Then, Nicola Sturgeon herself learned, or was reminded, when reading the Lesson from Ecclesiastes that in God’s purposes for the good of the world there is “a time to speak” as well as a time to keep silence, “a time to hate” as well as a time to love.Moreover, I don’t think there can be any argument that Jesus really “detested” the money-lovers who were cheating the poor when – the Gospels tell us – he overturned their tables and took a whip to drive them out of the Temple whose purpose they were abusing to make money for themselves and their kind.Now, not only our FM but Christians who are active in all political parties are aghast and speaking out as they can against Government priorities that will make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Christian Tories struggling with the fact that a majority of signed-up members see this as a solution to the national problem are definitely experiencing this as a time to hate.No matter how many knee-jerk letters page writers kick out at the FM, and even though too many SNP fringe supporters seem to hate all Tories, I have found it easy to accept Ms Sturgeon’s clarification that she does not. But I have remembered and am wondering if the same alert should be given to politicians as was given to me by a man of my present old age when, as a new minister, I was door-knocking in a Dundee Housing Scheme: “You ministers can do a lot of necessary fertilising when you are spread out, but when you get together you can stink like a pile of manure.”
(Rev) Jack Kellet, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders
Like a cult
The political scene in Scotland has become somewhat preoccupied with the SNP's only apparent raisin d'etre – independence from the 300-year-old Union of Parliaments. One might well describe the SNP as a cult, rather than as a political party.
It is very apparent that the leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, and her closest colleagues have complete power over the membership. Individual opinion is classified. And whether such apparently hapless people believe it or not, they are supporting the break-up of what is in general a reasonably viable economy in favour of what can only be a complete disaster for Scotland and its people. An independent Scotland simply would not have the size or breadth of economy to be successful globally.
The most recent example of SNP arrogance is their insistence that a second referendum on Scottish independence can be held without Westminster's agreement – completely ignoring the fact that the powers granted to Holyrood under the Scotland Acts simply do not include Constitutional matters.
Such a fate for Scotland must be avoided at all costs. We most certainly are “better together” as part of the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This was the message at the time of the 2014 Referendum and it most emphatically still applies!
Robert I G Scott, Ceres, Fife
While Alexander McKay (Letters, 13 October) ignores the annual UK propaganda spending of the Scotland Office and bemoans the spending (comparable with a single year of SO funding) on a referendum that the Scottish Government was elected to deliver, the UK National Audit Office has issued a report estimating that £4.5 billion was lost due to fraud and error in rolling-out the Covid-19 employment support schemes alone.
This further enormous and totally irresponsible waste of public money by the UK Government represents a loss to Scotland of nearly £400 million which does not include Scotland’s share of the tens of billions of pounds lost through bad, if not corrupt, PPE procurement and the ineffective track and trace system. This latest revelation of UK Government financial incompetence, while largely unreported, amounts to more than enough to cover the cost of building two advanced but delayed ferries, the budgeted referendum expenditure and the establishment of Scottish business representative offices in every country in the world if so desired.
Will Mr McKay or others who are persistently critical of Scottish Government spending now add some objective balance to those criticisms, as at the time of writing we still remain in a supposed Union, albeit an increasingly dysfunctional “partnership”. Or is this just wishful thinking on my part?
Stan Grodynski, Cairnsmore, Longniddry, East Lothian
Mary Thomas still seems to think that a separate Scotland would walk into international organisations without a problem, conveniently forgetting that it takes two to tango (Letters, 13 October). As far as the EU is concerned, she omits to mention that applicants require to control their own monetary policy, to have their own currency, functioning central bank and lender of last resort. Scotland would have none of these if it left the UK. Ms Sturgeon says she cannot put a time limit on the period for using Sterling and setting up a new currency, and proving its stability over a number of years, which the EU requires.
Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh
Wokes of Bard
The toxic effects of wokeness are not restricted to our universities, because woke academics draw up the curriculum in our schools.
Shakespeare’s plays are a part of the inheritance of every English-speaking person in the world. They should be an essential part of the education of every child in this country. Amazingly, it is possible to pass through our education system without being introduced to even one of the Bard’s plays.
If anything the position is worse in history, which amounts to little more than slavery, British Empire (bad) and the Second World War. Even bright school leavers have never heard of the Norman Conquest, the Renaissance and the Reformation.
With no knowledge of the chronology of British and European history, nor of its pivotal events, our literature, our arts and the processes which led to individual liberty are a closed booked to our young people.
This is, of course, entirely intentional, for a people without a history and a pride in it are a reduced to a demoralised mob, which the woke Utopians intend to mould into something else.
Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife
The catastrophic economic events of the last few weeks have also highlighted a fundamental democratic issue that future governments must address to avoid such a shambolic situation ever happening again.Few people, other than the extreme right of the Tory Party, believed Liz Truss was up to the job but people from the far right of her party who supported her were rewarded with positions in her cabinet. It was a cabinet of friends and supporters chosen by way of reward and irrespective of experience, knowledge or ability. Hence we have ministers whose vaulting ambition is in inverse proportion to their ability, whose ideological fervour outstrips any pragmatic approach to the needs of the country’s economy.With the IMF, the Bank of England, every respected economist in the western world and even swathes of her own MPs urging a change of direction, Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng believe they know better than all of them.But Truss has absolutely no mandate to launch these reckless and ludicrous policies on a population already struggling financially from the effects of Brexit. Neither does she or Kwarteng have the economic skills and knowledge to impose such hardships.When this corrupt and incompetent Tory government is finally removed from office it is incumbent on the next government to ensure that the elevation of people who are not up to the job of high office, with no political mandate, elected by a tiny group of party members, can never happen again.The nation’s economy is too important to become the plaything of fanatical ideological zealots.
D Mitchell, Edinburgh
When even King Charles greets Liz Truss with “Oh dear. Oh dear!” it is time for the rest of us to feel that we are not in safe hands with this Tory Government at Westminster. Rich Tory donors, whose money is safely abroad in tax-free havens, may not feel the pinch, but ordinary folk will use their savings to keep their families warm and fed this winter with no obvious relief in sight for many years. Many pensions will not rise with inflation and those of us expecting a comfortable old age will get a nasty shock. Workers and families will be living off soup and bread with the scrag end of mutton from the soup made to last with lots of potatoes. For treats there’s always baked beans in tomato sauce on toast, and maybe a sausage..
I’ve been there. I did not enjoy it. I had thought I had worked hard enough to not have to do it again. Now I am anxious and annoyed. My meter shows the effect of rising energy prices however careful I am.
Were we Independent of the rest of the UK we would not have raised energy prices. We would have a warm Christmas and a tree with fairy lights. We would be free of an incompetent Government whose Brexit and taxation policies have left the UK a poverty-stricken international joke.
Independence is no longer an option for Scotland. It is an urgent necessity. I am thankful that the Government we voted into Holyrood is now doing its best to bring that about.
Elizabeth Scott, Edinburgh
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