Readers' Letters: Is Sturgeon saying nation doesn’t need her?

When a crisis hits at Westminster the Prime Minister would abandon his or her mission, if abroad, and return to deal with it. Nicola Sturgeon likes to emphasise difference, hence when a crisis hits Holyrood, she goes abroad at the most critical time.

Ms Sturgeon is on a somewhat pointless trip to Egypt whilst there are immediate problems here such as street riots, an NHS in meltdown and numerous public sector strikes on the cards. Let us remind ourselves that politicians are being paid reasonably well to solve our problems. Just to be different, Nicola Sturgeon is either minimising them or creating more by insisting on a new independence referendum and an unpopular Gender Reform Act. Is Holyrood really working?

Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

Secure excuse

Why has Nicola Sturgeon travelled to Egypt when Scotland faces urgent problems, wonders reader
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Nicola Sturgeon will not divulge the cost of her jolly to Egypt to attend COP27 as a member of the public on... security grounds. Only last week, during her opening statement to the “Ferry fiasco” public audit committee she promised openness and transparency from the Scottish Government. I can only presume that her old ailment – tactical forgetfulness – has afflicted her again. Maybe a week in the sun at our expense might help her to remember her promise.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh

Numbers up

What a brilliant letter from Clark Cross on “Save the planet groups” (Scotsman, 5 November). He sees clearly that the future of our planet is not just concerned with melting glaciers, use of fossil fuels and when our reserves of gas will run out but with the fact that it is the number of people on our planet that will dictate its future.Of course we have to assist our fellow inhabitants on earth here with their problems of health and food supply, but we must keep in mind that in the 75 years between 1950 and 2025 the number of inhabitants has risen from 2.5 billion to 9.7bn! That rise cannot go on!Those COP international meetings are completely meaningless in the long term unless resolutions made by the nations involved also tie in tight controls on population increase. If that is not done then future generations will curse our generation for our obvious failure!

Archibald A Lawrie, Kingskettle, Fife

FM’s hot air

COP27 is demanding that “Britain” pays “climate change reparations” to underdeveloped countries for the “crime” of giving them modern infrastructure during the days of empire. It seems Nicola Sturgeon is a loud advocate of this.Has she asked the Scots whether they, already suffering financial hardship as a result of her policies, and in many cases even having to go south to find work, want their hard-earned cash to be subject to even higher taxes in order to support often hostile countries, many of whom are run by unpleasant dictatorships?If she is not careful about throwing the taxpayers’ money around so freely, she could well make the SNP as unelectable as the Tories are soon to find themselves!

Ian McNicholas, Ebbw Vale, Wales

Nursing debt

I was listening to a discussion on the Jeremy Vine show about nurse's pay and their threat to strike.

The nurse on the show said that a Band 5 Nurse is paid £27,000 and has a university loan of £60,000. If these numbers are right why is it nurses need to go to university? Why not train on the job like it used to be?

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Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven

Danger to family

Most experts agree that the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. Nevertheless, the age of majority has been 21 and is now 18. In Scotland, but not in the rest of the UK, the age of eligibility for voting is 16.

When the SNP administration proposed that each child should require a non-familial personal guardian, through the Named Person Scheme, the upper age limit for a child was set at 18. Now, however, that same administration wants children of 16 and 17 to be able to choose their own gender. Some of their Green allies would lower the age to 12.

The lowering of the age at which children can make life-changing decisions, like the Named Person scheme, undermines the family, particularly because, in each case, children may confide in a non-familial adult, such as a teacher, issues that are personal, confidential and, in some cases, carry life-changing implications, without the knowledge of a parent or other accredited guardian.

In the 1920s, the Bolsheviks had a campaign to “liquidate the family”. That probably isn’t the intention here, but the undermining of family relationships and trust by encouraging children to confide in adults, in secrecy from their parents, is very disturbing.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

Lost voices

In his letter hailing the Gender Recognition Reform Bill as "progressive legislation” Tim Hopkins affirms that the (Scottish) Parliament “looked in detail at the evidence and concluded accordingly” (7 November). I beg to differ. The list of those called to give oral evidence is heavily stacked in favour of those who support the Bill. While it is important to hear “the evidence of those whose lives will actually be affected by the bill”, where was the voice of those who have regretted their gender change and de-transitioned? Where was the evidence from psychiatrists and psychologists about the association of psychological conditions with gender dysphoria and transitioning, which indicates that psychological assessment and support are necessary before, during and after transitioning. And the evidence of women’s groups who have legitimate concerns about the harmful effects this legislation would have on women’s rights are swept aside as unnecessary.

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I hope the Scottish Parliament will refer this to a special committee with suitable expertise who will take a much broader view of available evidence and point out the many flaws and dangers of the Bill in its present form, so that it can be amended suitably.

(Rev Dr) Donald M MacDonald, Edinburgh

Keep the young

I wholeheartedly agree with Stan Grodynski's letter concerning the demise of Rangers Football Club (1 November). I suggest that in order to help mitigate the problems as highlighted by Mr Grodynski, the SFA should move that any Club academy players must remain with their home team under contract until they are a minimum of 23 years of age.Quality players like Billy Gilmour and Nathan Paterson, for example, would then be able to bring their enormous talents to bear and hopefully assist in silverwear campaigns. That would nip the profiteering by the “conscientious” club directors in the bud.I am sure this would go a long way to improve the future prospects of the club given the obvious exhaustion of the current squad.

Archie Burleigh, Meigle, North Ayrshire

Starmer failure

Sir Keir Starmer’s disastrous interview on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show should have ended any hopes Labour have of adding to their solitary Westminster MP from Scotland. Rehashing Gordon Brown’s “British Jobs for British workers” mantra, Starmer told viewers “we’re recruiting too many people from overseas into, for example, the health service” and “freedom of movement is not returning” as Labour turned its back on even a partial return to Europe. Brexit is a major reason that the UK is facing severe recession and falling living standards yet Labour and the Lib Dems persist in pandering to Little Englander Brexiteers.

Starmer showed that he lives in a North London bubble when he attacked Scotland’s waiting lists, seemingly oblivious to Labour’s much worse record in Wales which is 50 per cent higher. Part of the UK-wide NHS problem is delayed discharges caused by a shortage of staff in social work and care settings yet Labour say we have too many foreigners working in the NHS.

To cap it all, Starmer confirmed Labour’s opposition to the Scottish Parliament’s democratic mandate to hold a referendum on our constitutional future. Like the Tories and Lib Dems, Labour refuses to set out a democratic road map for Scotland’s return to self government.

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Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

Starmer success

It was heartening to see Sir Keir Starmer state unequivocally he will oppose any new referendum whatever the pending Supreme Court decision. He asked, perfectly feasibly, how erecting a hard border across the island we together occupy would in any way enhance the economy or our lives. He has that priority dead right.

Your writer Conor Matchett claims this will cost Labour votes (7 November). I doubt that, but may I say that any votes lost for that reason are well worth losing as they were semi-detached separatists anyway.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Cold shoulder

My long term energy supplier has recently been subsumed by another who introduced themselves to me this week with a letter which seems at best tactless and indeed verges on hypocrisy. The opening sentence is: “ A warm welcome to *** Energy!”(Dr) S R Wild, Edinburgh

Ear we go

I may have misheard yesterday morning’s 10am news report on Radio Forth which informed us that our First Minister was attending COP27. I think the newscaster said, “Nicola Sturgeon is an eejit” but it may have been, “Nicola Sturgeon is ln Egypt”. In either case the report would appear to be accurate.

John Wann, Edinburgh

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