Readers' Letters: Condemn SNP councillor’s Eurovision tweet

I note that in relation to recent allegations that Rangers players used sectarian language, Humza Yousaf, the former Justice Secretary, was very quick to demand that if it was proved any player had used such language then that person should be sacked.

The UK's James Newman reacts after failing to score at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest (Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

I totally agree that hate-filled language and behaviour is unacceptable and disciplinary action should be taken against the perpetrator. Accordingly, I await with bated breath to hear what action the SNP hierarchy are taking against one of their number, Rhiannon Spear, a Glasgow councillor, who apparently posted a tweet at the weekend following the UK not receiving any points in the Eurovision Song Contest which stated that “It’s OK Europe we hate the United Kingdom too. Love Scotland”.Surely such intemperate language should be immediately condemned by her party and disciplinary action initiated against this person as perpetrator? I am, however, afraid that no such condemnation will be forthcoming as she is merely expressing the hatred of the Other which nationalist parties through the ages have fostered and which is rife throughout the SNP, despite their protestations to the contrary.I am also disgusted that such vile sentiments are being attributed to everyone in Scotland when more than 50 per cent of us do not support her party.

Kate Marshall, Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh

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Anti-English

So it is official, according to the SNP women's convener, that I am disliked. I have English family and even although I have spent my life here in Scotland since I was an infant and have worked, stayed out of trouble and paid my taxes, I am damned. It seems anyone in Scotland from any country in the world (except England), under any circumstances, is okay and is loved. So much for a promise that the SNP would work for everyone living in Scotland.

Elizabeth Hands, Etna Court, Armadale

Biased TV

It is ironic for Home Secretary Priti Patel to attack the BBC over something that happened 25 years ago when the 2016 BBC Trust report “Making Sense of Statistics” confirmed that the Tories are responsible for three-quarters of the statistics that the BBC receives from political sources. This report brings the impartiality of the BBC into question, and states that the corporation should not be so content with reporting statistics “straight from a press release”. It also concluded that the BBC had failed to “go beyond the headlines”.

This should include challenging those who claim Scotland can’t afford to become a normal country. Since 2014 I am used to the BBC’s bias against self government, with unbalanced panels in debates and London-based programmes regularly ignoring the third-largest grouping in the House of Commons as the SNP is not an English political party.

The disdain BBC London has for Scotland was perfectly illustrated at the weekend when it completely ignored Scottish boxer Josh Taylor becoming the first UK boxer to win all four world titles at any weight division, yet reported on a world title fight involving English boxers that won’t happen.

The fact that no British broadcaster screened Taylor’s fight, or the world mixed curling tournament, again shows the need for broadcasting to be devolved and a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation established if Scotland is to get decent coverage of our sport, arts and politics.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

Calling lawyers

Is the Scottish Government acting beyond its devolved powers using public funds to pay a salary for a Constitutional Secretary, when the Constitution is not a devolved matter? Perhaps the lawyers out there could comment whether such a situation could be challenged by way of Judicial Review in the courts.

Fraser MacGregor, Liberton Drive, Edinburgh

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Remembering Scotland and the Eurovision Song Contest

Good deal of hope

The impending free trade deal with Australia has spurred SNP MP Ian Blackford to state: “Yet again Scotland’s interests have been thrown under the Brexit bus.” He goes on to say how fearful he is that Scottish farmers will be able to survive and indeed, the whole way of life in Scotland’s rural areas is threatened.This sort of “rant” from Mr Blackford follows his usual pattern of ignoring some of the facts, i.e. Scottish whisky and financial services will be among many things it will be easier for Scotland to export. It will also open up possibilities for young Scots to travel and work in English-speaking countries, which has always been the case for the last two centuries and is one of the reasons Scotland is respected worldwide.Unfortunately, Mr Blackford just cannot see the benefits of being released from the EU’s shackles – but the saddest part is how little respect he seems to have for Scottish farmers. From my own experiences over many years, I have no doubt Sottish farmers will adapt and thrive whatever the Australian – and others – deal throws up.

Jim Bell, Hay on Wye, Hereford

Wasted electricity

In their usually ill-considered choices of means of minimising output of greenhouse gases, Western governments have chosen to replace internal combustion engines with electricity powered cars. As Archibald Lawrie points out (Letters, 24 May) their power supply from charging points and their internal batteries impose huge problems and costs. "Range anxieties" are a constant worry.

The costly and fire-prone batteries' lithium and rare earth components come mainly from China, having been mined by youngsters in appalling conditions of health and safety.

Before saving greenhouse gas release to offset the "dirty" impacts of manufacture, a new electric car must travel at least 50,000 miles.

Poor resale demand and prices are serious disincentives to purchase.

The public and private investments in switching from fossil-fuelled engines demand expenditures Western nations can very ill afford, all for no real benefits.

All-in-all, electric cars, like so many other "green" alternatives, represent huge own-goals. Although there are ten more years to review these policies, they will likely go ahead, alas!

Charles Wardrop, Viewlands Road West, Perth

Bad behaviour

Gill Turner seems to have got herself slightly confused with what I previously wrote (Letters, 21 May). I have no truck at all with the misbehaviour of the Rangers fans but it,along with the crowd which turned up to prevent legally appointed immigration officers carrying out their duty, revealed a shocking refusal to adhere to the Government's strictures on self-distancing and the wearing of face masks.

Of course mass protests have been held throughout history, including the anti-Corn Law faction, the Chartists and many more, but the point is that they were carried out in times less vulnerable than the present. To ignore the advice we get from the First Minister is most worrying, especially in a city still in the grip of a serious infection rate.

Kenn McLeod, Ralston Drive, Kirkcaldy

April fools

It is interesting that the SNP Government are now calling the Indian Covid variant “April 02” in order not to stigmatise communities, but are still happy to use the phrase "Kent Variant". I think we can all guess why.

Paul Lewis, Guardwell Crescent, Edinburgh

What’s in a name?

I see the SNP government has unilaterally renamed the Indian Covid variant to suit their political agenda. I'm surprised they haven't yet renamed the Kent variant as the “English variant”.

Bill Cooper, Highfield Circle, Kinross

Decline and fall

Part of the alleged BBC problem is surely due to the general decline of morality in society and the professions, and the "anything goes” attitude that prevails with individuals who want to get on in life. The truth for many people these days is simply that they say what they think other people want to hear. This is surely true of political life, and could be why politicians have lost credibility and respect. The days of telling the truth are gone, as are the days of Empire and personal integrity.

Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross

Sauce for goose

It is clear that there is an element of urgency in the SNP’s aim to hold a second independence referendum as soon as they can and on the most favourable terms possible, much as was the case in 2014. The latter is most unlikely, however, as once bitten, twice shy and Boris Johnson is no fool.

Indeed, Joanna Cherry would seem to be warning that her party needs to inject urgency into this matter, just as Alex Salmond was urging during the election. They know that the odds will begin stacking against their plan as the EU continues its spiral into break-up and Brexit begins to turn the economic tide, with new investment and trade deals outside little Europe.

Perhaps it is time that the disparate parts of Scotland make it plain that any attempt at breaking up the UK could lead, instead, to the break-up of Scotland into its constituent parts. It is already clear that the peripheral parts of Scotland are firmly unionist, be it the Orkneys, Shetlands, Dumfries and Galloway or the Borders.

Perhaps some of Scotland’s councils should take a leaf from the Holyrood book – or at least the SNP pages – and declare that they will remain an integral part of the UK regardless of whatever the SNP decide? They have no constitutional right to do so, of course, but, hey, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!

Andrew HN Gray, Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh

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