Readers' letters: Could Scotland's disaster movies make the cut at the Oscars?

I noticed the Baftas coverage in Monday’s Scotsman. Given that funding for the arts in Scotland has been reduced and its film industry is one of the casualties, it would have benefitted from promotion at this event.

Listening to the broadcasti media in Scotland, there are times when one does a double take and thinks, was that “Holyrood” or “Hollywood” that was mentioned? Easy to confuse as both institutions seem to have larger than life performers, especially at Holyrood.

As the Oscars awards ceremony will soon be upon us, perhaps our culture Minister, Angus Robertson, could avoid missing out a second time and submit the following recent Scottish Government “film” productions. The Academy judges might think that the “films” are too far fetched and beyond the limits of reality. Little do they know (but Scotland does, unfortunately).

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Disaster movie: The SNP and Greens coalition in It’s A Blunderful Life.

Emma Stone won the Best Leading Actress Award for Poor Things at Sunday evening's Baftas - but could she face additional competition from Scottish ministers at the Oscars? (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)Emma Stone won the Best Leading Actress Award for Poor Things at Sunday evening's Baftas - but could she face additional competition from Scottish ministers at the Oscars? (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)
Emma Stone won the Best Leading Actress Award for Poor Things at Sunday evening's Baftas - but could she face additional competition from Scottish ministers at the Oscars? (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

Biblical parable story: Michael Mathieson in The Greatest Stories Ever Told.

Nicola Sturgeon in The Crying Game.

Humza Yousaf in the remake of a James Dean Film: Rebel Without a Clue.

Can you imagine the acceptance speeches if they win?

Fraser MacGregor, Edinburgh

Tyre trouble

I’m wondering how the Edinburgh pavement parking ban is going? With fines of up to £100, one wonders how this law is going to be enforced.

The SNP virtually removed police from our streets and traffic wardens are thin on the ground. So, will we see the forming of vigilante groups of disaffected pensioners with time on their hands forming to patrol the streets, naming and shaming on facebook and painting “I parked on the pavement” in large letters on the sides of offending vehicles, most of which will have plenty room for large letters because they’ll be our old friends and usual suspects, SUVs, Range Rovers etc, ruining the environment, destroying our roads and hogging the pavements outside nurseries.

The first task is to identify the difference between bad parking and illegal parking. Is bad parking having your wheel on the kerb, maybe a tyre’s width, or would that count as on the pavement and therefore illegal? At what point would bad parking become bad enough to become illegal? Will there be a “buffer zone” of a designated width that you’re allowed some rubber in?

It’s all mostly academic though, because if road and traffic damage gets any worse, we soon won’t be able to tell where the roadside ends and the pavement begins.

Ian McElroy, Thurso, Highland

Naval power?

There are still elements in the Conservative Party who regard the Royal Navy as a global power and, when aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, with destroyers and frigates, entered the South China sea, in the summer of 2021, this was depicted as such.

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Often when the MoD talks of our naval presence it actually means a River Class Offshore Patrol vessel (an OPV). Its main armament is a 30mm cannon at the bow and machine guns. They have a crew of 30. For seven years that is how we have defended the Falkland Islands with little HMS Forth, along with 4 RAF typhoons.

The new Argentinian President, Javier Milei, is tripling his country’s defence budget and shopping for F16 jets, modern warships and subs. The Falklands used to be defended by a major warship with anti-ship and air defence missiles but today frigates are being scrapped as we cannot staff them.

While it is commendable that the Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, is visiting the Falkands; kind words regarding them “staying part of the British Family” are unlikely to be enough. President Milei will watch with interest what transpires with Guyana, where the formidable might of the Venezuelan armed forces are currently being held at bay, similarly, by little sister ship HMS Trent.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing, Fife

Polls apart

Alex Orr (Letters, 20 February), accuses David Cameron of hypocrisy for stating the Falkland Islands would remain British as long as the islanders wish to. This was based on the fact that in a referendum, 99.8 per cent of islanders voted to remain British. In a Scottish referendum, 55 per cent of those voting chose to remain part of the UK, with 45 per cebt voting to leave the UK. In effect, 22 per cent more voters chose to remain in the UK than leave.

These are the facts. It is Mr Orr’s opinion is that the majority of Scots want independence, and appears to be a fact only in the dream world nationalist keyboard warriors live in.

If anyone is to be accused of hypocrisy it is those wishing to leave the UK where Scots have a big say in Parliament, a common language, a single island, and where 60 per cent of Scotland’s exports go, and join Europe where Scotland would be an insignificant voice in a 700-plus member European Parliament.

Brian Barbour, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Defence of realm

The Royal Navy did not “turn to Scotland for help”, as D Jamieson writes (Letters, 20 February). Rosyth is one of the UK MoD shipyards and the one where the Queen Elizabeth was actually built – so where else would she go for repair?

I would remind Mr Jamieson that Scotland is part of the afore-mentioned MoD and has far more than its population share of jobs within that organisation so “theft of Sottish resources” is quite risible.

A McCormick, Terregles, Dumfries and Galloway

Delays and decay

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The full extent of the Scottish Government’s neglect of the NHS in Scotland is now being laid bare. People suffering from dental problems are being forced abroad to receive treatment or are resorting to DIY techniques to get pain relief (Scotsman, 20 February), all because insufficient NHS dentists are available. This can only lead to long-term dental problems within the population, a situation which has been highlighted by dentists for years with successive Health Secretaries doing very little to remedy the situation.

The same delay and decay theme can be seen with the postponement of the building of new hospitals, surgeries and other premises, sorely needed but now put on the back burner by the government. It will take years for the NHS to recover from the under-investment and the incompetent use of resources, if ever, and it will be the patients, not the politicians, who will suffer.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen, Stirling

Split personality

Humza Yousaf is kicking up a storm because of a Labour plan to increase the North Sea windfall tax (Scotsman, 20 February).

The SNP oppose the granting of licences for new oil and gas exploration. Their plans for energy supply include the cessation of oil and gas extraction from the North Sea. They are in partnership with the Green Party, who would turn off the oil and gas taps themselves given the chance.The SNP/Green stance over oil and gas threatens thousands of jobs and whole communities yet Mr Yousaf is accusing Labour of the same charge. He preached to Americans in New York about the use of fossil fuels – not that preaching to other nations is in his remit – but it just makes me wonder how many Humza Yousafs there are.

Ian Balloch, Grangemouth, Falkirk

The new Hitler

With the death of Alexei Navalny it is surely obvious to all that Vladimir Putin is the 21st century equivalent of Adolf Hitler. Similar to Hitler, he has built for himself an impregnable authoritarian position, and similar to Hitler, has surrounded himself with yes-Men and cronies whom he has rewarded through making them multi-millionaires by way of corruption and the gifting of state assets.

He has also deliberately associated with equally authoritarian states, such as North Korea, Belarus, China, and Iran. We have recently heard the threats issued by Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s equivalent to Hitler’s Goebbels, should the western democracies interfere further with the Russian illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Following the deaths of so many opponents of Putin over the past 20 years, including the poisonings in the UK of Litvinenko and the more recent poisoning attempts on the Skripals by the Kremlin’s FSB operatives in Salisbury, it is imperative that that UK, US and EU democracies step up their assistance to Ukraine, even to the point of providing their armed forces to drive the Russian army out of Ukrainian land.

Turning a blind eye to what is going on will lead to further future atrocities, and we are already hearing of the fears being expressed by Finland, Sweden and Moldova

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The beginning of the end of Hitler came about when the UK finally countered the Nazi invasion of Poland. That must now be replicated by all of the democracies in the world, but particularly, by the US, UK and the countries of the European continent

Derek Farmer, Anstruther, Fife

Healthy debate

Carolyn Taylor (Letters, 19 February) lists a dozen or more qualities a good nurse must have.

I agree with her, but my earlier point remains that none of those qualities require a degree and by insisting upon one we are putting off and losing the services of many otherwise very suitable trainees, however desirable and suitable a nursing degree may be for the academically minded.

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian

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