Readers' Letters: Government must challenge migrancy lies

People will continue to risk their lives crossing the Channel, and elsewhere on their routes to Britain, because the prize is so big, the chances of success are so high and the risk of death is relatively modest.

Migrants found soaked after a failed attempt to cross the Channel board a bus in Calais yesterday (Picture: Getty Images)
Migrants found soaked after a failed attempt to cross the Channel board a bus in Calais yesterday (Picture: Getty Images)

Most British people may not appreciate what a prize residence in the UK is, but the peoples of Africa and the Middle East certainly do. Mainland Britain has had neither a violent change of government nor a civil war in over 300 years. On top of that our welfare state, free education and NHS are greatly valued by people who come from countries lacking these expensive things.

If we wish to save lives, and respect the views of working class Britons, we must deter people from making the journey. We can only do that by reversing the odds whereby around 25,000 migrants have crossed the Channel this year but only a handful have been returned to France or their countries of origin.

Our political leaders must acquire the courage to challenge the lies that this country can take endless streams of migrants from antipathetic cultures, that these migrants are a net financial benefit to the people already here, and that it is racist to deport people to their home countries.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife

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Secret state

Yet another example of the culture of secrecy at the heart of this SNP government is revealed (Scotsman, 25 November). Public Health Scotland (PHS) decided to delay a report which was due to be published on 24 March until after the elections. How convenient for the SNP! PHS claims it was due to pre-election civil service rules. As far as I am aware, purdah did not kick in until 25 March at the last election. Moreover, their attempt at justification is defeated by their own statement in April that "statistics relating to Covid will continue to be published".

PHS, of course, has form when it comes to shielding SNP ministers from criticism. Indeed, it is part of its remit. In October, for example, it was revealed that rather than the 20 working days to process a BBC Freedom of Information request it took PHS 11 months! Both of the issues referred to here were in relation to care home mortality. PHS had earlier been forced to issue an amended report on this when the Office for Statistics Regulation pointed to inconsistencies in its original report which wrongly concluded there was "no statistical evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks".

National Records of Scotland were similarly involved with SNP ministers in a process delaying the publishing of data on care home deaths.

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More and more evidence stacks up that the judge appointed to lead the inquiry into the handling of the pandemic must be given a completely free hand unaffected by SNP manipulation.

Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh

Fingers in ears

While agreeing entirely with Ian Lewis (Letters, 24 November) in response to Leah Gunn Barret, he passes over the most ridiculous statement she makes in the last paragraph of her support for independence: “Leadership matters. Imagine how many more lives could have been saved had Scotland been independent.”

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At the beginning of the pandemic, the UK Government decided – and how rightly so it has been proved to be – to go on their own path to fight the virus. The SNP, in their lust for grievance and discord, screamed that to do so would mean horrendous infection levels and so we should follow the lethargic meandering policies of the EU.

The latest shambles engulfing the EU is undoubtedly complete justification for the path the UK Government took. To not admit otherwise shows a total disregard for the facts in front of us in the here and now.

But this is what we have come to expect in all things nationalist – ignore the facts, come out with statements which are utterly incoherent when referenced against the realities, say it as loudly as one can and keep fingers in ears like a child in Primary 2.

And when the facts come out, as stated in yesterday’s front page story “Officials held back care home death data because of election”, what happens? Not a single comment or attempt to defend the Scottish Government. Nothing. Ignore, shrug the shoulders and march onwards to the next bit of smoke and mirrors political manoeuvring now available on a daily basis. If this was happening in any other EU country (let’s leave China, Russia, North Korea out of the equation) there would be screams of derision that a government could act in this deceitful way. It is thanks to cutting edge journalism that this government is continually outed for what can only be described as corrupt practices.

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The FM states in the same edition she is “going nowhere”. I really don’t think she realises how close to the real truth that statement is. Sadly for us, she is dragging “the people of Scotland” with her.

David Millar, Lauder, Scottish Borders

Trust lost?

Nicola Sturgeon was ill advised to pontificate in an interview that she had no intention of going anywhere as she had just been given the trust of the people to serve a full five-year term. She feels the opposition are simply too weak but she has already forgotten that her mandate, such as it is, was gifted by public consent and that many leaders are removed by their own party.

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Given the state Scotland now finds itself in a mere seven months after May's election does she still own that trust? After 15 years of SNP governance Scotland has not really moved forward, and in recent months has visibly moved backwards with regard to our situation in all branches of the Scottish NHS, our educational system, our ferries, our criminal justice system, our oil and gas industry, our general economy and even our ability to reduce Covid infection rates.

The true test of Ms Sturgeon's latest term in office might well be reflected in one of her favourite pastimes, that of checking out her poll ratings – but what goes up, inevitably, must come down.

Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

Port authority?

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Kenny MacAskill (“Shipbuilding is Torpedoed”, Perspective, 25 November) is right to point out the conflict of interest by Peel Ports in leasing its dry port on the Lower Clyde for ship breaking when it also owns a shipyard in Liverpool and the same could apply to Forth Ports, who own Tilbury Docks in London.

Norway’s thriving ports are mainly owned by local authorities, and even in the United States major ports are owned by a local port authority.

In a policy paper published in 2016 entitled “Increased trade and economic growth won’t happen in Scotland until we sort out our ports”, maritime expert Alf Baird warned the Scottish Government that its hopes of growing the Scottish economy to provide for increased employment and a higher tax base will not come to much without resolving the chronic crisis affecting Scotland’s major privately owned ports.

This report pointed to the obsolescence of our ports from chronic lack of investment over decades by private equity port owners in new technologies, infrastructure and facilities, as well as from the privatisation of the port authority role.

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The current system isn’t working for Scotland when you compare the amount of trade going through Ireland’s container ports with 44 weekly direct sailings to Europe, not to mention the impact on our carbon footprint by transporting our exports to English ports.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh

Non-viable jobs

The problem with the article by Sian Lloyd-Rees (Perspective, 25 November) is it fails to accept that any prospective new green jobs in Scotland are non-viable. Any readers who are in any doubt need only check the problems amongst consumers at the spike in energy bills, which will escalate further at the April price cap review.

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The one item that the Green Lobby refuse to accept is that, until renewable electricity can be provided at the meter of the user at below 5p/unit, then the majority of households will be left in fuel poverty arising from the massive cost increases. In addition, when even Patrick Harvie MSP cannot explain how a flat owner can afford £40,000 for a heat pump, plus the cost of bolting the unit to the outside of the building, it is clear that Holyrood keeps rushing into policy statements with no regard to the nuts and bolts of implementing such projects.

At least it does highlight how COP26 has sunk the IndyRef2 campaign in a sea of red ink as Scots struggle to cover the cost of ripping up floorboards to run larger central heating pipes and fit bigger radiators to accommodate the noisy, inefficient and highly expensive heat pump systems to match the household modification edict announced by the Green Minister.

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas

Go as you please

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If Gordon Macdonald is entitled to his negative opinions about assisted deaths (Letters, 25 November) then so are those of us with positive views.

Mine are simple: suicide is not illegal and mature adults of sound minds are entitled to say how they wish to end their lives should they become terminally ill and wish to end it all in dignity rather than in suffering. Dr Macdonald's arguments correctly rest upon the fear of abuse and exploitation, but legislation can easily be adjusted to protect against that.

If he promises not to interfere with my choice of when and how to go, then I promise not to interfere with his choice.

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian

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Cold comfort

Lindsay Walls (Letters, 24 November) tells us that if sea levels rise by 20 feet, their house in Edinburgh will still be 545 feet above sea level. I'm sure that will be a great comfort to the people of the Maldives.

Gill Turner, Edinburgh

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