Readers' Letters: Sturgeon’s egotism will precipitate downfall

For those that were in doubt that the First Minister of Scotland is past her “sell-by” date, it must now be abundantly clear that this is the case.

Politicians who remain in power for too long become “drunk” on the levers of power and their own longevity. Consequently, they believe their actions and deeds are the right ones regardless of public opinion, and perhaps even their own advisers.

Witness our esteemed First Minister deserting the landfill that is Edinburgh to open an irrelevant “Nordic Hub”. Witness the First Minister being chauffeured around Edinburgh to attend her five Fringe events to be fawned over by her adoring fans. In the real world, drugs deaths are appalling, the NHS and education systems are in meltdown and her solution is likely to include raising taxes, clobbering people with a workplace parking levy and continuing her divisive and faux grievance agenda.

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The late Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister for 11 years and she too believed at the end that she was invincible. It seems the First Minister, by her own and chosen actions, is beginning to demonstrate her egocentricity which will precipitate her downfall sooner rather than later.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and actor Brian Cox were in conversation at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this week
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Richard Allison, Edinburgh

Life with Brian

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“Elsie McSelfie” does it again, appearing on stage with another celebrity, Brian Cox, who no doubt will spend some of his time here encouraging us all to vote for independence then scurry off back to America. When Cox said he “has become less bothered by what others thought” and that he “just doesn’t give a f*** any more”, Sturgeon replied “ I can’t wait to reach that stage”. To a majority of the Scottish population she passed that stage, and well beyond, a long while ago.

Mr Cox also promised to come back and campaign in the next pretenderendum. Being an actor that should be easy for him.

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Ian Balloch, Grangemouth, Falkirk

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Brian Cox: Scots lack the confidence to vote for independence
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Toss script away

Here we go again. Scottish “patriot” and actor Brian Cox has flown in to Edinburgh to praise independence and recommend it to all.

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He has no idea of the mess the SNP has made of Scotland (although if he looked out of the taxi window he might just get a flavour) because he doesn't live here. He should not be advocating huge changes for all of us for that simple reason. He is also not on the breadline whilst so many Scots are.

The idea that somehow independence will make everything in Scotland better needs to be seriously challenged.

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We need facts, not just a script. Not even Nicola Sturgeon has provided these yet.

Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

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Painful portrait

I was walking to my minimum wage job through Ayr on Monday morning. I passed a poster on a dilapidated phone box in the centre of the town for Social Security Scotland encouraging people to apply for benefits. In the background, the bins were overflowing with takeaway wrappers and plastic cups that could have been disposed of at home rather than added to the mountainous pile. Litter was strewn along the entire main street and gathering in eddies in shop doorways. A local resident was blatantly smoking cannabis while waiting for a bus.

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Never I have seen Scotland under the SNP so better summed up in this, sad, pathetic, depressing, vignette.

David Bone, Girvan, South Ayrshire

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Don’t paper, fix

A friend of mine wrote “people would rather die than think, in fact they usually do” (die that is).

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We are at the beginning of a massive economic and social crisis. Europe and Japan are in a bidding war for gas which has already increased the wholesale cost of gas ten times. Europe also has electricity supply issues due to climate change. We as consumers (and businesses) in Scotland face a sudden and unprecedented increase in gas and electricity charges.

Energy producers are charging high prices because of a complicated UK government-controlled energy price, fundamentally because these companies can sell their energy at those prices. Those who can will demand more money. The government does not have reserves, no sovereign wealth fund. Income from rates and taxes will fall and continue to fall when people can no longer pay their bills.

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Governments might print money, producing hyperinflation (think of Germany between the two world wars) or borrow mountains of money (destroying our future) so they will divert money from the many (pensioners, your parents, your children) to pay more to the few.

We have ample sources of fuel in Scotland. Energy producers’ costs have not changed from last year. Yet energy charges have risen and will continue to rise to six-fold or more.

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Energy prices must go back to where they were last year. Impoverished and indebted people cannot buy expensive energy. Newly bankrupt business can’t buy energy either. In a few years’ time energy companies will not be able to even give their energy away. Society as we know it now will have vanished.

Think, and think again, don’t act without thinking, else Germany in the 1930s will be our fate. We must fix the cause of this crisis, not paper over the cracks until the building falls down.

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Ken Carew, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway

Get fracking

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The current energy crisis is entirely the fault of successive governments becoming dependent upon fossil fuels imported from abroad,squandering billions on supporting so-called green energy such as the Drax wood-fired power station, subsidising wind turbines to stand idle and ordering bespoke nuclear power stations at huge cost that take decades to build. It is the government which should should get us out of this mess, not the poor consumer.The UK needs to get fracking for gas right away to replace expensive imported gas and start to build small modular reactors that can be bought “off the shelf”. These reactors have been around for decades, can be built safely and are designed to be decommissioned much more easily than our existing reactors.The government needs to freeze energy costs right now and fund the deficit by borrowing (my heart sinks when I say that, by the way). This borrowing would be repaid by consumers over the next ten or 15 years by a levy of 5-10 per cent on bills. The green levy needs to be scrapped and the folly of paying for wind turbines to stand idle needs to be stopped. Fiddling around the edges with tax cuts and small handouts will help no-one and none of the businesses facing bankruptcy right now.We need to become self-sufficient in energy as soon as possible and never, ever get ourselves in this situation again.

Alastair Hibbert, Crossford, South Lanarkshire

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Clear em out

I am surprised that more outrage has not been expressed at the inordinate delay caused by a tiny minority of the population (members of the Conservative Party) taking weeks to elect a new leader from among Boris Johnson’s cabinet. Surely this could have been done in days? Meantime we have to tolerate inactivity on the cost of living, energy prices, public sector strikes and the crisis in the NHS.

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The only answer for the electorate is to get rid of the lot of them at the next election by electing enough Labour and Lib Dem MPs to ensure that we get a completely new government.

David Steel (Lord Steel of Aikwood), Selkirk, Scottish Borders

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Same old...

Despite a 34-year gap, if Liz Truss becomes our next Prime Minister, 9 September 1988 will be no different from 11 September 2022.

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On that first date I turned 16 years old and we had a right-wing Conservative Government, a woman Prime Minister, first past the post electoral system, an unelected House of Lords and the folk that have been key workers during this pandemic – those in adult social care and shop workers, for example – were low paid and pretty much ignored by politicians.

On 11 September this year when my daughter Bethany turns 16 it will be pretty much the same, although Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was not so daft and did not privatise Royal Mail and expect it to run at a profit, thankfully. She was a lot more sensible in that regard than those in power these days, in my opinion.

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As for those who support Scottish independence, we were not regarded as equal partners in the union by Unionists back in 1988 and the same thing holds true today. In fact, both the SNP and independence supporters were not even mentioned back then, far less treated with the outright contempt of today.

If pro-Union or federalist parties of today want folk like myself to consider voting for them then, unlike non-NHS key workers who have been practically ignored by all politicians, it might be handy if both Conservative and Labour parties stopped “hearing” and started “listening” to moderate independence supporters, but that is not going to happen any time soon, is it? Neither seems interested in electoral reform so it carries on regardless, I suppose, does it not with this failed union?

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Peter Ovenstone, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

No mandate

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Philippa Whitford of the SNP was on the radio over the weekend, claiming that her party has a mandate for another referendum, because it consistently “wins” elections.

Is this an accurate picture? Scotland has long become like Ulster, in that elections are decided on the constitution, ie, unionism versus nationalism, with unionism usually being the largest group.

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However, the unionist vote is split three ways, while most of the nationalist vote goes to the SNP, making them the largest party. Does this constitute a mandate? I don't think so.

William Ballantine, Bo'ness, West Lothian

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