Not much to show after 13 years of SNP, The Courier, D Munro, 15/12/20.
Since the nationalisation of Prestwick in 2013, the Scottish Government has spent millions on an airport with no flights and, last year, the purchase of a shipyard with no orders – except for those that drove it to bankruptcy. According to a parliamentary committee, Nicola Sturgeon’s government oversaw a “catastrophic failure” in the building of two new ferries and should be investigated by Audit Scotland. The cost of constructing these has risen from £97 million to £200 and the final cost could be £296m. According to the Sunday Times, “Scotland’s industrial white elephants of Prestwick Airport, Ferguson Marine and BiFab have soaked up about £400 million without producing a profit. Two are now in administration and the other could be if we stopped writing the cheques. If it wasn’t for the progress on the smacking ban and a Hate Speech law that could get you a seven-year sentence for something you say in your home, there wouldn’t be much to show for 13 years of SNP government. Denis Munro. Beaumont House, St John’s Place, Perth.
Gunboat diplomacy not welcome but money is, Daily Record, D Bone, 15/12/20.
THE Scottish Justice Secretary says that gunboat diplomacy is “not welcome” in Scottish waters. It seems that the only thing that is welcome in SNP Scotland is the billions of pounds of money from the entire UK tax base. David Bone, Girvan
Stop the briefings, The Herald, J Lax, 15/12/20.
RE your article on George Foulkes contacting Ofcom (“Labour demands impartiality probe into Sturgeon’s daily briefings on BBC”, The Herald, December 14), all I can say is “at long last”. These daily party political broadcasts have gone on far too long and with an election due next year, they cannot be allowed to continue. The questions being asked by the journalists and the answers provided often stray well into the realms of political point-making and are not a health message. If there is anything new to convey to the public, it should be announced in Holyrood allowing for scrutiny by the opposition. Currently, the First Minister’s daily proclamations are providing her with a platform to criticise and lay the blame at Westminster’s feet. Of course, when any questions stray into areas she does not want to discuss, she suddenly does not have the figures to hand or has not seen the item being referred to. How convenient. Having told us she wants to treat us like adults, perhaps she should do just that and get on with the day job of helping businesses to survive this economic challenge rather than furthering her own aims. Jane Lax, Aberlour.
Complex History, The Scotsman, R Scott, 15/12/20.
For far too long the people of Scotland have been inundated, whether they believe it or not, with the ongoing forlorn cries of the disciples of the SNP for, in their own words, “independence”. Firstly, let us define this word which can only be described as being in a state of overuse in Scotland at present. The dictionary indicates that it means (i) a state of being independent; or (2) a country having full sovereignty over its territory. Relatively clear, one might think, but hold on, the status quoin what are often referred to as the British Isles is more complex than SNP members would have us believe. It has to be acknowledged that from a leadership point of view it was a King of Scotland who became the first monarch of what became Great Britain. Then later, in 1707, it was mutually agreed by both the parliaments of England and Scotland that a joint Parliament at Westminster should be formed. When in more recent times, under section 44 of the Scotland Act 1998, the Scottish Executive was formed in Edinburgh, it was with the full agreement of Westminster. Similar local assemblies were created in Wales and Northern Ireland in a move for more decentralisation. In 2014 when the SNP raised the question of Scottish “independence”, discussions with Prime Minister David Cameron eventually led to what was described at the time as a “once in a generation” referendum being held on the subject of Scotland becoming independent of the UK. The SNP campaign was unsuccessful! If the vote had gone the other way, would the SNP have agreed to a plea from the Unionists for a second referendum? I think not! Thus what we now have is an impasse which is appropriately referred to as “Neveren-dum”. In my view, the Scottish Nationalists should be relieved that they were unsuccessful in 2014, especially when one gives consideration to the state of Scotland’s economy under their Administration. One has only to look at the last GERS figures for Scotland — a deficit of 8.6 per cent of GDP, amounting to £15.2 billion. And what will the figures be like once the full effects of the coronavirus pandemic are ultimately felt within the Scottish economy? ROBERT I G SCOTT Northfield, Ceres, Fife