This week’s letters to the editor of The Buteman include a thank you to the crew of MV Bute, comments on the pilot scheme of a dialysis unit in Campbeltown, and more thoughts on the upcoming general election.
Heartfelt thanks to MV Bute crew
We would like to express our grateful thanks to the captain and crew of MV Bute for delaying the final sailing from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay on Thursday, February 19, allowing us to get home that night having encountered heavy traffic delays on our way back from Edinburgh.
E. & A. Mackay
Afton Lodge, Craigmore Road, Rothesay
Step forward in Bute dialysis unit campaign
You recently reported that a pilot kidney dialysis unit is to be set up in Campbeltown. If successful it could lead to similar units in Argyll and Bute, including Rothesay.
This has been good news for all who have been striving for such developments for many years.
As highlighted by local resident Joe Johnstone in a recent article, people with kidney disease problems who live in remote, rural and island areas, who need the life-sustaining treatment of hospital-based dialysis, have the hardship of three hospital visits every week, compounded by the physical and mental stress of long ambulance journeys (with the additional hazard of weather/ breakdown ferry problems for island folk).
That this added stress has adverse effects on obtaining the full advantage of the treatment has long been recognised; and Bute Kidney Patients Support Group was set up 20 years ago to campaign for a satellite unit in Rothesay.
It became apparent fairly early on that this would be a long haul – a very long haul as it sadly turned out – and the group broadened its aims to include the offering of advice and support to dialysis patients and potential dialysis patients.
The general information about the Campbeltown pilot unit includes Bute as one of the potential sites if the Campbeltown pilot proves successful.
This is the first time that a reference to Bute has been included in an official pronouncement about possible sites for satellite dialysis units.
This has given the group greater hope that a Bute unit will become a reality, but it does not lessen the need for us to continue to keep the needs of Bute residents in front of the Health Board and, through our involvement with the Scottish National Kidney Association, in front of the Scottish Parliament.
Information about the Group can be obtained from our secretary, Allan McFarlane (tel. 01700 505456), and from our website (www.butekidney.co.uk).
Brian Balmain (chair, Bute Kidney Patients Support Group)
17 Battery Place, Rothesay
Attack on SNP’s record at Westminster
Some correspondents to The Buteman have suggested that the SNP could gain seats at the General Election on May 7.
The SNP are doing well in the polls but not at all well in Westminster.
Their six MPs have an abysmal attendance record. They are prepared to take full time salaries and expenses but only attend part time. Their attendance ranges from an appalling 41.5 per cent to 51.8 per cent. Even their Leader in the Commons turned up only 44 per cent of the time.
In contrast the attendance and voting record of Argyll and Bute’s Liberal Democrat MP Alan Reid in Parliament is exemplary. During this parliament Mr. Reid has attended and voted 1,036 times out of a possible 1,200 - that is an outstanding 86.3 per cent.
Nicola Sturgeon, is trying to convince us that a greater SNP presence at Westminster would be good for Scotland. The presence required is hard-working MPs determined to advance the UK and Scotland, and not disinterested, part-time, blinkered Nationalists.
Rossarden, Shore Road, Cove
Who are we really voting for in May?
It must be devastating for Argyll and Bute Labour candidate Mary Galbraith to discover that significant opinion in the Labour Party is urging Labour voters in Argyll and Bute to vote against her and vote for the Tory.
This was done for instance on February 22 by Robert James McNeill, vice chairman of the East Lothian constituency Labour party and chair of the Tranent local Labour party. He’s also a member of the Scottish Labour Party Policy Forum, which develops the Scottish Labour manifesto.
He includes in his suggestion a large number of seats in which Labour supporters should vote Tory against their own candidate and others in which they should also vote against Labour and vote LibDem.
This is panic. Labour says vote SNP and you will get a Tory Government. Tory says vote SNP and you will get a Labour Government. LibDem says they will support Labour or support Tory, depending on who they are talking to at any point. But everybody else says vote LibDem if you want to waste your vote.
Confusion abounds. What is certain is that if Scotland votes SNP, as it appears likely to do, Scotland will get a powerful Scottish voice that will go to London with only one aim – to stick up for Scotland.
Dave McEwan Hill
1 Tom Nan Ragh, Dalinlongart, Sandbank
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