Readers' Letters: SNP/Green alliance can save us from disaster

I have just read the eight howls of protest against Nicola Sturgeon that filled this letter page yesterday (11 October).

Sadly, I have to admit that I feel much the same as Ms Sturgeon and I started as a true Blue Tory from a Tory family. The First Minister was only putting into words the feelings that we are being forced into by the actions of the Conservative Party at Westminster which, sadly, still runs the UK. What have they done to be proud of?

Brexit has torn Scotland out of the EU against its will. This has made trade with Europe so difficult that Scotland is losing income it badly needs. Tory financial mismanagement of the UK has led to rampant inflation which has left most of us much worse off but some so poor that they are both cold and hungry. We can be proud of our food banks, if embarrassed that they have been forced upon us. The Tory Government had no hand in setting them up, only driving more and more people into reliance on them. Is this their idea of encouraging enterprise and levelling up?

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We have a Prime Minister without even the common manners to get in touch with the first ministers of the other countries in the UK. Was the one before her any better? We used to trust the Conservatives as having a steady hand, but this lot mouth one contradictory policy after another.

Do you agree with our reader?

Is Labour any better? I can see so little difference in their policies that I feel leader Sir Keir Starmer has thrown his lot in with the entitled elite on the opposite benches.

The SNP/Green alliance offers a strong lifeboat ready to save us from this sinking Titanic. It is called Independence.

I suggest readers take a good look at where the UK is going at present under this Tory government and commit to a better life in an Independent Scotland.

Elizabeth Buchan-Hepburn, Edinburgh

Scotland no more?

Cllr Peter Small questions the public value of a number of the SNP’s projects and includes in his list Kinlochleven (Letters, 11 October).

I take it he refers to the closure of the aluminium smelter at Kinlochleven which happened in 2000, long before the SNP came to power. I assume he is actually thinking of the Lochaber smelter at Fort William and the problems associated with the loan to Sanjeev Gupta.

It reminds me of the Proclaimers song Letter from America which, in the lyrics, refers to “Methil no more” and “Lochaber” no more (although this refers to the Highland Clearances). Maybe the Proclaimers were prescient in 1987 of the problems their SNP government would encounter in the 2020s? Perhaps a rewrite might include “Port Glasgow no more”, “Western Isles no More” and “Arran no more”.

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Paul Birrell, Linlithgow, West Lothian

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Readers' Letters: Sturgeon has hatred for many Scottish voters

Groundbreaking

The Scotsman’s editorial yesterday ruthlessly exposes the contrast between Nicola Sturgeon’s soaring conference rhetoric and her dismal record in actually achieving anything.Not to worry, surely achieving a 100 per cent score by being criticised in every reader’s letter is a record in itself? A groundbreaking low none of her predecessors sunk to?

Andrew Kemp, Rosyth, Fife

Overreacting

The words “I detest the Tories and everything they stand for” do not represent the highest standard of respectful debate, nor does calling the Tories “scum”.

But, some of the reactions to Nicola Sturgeon’s inappropriate use of the word “detest” with reference to the Tory Party and their grossly harmful policies are not just over-the-top but in many cases are not only expressions of “faux outrage” and totally disingenuous political opportunism (for example the “dangerous language” of Nadhim Zahawi and others scurrilously keen to misrepresent such words as evidence of personal “hatred”).

Let’s all turn a blind eye to the tens of thousands who died due to the gamble taken and lost by the Tory Government during the early days of Covid-19. Let’s ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands are continuing to struggle to just survive due to the austerity deliberately imposed by the Tory Government on the weakest and most vulnerable. Let’s not think about the deplorable hardship of the growing millions whom the Tory Government has now forced to live in poverty or to regularly use food banks in supposedly the sixth wealthiest state on the planet.

Of course, language is highly important in fostering respectful debate, but for those who criticise the First Minister and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party for words clearly aimed (by any objective analysis) at the Tory government not to recognise the genuine exasperation of those who do truly care about the most disadvantaged in our regrettably decaying British society it is time to examine your own life priorities, both for yourself but particularly for your fellow citizens.

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Stan Grodynski, Longniddry, East Lothian

EU barriers

Nicola Sturgeon claims that Scotland will join the EU. This, of course, will require the consent of all member states. Some may not agree, for example Spain, perhaps France (see below), Poland (about to sue Scotland for fraudulence in the ferries scandal) and increasingly right-wing Italy. Apart from all that, according to Sturgeon, an independent Scotland will keep the pound, meaning that its currency is controlled by a non-EU state. That alone will debar EU entry, and readers should also be aware that keeping the pound contributed to Ireland's poverty for 50 years after independence.

The SNP has always been anti-Nato (Sturgeon herself has been an anti-Nato protester all her life). Magically, this was changed a few years back, purely in the interest of grabbing a few votes. An application to join Nato will require acceptance by all members, including, of course, the second-most important, whose defence forces Scotland has just badly damaged! Barring US, French and UK submarines from Scottish waters which is the SNP policy won't help either.

Apart from the foregoing, Scotland would have to develop an acceptable defence capability from scratch – at enormous cost. Currently the MoD spends so much in Scotland that our share in UK defence expenditure is more or less negated. The USA quite rightly has been recently castigating members for not meeting their agreed obligations and, along with the UK and France, will insist on at least a 3 per cent of GDP for defence for new members – that's about £6 billion per annum for Scotland.

A McCormick, Terregles, Dumfries

Back door

Forty-four countries attended the Prague summit of the President Emmanuel Macron-inspired European Political Community. They discussed matters of common interest ranging from security to migration to energy prices.The European Union grew out of concerns for coal, the EPC out of the need for Norwegian gas. A lot of ice was broken, with Prime Minister Liz Truss talking with Macron; the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia sat with Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan.

In June Ms Truss was opposed to the concept but, by September, agreed to attend:nothing new there. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants two meetings a year. Some countries are wary as they see it as a means of delaying EU enlargement. In reality, it surely feeds into the French concept of a two-tier Europe.

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Fifteen million people in England voted “Leave” and, psychologically, will not want to admit they have made a mistake. However, they can hardly be oblivious to the Gatwick chaos, Dover queues, holidays ruined, Nandos with no chicken, McDonalds without milkshake. Farming and fishing face ruin. There is a lack of care home staff, lorry drivers, nurses, slaughtermen, fruit pickers, pub staff. Fruit, veg and flowers rot in the fields. Peace in Northern Ireland is threatened due to “the sausage wars”.

Trade with the EU has collapsed (GDP is down by 4 per cent, costing the Treasury £40 billion a year) and our global reputation is destroyed. UK businesses have been cut out of European supply chains. Brexit is the main cause of high inflation and low growth.

Scotland is at 72 per cent of people in favour of rejoining the EU but England, clearly, needs a "Get Out Of Jail" card. The EPC provides it as, on the pretext of "getting Brexit done", England and Wales could gradually return to the European orbit. When European stability and security are being threatened it could hardly be more timely.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing, Fife

Bad trip

Apparently, Home Secretary Suella Braverman is contemplating making cannabis a Class A drug, like heroin (your report, 10th October). Elsewhere in the world, the movement is in the opposite direction. In America and Canada, the drug is being decriminalised to take it away from the gangs who use it to push hard drugs. This is because the only way to buy cannabis is to go to a drug pusher whose main aim is to get cannabis buyers hooked on addictive drugs. That creates a completely captive market. That is why US states and Canada are decriminalising it. It breaks that crucial link.

It is the same idea as ending Prohibition in the USA. Criminal gangs made billions out of booze, much of which was dangerous hooch. Legalising alcohol meant that you could buy whisky that didn't make you go blind, because it was controlled and its manufacture was supervised by the state. The state also benefited from the taxes it raised.

Braverman’s police advisers state that cannabis is a “gateway” drug. If so, that is because it is controlled by gangs who push hard drugs, but we all know that.

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Making cannabis a Class A drug is, frankly, insane and simply plays into the hands of criminal gangs, or does Ms Braverman not see that

Dave Anderson, Aberdeen

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