After the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, she should emulate Dutch Queen Beatrix in 2013 and abdicate.
The Queen is unable to attend events which mean so much to her, for example Remembrance Day or the Maundy Money ceremony and recently the State Opening Of Parliament. She has long given up travelling abroad. She could not even attend her own Thanksgiving Service due to mobility issues and pain.
Similarly, in 1897, Queen Victoria, crippled with arthritis, could not climb the steps at St Paul's and stayed in her carriage as a shortened service went ahead outside for her Diamond Anniversary.
It is unreasonable to expect our Queen to carry on.
John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing, Fife
At this time of togetherness to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years as Queen of the United Kingdom, maybe the various wokeists and separatists who regale us with their independence views can explain why it is that 53 countries, large and small across the world wish to be in the family of Great Britain, and why the SNP does not.
Derek Farmer, Anstruther, Fife
This weekend’s forced £1 billion celebration of an institution that sits astride the British establishment embodying the UK’s feudal inequality at a moment when millions are teetering on the brink of poverty is beyond obscene.
Along with other former British colonies, Ireland knows what it’s like being subject to the Crown. The Irish Times wrote: “Having a monarchy next door is a little like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clown-related news stories. More specifically, for the Irish, it’s like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and, also, your grandfather was murdered by a clown.”
No wonder just 45 per cent of Scots support this archaic institution. It’s past time to throw off a vampiric state that has methodically stolen our assets and become a modern, advanced nation.
Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh
Surely, as a Scot, Murdo Fraser knows that the Queen is not "II” in Scotland; we had no previous monarch of that name (“It's time to think again, republicans”, Scotsman, 1 June). At the time there were protests at this regnal number being applied.
She is not even the second of England, as the UK is a different country, formed in 1800 from the union of Great Britain and Ireland. Consequently, Elizabeth should not have been given any regnal number, being the first of that name for the UK. The UK's first monarch was George III.
Mr Fraser should note presidents are not appointed for 70 years. US presidents are limited to ten years, as are the German presidents.
Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh
How gracious of Her Majesty to mark the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee by enduring a tortuous stream of noisy, smelly commercial and military jets flying low over Buckingham Palace – just like the daily life of her humble citizens in Linn Park Gardens. Truly, we are honoured, ma'am!
Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire
Visiting Greyfriars Kirkyard on 3 December, 2021 I read the near-horizontal information plaque which shows the layout and also the names of notables who had a connection with it. One of these was James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, Regent 1572-1578 to King James IV. I mentioned this error (it should be James VI) to two men who have some capacity with the Kirkyard. One made notes.
Last Saturday, on revisiting I saw the error had not been corrected. Perhaps those I informed thought it was just the bletherings of a Sassenach. This Sassenach will go on blethering until the error is put right.
Kenneth Alan Porter, Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Clearly there are some who do not wish to promote respectful debate around a review of the current constitutional arrangements of the UK with the use of terms such as “zealous nationalists” (Alexander McKay, Letters, 3 June) and “divisive referendum” (Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar and Alex Cole-Hamilton regularly at FMQs). Of course, it is common for those who can offer little in constructive argument to resort to misleading soundbites and the denigration of those expressing views with which they disagree.
As a young student I was not only pro-British but when I later lived in Australia I argued in favour of retaining the British monarch as the Australian head of state. While times have changed in many ways, one thing that has not apparently progressed since I was a student (a number of decades ago) is that many of Scotland’s graduates have little choice but to look south, and beyond, for good jobs, because there is still not the comparable infrastructure investment in Scotland as in the south-east of England. This is the case even though Scotland’s energy resources are still effectively funding much of the UK Government’s expenditures, including its response to the cost-of-living crisis via a “windfall tax”.
The fact that others have not travelled the same roads of my personal journey does not prevent me from respecting their differing perspectives, or their fears, on possible fundamental change to the UK’s constitutional arrangements.
That said, I think most people now see that true democracy in the UK is under threat and that we all have a vested interest in making government work honestly and better for all people living on the island of Britain, an aim we are more likely to achieve if we engage in respectful debate irrespective of the constitutional outcome.
Stan Grodynski, Longniddry, East Lothian
Let us assume that the Prime Minister has eventually conceded to an independence referendum, but this time it is not Scotland but England, that has won the chance to vote on remaining or leaving the United Kingdom.
Given the constant reminders that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland get more out than they put in to the public purse, what arguments would be made by those seeking to keep England in the UK?
Stuart Smith, Aberdeen
I wonder if Mary Thomas (Letters, 3 June) could let us all know who her optician is so we can all obtain a pair of these wonderful "rose tinted spectacles" she wears?
Derek Sharp, Edinburgh
Mine’s a pint
There is a level of controversy over the reintroduction of imperial measures which beggars belief. Anyone would think that it was the reintroduction of hanging that was being contemplated.
Metric measurements are here to stay. We all know that. However, our largest single market, the USA uses the imperial system of measurements, most of which (though not all) are the same as ours. So it is bizarre (to use a word from the vocabulary of the nation that invented metric) that we should be condemning imperial – or is it because of the word “imperial” or the stamp of a crown on pint glasses? I think that that is what it is really about.
However, let's be realistic about this. Thanks to the EEC and EU, we were forced to give up imperial and people were prosecuted for using it, as if it had all the hallmarks of heresy about it. It was British, therefore it needed to be stamped out. It follows the European tradition, which the SNP wish to emulate, that you can do what you are told you can do and anything else is illegal, rather than the British tradition that you can do anything you want, except what is illegal. Total opposites – and I know which tradition spells freedom to me.
Reintroduction simply means that your butcher or baker can sell things in pounds and ounces if they wish. Most of them don't know what they mean anyway, so what's the problem? It is simply freedom of choice.
Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh
Bikes on trains
Why is cycle travel with ScotRail such a travail?
I’m due to travel with a bike from Aberdeen to Newtonmore via Inverness on Sunday, 24 July. So on Wednesday, June 1 I tried to book in person at Aberdeen Station (take a tip: booking office staff beat a website hands-down any day… yet ScotRail wants to do away with booking offices, and put us all online).
No luck with my request: the ever-helpful Aberdeen staff admitted defeat. I was told that while they’d received an earlier email from ScotRail High Command indicating that booking for this date is open, the system, they told me, could sell me a ticket, but the computer couldn’t book me a seat or – more importantly – a space for my bike. Thus I could take a chance on getting the bike aboard on the day, or make a future visit to try to rebook.
My understanding from ScotRail is that bookings open 12 weeks in advance. Yet this is by no means the first time I’ve been turned away well within the 12-week period. So is trying to book in advance on ScotRail something akin to a lottery?
As for booking bikes on ScotRail trains, the website is valueless. I’ve yet to find out how on earth a bike can be booked online. And all this from a railway company that airily informs us that its supports “active travel” such as bikes.
Gordon Casely, Crathes, Aberdeenshire
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