Readers' Letters: Sturgeon 'kicking hoteliers in face'

A first-rate meal is the highlight of many a hotel stayA first-rate meal is the highlight of many a hotel stay
A first-rate meal is the highlight of many a hotel stay
Pre-Covid, the tourist industry contributed a massive £6 billion to Scotland’s GDP and around £13bn to the general economy. The industry has been hit hard by Covid restrictions, but by dint of expensive, assiduous comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of their staff and patrons, many have staggered on despite the considerably reduced footfall caused by social distancing and travel restrictions.

The highlight of many patrons’ hotel stays is their evening dinner with wine. Then came Nicola Sturgeon’s total ban on alcoholic drinks in hotels apart from one recent blissful week allowing drinks to be served with meals until 8pm. Now Sturgeon has again banned any serving of alcoholic drinks in hotels, resulting in wholesale cancellations, the last straw for hoteliers, forcing many to close, notable examples being Gleneagles and the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews.

Some will never open again.

I believe that Peter Murrell and Nicola Sturgeon are both teetotal so will not understand the impact and result of this stupid ban.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I have trawled the Scottish Parliament’s website seeking the reasoning behind the ban and could only find a vague reference to “health” reasons irrelevant to Covid precautions.

Perhaps, then, Nicola Sturgeon should introduce prohibition into Scottish Law. That would be a spectacular one-up on Boris Johnson.

The fact remains, Nicola Sturgeon seems intent on destroying Scotland’s lucrative tourist industry despite hoteliers’ hard work and expense by adopting stringent safety procedures. She has rewarded them in the form of a kick in the teeth.

David Hollingdale, Easter Park Drive, Edinburgh


Bamboozling us (and themselves) with multiple response levels, graphs, daily reports, “experts” and in-fighting our governments, both Scottish and English, remind me of my early experiences in a sales office where tyro reps would seek to impress with spreadsheets and graphs of what they were going to do – only to be told by management to stop wasting time discussing things and get out there and get some results.

It’s blindingly obvious really. Covid is spread either by touching infected surfaces then ingesting, or by breathing in droplet or aerosol viruses. So, the first part is addressed by disposable gloves and hand washing.

The second part by always keeping distance and enforcing the wearing of masks every time you leave the house. Everybody that is: including super-spreader kiddies and schoolchildren. There is no confusing message for kids – just wear the mask and protect teachers, each other and grandparents. Unlike NHS staff, teachers didn't sign up for virus exposure!

“Oh I can’t wear a mask.” Rubbish, if it were an enemy gas attack, you’d have the masks on yourself and your kids in a flash. This virus is just as deadly as anything faced in the Blitz. I know masks are uncomfortable and impermanent but don’t I remember hi-tech companies like McLaren, early-on, offering to CAD design cheap efficient masks? Rather than waste billions on tracing software that doesn’t work, let’s spend the money on the design and supply of a cheap lightweight (comfortable) plastic face mask (as used in paint shops) with easily replaceable filters and distribute these at no, or very low, cost.

Enforce the hand washing, distancing and mask wearing and we’d beat the virus is no time. Play with pushing numbers around meaningless “levels” and we’ll face an even worse 2021, God help us!

Sandy Adam, Turleum Road, Crieff

Dogged FM

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I have to say that I just about fell off my chair when I read your article headline (November 17) "Labs ‘ready this year’ insists Sturgeon". I thought that there was a human side to the FM after all.

When I read on and discovered that she wasn't promising Labrador puppies in time for Christmas, I lost interest.

Fraser MacGregor, Liberton Drive, Edinburgh

Speak softly

How interesting it was to find that a man has been found guilty of “sending an inflammatory tweet” (your article, November 18) accusing Humza Yousaf of having sympathy for “Muslim killers”. Clearly, this sends a clear message that the bill that Mr Yousaf‘s party is trying to push through Holyrood is unnecessary. Hate speech, whether spoken or in the form of a tweet is covered by existing legislation. Moreover, the FA Chairman has only just resigned over his use of the word, “coloured”, which now is thought to be offensive by many black people. Yet the group which represents black people in the USA is “The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People” (NAACP)!

What is not covered is the attempt to criminalise opinions expressed even in our own homes. If one cannot say what one wishes in the sanctity of one’s own home, then we are not just one, but many steps down the road to the society portrayed in 1984. All we will need is CCTV to watch our every move and then we will be there.

When does a term cause offence? How and by whom are we to be judged on our use of words? It seems as clear as day that the law already deals with what people say, very effectively (maybe too effectively?) and it shows that there is absolutely no need for the SNP’s Hate Crime bill.

Andrew HN Gray, Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh

Twitter delay

If it takes five whole years to successfully prosecute a vile untrue tweet against Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf then how long will it take to prosecute a merely physical crime against someone who is not so prominent?

Penny Ponders, Ingliston Road, Edinburgh

Poetry displeased

“More devolution to Scotland only endangers the principles of the Union and is not an effective response to independence.” That was Douglas Ross MP speaking to the Policy Exchange UK on November 2. Douglas Ross has backed Brexit and Westminster’s power grab but ignored Scotland’s food and drink sector and others who have pleaded for Brexit negotiations to be delayed for six months while Covid is still raging.

In 2004, Boris Johnson, as editor of The Spectator, published a poem whose lines included “The Scotch – what a verminous race!”; “It’s time Hadrian’s Wall was refortified, to pen them in a ghetto on the other side” and “The nation deserves not merely isolation, but comprehensive extermination”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This jolly jape certainly chimes with Boris Johnson’s English nationalist views and he has no intention of granting Scotland a Section 30 order for a second independence referendum.

Scottish governments' must balance their books each year and can’t run up a two trillion-pound national debt like Westminster, yet we have seen numerous benefits in health, education and transport infrastructure while mitigating draconian Tory welfare measures.

Along with Covid, devolution has shown that we are perfectly capable of governing ourselves. To complete our journey on becoming a normal nation once again we need to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands without Westminster’s permission if they continue to deny our Scottish Parliament’s vote for another referendum.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

Out of control

As a Tory, I am dismayed about the present balance of Boris Johnson's mind.

I will not cast any stone at him for his colourful family and social history but reports of his policy plans give pause.

Envisaging a "green revolution" for the economy, while retaining Mrs May's horrendously costly plans for decarbonisation despite the UK's negligible greenhouse gas output, betrays no commonsense, financial or political.

Our nation, essentially ruined by the Covid pandemic, has no money to fuel green extravagences or other avoidable outlays. His reported imminent cave-in to Brussels on trade negotiations, despite our vote to leave the EU's institutions, provides no confidence. Nor does his evident neglect regarding maintaining the constitution of the UK.

All these worrying policy trends bespeak a politician who is losing control of his nous and of his ability to deal with the political and economic realities he faces. No doubt his Covid disease has left him handicapped.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Will someone in politics please step forward to allow the PM more time with his excellent writing and his family?

(Dr) Charles Wardrop, Viewlands Road West, Perth

China crisis?

Clark Cross chooses to taunt Ian W Forde regarding the latter’s views on the serious issue of global warming (Letters, November) 17. He adopts an attitude of defiance by saying, in effect, “it's the bad boys who are to blame”.

If you’re locked up you can’t protest. Why, then, would members of Extinction Rebellion, or any other protest group, ever consider protesting in China? Especially since their return flights would contribute to the air pollution? Mr Cross’s argument is on the same level as that of a child who dares another child to poke a sleeping dog renowned for its savage attacks on humans – “If you’re so brave…”

Each of us is responsible for our own behaviour. Some people can’t tolerate any implied criticism of their actions, even when the evidence of wrongdoing is glaringly obvious.

A more mature response to these young people’s sincere, evidence-based concerns, would be to at least meet them halfway, by doing some research into the vast quantity of literature on the subject of anthropogenic climate warming. It’s always more productive to engage in a dialogue based on facts, rather than dismissing the arguments of others whom we choose to believe are misguided.

Carolyn Taylor, Wellbank, Broughty Ferry, Dundee

Write to The Scotsman

We welcome your thoughts. Write to [email protected] including name, address and phone number. Keep letters under 300 words, with no attachments, and avoid Letters to the Editor in your subject line.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.