 per cent being ring-fenced thanks to the SNP’s increasing centralisation of decision-making. It doesn’t really matter that much if you pay less for your local services when they’re poor or non-existent.

Our crippling business rates and sky-high income tax compared to the rest of the UK discourage enterprise and investment.

People are lifted out of poverty through economic growth, not the lengthy list of handouts and freebies Ms Thomas reels off.

Martin O’Gorman, Edinburgh

Cost of integrity

While questions remain unanswered about the connection between the appointment of outgoing BBC Chairman Richard Sharp and his part on the facilitation of Boris Johnson’s £800,000 personal loan guarantee, the failure over recent weeks of Rishi Sunak to call for the sacking of his former Goldman Sachs boss smacks of political cronyism.

A review found that there was a perception that Mr Sharp had a potential conflict of interest by not declaring his part in facilitating bankrolling former PM Boris Johnson and then being approved as Chairman of the BBC by Mr Johnson. It could be argued that this compromises the BBC’s stated impartiality under its royal charter.

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The BBC was already reeling over Director General Tim Davie’s suspension of Gary Lineker, who spoke out against the UK Government’s language on asylum policy, comparing it to that of Nazi Germany. Mr Davie, himself a “close friend” of Tory peer Stephen Greenhalgh, minister in Johnson’s government, has been criticised for presiding over a London-centric broadcaster with national news rarely presented from outside London.

Mr Sharp felt that being found wanting on two counts of breaking the code of conduct was merely a “distraction” from the corporation’s work and his declared misdemeanours were “not material”. He clearly felt that his honour and integrity remained intact and, given donations of £400,000 to the Tory party, he may well follow other donors to the Lords.

It’s not hard to see why Mr Sunak won’t rule out future political appointments to the BBC but at what cost to its impartiality and his integrity?

Neil Anderson, Edinburgh

Crew crisis

It has emerged that further to the scandalous cost of the five-years-overdue ferries the SNP-run Calmac has also shelled out £1.6 million on wages for crews on the ships. I’m not versed on procedures for half-built ferries but why they need crews escapes me. This latest expense for the taxpayer is another classic example of SNP profligacy with our money. Sorry, I forgot that the Islanders who are suffering through the ferry fiasco, both built and unbuilt, are the people who keep electing SNP MPs and MSPs.

Ian Balloch, Grangemouth, Falkirk

Short support

It is reported there are 172,000 people in Scotland living with Long Covid (your report, 1 May). Thousands are unable to work. The Scottish Government is “making available £3 million from our £10m long Covid support fund”. How generous! £18 per person.

(Dr) R G Smith, Edinburgh

Equal views

I know we live in a country where we are free, rightly, to disparage pomp and pageantry but could people perhaps tone it down just a little?

Much of the commentary seems to be sneering at anybody taking the slightest interest in the Coronation as stupid.

It's almost as though these commentators are guilty of looking down onordinary people, precisely the sin for what they are quick to blame the royals and other establishment figures.

Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews, Fife

We’re no fools

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I refer to the headline item in Monday’s Scotsman wherein you report that Angus Robertson is accusing the Foreign Secretary of an “unacceptable” attempt to reduce Scotland to “the status of a mere administrative unit”. Why is Mr Robertson taking umbrage at the Scottish Assembly being treated as what it actually is – a devolved administration?

Surely it is the SNP which is behaving in an “unacceptable” manner by trying to fool the people into believing the assembly is something it is not by calling it a Parliament. In my view this is an attempt to foster grievance by alleging the Westminster government is doing something it is not entitled to do rather than merely exercising its powers as the sovereign government of the UK.

The SNP/ Green administration would be far better concentrating on fully exercising the powers devolved to them to the benefit of all the people of Scotland rather than creating faux grievances when they attempt to become involved in reserved matters which are beyond their devolved competence.

It is no doubt true that you can fool some of the people all of the time and the SNP seems to be masters of doing so. However, it is also certainly true that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time – as the SNP now seem to be finding out.

Kate Marshall, Edinburgh

Rough justice

It's very concerning that possibly in excess of 10,000 calls for assistance have been made by NHS staff to the police over the last five years. For health professionals to suffer verbal and physical abuse to that extent is unacceptable at any time, and particularly when our NHS is fighting funding and staffing issues.

Police Scotland itself is under severe financial and staffing pressure and one feels that not enough is being done by the Scottish Government to tackle hospital violence and ensure sufficient police resources are available to provide a satisfactory response.

Then again, we have the courts where community service orders are deemed sufficient even for rape convictions. Overall, it's hardly a recipe for an effective justice system!

Bob MacDougall, Oxhill, Stirlingshire

Bet on it?

Apparently, Ladbrokes and William Hill are joint favourites to be appointed the SNP's new accountants.

Fraser MacGregor, Edinburgh

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