The independence debate continues to rumble on in the letters page of The Buteman’s June 20 edition - though this week there are plenty of other topics aired by our readers.
To share your views with us on any subject of local interest, just email firstname.lastname@example.org (or click on the email address above) - please remember that a postal address must be supplied for letters to appear in print. The deadline for letters to our print edition is 5pm on Monday, but the earlier you send your views, and the more concise you make them, the better are your chances of seeing your thoughts in print. Happy writing!
Yes vote does not guarantee SNP policies
Your report on the independence debate at the Joint Campus on May 30 shows there is an unfortunate tendency for the Yes campaign to confuse the question of independence with the question of the policies that might be followed in an independent Scotland.
Since no parliament can bind its successors, a yes vote in September does not guarantee the perpetuation of policies now in place, or advocated by the SNP and other Yes campaigners.
The fact that there is now a left of centre majority in the Scottish Parliament does not mean that there always will be. The SNP has not always been left of centre, and may not stay there.
One example was Mike MacKenzie’s repetition of a promise by Alex Salmond of free higher education in an independent Scotland ‘till the rocks melt with the sun’.
Unless the SNP envisages being in power forever and never changing its mind, this is a deceitful promise. If honestly meant, it reveals hubris.
Free higher education is a policy of the current Government, not an intrinsic feature of an independent Scotland. It has been realised in the absence of independence.
Almost entirely absent from the debate was an appreciation of the fact that a ‘yes’ outcome to the referendum is, unlike a majority for a political party, effectively an irreversible decision – future generations would be bound in a way that they are not by a vote in a parliamentary election and would not be by a no decision in September.
If, following a ‘no’ vote, Westminster does not deliver on devo-max, the possibility of another independence referendum remains open.
Mick Common, Park Cottage, Upper Quay St, Port Bannatyne
‘More heat than light’ at debate
Firstly may I congratulate The Buteman staff, the panel and the chairman for their collective contribution to the independence debate on Friday, May 30.
Though this was democracy at its most interesting, as one panel member suggested, these events tend to create more ‘heat than light’. I fear that evening was no different.
If the pot-hole-strewn highway, designed and constructed by Kenny Macaskill and co and currently being navigated by Police Scotland and other sectors of the justice system, is a microcosm of the journey to independence - fasten your seat belt!
Perhaps the political party pedestrians would bear in mind this is a constitutional journey rather than a political one; individuals should be allowed to travel in the opposite direction without ridicule!
Dan Edgar, Toward View, 31 Ardbeg Road, Rothesay
Campus acting principal says thank you
As indicated in last week’s Buteman, my secondment as Principal of Rothesay Joint Campus ends next week as planned. As the pupils, parents and staff know, my time here was only ever going to last seven months and it has flown by.
I have learned and gained so much from this opportunity and send a grateful thanks to everyone who welcomed me and supported me throughout the whole island. There are too many to list.
Best of all, I have made so many new friends and, although a resident here for 12 years, I now really feel part of our warm and vibrant community.
I return to work at my substantive post in Glasgow’s education HQ, as was always going to be the case, where I will continue to support 3-18 schools, develop secondary technologies subjects and be part of the Commonwealth Games legacy team. I also have an exciting opportunity to return to Malawi regularly on a new project training education officers in Blantyre.
Bute has a very good, inclusive school with super pupils, appreciative, cooperative parents and neighbours, dedicated, caring staff and excellent facilities. The new head teacher and staff will be very lucky people indeed and I wish everyone, new and current, all the very best.
John Lawson, 18a Argyle Place, Rothesay
Parents’ pride in campus education
As the academic year draws to a close, may we give our thanks to the hard working staff of Rothesay Joint Campus for what has been for us a highly successful and very enjoyable school year.
We are very proud to say our children attend the campus, a place where the ethos of inclusion is threaded through every aspect of our and every other child’s educational experience. Inclusiveness can be decisive in creating happy, hardworking pupils.
We feel grateful to all the staff at the campus for continuing to provide our children with this educational milieu and wish them a very happy summer holiday.
Mr and Mrs Guy, 27 Wallace Avenue, Rothesay
Bute must support new venture
I was frankly aghast when reading the article in your June 6 issue about Aidan Canavan’s new Bute brewery.
Practically all I was informed of was connected to noise and nuisance. It beggars belief that such an enterprise is not welcomed with open arms.
At last, something positive, something bearing Bute’s name, something brave and novel which can help Bute’s struggle for recognition and survival and add to other successes on our island, and of course attract new people to come for visits or more.
Come on Bute - let’s celebrate and support someone who believes in the island, enough to introduce what is a new and no doubt very costly venture! Let’s all get behind those who keep Bute ‘in the picture’, ensuring that doors are staying open and attracting positive comments from people from off the island all the time.
Let’s be proud, and make the most of what Bute offers instead of always looking for the problems. It’s a gem of a place, and many many people are trying so hard to keep going with whatever they do to enhance life here.
Hanne Mason, 1/1, 5½ Argyle Place, Rothesay