Scotsman Letters: Don’t let UK turn Scotland into holiday resort

I read Robert Scott’s letter about being “better together” (8 June). Is he joking?

Does he actually want to live in a country where you pay for your own prescriptions, pay up to £27,750 to send just one of your children to university, pay for your own personal care if you need it, pay at least £21.71 for your eye tests, pay for your bus journeys throughout your life (Scots get free travel up to 22 years old and again after 60), pay more tax like the rest of the UK.

The list goes on and on. We get more free childcare, have £150 off Council Tax if we live in bands A to D, and now the SNP are going to put £160 million to help people with heating costs.

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I, for one, could never have afforded to study medicine in England. I had never wanted to do anything else and my years as a family doctor were as hard as I had hoped, and as fulfilling. The thought of even our present paltry powers being subsumed by the UK and at the mercy of the Westminster Parliament is too horrible to contemplate. There can be no going back.

A red deer greets tourists in Glen Coe in the Highlands (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Scotland becomes Independent now or faces a future of subservience. Our assets will be stripped for the “good of the rest of the UK”, our poor will be hungry and uncared for and there will be no way out of that ghetto for the Scots, while the rest of the UK turns us into a subservient holiday resort.

So Robert Scott must be very, very rich or have his head in the St Andrew’s sands. Either way, he is not typical of those living in Scotland who see that Scotland must have independence to keep her rich assets like offshore renewables, water, fishing grounds and farming country so that our inhabitants can get the free education that will allow our children to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow in a flourishing country. That is why the SNP and the other parties supporting independence win every electoral test over and over again.

Elizabeth Buchan-Hepburn, Edinburgh

Scots first

As is so common with opponents of devolution and independence, Robert I G Scott presumes to know what drives “a minority of Scots” (ie nearly half) to seek constitutional change and sets up his imagined Aunt Sallys to knock them down. Common to all seeking change is dissatisfaction with the Westminster government, and a belief that we can do better, with a focus on Conservative failings. For nearly 200 years the Scots have rejected the Tories and their successors, the Unionist and Conservative Parties, parties supported primarily by richer constituencies in the South of England.

If opponents of constitutional change want to see off the drive for it in Scotland they would be better to seek change in the primary cause, a Conservative-led Westminster – one which has been driving ever increasing wealth inequality in the UK since 1980, and is now such a shambles that it no longer knows where it is going. After years of mistaken Conservative austerity, the manifesto promise of “levelling up” seems likely to be dropped in favour of reducing taxation for those who earn enough to pay it, while the numbers of working and other poor in the UK continues to increase.

The very fact that the Conservatives chose a leader who was already discredited by those who paid attention suggests a party which has lost its way for the sake of power at all costs.

Duncan Clark, Edinburgh

Charge tourists

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Well said, Eric Melvin (Letters, 8 June). It is ridiculous that Edinburgh continues to ignore a Tourist Tax as a form of revenue. Has any Scotsman reader ever decided not to visit a country because it had such a levy?

Michael Grey, Edinburgh

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Readers' Letters: Maybe PM’s critics should consider resigning?

Rudderless

I am not a fan of the SNP, its leader and failed policies causing untold damage to Scotland. However, I was left with no option yesterday to resign my membership of the Scottish Conservatives following a further “flip flop” from leader Douglas Ross, withdrawing his support again for Boris Johnson. It is very clear to see that Douglas Ross could not lead a church service never mind a supposedly mainstream political party.

At a time when Scotland’s political opposition should be holding Nicola Sturgeon’s feet to the fire, they are instead navel gazing, looking inwards instead of outwards and working out what position they might adopt this week. It will be very difficult for Ms Sturgeon at this week’s FMQs to keep a straight face when Douglas Ross gets to his feet!

And before the Labour Party get too far ahead of themselves, political journalists would do well to remind the likes of Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry, Lisa Nandy and David Lammy that they campaigned tirelessly at the last General Election to make Jeremy Corbyn the next British Prime Minster. Don’t let them forget that and be careful what you wish for.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh

Narrow view

If James Watson seriously thinks that the only reason for the 148 anti-Johnson votes was a fixed penalty fine, he is either being disingenuous or has been living on another planet for the last few years (Letters, 8 June). I suspect the former, and suggest that he should at least give his political opponents some credit for their wider perspective!

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Robert Bowers, Longniddry, East Lothian

Ride a dark horse

I fully support my MP John Lamont and the other Conservative MPs who voted against Boris Johnson. Most Scots now see Boris as a richt scunner. Our bellicose Foreign Secretary, and other Cabinet ministers, claim that it's time to draw a line and move on.

No it isn't. With 40 per cent of Tory MP s having no confidence in the Prime Minister that is impossible. Boris must go. The PM s supporters claim there is no obvious successor. That is the whole point of a leadership contest: to find a successor out of 359 MPs. History shows a dark horse can emerge to take the laurels.

However, one good thing emerges from this imbroglio – we see democracy in action. Meanwhile the SNP continues to impose a Stalinist grip on its politicians preventing any dissent.

William Loneskie, Oxton, Lauder, Berwickshire

End of the line?

The SNP have described the UK’s decision to withdraw £3 billion funding for an HS2 extension to Scotland as “sleekit” and “cowardly” (your report, 8 June), but the SNP have always been against this project, I have never heard them say a word in favour of it, and every chance they have had they have suggested alternative uses for the money.

So perhaps, then, the UK government have formed the impression that we don’t want it, and therefore, this has been an easy decision for them to make.

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To be clear, I am all in favour of an HS2 extension to Scotland as connectivity is increasingly going to determine the strength of our economy in the future. For us to have an HS2 line to London, and the various side branches as well, we need a line from our Central Belt to London. The UK government are doing their bit in England.

Withdrawing the funding changes the dynamics of the discussion on this, and probably for the better. In Scotland, if we want this line, we now have to start making the case for it, something which the SNP have never been willing to do, presumably because they see anything that strengthens our connections to England as a bad thing.

As it is a transport project, an area of devolved responsibility, it would be a perfectly reasonable suggestion that we should pay for an HS2 line in Scotland, or at least part of it. So, we should have been delighted that the UK government had planned to invest in this. The surly response over many years has now led to this outcome. Surprise, surprise.

But the main question is, do we want this or not? The SNP seem to not want their cake, but still retain the right to eating the ingredients. That is not the way the world works, as we have just found out.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Off the rails

May I sincerely thank the rail unions for their advance notification of potential disruption. I have been considering moving my “retirement transport” to rail and investing in a senior rail card. The union has saved many hours of deliberations as to whether costs and reliability of service were realistic compared with alternatives.

The problem is solved – I'll stick to car and bus as already high costs will likely soar after a settlement and I suspect service will decline as it did after the last dispute many years ago.

Thank you.

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James Watson, Dunbar, East Lothian

In your eyes

Articles on greenhouse gas emissions are almost always accompanied by photographs of power station’s cooling towers belching out “smoke”, including those in The Scotsman.

A further example appears in your edition of 8 June. The “smoke” is actually totally harmless, clean water vapour, but there is no end to the nonsense peddled by the sanctimonious green lobby.

David Hollingdale, Edinburgh

Sunshine state

In their demand for expensive CO2 reduction, could the net zero movement explain why they exclude the unalterable effect of the Sun from their considerations.

Also, as CO2 is vital for plant and crop growth, in a world now desperate for food, by how much do they want to reduce CO2, and if it is reduced by too much, and crops are inadequate or fail, how quickly can it be brought back to the correct level?

Indeed, do they actually know what the correct level should be, or is it all guesswork?

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Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood, Kinross

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