Why voting Conservative is the only option for unionists and Brexiters - readers' letters

A reader deploys a process of elimination to decide which part deserves his support at the ballot box.

The voting choice for the General Election can be made simple if one is a unionist or Brexiteer. It is simply a question of elimination.

For the unionists the parties that can be eliminated are obviously the SNP, Greens and Alba. What is left? Conservative, Labour, Lib Dems and Reform.

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For the Brexiteers the Lib Dems have always made it clear that they would like to re-join the EU therefore that would rule them out. As Keir Starmer keeps changing his mind on everything, no matter what he says, he cannot be trusted not to also push for re-joining the EU so that would rule Labour out.

Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail - but is his party the natural home for unionists and Brexit supporters? (Picture: James Manning/PA Wire)Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail - but is his party the natural home for unionists and Brexit supporters? (Picture: James Manning/PA Wire)
Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail - but is his party the natural home for unionists and Brexit supporters? (Picture: James Manning/PA Wire)

What parties does that leave? The Conservatives and Reform.

Whilst Reform would appear to have Britain’s interests at heart, it is possible that some of their members may be so right wing as to be closer to the BNP.

What then is left? Conservative. Although they have a tendency occasionally of shooting themselves in the foot, they are the only ones to be relied on to stop the break-up of Britain and maintaining our independence from Europe, besides having clear intentions on illegal immigration and plans to call a halt to the political correctness slowly engulfing us.

Gordon Bannatyne, Milton of Campsie, East Dunbartonshire

Say no to EU

I received SNP candidate Robert Leslie’s election leaflet through the post today. At number six in his front-page wish list is “Re-join the EU”.

I do not want to be in a political union, the European Union – that is why I voted Leave in 2016. The EU is a political project that looks to incorporate all nation states into that union, with all the nations being subservient.

The SNP, and other members of the EU Supporters Club, should pay more attention to what is actually happening in the EU. Utopia, it is not.

The voters in the EU are revolting. Farming protests have been taking place all over the EU this year. This is because of the EU Green Deal, which, remarkably, is aiming to make the production of food and meat, at best, awkward. The Farmers Party in the Netherlands has won seats in Senate and in EU elections due to public unease over the implications of the Green Deal.

The unelected head of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, has suggested the need for an EU-wide digital ID, “that any citizen can use anywhere in Europe, to do anything from paying your taxes to renting a bicycle” – oh, and handy for keeping track of what citizens are up to as well. Big Brother!

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Scotland is not independent in the UK. An independent Scotland cannot be independent in the EU. Scotland can be independent, or it can be in either union.

Brian Nugent, Burra, Shetland Islands

Brexit blunder

Murdo Fraser is at it again. Not content with endorsing Liz Truss’s Tory leadership bid (how did that work out for our mortages and pensions?), now he’s lecturing us on why a future independent Scotland should not be in Europe (Scotsman, 19 June).

This ardent Brexiteer leaves out of his column a few facts about the costs of not being in the EU. A recent report by Cambridge Econmetrics estimates the UK economy to be £140 billion worse off than if we’d stayed in the EU. The average Scot is £2,000 worse off. Still, it could be worse – the average Londoner is £3,400 worse off. Loss of jobs, loss of skills from the NHS and the trade deals that never materialised – once again, like with Liz Truss, Mr Fraser shows he has no business lecturing people.

He should be content that Holyrood still uses the silly list system that has kept him in parliament for more than 20 years despite the fact that no-one has ever voted for him and nobody in their right mind would, based on his bizarre right-wing views.

Alexander Lunn, Edinburgh

Results matter

John Swinney claims the SNP manifesto is the most left-wing of this election, doubtless because he believes the majority in Scotland are positioned left of centre.

Yet for all who care about actual results rather than empty promises, the SNP’s dreadful record of under-delivery and missed targets across every critical sector of public services surely outweighs where they position themselves on the political spectrum.

This SNP Scottish Government under each of the last three First Ministers has been big on grand pronouncements and paltry on performance.

John Swinney and his leadership team have proven over many years that they are found wanting when it comes to tackling the big challenges of government. As for a claim of being the most ‘left-wing’, the First Minister should remember that incompetence is not rendered more attractive by being delivered in a politically correct fashion.

Keith Howell, West Linton, Scottish Borders

Expensive folly

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It was a relief when the bottle Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) was abandoned, after it emerged that due diligence had not been carried out to ascertain that it was entirely viable. Those of us who recycle all kinds of bottles through the council’s kerbside collections did not want to have to convey empty bottles to some retail outlet at great inconvenience.

Now, however, it transpires that Biffa, the company entrusted with the mechanics of the DRS, is taking court action against the Scottish Government to recover the £200 million it claims it has cost them to invest in equipment for the scheme (Scotsman, 20 June). If Biffa wins its case, the £200m will of course be paid by the long-suffering taxpayer and not by government ministers, past or present.

The DRS was to be a purely Scottish scheme and was promoted by the SNP government as such. Scotland would get in ahead of the rest of the UK with a ‘green’ project, and would gain kudos for that. But entrusting the detail of the DRS to the Green MSP and minister, Lorna Slater, was always risky. Ms Slater’s arrogance and slapdash approach are well-known, and, sure enough, she did not check that her legislation was compatible with the UK’s Internal Market Act. Nevertheless, she gave Biffa written assurances that her scheme was fit to proceed – wrongly, as it turned out.

Given that this was an SNP government project, would it not have been appropriate for John Swinney to include in his election manifesto a promise to investigate the requirements for all projected legislation before taking it to Holyrood for consideration?

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

Irrelevant views

Why is it that the UK media believes the electorate are remotely interested in the political views of public figures such as Sir Jim Ratcliffe (business owner) and Brian Cox (actor), to name but two?

Ratcliffe bailed out from Britain to live in the tax haven of Monaco whilst Cox lives in America and yet they continually get their views on what is best for Britain aired on television or in the press. Neither I believe are UK tax-payers or I would think use the NHS or any other public service.

It is high time their views were deemed irrelevant. The fact is, such individuals will sail their views in the direction of what ever favourable wind is forecast.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh

Avoiding the issue

Jim Houston’s faith in politicians must have reached an all-time low if he believes that they cannot differentiate between tax avoidance and tax evasion (Letters, 19 June), when he refers to a mistake in the Labour Party’s manifesto.

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Their plan, I imagine, is to reduce the opportunities for legal tax avoidance, but I wish them luck with that. The resources available to HMRC to tackle this issue are probably vastly outweighed by those deployed by high earners who can call upon the best legal and tax advice available to take full advantage of current legislation. Or maybe the Labour Party has a cunning plan to make avoidance illegal too?

Alan Gall, Edinburgh

All that jazz

Radio Scotland’s programming continues to feel lopsided. It contains vast dollops of political discussion and football commentary while much else is ignored.

Even within that context, though, it is disappointing that since axing its excellent weekly programme Jazz Nights last year, the station has lacked any regular jazz programming. Scotland’s vibrant jazz scene faces challenges. Reintroducing a regular jazz slot on Radio Scotland would be a helpful step in the right direction..

Christopher Ruane, Lanark, South Lanarkshire

Glove doesn’t fit

Decentralised direct democracy devolving power to the regions and municipalities may well fit an independent Scotland like a glove, as Leah Gunn Barrett suggests (Letters, 19 June), but not if it is ruled by the SNP, which currently forbids local authorities to have any say in setting their levels of funding, and proposes the creation of a National Care Service by transferring care services from them to a central body.

The SNP is very keen on centralisation, as manifested by its creation of Police Scotland to become in officer numbers the second biggest force in the UK and by far the largest in geographical coverage.

And as for Ms Barrett’s notion that whenever the Scottish dog tries to run, Westminster tugs on the leash to bring it back into line, my personal experience is just the opposite.

My report on the 1996 E.coli outbreak in central Scotland trod on toes south of the border, but our barking won the day UK-wide even though it came from Edinburgh.

Hugh Pennington, Aberdeen

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