The pick of your Letters to the Editor in the September 26 issue of The Buteman includes messages of thanks from both sides of the independence referendum campaign on Bute and from the organisers of the Bute Wheelers’ Festival of Cycling.
If you’d like to see your thoughts on any local subject appearing in print in our next issue, just email email@example.com (or click on the email address at the top of this story).
The deadline for letters to our print edition is 5pm on Monday - please keep your contributions as short and to-the-point as you can, and remember to include your postal address for publication. We also need a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details, though this will not be published.
Thanks to all who helped pro UK campaign
Can I, through The Buteman’s letters page, thank all those who supported and helped with the Better Together campaign on Bute.
Whether delivering literature, staffing the street stalls and polling stations, or talking to friends and family; your help and dedication in making the arguments that Scotland’s future is best served by remaining part of the United Kingdom has been invaluable.
Can I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to John Duncan and the ‘Yes Bute’ group who campaigned with passion and enthusiasm for what they believed.
Not only have they accepted the result with grace and dignity, but throughout have helped ensure that the campaign has always been friendly and good natured here on the island.
My thanks also go to everyone who took the time to vote. With record turnouts achieved across the country, I hope that we can use this high level of engagement to work together for our shared future.
Peter Wallace, 9 Prospect Terrace, Rothesay
Tribute to local campaign from Yes Bute chair
The referendum is over. On behalf of Yes Bute, I would like to thank everyone who was involved in, and who supported our campaign with their time, effort, enthusiasm and generosity.
I would also like to thank all of those on Bute who voted Yes.
Many of us will continue to work to secure a fairer and more democratic future for Scotland.
John Duncan, 19 Crichton Road, Rothesay
Thanks from Wheelers for festival success
Following on from yet another very successful Festival of Cycle Racing, the Bute Wheelers would like to express their sincere appreciation to all the individuals, businesses and organisations that helped bring it all together.
We would like to again thank our sponsors: The Bike Shed, Bute BackPackers, Visit Bute and Bute Brew Co.
Thanks also for the fabulous help received from the local police over the two days, and Iain Thomson and Joe McCabe for being so positive in help with Argyll and Bute Council amenities; the Pavilion for hosting the cyclists and making them welcome; and the MacFarlanes and other farmers who helped with cattle and keeping the island’s roads safe and race-worthy.
A big thanks also to the Army Cadets for being on hand with first aid cover; Light UpBute for adding some bounce to the weekend; Richard and Ronnie for making the running commentary happen; Colin McArthur for the podium; Jimmy Duncan for use of his van; Martin Dougan and other guys with lenses for capturing it all; Ettrick Bay Tearooms, Victoria Hotel, Esplanade, Black Bull Bar, Golfers Bar, the Co-op and Cowal Builders; patience and excellence from Nathan Signs.
Finally, thanks to the Rotary Club and all the other individuals that marshalled the races all over the island - and of course to Alison and all those others who provided lots of delicious food!
Murray Doyle, 30 Shore Road, Port Bannatyne
Implications of TTIP on future of Scotland
A Tory backbench rebellion is not the biggest problem the three UK party leaders and Gordon Brown face in delivering their post-referendum pledges. Government backbench rebellions only succeed when they are supported by the opposition.
Crisis management solutions are apt to come unstuck when unforeseen practical considerations are encountered.
It is likely that one of the pledges is not deliverable, and that another is a poisoned chalice which, even if offered in good faith and the result of honest ignorance and stupidity, will be seen as a cynical attempt to mislead.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty is being negotiated in secret by trade negotiators according to their brief.
The UK parliament (as distinct from the UK Government) is only peripherally involved and it is not a matter for collaborative process in the Sewell convention.
Unless the treaty is stopped, or at the very least the whole UK NHS is exempt from Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), then the UK party leaders will face a choice which will either lead to another referendum or some less attractive route to independence, whichever option is chosen.
Assuming the Scottish Government refuses to privatise the NHS, and the UK government is faced with an ISDS claim, fails to defend it, and has to pay compensation and costs (all of which is more likely than not), one option is for UK taxpayers as a whole to bear the cost of the Scottish Government’s offence.
That would be unacceptable to r-UK taxpayers and Conservative MPs.
More likely, it would be charged wholly against the Scottish block vote - and that would provoke a popular demand for independence on such a scale that it could not be refused.
Either way, there would be no need for the SNP to exert themselves in order to deliver a majority for independence.
It might not even require a referendum.
John B. Dick, Glendaruel, Ardencraig Road, Rothesay