Thank you to Iain Macwhirter. At last a decent balanced report on the issues around immigration (Voices, December 2). As a Dutchman having lived in the UK for over 40 years, predominately in Scotland but also in England for about a decade, it is very sad to see the change in attitude towards foreign Nationals, especially in England.

We are not to blame for the mess UK are in!!

I totally agree with Mr Macwhirter's assessment in last Sunday's paper. When are especially Tory politicians going to tell the truth and accept that there are more important issues to tackle than to pursue a return to an even more antiquated class system favoured by the likes of Rees Mogg?

After 2008, the Tories have managed to create more poverty in the UK than any other party before. Any extreme right-wing or left-wing groups of politicians are too obsessed with pushing their misguided extremist ideologies. Coalition governments are not ideal but at least it keeps a better sight of compromise and what is in the interest of all.

Why not start again from the beginning? As part of Europe we will all be better off (fact). Let's try to change the things we like to change from within, I am sure there are more parties in Europe

that would think likewise. Do it from a position of strength!

In the meantime, let us try to tackle child poverty, social issues and productivity in this country. In all theatres in the world we can see that extreme poverty is a breeding ground for discontent and war, we should all heed the warnings we hear time after time during the remembrance services.

Ron Rietveld

Clynder, Argyll & Bute

When Brexit finally happens I wonder if the leaders of the EU countries will be invited to London for a ceremony to lower the EU flag and hoist Theresa's precious Union Flag.

Bill Kerr


The Scottish fishermen who took part in their industry’s massive campaign in support of leaving the EU should do the honourable thing and refuse any financial support from the £5m of grants about to come in from the E.U. (“£5m boost for Scots fishing industry … from Europe”, News December 2).

The Scottish Government would be better using this public money to strengthen our fishery protection fleet to deal with the fishing free-for-all which will break out around our coast within days of our seas losing the protection of EU fishing conservation quotas.

John F. Robins,

Save Our Seals Fund


I have been reading letters from Martin Redfern for some time but I have no idea what his political beliefs are. Every time he just denigrates Scotland and the SNP, particularly Nicola Sturgeon – just generally SNPBaad!

Last week (Letters, December 2) he mocked Nicola Sturgeon because she feels Scotland’s voice should be heard in any debate about Brexit – how dare she! The fact that UK is proceeding deeper and deeper into the mire pleases him; any attempt to mitigate the damage must come from the Unionist side, DUP anyone? Oh no, they took our money and ran.

Nicola Sturgeon is attempting to save England from itself, as the cacophony in Westminster gets louder, the EU Court of Justice rules against it and Mrs May sits with a fixed grin on her face. As a dedicated Remainer is she doing this to frustrate the Leave minions, or is she just ambitious for herself?

As she keeps parroting “Now is not the time!” – her time has run out – only the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn is left to frighten the weans, and the Tories.

Jim Lynch


In attempting to establish a cross-party coalition around a pro-Remain, anti-Theresa May's deal position, Nicola Sturgeon intentionally sets herself up to fail.

Labour's agreement is what counts but she knows Labour is divided - it willingly opposes what May proposes but pragmatically recognises its voters backed both Leave and Remain. For Labour a unified strong and, unequivocal pro-Remain position risks a backlash in Labour heartlands.

So cue Ms Sturgeon telling us, in tones of faux regret, that she has done her best, yet failed to save the UK from an unacceptable Brexit - and therefore she achieves the goal she's long saught of using Brexit to try to rationalise another demand for indyref2.

Martin Redfern



May I congratulate two MSPs on an invaluable lesson they recently taught to pupils at Larbert High School (News, December 2)?

Having agreed to participate in a "Question Time-style debate" there, they pulled out when they learned "disgraced former MSP" Tommy Sheridan was scheduled to appear on the panel with them, and this highly progressive annual event had to be cancelled "due to a number of last-minute difficulties".

This is a heroic example of a phenomenon which I term SPIVS (the Scottish Parliament's Imposition of Virtue Signalling). Prioritising SPIVS over an important learning opportunity on the occasion may have deprived the students of experience in public speaking, but it was rewards with a much more profound insight.

Which was?

That adults are often far more indulged, infantile, insubordinate and insulated than young people are.

(Trigger warning: personally, I suspect the disapora of young talented Scots leaving this land on account of SPIVS shall make their European counterparts fleeing because of Brexit seem like a trickle by comparison.)

Archie Beaton


So, the fatal accident inquiry is to take place nearly five and a half years after the event. Time will have dimmed memories and recollections.Why is the system so over-burdened that delays of this magnitude occur?

This by far from being a unique case. It is an outrage that families and friends of those that die in accidents have to wait what must seem an interminable time to learn what happened to their loved ones,if in fact they do, because of the delay.

This is a system not fit for purpose. Action is required. Is anyone listening?

Colin McPhie


The UN Environmental Program recently said that the voluntary – note the word voluntary – national contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions agreed three years ago in Paris would have to triple if the world was to cap global warming below 2C.

It will not happen. The US has reiterated its decision to "withdraw" from the Paris agreement and the new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has signified his intent to withdraw from the accord. This is expected to lead other nations pulling out of the Paris agreement.

It is ironic that the two-week UN climate summit is in Katowice Poland, the "coal capital" of Europe, and that the Polish government has just announced plans to open a new coal mine.

There is clearly no global willingness of 183 countries to treble CO2 reductions despite all the alarmist predictions, but the UN no doubt will dress up the conference as a success. The UK and Scotland, two of only a handful of nations to have legally binding Climate Change Acts, should repeal them, slash renewables subsidies and grow the economy.

Clark Cross