Letters: This hard mark of conservatism is the real threat to the Union

OUR democratic, electoral and parliamentary processes, our standards of truth, decency and compassion, the UK’s place in the world and our future prosperity are continually undermined by a form of conservatism which had been, until Brexit, safely marginalized in the undergrowth of Tory Back Benches.

The upshot is that independence will be seen by many as the only way Scotland can escape Johnsonian conservatism.

I suggest that the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, recognize that the unimaginative and harassing unionism of Boris Johnson and his own unionism is the real threat to the Union: more than the SNP’s dream of independence.

Neil Mackay (“The SNP Has Sucked the Life of the Independence Campaign,” The Herald, September 21) has rightly argued that the SNP has not been able to “resolve the unanswered questions that confuse everything. intelligent voter of the Yes, and dissuade the floating voters: mainly, the borders and currency ”. And this despite the seven years that have passed since the 2014 referendum that the Yes camp has lost because of this same incapacity.

Scottish citizens find themselves stuck with two nationalisms so obsessed with sovereignty issues that neither can offer anything close to effective day-to-day governance. And the real tragedy is that there is no alternative, with the Labor Party hampered by internal strife, a lack of imagination and courage to present the UK with a social democratic vision reflecting progressive instincts. of an honest people.

John Milne, Uddingston.


I AM not particularly surprised by Neil Stewart’s letter (September 23), as it is a common mistake among independence skeptics that “Britain” means “English” and if Scotland becomes independent we would have to start all over again. .

It is more likely that an independent Scottish nation would seek a mutual defense strategy to which we would contribute financially. Do you remember not so long ago, what was the status between Great Britain and its European partners? It’s all gone now, plus the pity, especially the debacle which is Australia’s nuclear subcontract with the United States.

To throw another coin into the fountain of independence. The Bank of England, although established by the English in the 17th century, was nationalized in 1946 and therefore belongs in part to the four nations.

When you think British, please don’t assume English.

Ken Mackay, Glasgow.

WHERE IS SCOTLAND’S £ 20 billion?

BORIS Johnson finally admitted that the bridge between Scotland and Ireland was a fantasy and is now dead. Alister Jack claimed it was not a bridge but a tunnel, and presumably this tunnel is now buried. But that was to be the end of the Union Connectivity Review’s Scotland, more than £ 20billion madness on a bridge / tunnel and roads. Maybe someone could ask Mr. Jack what will happen to the funding that has been promised to us?

More than £ 20 billion would go a long way to solving Scotland’s infrastructure shortcomings. We are used to Scotland losing connectivity; it took decades for highways to cross Scotland and high speed rail never will. With a third of Britain’s land mass and eight percent of the population, Westminster was more than happy to delegate road and rail funding to Holyrood, but it doesn’t seem very keen to replicate the various European funds it has received. by Scotland, despite the promises made. Where’s our money, Mr. Jack?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


The SNP administration rehashes old policies not enforced before COP26 as townspeople want their trash lifted and the streets cleaned up. Queen Elizabeth’s flagship hospital is described as suffering from Third World ailments by a mother whose son was being treated for cancer in hospital; meanwhile, city council wants to extract heat from the Clyde (“Metro and M8 garden unveiled in Glasgow’s £ 30bn greenprint”, The Herald, September 24). May I suggest that they start by extracting the hot air from the George Square Debate Hall?

It’s time to get back to basics; clean and safe hospitals, clean streets, accessible education, the opening of libraries, the list is endless.

Bill Eadie, Giffnock.


THE Lord Advocate has ruled that those carrying Class A drugs into Scotland will now not face immediate prosecution, but may instead receive a police warning. This new approach of “hijacking” where appropriate, should, in the long run, help reduce the number of offenders ending up in court and filling our prisons with small amounts of all illicit drugs for their use. staff. alone. Those found with small amounts of Class B and C drugs are already receiving police warnings and advice on how to seek help if they are vulnerable to addictions. These Registered Police Warnings (RPWs) will remain on an individual’s file for two years.

This welcome and sudden change of course by the Scottish government is seen as another small but positive part of its plans to deal with our horrific drug-related deaths.

Within hours our right-wing newspapers and the Scottish Conservatives were crying foul, with Murdo Fraser declaring it “an effective decriminalization of drug possession and use in Scotland”. This is of course utter nonsense, as those found with enough drugs to be clearly sold will always be faced with the full force of the law.

What really shocked the Scottish Tories was that they missed their chance to make a positive contribution to efforts to reduce our drug-related deaths by persuading their political masters in Westminster to change or delegate laws on drugs in the Scottish Parliament so that we can introduce more innovative ways to solve our drug problems. Sadly, Scottish Tories still reject everything the SNP suggests without coming up with creative, affordable and positive solutions.

Conservatives are also upset that the SNP outsmarted them by finding a way to creatively use the legal powers it still has to try and get some of our addicts to stop and think about what they’re doing. for their health, and follow up on some of the rehabilitation and treatment offerings currently available and being planned. If this new approach is successful, then ultimately the imprisonment of juvenile drug offenders should be reduced, thus freeing the public’s conclusions to provide better treatment services.

Our police are already involved on a daily basis with several hundred drug addicts, too often in a negative way. Using RPWs will help drug users understand that they are part of the solution, not just the pathways to incarceration. I suggest that efforts be made to produce drug education materials that are suitable for both youth and adults with whom the police are involved in the administration of RPWs.

Max Cruickshank, Glasgow.

* It was James Martin (Letters, September 24) who “lost” him, not the Scottish government. By possessing Class A drugs, I can harm myself; by not wearing a mask, I hurt those around me.

Charles Shaw, Glasgow.


THE reported decline in life expectancy for the first time since record-breaking began (“Pandemic behind record drop in life expectancy in Scotland”, The Herald, September 24) is another grim reminder of the toll that the Covid pandemic continues to inflict on us. In such a context, it is all the more disheartening to note that Liam McArthur, MSP of Orkney, has launched proposals to legalize the premature death of those diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The company’s whole approach to tackling Covid from day one has been to protect the sick and the elderly from premature death through vaccine shielding and prioritization. That PSMs are now invited to consider proposals for hastening death, even as the pandemic rages on, is to be believed, as there is nothing compassionate about offering already sick and vulnerable people the “option” to legally end their own lives.

Rather than pursuing his plans, Mr McArthur would do well to pay heed to the recent words of his immediate predecessor as Orkney MSP Jim Wallace, who said relinquishing current protections “would represent a ‘crossing of the Rubicon.’ from which there would be no return ”and which“ would have profound effects on the way society views vulnerable people in our communities, not only the elderly and infirm, but also people with disabilities and those who are incapable of living. express to protect themselves ”. Hopefully our PSM heeded his wise advice.

Michael Veitch, Parliamentary Officer, CARE for Scotland, Glasgow.

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