This week’s Letters to the Editor

Write to: Letters to the Editor, The Buteman, 5 Victoria Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 0AJ. You can also email your letters to news@buteman.com.
Write to: Letters to the Editor, The Buteman, 5 Victoria Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 0AJ. You can also email your letters to news@buteman.com.

This week’s Letters to the Editor includes thoughts on Scottish independence, access to the slipway at Kilchattan Bay, plus an injured walker says thank you to the emergency services for their assistance.

To see your thoughts appear in print in a future issue of The Buteman, just email your opinions on any subject to news@buteman.com (or click on the email address above). The deadline for letters is 5pm on Monday, though the earlier we receive your letter the better are its chances of being published on our letters page.

Please remember to include a postal address for publication with your letter.

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Kilchattan Bay slipway

Sir,

I write regarding Mr Kenyon’s letter in last week’s Buteman about slips on the island.

The pier at Kilchattan Bay was renovated in 1990 by the Improvements Committee and many local residents. The slip was extended at the same time.

It was always the intention for anybody from on or off the island to use it, in fact the majority of users are not

residents.

A contribution in the donation box is always welcome towards the upkeep.

Tilly Champ

3 St Blane’s Terrace, Kilchattan Bay

No comparison between Scotland and Nigeria

Sir,

Mr Tony Evans’ attempt to link an independent Scotland with Nigeria does him no credit.

Scotland has a long democratic history both domestically and within the UK. Nigeria has endured civil war, and has alternated between democratically-elected civilian governments and military dictatorships.

Mr Peter Vincent’s letter seems to rely on the tired premise that we are too wee and too poor to become independent.

Scotland’s economy includes £21.4 billion in construction which employs 170,000 people, £11.6 billion in tourism which supports 292,000 jobs, £39 billion yearly turnover in manufacturing with a value added of £12.7 billion and 127,000 people employed. Scotland also has world leading expertise in life science, world class universities (5 in the world’s top 200), a multi-billion pound creative sector and vast energy (oil, gas, tidal, wave, wind and solar), fishing and agricultural resources.

Source: Page 87 in Scotland’s Future

Scotland generated £800 more in tax per person than the UK as a whole in 2012-13. Scotland has generated more tax per head than the UK every year for the past 33 years. Source: Government Expenditure and Revenue Reports 1999-2011

Britain’s military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care. The bulk of the money has been spent on interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan judged to have been “strategic failures”, by a study, Wars in Peace, published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

At present there are no naval surface ships stationed in Scotland, so Mr Vincent’s question about who will protect Scotland’s coastline is equally pertinent now. At least we know that an independent Scotland intends to develop an affordable Defence Force with naval, air and land based forces, with the emphasis being on defence. Proposal is £2.5bn in an independent Scotland as opposed to the £3.3bn we pay as our share in the UK, and then there’s the cost of renewing Trident to add if we remain in the UK.

Oil and gas are finite resources. However, the idea that somehow Scotland is incapable of managing these resources is mystifying.

The demographic issue is not unique to Scotland. It applies throughout the UK. An independent Scotland will make different choices and have different priorities to the UK, not least of which will be savings from not paying for Trident.

Currency? “Of course there would be a currency union, (in an independent Scotland) the minister told the Guardian...” source Guardian 29 March 2014.

The point of independence is that Scotland gets to choose which links and relationships it wants to maintain or build.

The Spanish Foreign minister, José-Manuel García-Margallo, said in the Financial Times of Feb 2nd 2014 that “If Scotland becomes independent in accordance with the legal and institutional procedures, it will ask for admission [to the EU]. If that process has indeed been legal, that request can be considered.”

In other words Spain has not said it will oppose EU membership if the referendum is carried out as agreed under the Edinburgh Agreement.

The implication that an independent Scotland would somehow be uniquely incapable of managing its own affairs has the potential to offend and insult everyone who lives here.

“Supporters of independence will always be able to cite examples of small, independent and thriving economies across Europe such as Finland, Switzerland and Norway. It would be wrong to suggest that Scotland could not be another such successful, independent country.” David Cameron, Daily Telegraph 11-04-2007

“The question is not whether Scotland can survive as a separate state. Of course it could.” Alistair Darling Guardian 27-06-2012

“Even pro-unionists accept that the country has all the ingredients to be a viable nation state.” So says the Financial Times of 02-02-2014.

In an independent Scotland, people will be able to vote in a General Election in 2016. The choice will be wider than the SNP. Maybe when the Tories and their Labour and Lib Dem best pals have finished scaremongering and lecturing Scotland on what it can’t do, they’ll finally get round to saying what they have to offer the people of an independent Scotland. The need for independence becomes even greater with the rise of the right wing UKIP.

There will be challenges ahead whether we become independent or remain within austerity UK. Independence is our opportunity to shape a nation that cares more for the wellbeing of all its people, rather than just the rich and powerful, which unfortunately appears to be the UK Government’s priority, no matter which party is in power.

John Duncan

19 Crichton Road, Rothesay

An apology is due

Sir,

Through your paper I would like to make an unreserved apology to Mr Tony Burns. Some months ago I replied to a letter he had published concerning the referendum debate, and in my reply I may have over-harshly put him straight on some of the factless diatribe he had written.

Having now read his latest letter, it has become clear to me that I was wrong to chastise him, as this man clearly has a problem. To compare Scotland with Nigeria is just incredibly stupid.

The comparison not only insults our politicians of all persuasions, but also us, the Scottish public, who voted them in. To suggest that we would vote in and support the fraudsters, thieves and murderers that is the Nigerian Government is madness.

Regardless of their party, the calibre of politicians in Scotland is vastly superior to that of Nigeria, and any direct comparison verges on slander.

But don’t let me deter you from airing your comical views, Tony, as you’re the best advert for a ‘Yes’ vote I’ve seen for a while.

Joseph Fraser

Flat 2/1, 2 Columshill Place, Rothesay

‘Injured walker says thanks’

Sir,

While out for a walk in the beautiful Rhubodach Forest last Sunday, I slipped and hurt my ankle, later to discover it was dislocated and fractured.

May I most sincerely thank the following, in order of appearance, for their prompt care and attention during my rescue; Jim Mitchell, Ellen and Owen Lambert, Rothesay Paramedics, Fire Service and the Ministry of Defence Prestwick Sea King helicopter crew, all staff at RAH Paisley and Rothesay Ambulance Service for bringing me safely back home a few days later.

And finally to all my wonderful friends - words fail me so I’ll just say thank you all so much!

Barbara Lynn

9 Victoria Place, Marine Road, Port Bannatyne