Trust in democracy? You're fooling nobody

I noted with amusement that our latest London Tory Party ruler Boris promises to restore trust in our democracy. We all know he is not serious, but this takes the biscuit.

Scotland, by nearly 2:1 voted to remain in Europe. All opinion polls and our votes at elections show that our opinions against Brexit, and especially a tragic no-deal cliff-fall Brexit, have strengthened since.

Seventy per cent of Scottish voters opposed the Tories at the last general election. At the recent European election, opposition to the Tories strengthened to 90% – a staggering rejection of Tory rule by Scotland.

And Boris’ plan to restore our trust in democracy? Simple. He puts in place the most right-wing government ever, and plans to take Scotland out of Europe at any cost against our clearest wishes. And his second priority (after wrecking our economy via hard Brexit) is a further tax handout to his rich banker old Etonian mates.

When this latest bung to the rich is the final straw for Scotland and we demand another chance to break free from these odious Tory shackles, what is his plan then? Well it’s to tell the people of Scotland to shut up and take our toxic Tory medicine.

Trust in democracy Boris? You are fooling nobody except the relatively few ageing members of the Tory Party who put you in power. Sickening.

K Heath


If anyone criticises the BBC TV News from London for ignoring a Scottish issue, the knee-jerk fall-back BBC position is to argue that Scottish viewers were catered for on BBC Scotland TV or Radio Scotland bulletins.

Recently this technique was used to justify the long-lingering BBC News coverage of England in the Netball World Cup, with a couple of derisory comments on Scotland and Northern Ireland competing too.

This week we have seen the devastating Lord Ashcroft opinion poll, confirming Scottish support for independence had reached 52%. Surely, one would have thought, of significance as BBC News analyses the impact of Brexit?

It was covered extensively by STV News, Scottish local commercial radio stations, made the front page of many important Scottish newspapers, with in-depth analysis by among others The Herald, as well as Reuters, ITN, Euronews, some European newspapers etc.

However, London-based BBC News and even, disappointingly, BBC "Reporting Scotland" didn't have a cheep. 24 hours later it got a brief reference but only as part of a wider discussion on the controversial remarks by John McDonnell, which highlighted splits within the Labour Party on the granting of indyref2.

Yet more than half the BBC news bulletins were covering the latest of the ghastly US shootings, which are sadly daily and suggest lazy journalism, as the BBC latches on to extensive US coverage with little pertinence to us: unlike the pending break-up of the United Kingdom.

Are we a "faraway country of which we know nothing"?

John V Lloyd


I must say I am impressed by Keith Howell’s ability to shed crocodile tears for the poor beleaguered Scottish voters trying to escape one Union (definite capital “U”) and having to vote to re-enter Europe.

He, as all Unionists do, manages to mix up the two Unions; the one we wish to leave is the one entered into by bribery and corruption, with an English army ready to invade Scotland.

Let me put his confused mind at rest – once we become an independent country again, our democratically elected parliament will assess whether we wish to be in or out of Europe; Europe would seem to be welcoming that.

He comments on the process being “The First Minister’s bleak prognosis”; believe me the Scottish situation is much more hopeful than the current bleak one on offer from the hard-line right-wing Tory administration at present in place.

It remains to be seen if that persists up to Halloween, when the witches fly – Oh the first witch has already fled.

Jim Lynch


Can someone please scotch this myth, so beloved of Unionists, that the SNP, independence supporters and Scots in general promised that the 2014 referendum would be once in a generation?

It was Alex Salmond who made the statement, as a comment on the position current at the time, since no-one had ever had the opportunity of such a vote before. The only relationship to the future was and is that for a very large number of the electorate it was indeed not just once in a generation, but once in a lifetime, as they have since died. That includes a significant number of my own family, friends and colleagues.

No such promises were made by anyone (other, of course, than the broken ones of those promoting the infamous Vow)!

Could the BBC in particular please point out this fallacy each time it crops up in interviews, to set the record straight in terms of accuracy and impartiality? I will not hold my breath, though.

P Davidson


The real value of ditching Trident

The Herald on Sunday and the Herald have published many of Dr Charles Wardrop’s letters over the years and his views are apparently unchanging. You have kindly published my “emotional” nay “angry” letters too. Accusing me of being weak on fact is fair enough ("Give us facts, not Rebellion", Letters, August 4), but did he read Alex Porter’s list of contributors to CO2 emissions over the last century?

During this past week we have seen England’s reaction to Whaley Bridge dam and all the resources poured into saving life and property. Money well spent or not? Now use imagination to think of countries like Bangladesh were floods kill hundreds – surely they do not deserve to die because those who can help combat worldwide climate change accuse the “big boys over there” of doing nothing (which is untrue anyway, look it up)?

Dr Wardrop’s letter mentions saving UK wealth to protect our lifestyle. Some of this is earned by being the second largest global arms trader and a lot of it spent supporting wars for oil and maintaining that “most wicked thing in the world”, Trident (Brian Quail, Letters, August 4).

On a day when news of yet another military nuclear mishap is reported, in Russia not Faslane this time, in a week when Nagasaki and Hiroshima were publicly remembered by Peace Campaigners, when the aforementioned Brian Quail vividly described the testimony of survivors and the horrors of years of persistent, cruel, genetic abnormalities, surely common sense will make supporters of MAD think again. It may be only a matter of time before an accident, a failed bluff or an insane leader causes armageddon.

If money is your strongest reason for making decisions, £206 billion wasted on an unusable and outdated Trident system could do much to support the sick, the needy, regular armed forces and climate protection measures.

Sandra Phelps


Brian Quail asks, “Can someone – anybody – explain how someone can hate independence more than Trident?” (Letters, August 4). Mr Quail believes passionately in unilateral nuclear disarmament and claims the moral high ground on this for the cause of Scottish independence. Perhaps his question is best treated as purely a rhetorical device, yet two aspects of his letter do require a response.

First, that word “hate”. On big issues that divide us, it is misguided to use such language to describe the opinions of others. Most people’s attitudes on matters as diverse as independence, Brexit, climate change, and indeed, disarmament, will be the result of taking a balanced view of many issues. It is perfectly possible to come to a different opinion as a result. For example, I value Scotland’s positive place in the UK, but I understand many prefer to pursue more self-determination through independence. “Hate” of them or their view does not, and should never, come into it.

Second, Mr Quail uses the completely unacceptable analogy of the Holocaust in relation to the efforts of those who work at Faslane to keep us safe. His implication is distasteful and plain wrong. While Mr Quail might justify it for shock value, he does himself and the cause he supports no good by using such extreme and unfounded rhetoric.

Those who work with our nuclear deterrent at Faslane, including of course many Scots, do so to prevent the very destruction that Mr Quail rails against, and are prepared if necessary to put themselves in harm's way to do so. Their efforts deserve our gratitude rather than Mr Quail’s over-the-top wrath.

Progress on multilateral disarmament has been frustratingly slow, and recently has suffered significant setbacks, but many across the political spectrum continue to conclude that for all its risks and failings, it is the best way forward. Sadly, there is still no shortage of those in power who would misuse force for their own ends and a deterrent is needed to keep their worst instincts in check.

Keith Howell

West Linton

NHS chaos: a clash of personalities

Within the context of the troubled project that is the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Tam Waterson, Unison rep for NHS staff in Edinburgh, said of Health Secretary Jeane Freeman: "She is the worst Cabinet Secretary I have ever experienced." (£150m down the drain?", Herald on Sunday, August 4.

" She is cold and has no empathy. It was one of the First Minister's biggest mistakes appointing her," continued Mr Waterson of Ms Freeman. Does the controversy over the hospital raise questions about Ms Freeman's future? "Yes. She is accountable. If things go wrong ... it's down to her."

"She's not a people person," summarised the union official.

Dealing with someone who is not a people person is never pleasant. As the gears of various investigations continue to grind in the attempt to isolate failings and apportion fault in a somewhat more impersonal fashion, I comment those involved in this debacle who are having to struggle with difficult working relationships.

Ms Freeman must have the patience of a saint.

Archie Beaton