Readers' Letters: Chief Constable passing buck on Police Scotland 'racism'

So Sir Iain Livingstone says Police Scotland officers are institutionalised racists.
Sir Iain Livingstone said this week that Police Scotland is an institutionally racist and discriminatory organisationSir Iain Livingstone said this week that Police Scotland is an institutionally racist and discriminatory organisation
Sir Iain Livingstone said this week that Police Scotland is an institutionally racist and discriminatory organisation

Rather than let the Chief Constable leave with, no doubt, a hefty taxpayers’ payoff, he should be investigated for negligence – did he realise there was a serious issue and do nothing to change it?

May I even suggest the knighthood be taken from him as he was given it in recognition of his service to the public, which he has just said he failed to uphold.

J Moore, Glasgow

Most cops are good

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Sir Iain Livingstone has been lauded for admitting that his force is an institutionally racist and discriminatory organisation. Starting from the premise that the vast majority of police officers in Scotland are decent individuals who are trying to do their best to help their communities in often very difficult circumstances, one must ask why this revelation is being made now.

In recent years there have been a number of public reports suggesting that an unsavoury culture existed within some sections of the Force, raising aspects of racism, sexism and homophobia. It’s pertinent to ask what the Chief Constable and senior officers have been doing to rectify this, and if the problems are so serious and fundamental, why the Chief Constable received a knighthood in the circumstances? It's good that the issue has been brought to national attention but it would seem that it will be left to Sir Iain’s successor to bring about the necessary change.

Bob MacDougall, Oxhill, Kippen, Stirlingshire

Police questions

Interesting comments indeed from the departing Chief Constable of Police Scotland, which give rise to some interesting questions, such as: where does this fit in with comments from the former First Minister that Scotland is a tolerant country? If his comments are correct, just who was in charge politically of Police Scotland, but the SNP!

William Ballantine, Bo'ness, West Lothian

Keir? Hardly

Labour make government sound easy. As the build-up to the next general election starts, Labour are trying to convince us that they have the answer to every ill afflicting the country at the moment.

One of the answers is… Sir Keir Starmer! I have to admit that I find him – and Labour – rather unconvincing, not least because they obviously hide any detail of their solutions. It is easy to say “we need to grow the economy”, but not so obvious, in practice, how to do so. If it was, then even the SNP might have succeeded somewhere.

What prompted me to write was Sir Keir’s latest promise, namely to rebuild Kirkcaldy. Now, while this is very welcome indeed, I don’t believe he and his colleagues sit in their London offices planning the rebuild of the Lang Toun. It is simply a hot air pledge that he probably repeats everywhere he goes.

If Sir Keir wishes to become Superman he might want to start by wearing his underpants on the outside. That would be a first step, though that’s as close as he might get.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh

High dependency

Nearly 1.2 million people entered the UK and net immigration reached a record high of 606,000 in 2022 (your report, 26 May). Prime Minister Rishi Sukak admitted the number was “too high” but insisted he had not lost control of the immigration system.

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Oh yes he has, but all political parties are to blame. Home Office Minister Robert Jenrick highlighted one glaringly obvious area which should have been plugged many years ago and that is that foreign students are allowed to bring in “dependents”. Home Office data showed that study visas rose from 465,000 to 627,000 in the year to March 2023, of which 149,400 were for dependents. Many foreign students choose the cheaper courses, bring in relatives and drop out after a year and apply for a work permit. So they and their relatives are allowed to remain and become eligible for housing and benefits at taxpayers’ expense.

The announcement from Home Secretary Suella Braverman that from January 2024 only foreign students studying for PhDs can bring in family members is welcome, but too late. The drawbridge should have been raised long before now.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Tribute act

Joyce McMillan is absolutely right to point out the disconnect between the behaviour of Labour at UK level and at Holyrood where “progressive politicians often work closely together, on social and economic measures designed to improve the lives of the people” away from “exaggerated tribal abuse” (Perspective, 26 May).

The problem is that Labour is collaborating with the Conservative Party at local authority level as well as mimicking them at Westminster, most disgracefully being “tough on immigration”.

To paraphrase Tony Blair's “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” mantra, why aren’t politicians clamouring to be tough on the causes of immigration? Er, because war and climate change – all of which we are significantly responsible for – are just two of the many reasons people end up migrating.

So rather than branch office politicians reaping the benefit of the SNP’s disarray, voters who recognise that independence is the only way to secure long-term improvements for the people of Scotland must demand that all candidates commit to independence first and foremost.

Marjorie Ellis Thompson, Edinburgh

Money tree?

Stan Grodynski (Letters, 26 May) tells us that the UK Government's borrowing is heading for the £3 trillion mark and is costing Scotland £10 billion per year.

This level of borrowing is a direct result of coping with the economic problems caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, so perhaps he can answer a question that has been asked many times in these columns but never properly answered. If, as he obviously would have preferred, Scotland had been an independent country in 2020 and therefore in no position to benefit from the countless billions of pounds poured into the Scottish economy by the UK Treasury during the pandemic, how could we have survived?

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The only answer ever put forward is that we would have had to borrow on the international market. This might not have been easy given that we would have been a newly independent country with already a rather large black hole in our financial state, but in any case, the cost of borrowing on such a monumental scale and the loss of Barnett money and other allowances paid to Scotland by Westminster would have resulted in enormous tax increases and the cutting of public services such as we have never seen.

As always, it is the ordinary people of Scotland who would have suffered, and I don't think a majority of them have much appetite for life in an independent bankruptcy.

D Mason, Penicuik, Midlothian

Bunglers bleat

On a daily basis, SNP politicians bleat and blame Westminster about the fact they are unable to complete projects and spend money on essential services because of lack of finance. On Question Time, on Debate Night, on any interview by commentators, the same party line is spouted.

This week we see “Air Miles Angus” Robertson jetting about the world at taxpayers’ expense on some jolly and an independence minister has been appointed on a reported annual salary of £100,000. Roughly 20 civil servants are working courtesy of taxpayers’ money to break up the United Kingdom. The ferries will be at least £300 million over budget when complete.

The failed vanity projects costing billions since 2014 are astonishing: Prestwick Airport, Police Scotland, Scottish Energy Company, Scottish Stock Exchange, Gupta handout, Ferguson Marine, Bifab, Rangers Football Club botched prosecution, the Alex Salmond inquiry legal fees, foreign “embassies”, Named Person Scheme, Hate Crime Bill, Scottish National Investment Bank, DRS and on and on and on, the list is endless.

Had Nicola Sturgeon and her “government” shown some real economic and financial probity since 2014 there would have been ample funds to avoid them having to blame the UK Government.

But of course, blame is in the SNP DNA.

Douglas Cowe, Newmachar, Aberdeenshire

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