Nicola Sturgeon and her party, seriously have their priorities wrong, independence should be bottom of the list in Scotland, after coronavirus, failing education, poor economy. Instead of constantly telling us that she is doing better than the Prime Minister, she should get on with her job, supposedly running the country.
Debbie Butler, Arniefoul, Angus
No vote needed
It seems today that democracy is only acceptable to those on the winning side of a democratic vote. Once in a lifetime is not less than seven years unless you happen to be seven. In 2014 the Scottish electorate voted decisively to remain part of the United Kingdom. A democratic vote was subsequently taken by the majority of the UK to leave the European Union. Much has been made by the SNP of the majority of Scots voting to remain. In fact, if you add those who did not bother to vote, this becomes a distortion of the outcome. Historically, only 30 per cent of the Scottish electorate bothered to turn out for European elections. This does not seem to be of sufficient concern by the electorate to warrant another divisive referendum to break up the United Kingdom. However, recent polls suggest that 50 per cent of Scots would now support that.
One of the reasons given for this increase is that Boris Johnson is disliked on this side of the Border. This is an absurd reason for constitutional upheaval. Boris Johnson is today’s democratically elected Prime Minister who may be gone after the next general election. Undoubtedly another reason for the shift in polls is the perceived notion that Ms Sturgeon has had “a good Covid”, a fact which does not bear scrutiny. BBC Scotland have aided and abetted in this by allowing her a daily platform, which has contributed subliminally to an unsurprising increase in her popularity. This in spite of her current discomfort.
The constant cry form the Nationalists for another referendum at a time when most of us are struggling with the constraints placed upon us by the pandemic is adding to the angst of those of us who are proud Scots and British. Under normal circumstances the many failings of the Scottish Nationalist government would be uppermost and would certainly produce different polling figures. One can only hope that common sense prevails and that another divisive referendum will be parked exactly where it should be, a generation hence.
Jane Ball, Hendersyde, Kelso
Too much oxygen
"Brown and Gove launch fresh bid to save Union" Another morning and another Scotsman headline about independence. Hardly a day goes by without The Scotsman giving oxygen to this tiresome subject which every poll shows is way down the list of the Scottish people's priorities at present.
Most of us are just trying to stay safe and get on with our lives and we can do without the stomach churning and divisive impact this daily dose of independence brings.
Richard Vasey, Aberlady, East Lothian
If the SNP really want to have a referendum, it seems to me that now would be a good time to start a debate on some of the fundamentals like: What kind of trade agreement would they hope to set up with the UK and how long would it take to negotiate?
What additional red tape would be caused for exporters and where would the anticipated lorry parks be?
Would an Independent Scotland be more focused on getting new hospitals opened on time?
When could we anticipate joining the EU?
Would there need to be additional MSPs, presuming all MPs would be redundant the day after a successful referendum?
And what would be our "National Debt”?
James Watson, Randolph Crescent, Dunbar, East Lothian
Stan Grodynski (Letters, January 25) may well claim “the Union is Over” but he fails to highlight the economic consequences of such a choice. Eliminating the £15 billion GERS deficit means a tax increase of around £6,000 a year for 2.5 million Scots – a figure that is 30 per cent of the current average take-home wage.A ban on fossil fuels means a £4,000 a year increase in household bills – around 20 per cent of the average take-home wage.The £150 billion debt for a Green Revolution could never be repaid following the demise of the UK grid. At an interest rate of 5 per cent per annum, that is another £3,000 a year tax hike resulting in a total tax increase of about £13,000 a year or around 65 per cent of the average annual take-home pay.Climate change supporters should note that the implementation of such a Darien Scheme Mark 2 means an independent Scotland could never implement the recommendations of COP26. Does Mr Grodynski agree that perhaps the conference should be relocated to Cardiff in November when there is no cash for such policies in Scotland?
Ian Moir, Queen Street, Castle Douglas
At 83 I'm soon to have my Covid vaccination; however a decade-younger friend in London had hers ten days ago. England is managed by the worst government in living memory yet it still performs better than the SNP: and some Scots want indy? Oxymorons all!
Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian
Beware con calls
It's morning. We are sitting with our breakfast cup of tea reading The Scotsman. Almost without fail the phone will ring from an overseas number or 0275 etc. Obviously it pays to check the caller number but occasionally a pick-up will give you a recorded message to inform you that your Amazon account has been charged a sum of money or that the Inland Revenue are freezing your bank account! Annoying as these calls are it is obvious that it's a con, and the phone is quickly put down!
However, there will be occasions when a person telling you the "story" will seem plausible and sound extremely knowledgeable and convincing. The person almost certainly trying to con you will actually persuade you that by following their advice you will end up in a much better place than you are now. Of course, you only know it is a con when your bank balance and other assets suddenly become worth a lot less than they did before you took the “advice”.
All advice to counter a con merchant boils down to this. Does it sound too good to be true, what are the “facts” being presented, can I verify them and does the story being told reflect the world as I know it? Being a cautious person and a natural cynic who always asks why, so far my bank balance hasn't been too badly damaged! And yes, I do know that there is a call blocker service to block nuisance calls... but they amuse me!
Tony Lewis, Parklands, Coylton, Ayrshire
Get plugged in
I read Jim Duffy's article on being wary of electric cars due to having been sold con tricks by the motor industry over diesel vehicles (January 22). Did he research the electric car industry? Clearly not. Most electric car manufacturers, including Tesla, recycle 99 per cent of their car parts when scrapped (including the battery) and do not utilise landfill.
Tesla, for example, incorporates all recycled batteries into their Powerwall System (Power Storage). Tesla started the business in 2003 with the initial premise of producing a performance electric car (Roadster), a plug-in infrastructure to drive across America and a power storage system and utility using solar power. This premise was expanded in 2008 to producing a sedan, large SUV, small car, small SUV, Truck and a pick-up truck. All are on the market this year and are fully recyclable. Tesla does not advertise. One of the reasons the public/journalists are blissfully unaware of all of the "good" things they have done in spite of the sometimes-offbeat owner Elon Musk.
Take the plunge, Jim, like I did three years ago, buy an electric car and get a plug-in charger in your off-street parking area and never visit another petrol station other than to pump up your tyres. There are more than 60 models on the market this year. I reduced my carbon footprint by 90 per cent by buying a pure electric car.
If you buy a Hybrid, you are still polluting the earth, as it is equivalent to 90 per cent of an Internal Combustion Engine car.
Go on save the earth and buy electric!
Philip Williams, Kimmerghame Place, Edinburgh
Share the pain
One again the Public Sector is escaping from the economic fallout from a pandemic – the previous one was the financial problems due to the sub prime mortgage fiasco.Not one person lost their job or their pension, while 400,000 people in the private sector are now unemployed and unlikely to find a new job for some time.
Kate Forbes, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance tells us that the Scottish Public Sector is to get “fair pay rises”, presumably similar to the rate of inflation, and council tax payers are left to foot the bill. In England public sector pay rises have been frozen for the time being. She has also said that there will be some rates relief for businesses but there are limited resources available, due to the Chancellor delaying the budget until March. Westminster is at fault again.
The real answer is that the public sector should shoulder some of the pain by taking a temporary reduction in salary, but don't hold your breath.
James Macintyre, Clarendon Road, Linlithgow
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