Scotsman readers' letters: SNP insistence on Scots difference is harmful

Yet another example of the bafflement of devolved authority is the restrictions on hospitality businesses imposed by the SNP in the period to New Year’s Day, while in England, such restrictions are not applied.

Tougher restrictions on hospitality in Scotland mean it won't be a happy Hogmanay for most pubs (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Tougher restrictions on hospitality in Scotland mean it won't be a happy Hogmanay for most pubs (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Why is it so vitally necessary for the SNP to continue this dichotomy of restriction while small businesses go to the wall?

The UK is a small nation of similar culture and behaviours. When will the SNP give up its destructive mission to somehow insist that the people of Scotland are somehow different from everyone else?

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Derek Farmer, Anstruther, Fife

Uyghurs ‘valued’

I refer to David Tobin’s article “How tribunal came to rule that China is guilty of genocide” (Perspective, 17 December). In fact, this so-called Uyghur tribunal and the accusation of genocide has no legal standing in the UK, nor internationally.

Xinjiang is a wonderful multi-ethnic region of China and the Uyghurs are a highly valued community. Unfortunately, militant separatists acting under the guise of religion succumbed to acts of terrorism. From the 1990s, thousands of terrorist atrocities were inflicted on the people of Xinjiang, with many inhabitants coerced or enticed to engage in terrorist and extremist activities.

As in other regions of the world, China took necessary measures, including vocational education and training centres, to stem these atrocities. As a result of these measures, the lives of ordinary people in Xinjiang have greatly improved and we have seen no violent terrorist atrocities over the last five years.

Over the past 60 years, Xinjiang’s GDP has surged by more than 200 times. All 3.09 million impoverished people in Xinjiang have been lifted out of poverty. From the 1950s to 2020, the Uyghur population increased from 3.6 million to 11.6 million.

More than ten spoken and written languages of different ethnic groups are used, with the local broadcasting service offering 12 radio channels in five languages, including Uyghur and Kazak.

The Chinese Constitution makes it clear that people of all ethnic groups are equal members of the larger family of China and the government implements favourable policies for all our ethnic minorities.

Being a member of the Hui people, another Chinese ethnic minority, I have witnessed the world’s most successful implementation of ethnic policies in China. As President Xi Jinping stated, people of all ethnic groups remain closely united like seeds of a pomegranate.

A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. The liars’ attempt is doomed to fail.

Ma Qiang, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh

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How an independent tribunal came to rule that China is guilty of genocide agains...

Soviet Scotland

So the Scottish Government doesn’t trust parents, hence the Named Person scheme, nor jurors to decide verdicts in rape trials, hence the Lord Advocate’s calling for a debate on doing away with them, nor by virtue of the Hate Crime Act even people’s conversations in their own homes. At the same time, “Named Persons”, judges, the police and social workers are implicitly trusted.

Not just a pattern, but a philosophy is revealed. On the one hand every private individual is distrusted, and on the other, every servant of the state is above suspicion.

Such a totalitarian mentality should have no place in a democracy under the rule of law.

That it is displayed utterly brazenly in Scotland speaks volumes about the Soviet type of Scotland that the SNP leadership wish to create and the amazingly complete lack of credible opposition that they face.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife

Don’t blame sun

Charles Wardrop tries to shift the blame for global warming from CO2 emissions by invoking other dubious mechanisms (Letters, 28 December).

However, he is mistaken in claiming that cosmic rays are an influence. A study by Professor Terry Sloan of Lancaster University and Prof Sir Arnold Wolfendale of Durham University looked for the evidence for this claim and found none. They found that variations in solar radiation and cosmic rays could not have caused more than 10 per cent of the warming observed in the 20th century and concluded that the phenomenon is not a “significant underestimated contributor to the global warming”. Other physicists have come to the same conclusion.Mr Wardrop is also mistaken about solar activity, which is not “waning”. At present the sun is beginning cycle 25, expected to peak in 2025 with no forseeable effect on climate.It is true that water vapour is a greenhouse gas but it is not the main driver, just an amplifier of the main drivers (CO2 and methane). With rising temperatures, more water vapour is added to the atmosphere.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

Bright future

Martin O'Gorman wonders about the “security implications” of a fossil-fuel and nuclear-free Scotland (Letters, 27 December). We would just have to rely on Scottish wind, rain, wave and tide, possibly with an electricity interconnect to Norway.

He also asks about the long-term economic consequences of “being outside both the UK and the EU”. We would just have to reconcile ourselves to a standard of living more aligned with that of Norway and Switzerland rather than with that of England.

George Shering, Newport-on-Tay

Cycle of life

Roz Boynton (Legal Affairs, 27 December) is right to highlight the dangers of cycling, but does not cover all aspects of the problem. Cyclists have a right to cycle on our highways, but every right has an equivalent responsibility.

Cyclists need to accept that, in reality, most vehicle drivers are looking out for other vehicles, not for cyclists. Wrong, but there it is.

Cyclists therefore have responsibility to take all possible steps to ensure that they will be seen.

For instance, how many of the cyclists she mentions were showing the high-intensity (annoying but effective) front lights that some display? Or were wearing the (unsightly but effective) full yellow/fluorescent jackets which some others wear?

Most of the cyclists I see – whether locally or in Edinburgh – have none of these and, especially in this low winter sunlight on shady roads, can fail to stand out visually.

But how does one get this message across to these cyclists?

Adair Anderson, Selkirk

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