SNP’s minimum pricing

Douglas Mayer (24 December) does a good job of regurgitating the SNP party line on why John Swinney reached a new height of hypocrisy in his recent budget, that all problems stem from the now long departed Labour administrations and no matter what powers are devolved the evil Tories will render them ineffective and austerity will continue as part of a dastardly unionist plot to keep Scotland in its place.

From the recent polls it seems that a large section of the Scottish voting public either buy this or aren’t paying attention any more and will still back the SNP next May.

Accepting Mr Mayer’s position however means that devolution does not and will not ever work. If this is how nationalists think then if the SNP really want to be “stronger for Scotland” they should return to being a party of protest, withdraw their candidates for Holyrood to a campsite in front of the parliament and let the parties who want to use devolved powers for the good of all take their seats inside.

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Dr SJ Clark

Easter Road, Edinburgh

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I was not at all surprised to see the European Court of Justice found the current Scottish minimum pricing proposals contrary to EU law and have accordingly rejected the proposal.

The main difficulty with the Scottish minimum pricing proposals is that they do not take account of any review of effectiveness and have simply handed out bigger profits to the off licences and supermarkets instead of having any tax revenue that could be invested into programmes for those with alcohol dependency problems. If the SNP administration had made more effort and initiative in thinking through the proposals thoroughly on a taxation basis then it may have speeded up the process of getting EC approval which will now go through the complicated legal system for many years to come.

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Dennis Forbes Grattan

Mugiemoss Road, Buckburn, Aberdeen

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Now that the SNP plan for minimal pricing for alcohol has fallen foul of EU law, is it too much to hope that the nats will see that their plan for ‘independence in Europe’, will see many other plans fall foul too? You cannot be “independent in Europe”!

This forthcoming EU referendum is going to be very interesting!

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William Ballantine

Dean Road, Bo’ness