Scotland on Sunday letters

Have your say

Withholding votes is the best way to bring about change

BRITAIN desperately needs political revolution. We allow ourselves to be ruled by reeking hypocrites who see us not as fellow humans but as votes, in pursuit of which they promise/threaten anything, however outlandish.

The same George Osborne who now vacuously berates tax avoidance as “morally repugnant” is on record recommending “clever financial products” as a means of avoiding care home costs and inheritance tax liability.

Meanwhile, his Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls recommends insistence on receipts for odd jobs in order to stem the perceived haemorrhage of government-due tax. Not that he observes this personal penance, mind you: he apparently requires no receipts from his window cleaner, while he and his MP wife between them reclaimed £2,640 – from us, of course – for unreceipted work done.

We have the power to change all this: don’t vote for any of them. Withholding our mandate is the most powerful weapon available to us, and we should use it to full effect. Belgium managed to survive 589 days with no government, so it can be done.

Robert Dow, Tranent

Tax loopholes need to be closed

WITH regard to Scotland, May’s general election is the SNP’s to lose. The Tories are toxic here because the people are opposed to a government that cares for only an elite few.

It has taken time since the death of old Labour for many to realise that their party now intends to proceed on the same principle: austerity rules for the vast multitude, but not for the super-rich.

Any accountant worth his salt will advise his clients on how they can avoid tax. That is their function; but it should be the function of the government to stay well ahead of the smartest accountants.

Instead of hassling Joe Taxpayer to get his income tax return in on time, HMRC should be clamouring for all tax loopholes to be closed, permanently. If a country allows individuals the opportunity to amass a fortune, the country’s fiscal system should ensure that a fair portion of that fortune is returned to the exchequer in tax.

Joseph G Miller, Dunfermline

Power cable can work both ways

THE BBC1 Countryfile programme on 8 February reported on a plan to lay an offshore cable from Glasgow to Liverpool at a cost of £1 billion so that Scotland may export its unpredictable and sporadic wind-generated electricity south. Scottish wind farms are already paid millions of pounds when they do not produce electrical power – surely the Government/National Grid are not so stupid to consider spending such sums of money for the same end?

It would make much more sense if the real reason for this cable is to eventually export electricity to Scotland from cheap and relatively clean gas-fired power stations of the efficient CCGT variety – a consequence of the potential Lancashire shale gas bonanza.

Dave Haskell, Cardigan

This leader’s a great role model

PITY our media doesn’t permit more mention of one world president who comes across as a breath of fresh air. The president of Uruguay, José Mujica, could teach the rest of the big office people a thing or two about humility and humanity that most of the world’s presidents and rulers seldom indicate. Here is the president of his country who eschews 90 per cent of his salary, which goes instead to charity. He lives on a small peasant farm along a dirt track, doesn’t believe in wearing a tie and takes part in important national meetings wearing sandals. His mode of transport is a 1980s Volkswagen Beetle that, it was recently reported, he was offered 
$1 million for by an Arab sheikh. President Mujica said that if he got $1m for the car he would donate the cash to a housing the homeless project that he supports.

Ian Johnstone, Peterhead

Cuba responsible for own problems

IN HIS article on US-Cuba relations (Another Voice, 15 February), Brian Wilson describes American “vindictiveness” but pretends that the Cuban Communist dictatorship that has ruled for more than 50 years is not vindictive, despite its well-documented totalitarianism.

As for “economic attrition”, the Cuban government’s Communist economic policy is, in effect, an economic embargo on every individual resident in the country since they are forbidden from trading freely with each other. To say that individuals in Cuba should be free to trade with individuals in America but not with each other is basic stupidity.

The simple fact is that Cuba’s only success has been to impose Marxist-Leninism and then blame others for that system’s effective ban on production, something that other Marxist-Leninist governments have not been able to achieve.

Bruce Crichton, Falkirk