Readers' letters: New SRU chief drops ball with Ruth Davidson appointment

The appointment of Ruth Davidson to the board of Scottish Rugby’s operating company (Scotsman, 7 July) calls into question the judgement of those who selected her.

She wasn’t chosen by some old gin-soaked rugby alickadoos. She was chosen by the new Chair of Scottish Rugby Limited, John McGuigan, and his cohort of slick corporate colleagues who are the new leaders of the game. Leaders with no experience of rugby; no experience of running a governing body in sport; and clearly no experience of Scottish politics.

In his first act Mr McGuigan has politicised the Scottish Rugby Union; caused a boycott of the game; and, most probably, turned off the future funding tap from the Scottish Government.

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Quite an achievement from those who’ve been parachuted in to show the rugby chaps how it’s done. It is Mr McGuigan who should be considering his position not Baroness Davidson.

Ruth Davidson speaks at her last First Minister's Questions before going to the House of Lords in March 2021 in Edinburgh (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Ruth Davidson speaks at her last First Minister's Questions before going to the House of Lords in March 2021 in Edinburgh (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Ruth Davidson speaks at her last First Minister's Questions before going to the House of Lords in March 2021 in Edinburgh (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

James Simpson, Edinburgh

Lib Dem silence

It would appear that Christine Jardine MP protests too much in her article “Would Orkney lead exodus in event of independence?” (Scotsman, 10 July).

The MP fails to acknowledge the broken LIb Dem pledge given prior to the May 2021 election that her party would unite with all other Holyrood groups to fast-track the draft Wightman Bill into Scots Law. However, as all parties gave such a pledge to the people of Scotland, then the Lib Dem MSPs are not alone in breaking their promise.

The Wightman Bill would ensure local councils were given European-style safeguards through a European Charter of Local Self-Government which is basically the demands outlined by coucil representatives in Orkney. Just when is the SNP going to honour their pledge and get the legislation through Holyrood?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway

Leaving Scotland

Christine Jardine ponders Orkney leaving Scotland, and wonders if this is either new or possible. She will find that others have thought about such things, for some time.

We keep hearing from the SNP about how Scotland gets governments it did not vote for, yet few extend this principle further. Bits of Scotland never vote SNP yet get SNP governments, so why should they not leave – for example, the Borders area, Lothian and Aberdeenshire.

William Ballantine, Bo’ness, West Lothian

Drifting right

Over the weekend, senior Labour figures refused to confirm that they would scrap the two-child Universal Credit benefit cap if winning the next Westminster election.

This marks yet another retreat from previous pledges, confirming that Labour is now a centrist party focused on winning seats in England. Surely, after years of paying membership fees into what they believed to be a left-wing party, Scottish Labour members must ask Police Scotland to investigate how their money is actually being spent?

Robert Farquharson, Edinburgh

Harvie’s duty

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On reflection, I remain impressed by the service at St Giles’ to mark the receiving of the Scottish Honours. It was beautifully crafted and influenced by King Charles.

Like many, I was upset by the small minority of protesters: not that I don’t have a little sympathy with their stance, but this was certainly not the time to indulge in behaviour that did little to enhance the profile of the nation; a nation they say is a proud one – worthy of independence.

What I found extremely distastefully was the presence in their midst of the co-leader of the Green Party. His views are well known and I am sure he was desperate to attend, but he and his party took the then ‘Queen’s shilling’ and was happy to grasp the power (and the personal financial gain) of shared government.

Whatever his views, like the First Minister, he had a duty to represent his country rather than display personal views. It thus appears that the Greens’ main interest is personal prestige and pushing their views, without proper scrutiny; and then utilising the old Glasgow school cry “it wisnae me”; adding a tiresome, it was all them down in London.

James Watson, Dunbar, East Lothian

Yousaf’s 100 days

Amidst all the analysis and percentages of the First Minister’s first 100 days in office (Scotsman, 10 July) let’s for a moment dwell on some of the more positive announcements he has made.

One of the first and most important announcements by Humza Yousaf in the midst of the current cost of living crisis was to increase the Fuel Insecurity Fund next year from £10m annually to £30m, a huge increase targeted at those in need, those who have been savagely impacted by the cost-of-living crisis as a result of the Conservatives at Westminster crashing the economy. The dire economic crisis we are all living through is costing the Scottish Government millions in mitigation measurers as it reaches out to those in need, the vulnerable and those on benefits.

Scotland’s First Minister is leading a government that to date has seen no strikes within our NHS. New strategies and plans have been announced by the FM regarding cancer care.

A “new deal” has been signed between the FM and COSLA, the national body of our local authorities. This deal has “trust and mutual respect” at its heart and is freeing local authority spending from being “ring-fenced” regarding national funding. This move is certainly returning local democracy and decision-making to our local authorities. Moves are also under way to produce a Scottish Constitution, something every country should have and hold dear.

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I am not being naive about the challenges that the First Minister has had to endure, not least within his own party. However, to be elected to the highest political position in the country will inevitably result in being scrutinised at every move and with the challenges the SNP have encountered recently, I am not sure anyone, let alone the First Minister, will be surprised with the first 100 days poll findings.

Catriona C Clark, Banknock, Falkirk

Poll position

It’s unsurprising that half the people surveyed in a sample poll should think that First Minister Humza Yousaf is doing a bad job.

Given his ministerial record and his links to the previous regime, it was odds on that he would struggle to make the impact necessary for the SNP to continue its dominant position in Scottish politics.

Coupled with that have been U-turns on key policies and internal strife within the party, it remains to be seen whether Mr Yousaf can salvage the situation. His chances of doing that appear to be very slim.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen, Stirling

Drug policy folly

The SNP must take the electorate for fools in their desire to, in effect, legalise all drug use (Scotsman, 8 July).

Even those not hugely interested in politics will know full well that this desire is simply a further attempt to create grievance with Westminster but more importantly, it is a pathetic attempt to divert, distract and deflect any attention away from their incompetency and disastrous policy record.

The electorate will not be deceived by this pretence of a serious “policy”.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh

Selfish MPs

I asked some English visitors what English folk thought about Scottish independence. They were completely uninterested. So long as we go on being welcoming to visitors and trading as usual they couldn’t care less, nor was it a subject that they usually discussed.

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We are only in conflict with the Westminster Conservative and Labour MPs who are afraid that in the next general election their vote might be affected if they allow a referendum, because their voters might see them as “weak”. From my survey of a casual party of visitors, this is not so.

How we get round that selfish problem I leave to my politicians. I now look forward to Scottish Independence knowing that the friendship between the ordinary folk of both countries will be unaffected.

Elizabeth Scott, Edinburgh

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