Readers' Letters: Well, you did ask to be judged on Education, Nicola

As a parent with a young family, the future prospect of a strong, developed education under SNP rule is bleak at best! It is shocking to have the following statement before us from Nicola Sturgeon back in August 2015, “Let me be clear – I want to be judged on this. If you are not, as First Minister, prepared to put your neck on the line on the education of our young people then what are you prepared to? It really matters.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with children in 2014, the year before she asked to be judged on Education (Picture: Getty)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with children in 2014, the year before she asked to be judged on Education (Picture: Getty)

Let the results be the judge; our three key subjects show a fall in science rankings from 10th to 19th, reading from 11th to 23rd, and maths from 11th to 24th since 2006. This is an embarrassment for the people of Scotland The First Minister and her party’s selfish intent for independence and therefore negligence in what is best for our children has meant our education system is the neck on the block, not that of the First Minister! Can I ask the question, who can this be for the benefit of?

We as students, parents and grandparents need to act now to protect the future of education which we all know really does matter.

Jake Harvey, Cutstraw Road, Stewarton

Keep our head

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If Scotland votes for Independence, when please will the First Minister call for Indyref3? The answer is, she won’t. Stinks, doesn’t it? The sheer mentality of it, just to keep on hammering for Indy until you get it, when serious consideration has already been given so recently and the answer was "No".Nicola Sturgeon said last year: "If we stick together we will get through." Yes, this was in another context but it rings true for the UK. Even a politician wouldn't cut off their own head bragging how well it operates on its own! Why murder Scotland by cutting it off? It will be too late to survive if we cut off the hand that feeds us, protects us and has done wonders in supporting us during the current Covid-19 crisis.

Phil Alexander, Whitecairns, Aberdeen

Yes, actually

Bob MacDougall points out that nothing has been proved with regards to Boris Johnson and his government’s allegations of sleaze while pointing out that an investigation into the SNP’s handling of the Ferguson Marine ferries case is due to take place (Letters 26 April). As Mr MacDougall quite rightly says, the issues regarding the costs of the refurbishment of Johnson's Downing Street residence, the allegations regarding his relationship with Jennifer Arcuri, the awarding of multi-million pound contracts to unqualified companies to supply PPE, the Greensill scandal involving Johnson, Cameron and Sunak, the leaked e-mails and texts to James Dyson promising to get his tax problems “fixed”, the award of a £1 billion planning contract by Housing Minister Robert Jenrick to Tory donor Richard Desmond, the alleged shareholdings of certain government ministers in companies awarded huge PPE contracts and the ease of direct access to the PM of particularly powerful and wealthy individuals are, according to Mr MacDougall, dwarfed when compared to the SNP's ‘Ferrygate.’Mr MacDougall asks whether an as yet unproven allegation of sleaze is any worse than a proven instance of incompetence? In this case it is a resounding ‘”Yes”. With bells on!

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D Mitchell, Coates Place, Edinburgh

Bill India

The rapid response of the International Community to the Covid crisis in India is magnificent. The UK has, commendably, been at the forefront with the EU, Russia, USA, and even China and Pakistan. However, when the crisis subsides, India must be billed for the plane-loads of oxygen concentrations and ventilators.

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Unlike Nicola Sturgeon, women like me did not choose their pronouns and we are n...

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We are not talking here about an impoverished country like Yemen, Chad, Burundi or Malawi. India is the sixth-richest economy in the world and this nuclear power has the world's second largest armed forces. In 2012 the Indian Finance Minister complained India did not need British aid and "it was peanuts anyway". By 2018 there was a furore in the House Of Commons when it was realised that the £98 million, the Department for International Development was still giving was almost identical to the money India spent on their Chanrayaan 2 Lunar probe. It is more evidence that British overseas aid budget needs to be more strictly controlled rather than reduced.

John V Lloyd, Keith Place, Inverkeithing, Fife

Protect coast

Up to now the threat of Russia having easy access to the UK in the event of an invasion has never been a major issue but could this change after 6th May 2021? Independence in Scotland would result in a total disintegration of the united defences of the UK and leave Scotland and England as an easy, weakened target for that powerful and unpredictable nation. We are continually reminded of the resurgence of Russia’s military strength; only recently they claimed they withdrew 100,000 troops from a training exercise close to the Ukraine border.

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If we return a party to Holyrood dedicated to promoting independence at the expense of every other responsibility, we will be part of a vulnerable, baby nation with little, if any, naval defence. This leaves those who live in coastal areas of Scotland as the first targets in an invasion by sea. For our security and peace of mind, as well as for the sake of future generations, we must take every single step to strengthen and maintain the integrity of our defence system.

David Hoare, Brookside Steading, Foveran, Ellon

Moral duty

What planet is Nicola Sturgeon on? She wants Scotland to be independent but for there to be no actual border between England and Scotland while Scotland becomes a member of the EU. However you look at it, import and export tariffs would be payable. The majority of our trade is with England so inevitably the cost of living would rise in Scotland.

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The answer to the Independence question must be for central govenment to agree to a further referendum only when the Scottish Parliament can produce a viable plan as to how it would make good the end of the Barnett Formula, pay off Scotland's debts, establish a Scottish bank and currency and pay for its defences, be they army or navy. It is the moral duty of our Government to protect Scots from taking this disastrous and irrevocable step.

Rosemary McDougall, Fala Village, Pathhead

Stop fretting

Is there any explanation why those opposed to Scottish independence think that treating us like we are all stupid means they can get away with it? Apparently a “hard border” between England and Scotland when Scotland goes independent will destroy Scotland. No such thing as a “hard border” exists, of course. The UK has just chosen a “hard border” between itself and 27 European countries. So the UK is not trading with Europe? What utter rubbish. The fact of the matter is that deals are readily reached – as is the case with Norway and Switzerland, for instance – neither in the EU – and the notion that England (which exports more to Scotland than Scotland does to England) will give that up is absurd.

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Interesting to note that the Republic of Ireland, which used to be hugely reliant to exporting to the UK, now has a majority of its exports to Europe (and is building big ferries to take its goods direct into the continent).

David McEwan Hill, Dalinlongart, Sandbank, Argyll

Deal with EU

There is only one solution to the Northern Ireland problem and that is a customs union with the European Union.

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Forge a new relationship with the EU based on the reality of a complicated world. A customs union saves the Good Friday agreement by removing physical barriers and checks, either in the Irish Sea or at the border with Eire and, while it won’t entirely save our face, it will rescue us from a much worse outcome.

Trevor Rigg, Greenbank Gardens, Edinburgh

Poll peace of mind

Douglas Bruce (Letters, 24 April) need not be worried about the possibility of Trump style shenanigans at the forthcoming Scottish election concerning polling cards. Possession of a polling card makes no difference to a person's entitlement to vote at elections. It merely helps polling staff find electors in the register of voters (this saves time if there are queues at polling stations). All voters entitled to vote by post are marked as such in the register and would not be able to vote twice, irrespective of whether they produce a polling card or not.

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Richard Robertson, Craigmount Brae, Edinburgh

Tough women

I applaud Susan Dalgety for her column concerning the absence of a legal definition of an adult female human (Perspective, 24 April).

Women across the globe are used to being regarded as “non-men”, a concept which bears all the psychological weight of centuries of oppression, discrimination and disregard. Just ask any woman to give examples of how her sex has been a perceived disadvantage in many areas of life, and she will readily provide the information.

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If gender doesn’t matter, why do women fear men who walk behind them at night, or who try to engage them in an unwanted conversation in an empty train compartment, when their response to a woman in the same situation would be different? Unless their fellow traveller spoke about boiling bunnies...

The sex which carries the next generation within their wombs, and who labour to push them into the world, undergo a transformation of their bodies over the nine months spent nurturing and protecting their unborn child. Given that giving birth is potentially dangerous, no matter how sophisticated the medical input, I would suggest that “adult female humans” are a pretty resilient lot.

Carolyn Taylor, Broughty Ferry, Dundee

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