My godson in Hong Kong confirms that China is back in charge and everything has changed. All those who protested have vanished. Taiwan next, from the sound of responsible news reports, and Russia will simply do what it wants as well.
Trump might have presented a US figure that the Kremlin would have thought twice about, but not Biden.
And why we persist with the notion that Britain is a world force whose opinion on anything actually matters, is a mystery.
Malcolm Parkin, Kinross
When complaining about possible increased council taxes, Dennis Forbes Grattan (letters 16 January) forgets to mention that Westminster has cut Scotland’s resource budget by seven per cent in real terms compared to last year or that the Scottish Government can’t borrow for day-to-day expenditure.
Even with a modest increase in 2022, Scottish council tax payers will remain much better off than in England or under Labour-run Wales. In Scotland the average Band D council tax is currently £590 lower than in England and £423 lower than Wales.
Also, the average water bill is £33 lower in Scotland and the income tax level for median waged employees is £14 lower in Scotland.
Escalating inflation and higher taxes are down to the Tory government’s failures over Brexit, energy policy and Covid mismanagement which has resulted in a hike in National Insurance payments from April and an increase in income tax payments through stealth.
Meanwhile, a Tory broken promise on the triple lock for state pensions means that Rishi Sunak will deprive our elderly citizens of £520 in 2022.
Mary Thomas, Edinburgh
Easy as ABC
Boris Johnson is apparently so useless that he needs to wait for the result of Sue Gray’s official investigation before he knows whether he broke the law over Downing Street parties or not.
Douglas Ross, the leader of the Tories in Scotland appears to be in no doubt and has urged Johnson to resign.
Up pops Jacob Rees-Mogg to emphatically say on TV to Kirsty Wark that Douglas Ross is a lightweight politician. Cue Alister Jack, one of Ross’s senior colleagues, essentially to agree with Rees-Mogg. Meantime we hear nothing from David or Oliver Mundell apart from “wait for Sue Gray’s report” and “no comment”.
The Tories are in meltdown. Scotland deserves so much better. We get our chance to record, in a small way, our displeasure by voting in the May local council elections. I urge your readers to apply one simple rule when voting. "Voting is as easy as ABC – Anyone But Conservative”!
David Howdle, Dumfries
Drive them out
This SNP/Green Scottish Government is ramping up its war on motorists. Councils will be given the power to introduce a workplace parking levy from March. Nottingham is the only city in the UK imposing this levy and charges an annual £417 per space. Scottish Transport Minister Graeme Dey said Scotland needs to “take world leading bold action to tackle the climate emergency". This is laughable since Scotland is responsible for just 0.13 per cent of global emissions. Scotland has 2.5 million cars but there are 1.446bn in the world. Other than car-hating Edinburgh I suspect few councils will implement this policy especially as Scottish local elections are due to take place in May. Motorists must vote out the SNP and Greens.
Clark Cross, Linlithgow
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