Readers' Letters: Watch the whole match or give someone a ticket who will

As the dust settles following Scotland’s marvellous 30-21 Calcutta Cup win over England at Murrayfield, what struck me was the number of fans streaming out of the stadium before the match was over.
Finn Russell of Scotland with the Calcutta Cup, followed by Rory Darge, after defeating England at Murrayfield  (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)Finn Russell of Scotland with the Calcutta Cup, followed by Rory Darge, after defeating England at Murrayfield  (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)
Finn Russell of Scotland with the Calcutta Cup, followed by Rory Darge, after defeating England at Murrayfield (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)

These were not English fans, it should be noted, but supposed Scottish fans, who departed before they witnessed Scotland winning the Calcutta Cup four times in a row, for the first time since the 1890s. Individuals were not leaving a few minutes before the end, unforgiveable in itself, but on some occasions a whole ten minutes before the final whistle. It is incredible that, with the game still on a knife edge and history to be made, individuals would decide to depart, not even bothering to stay for the whole 80 minutes.

There are countless numbers of those who would have given a right arm to attend what is one of the most highly sought-after events in the sporting year. In future, those not wanting to stay until the end may therefore want to consider doing the honourable thing and foregoing their tickets for true fans.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

Back of the class

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Yet another SNP government minister seems to have difficulty in fulfilling her responsibilities. Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth's inertia in progressing expected reforms to Scotland's education system in the wake of the Muir Report is putting unnecessary pressure on teachers and letting pupils down by creating instability.

It may have been prudent to pause reforms to Scotland's education framework on a temporary basis to ensure the changes will effect the best possible outcome but undue delay without explanation can lead to a lack of credibility and confidence in the new measures.

It may well be that Humza Yousaf's erratic leadership style is undermining the confidence of his ministers to make firm decisions but the country can't wait until dithering politicians make up their minds!

Bob MacDougall, Kippen, Stirlingshire

MSP deckchairs?

Humza Yousaf has just seen his Education Secretary do a car-crash interview on this weekend’s BBC Sunday Show and his new Health Secretary facing a steep uphill struggle from the get-go. Now Mr Yousaf is heading for another potential showdown with Kate Forbes.

Mr Yousaf appointed Mairi McAllan as Economy Secretary in his forced reshuffle due to Michael Matheson's “overuse” of his iPad. Some surprise was registered at the time that Mr Yousaf did not give Kate Forbes a job. Now it turns out that Ms McAllan is pregnant and Mr Yousaf knew this before the reshuffle. Ms McAllan's pregnancy leave therefore necessitates a substitute in her position.

Will Mr Yousaf select Kate Forbes, who would be the glaringly obvious candidate, and would Kate Forbes accept the job from Mr Yousaf? Mr Yousaf just seems to lurch from one crisis to another.

Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

Highlands snub

Once again we get news that vital projects in Scotland have been put on hold. This time it involves the building of at least ten new NHS hospitals and treatment centres and the postponement will be for at least two years. People in the Highlands and Islands must feel totally excluded from this SNP/Green Scotland, what with the dualling of the A9 being put back to at least 2035 and the disgraceful state of the CalMac ferries.

In the meantime the SNP leader at Westminster wants a new resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza. I'm not sure if Stephen Flynn knows that foreign policy is still reserved for Westminster, or maybe he has an inside track at the negotiations in Paris between Egypt, Qatar, the Palestinians and the USA, which are hoping to achieve such a ceasefire.

Or maybe he is only making mischief once again?

Jim Houston, Edinburgh

Sorry statesman

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The suggestion at the weekend that Stephen Flynn could have been a “statesman” really sent a chill down my spine (Brian Wilson, Perspective, 24 February). The faux rage we witnessed in the Commons last week was, frankly, what one expects from this veritable “treasure trove” of SNP/Green politicians.

With all that is going on in Scotland – the shocking state of the ferry services to the islands, the clueless management of our education system, the pursuit of a money grab via MUP and the ongoing Operation Branchform which is about to take another twist with the interviewing of party workers and civil servants, plus the daily degradation of our Scottish NHS, to name but five – encapsulates the deluded pursuit of headlines this group of people desire in order to hide away from the real state of this nation.

Of all the questions Flynn could have asked or issues he could have promoted, he goes for something which has no bearing on the very people he was elected by – none whatsoever.

And all this on a vote that will have absolutely no influence on Hamas or Benjamin Netanyahu – as history shows, he never heeds advice, far from it.

Perhaps Mr Flynn would be better placed to address the horrific levels of poverty in his home town of Dundee, which is outdone only by Nicola Sturgeon’s ward in Glasgow Southside for deprivation.

Mind you, when the leader of the party sends £700,000 in aid to Gaza against the “advice” of the rest of Europe, he is certainly following the party line of “statesmanship”.

David Millar, Lauder, Berwickshire


It sounds like Mary Thomas wants public broadcasting to be a state-controlled propaganda vehicle for the Continuity SNP/Greens (Letters, 23 February).

Responding with indignation to the demise of unpopular news programme The Nine, she laments that: “Viewers in Scotland rarely get comparisons with the performance of the Westminster government, with Labour in Wales, plus little information on the economic performance of Scotland’s near neighbours of similar size.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Content like that should certainly bring those audiences flooding back!Inevitably, Ms Thomas then demands a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation, similar to RTÉ, Ireland’s government-run radio and television service. No thanks, there are many far more important things to spend limited money on at the moment.

We can’t afford yet another separatist vanity project.

Martin O’Gorman, Edinburgh

Nothing learned

The most depressing factor in the recent SNP fiasco over the Gaza vote in the House of Commons is that it is not the first time they have let very serious matters indeed be sidelined as they pursue what they see as gaining a cheap political advantage on an opponent. The simple fact is, nothing they do is thought through.

In 1979, with far fewer MPs than they have today, they had the balance of power and in an act of stupidity like none before or since, voted down Jim Callaghan's Labour government and ushered in an election and what became 13 years of Margaret Thatcher. Whether the Thatcher era was good or bad overall is not the point, it was the fact the SNP acted in the most selfish manner imaginable, seeing a short-term gain and the next morning's headlines as the be-all and end-all.

At the resultant election they were left, as I recall, with only one or two MPs and a red face. The people of Scotland let them know what they thought of their actions. It would appear nothing has been learned in the forty-plus years since.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Restore reputation

Re: recent correspondence about incorrect court verdicts in the Post Office scandal (recent letters), it is not the job of politicians to interfere in our independent judicial system. It is for our appeal courts to reverse clearly unsafe and blatantly false verdicts and their resulting sentences, particularly when it has been established beyond any doubt whatsoever, not merely "reasonable doubt", that they were based on at least three outright lies spouted repeatedly for years by the Post Office.

It is surely possible for Scotland's highest court, the Inner House of the Court of Session, to be convened in an unprecedented but necessary sitting and at last dispense the justice that the poor victims deserve – by quashing the flawed verdicts, apologising on behalf of the lower courts, requiring the immediate refund of the penalties demanded by and paid to the Post Office, and by ordering the government to enact legislation forthwith to pay fair compensation as soon as possible within 2024 to the victims (or their estates).

Senior Conservative David Davis MP proposed on 28 January that a team of retired UK Supreme Court judges could do this within three months. Surely Scotland's Supreme Court could lead the way?

The very few convictions still deemed probably valid for reasons other than the flawed Horizon computer system could stand pro-tem and be dealt with separately. But the great majority, and our reputation for justice, need action now.

John Birkett, St Andrews, Fife

Clock this

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What a wonderful and amusing idea, having countdown clocks for the opening of the the new service between Leven, Cameron Bridge and Edinburgh Waverley stations (your report, 25 February). It will help to concentrate the minds of those providing the service, and may be extremely profitable for local betting shops taking wagers on the actual opening date compared to the countdown!

Ian McNicholas, Waunlwyd, Ebbw Vale



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