Stop blaming politicians for the bad choices we make in our lives

I have a legitimate interest in that. My estranged father died 20 years ago when I was 20 from complications of his alcoholism. Did I miss the part where Tony Blair and Jack McConnell pour his drink? Unfortunately, sometimes people just make bad decisions.

David Bone, Girvan.

We can never improve in Britain

DOUGLAS Ross’ “Economic Strategy” (“Douglas Ross’s Economic Plan Hides an Electoral Attack Plan,” The Herald, August 30) reveals that he fails to understand the limits of decentralization or Britain’s post-Brexit economic disarray. With economic growth of 3.3% of GDP in the second quarter of this year, Ireland recorded the highest per capita figure among the 38 OECD countries, compared with just 0.20% in the UK.

Denmark’s wealth per capita is almost twice that of Scotland and it is the world leader in wind turbine manufacturing thanks to government investment, while Norway is even wealthier as the government, unlike the UK, uses part of its oil revenues to modernize its wind turbines shipyards used. The country is now the world leader in the construction of cruise ships and Norway has already set up a hydrogen fuel cell ferry service. However, in Scotland there is not even a manufacturer of electrolysers to turn our excess water and electricity into hydrogen and oxygen, nor a manufacturer of fuel cells to power this rapidly growing renewable energy source.

Scotland does not have the financial clout to match our wealthy independent Nordic neighbors or Ireland, while the UK’s support for renewable energy pales in comparison to Germany’s £50bn next year.

Denmark, Norway and Ireland all enjoy a higher standard of living than the UK, while Denmark, with much higher personal taxes, has GDP growth of 1.7%, around eight times better than the UK. These small countries offer better national pensions and welfare benefits compared to the UK, let alone Scotland, far fewer people live in poverty and result in fewer drug and alcohol-related deaths.

With Westminster continuity candidate Sir Keir Starmer’s recent reversal in introducing a wealth tax for the super-rich and his refusal to rejoin the EU, the UK has no prospect of higher living standards or significant economic growth.

FraserGrant, Edinburgh.

• IF Leah Gunn Barratt (Letters, 31 August) is correct in her belief that Douglas Ross is actively not disclosing the proportional value of Scottish wealth to the UK economy as a whole, then why can’t the Scottish Government simply produce a detailed, transparent report ? Is there a credible argument to invalidate Mr Ross’s secrecy?

Laurence Wade, Ayr.

Read more: SNP made fatal missteps in the fight against alcohol-related deaths

The unions should support the SNP

“WITHOUT Social Security, society is a jungle,” were the profound words of Jimmy Reid, quoted by Fraser McAllister in his August 26 letter. Surely it’s time for the Scottish Trades Union Congress to represent its members and put their money where their mouth is? Or should we just conclude that, like the Labor Party in Scotland, it is merely a branch acting on behalf of the London gentlemen?

Now that Sir Keir Starmer and the Labor Party have resigned from almost every socialist political commitment that Anas Sarwar and his Labor Party colleagues in Scotland have expressed in recent years, it is certainly time for Scottish unions to show their support give up for Labor and support the SNP.

At least half the population overall supports independence and it is believed that almost 75 per cent of Scottish union members support the principle of self-determination, reflecting the commendable aspirations of the founders of the Independent Labor Party (1893), chaired by trade union organizer Keir Hardie. These aspirations are more likely to be achieved with a strong SNP representing the interests of the Scottish people than with more Labor MPs following Sir Keir Starmer’s short-sighted direction.

Furthermore, with the prospect of another referendum, or preferably a vote for immediate independence at the next general election, workers in Scotland could finally achieve socialist governance free from the interference of right-wing interests that heavily influence government from London (regardless of if). Labor or the Tories are in power in Westminster).

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.

Treating migrants as criminals

OUT of that bottomless pocket known as the UK national debt, the UK government has paid Rwanda £140m in advance, at an estimated cost of £169,000 for each person sent there.

How many did we send? Um, none.

We have now committed to paying France £480m over three years to ‘stop the boats’. That didn’t work too well either.

How many heads of government have overcome this fiasco? none.

Now we have created a monstrous prison ship in Portland, Dorset. The water supply was stricken with Legionnaires’ disease and the government planned to more than double the capacity to 500 people. It has been classified as hazardous, a health and safety hazard, and life-threatening by the firefighters union. Of course, this was rejected by the government. I hope and pray this isn’t another Grenfell.

It looks like the government intends to post 24/7 security guards around the ship and impose strict curfews, and it hasn’t ruled out electronic tags for everyone. Is it fanciful to suggest that if we treat people like criminals, they are more likely to actually behave like criminals?

When will people realize that “asylum seekers” and “migrants” are actually people like you and me?

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.

Read more: We must not abandon the innocent poor people of India

Shame on the aid cuts

If my letter (August 28) caused a debate in your columns, which seems to have been the case, then I can’t say I’m disappointed with the outcome.

There was inevitably a number of inaccuracies, and in some cases misleading information, to which I would like to respond.

James Hardy (Letters, August 29) made some interesting comments on the gap between government and the governed, and as that was my main theme it would be difficult to disagree with much of what he wrote. However, I can’t help but say that the cost to UK taxpayers must be well in excess of our limited aid to the poor in India since Stormont has been gone for ages.

While I was flattered by the comparison to the late and justly respected John Smith, I think Marjorie Ellis Thompson (Letters, 29 August) was a bit harsh on Keir Starmer and the Labor front bench. When they take over the burden of office next year, which I think they will, they will again inherit a terrible mess. I think it’s fair to give them a chance before jumping to judgment. I am confident that they will rescue Britain from the lingering rubble we have witnessed.

In his original August 25 letter, Alan McGibbon said: “Britain has given India £2.3 billion in foreign aid.” He needs to know that the figure he has given is not aid at all. The report he mentions in his August 30 letter is actually an example of a corporate investment venture benefiting the UK.

After the shameful abolition of the Department for International Development, which in fairness was retained by David Cameron and Theresa May, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office made its position clear. It said: “Since 2015, the UK has not provided any financial assistance to the Government of India. The bulk of our funding is now focused on business investments that help create new markets for the UK and India.” Shamefully, under the last three Conservative Prime Ministers, the UN target has been cut from 0.7% of GDP to 0.5% lowered. My basis for complaining about cuts in aid to India’s poorest people was vindicated when the same report said: “UK aid to India is fragmented, lacking strategy and unsatisfactory in many areas.” reputable body would find it difficult to find accurate evidence of abuse, then surely Mr McGibbon’s bar is set very high.

Sir Tom Clarke, former MP and former Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Coatbridge.

Make private operations tax deductible

A REPORT by Age Concern Scotland has revealed that one in three older people in Scotland have either paid for, or intended to, pay for private medical treatment to avoid long NHS waiting lists. After years of paying their taxes, these people have been abandoned by this extremely wasteful Scottish government and are forced to use their savings. Private medical care takes some of the pressure off the NHS so the cost of such surgeries should be tax deductible.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Grace Reader

TheHitc is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button