Scotsman Letters: Short-term lets licensing just another layer of SNP bureacracy

I have just learned that First Minister Humza Yousaf and his merry band are about to interfere in the business of short-term lets within the tourism industry.
There are complaints that short-term lets licensing will only mean added expense for those engaged in this sector of the economyThere are complaints that short-term lets licensing will only mean added expense for those engaged in this sector of the economy
There are complaints that short-term lets licensing will only mean added expense for those engaged in this sector of the economy

Just more SNP bureaucracy, and added expense for those who are engaged in this sector of the economy.

Licensing costs will extend from £86 to £24,000, but to what end? It could affect holiday cottages, bed and breakfasts, guest houses, pods and yurts.

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But since the current Scottish Government's record of handling its own administration could well be described as sub-standard, how on earth are they going to make marked improvements to the Scottish tourist industry?

This is just more bunkum and red-tape from a failed administration. It is not new regulations we need – it is a change of government!

Robert I. G. Scott, Ceres, Fife

GERS figures

It isn’t always gratifying to be proved right. In my letter on Friday (Letters, August 18), I said: ‘Scarcely does the ink dry on the GERS figures each year before Scottish separatists are out of the traps spreading propaganda to try to discredit the figures’.

I hadn’t expected that, on the same letters page, Leah Gunn Barrett would be giving a rendition of denial.

The GERS, she tells us, ‘are made up numbers with no basis in reality and are another example of the lies the UK Government spews about Scotland to keep us locked in its death grip’.

This is utterly bizarre. The GERS is produced for the Scottish government by its own statisticians and was described by Alex Salmond as long ago as 2012 as having ‘kitemark’ status.

The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) agrees. Its reports on the GERS defend the use of ‘estimates’, which are sophisticated compilations and not mere random guesses, and it points out, fairly sternly, that the GERS figures should be defended: ‘We can’t think of any other government statistical publication – and a national statistics publication at that – that is subject to such criticism and attack…. much more could be done by government to defend these statistics and proactively clear up misunderstandings’.

Still, Ms Barrett may well be like some nationalists on social media who are now reduced to disparaging the respected Fraser of Allander Institute because they think they know better than its experts.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

Letby baby killings

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The actions of former nurse Lucy Letby involving the murder of babies in her care are a complete betrayal of the dedicated health professionals who look after us day-in and day-out and ensure that our society can function properly.

It's obviously an extremely isolated event, but it has shone the spotlight on how a maverick individual can carry on with her nefarious activities and not be stopped by the people who are paid to ensure the safety of patients being cared for within the NHS.

It's unbelievable that warnings from senior doctors about Letby's dubious conduct were ignored by hospital leaders for fear of upsetting the applecart, thereby arguably resulting in the deaths of more babies.

If established, the lack of action by hospital leaders should surely border on criminal neglect and an unfitness to be in any position of authority. No doubt at the end of the day it will be proclaimed that 'lessons will be learned', a phrase which has become meaningless as nothing ever seems to change!

Bob MacDougall, Kippen

Linehan gagging

Whatever has happened to the right of free speech in Edinburgh, the city of enlightenment?

Father Ted writer Graham Linehan has had his stand-up comedy gig on the Edinburgh Fringe cancelled twice (The Scotsman, August 18).

Apparently, this is because the staff of the two venues, where his show was booked, object to his views on gender issues.

This follows earlier controversy when MP Joanna Cherry was allowed only to use Leith Arches, one of the same venues, after she threatened legal action.

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After being cancelled by two Edinburgh venues, in protest Graham Linehan is to be congratulated for appearing at a performance of his Comedy Unleashed show in the open air outside the Scottish Parliament.

Not allowing a comedy event to take place during Edinburgh’s world-famous arts festival seems incredible and could be viewed as an infringement of free speech.

More worrying, however, is the possibility that this heralds Scotland becoming a fascist state where the views of only certain citizens are allowed!

Sally Gordon-Walker, Edinburgh

Russian aggression

The occasional apologists for Russia in your columns should reflect on this 55th anniversary of the second invasion of Czechoslovakia in 30 years (1938 and 1968) that any ceding of Ukrainian land to its current invader is highly unlikely to be its final demand.

After all, as a joint signatory to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, Russia was a guarantor of Ukraine's security and her then borders, a commitment which it unilaterally broke, unprovoked, in February, 2022.

As the late, lamented Mikhail Gorbachev confirmed, there was never any Nato promise not to extend its membership to Ukraine.

RIP The Prague Spring, August 21, 1968.

John Birkett, St Andrews

Blessed silence?

In space no one can hear you scream!’.

Well, that may be about to change if they send Brian Blessed up! (The Scotsman. August 17).

John V. Lloyd, Inverkeithing, Fife

Write to The Scotsman

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