Readers Letters: How does Roddick expect to make islands migration dream work?

Scottish Government migration minister Emma Roddick is suggesting we invite tens of thousands of people from around the world to come and live, work and raise families in our island communities.
SNP minister Emma Roddick wants Scotland's islands to welcome thousands of incomers from abroad (Picture: Fraser Bremner/Getty Images)SNP minister Emma Roddick wants Scotland's islands to welcome thousands of incomers from abroad (Picture: Fraser Bremner/Getty Images)
SNP minister Emma Roddick wants Scotland's islands to welcome thousands of incomers from abroad (Picture: Fraser Bremner/Getty Images)

From where does she think the money will come? Thousands of new houses, shops, hundreds of schools, hospitals, new diverse places of worship, new roads, water supplies, power points, not to mention offices, factories and places to work.

If she knows where to find the cash for all the necessary infrastructure then why not do it for the people who already live there and those who would love to return to their homeland? There are Scottish people all over the world who would love to have the opportunity to “come home”.

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Given the current state of our ferry services it’s hard to see how the SNP will be able carry out such a massive rebuilding project in any of our island communities and it is unlikely that a request to the party faithful for donations will have much success this time around .

Bruce Proctor, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Worn-out welcome

Apparently an independent Scotland will attract migrants to rural areas to counteract depopulation.

Why on earth would ministers think that migrants will stay when they can’t help the citizens who are already there to flourish? The long list of assaults against rural Scotland by the present government is well known, the fact that Nicola Sturgeon mentions rural Scotland once – once! – in her 681 diary entries tells us everything.

Let me just cite a local example to make my point of just how difficult it can be to attract and keep people in rural areas. A new extension to Alyth has been built for a few years now, one highly welcomed as a way of ensuring the strengthening of the local community, economy and primary school by welcoming new residents. To date the promised additional bus stops and footpath linking it to the main town have not been delivered, flying in the face of the push to more sustainable living by using public transport and walking!

Yes, the local council is responsible but they are ultimately hamstrung by the policies of government, the recently announced council tax freeze being one.

If this government’s policy is to make rural living attractive and valued I suggest they start dealing with the myriad issues we already have before inviting anyone else in!

Lorna Thorpe, Alyth, Perth and Kinross

No tolerance

I was disgusted to read that Humza Yousaf backs pro-Palestine marches on Armistice Day. This is the day we gather to remember those who gave their lives for their country and for us here today. Any disturbance at any of our war memorials cannot and must not be tolerated. We must be allowed to reflect and remember in peace.

Charles Sinclair, Kirkcaldy, Fife

Failing nation

First Minister Humza Yousaf is following in the footsteps of his predecessor by trying to become a big shot on the world stage while neglecting bread and butter issues at home.

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Recently we have seen communities in some of our major cities terrorised by out-of-control thugs and a poppy seller assaulted in an Edinburgh railway station, both symptomatic of a police service which is understaffed and underfunded to the extent of being unable to cope, and a justice system which is clearly not fit for purpose. A&E departments in hospitals still can't meet waiting targets and the Scottish Government's long-standing practice of blaming the malaise within our public services on Covid and Westminster is losing credibility. It seems that a new government will soon appear at Westminster and a similar change in Scotland can only be a good thing.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen, Stirlingshire

Troubled society

How can our society stay calm when so many forces are trying to tear it apart? Youths seem to be able to target the police with explosive devices. Protesters with a somewhat thinly disguised cause, that of the destruction of the state of Israel, can flood our main railway stations intimidating ordinary citizens, and now a world-famous painting, the Rokeby Venus in the National Gallery in London, is attacked by hammer-wielding protesters who want to send us all back to the stone age.

The common denominator is that little or nothing is done by way of punishment. This weekend promises more disruption on the very days of remembrance for our fallen in war. There is a new war now, right here, as people fight for some sense and decency to return to these shores, and it is one we must win. It would be a start if both Westminster and Holyrood stopped any disruption this weekend by banning anything other than official commemorations.

Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

Soft touch

The violent clashes in Edinburgh on Sunday evening were horrendous and irresponsible. Our First Minister labelled the disorder “thuggish” and “reckless” and those responsible should face the full force of the law.

What full force of the law? There are not enough police officers to deal with matters in a reactive manner and if and when caught the soft approach of our SNP government will certainly not dissuade them from doing it again next time. Our government in such issues is a joke.

Michael J Fraser, Tullibody, Clackmannanshire

Poor policing

The number of police officers has dropped in Scotland over the past few years. The Scottish Police Federation General Secretary says that we no longer have a proactive force, it is now a reactive force. There are plenty of stories of police taking longer and longer to investigate reports of crimes and in many cases not investigating at all.

As is to be expected, the SNP “government” say Scotland has more police officers per capita than England and Wales. And there’s the rub. Every time they are proved to be in the wrong over something the old “Our figures are better than theirs” story is trotted out. Will these incompetents ever get it into their one-track minds that they are in power to govern Scotland, nowhere else?

Ian Balloch, Grangemouth, Falkirk

Look over there

Richard Allison’s letter (6 November) about the overload with trivial tittle-tattle in the Covid enquiry is perceptive, but this is a well-known ploy to anyone with a local government, civil service or parliamentary background. It even has a nickname: “snowstorming”.

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In order to protect the guilty in an inquiry, the evidence is snowstormed with huge amounts of often totally irrelevant trivia, which, the perpetrators hope, will burn up the inquiry time and budget and distract the investigation team from the real facts of the problem. It is particularly effective if the inquiry is, as in this case, being carried out by a “committee” which will happily sail up and down the rivers of distraction, while totally failing to see the gigantic whale of a problem hiding in front of their face.

The answer, of course, is to employ a specialist investigator who will see through the snowstorm to the salient facts hiding behind it, and kick out the snowstorm trivia. But it will be a cold day in hell before any government department would voluntarily go down that route.

Ian McNicholas, Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent

Cut along bias

Obviously, Martin O’Gorman (Letters, 7 November) hasn’t visited the Media Bias/Fact Check website which states “Overall, we rate RTE Least Biased based on minimal editorialising of news content. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record”.

The Reuters Institute for Journalism found that the Irish Public broadcaster RTÉ remains the most trusted brand at 74 per cent and the Irish editions of British tabloid newspapers the least trusted. This compares favourably to Scotland, where trust in the British public broadcaster has fallen to 55 per cent.

As for our economy, why does Scotland, with all our vast energy resources and balance of trade surplus, find that under London control of our major economic policy decisions our standard of living is much less than in Norway, Denmark, Finland or Ireland.

Mr O’Gorman might also explain why Northern Ireland under Westminster control is so much worse off than the independent Republic of Ireland when the opposite was true 50 years ago.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

No to nukes

Derek Farmer (Letters, 6 November) must be correct in saying Scotland could not defend itself. But neither could the UK from a major power like Russia, nor indeed, as the war in Ukraine shows, can Western Europe. For one thing it seems to lack ithe stocks of sophisticated weapons necessary to fight a modern war or the infrastructure needed to manufacture them.

Some put faith in the nuclear weapons of the UK, but two of the major powers are the kind who might calculate that with their vast areas and populations they could absorb what was left of our weapons after a pre-emptive strike.

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In fact, currently the defence of Scotland depends – as does that of the rest of the UK and, indeed, of the whole “Free World “ – on the USA, which cannot be depended on forever.

S Beck, Edinburgh

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