The pick of this week’s letters to The Buteman

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

Our choice of the best of the Letters to the Editor published in the May 9 edition of The Buteman.

To respond to any of the points raised here, simply click on the email address at the top of this story. Please remember that your name and address is required for publication in our print edition.

Pavilion offers golden chance for Bute

On the subject of Rothesay Pavilion, Iain Gillespie’s experiences and efforts with our local drama group have made him an important asset to the community.

I defer to most of what he says except for this: the signs are that Bute will soon have a golden opportunity. The Pavilion spaces will soon be about doubled and nearly £8 million spent on it.

A theatre company could be set up. If it was, Bute would suddenly be on the map of the UK, not just Scotland. People would come here to see it.

Once, a small coastal town in Wisconsin called Green Bay started up a football team that won the Super Bowl. More recently a Border team, Gretna, got to the final of the Scottish Cup.

Small communities can achieve miracles when they put their minds to it. The world notices when they try. There is talent in this place which could grow here.

A drama presence for six months every year would be an enriching thing for the whole community, especially if daring plays were put on some of the time.

The company would have to be grown, just as Pitlochry was grown out of a tent and a handful of artists. It could be done. Opportunities come rarely. Perhaps this one should be grasped. At least the building that is needed will soon exist, so we are told.

Every theatre has a cafe and restaurant and they are usually closed during performances. The Pavilion could be an art gallery full of pictures for sale by every sort of artist, just like Pitlochry.

People travel here to work all the time and a service could be provided when the ferries were off. A fast service used to be provided late at night and could be again very easily. Grants would be available. Pitlochry received £57,000 recently just to expand its management team.

Rothesay is better than Pitlochry. It has finer scenery, a wonderful castle and moat, matchless gardens, woods and walks, Mount Stuart, the best golf courses in the country, terrific sailing and a multitude of other activities. And it has no A9 on which you can get killed just trying to get there.

With a theatre as well, it would be a gem. And it hardly ever gets snow.

William Scott, 23 Argyle Place, Rothesay

Pro-Yes case has questions to answer

Alex Salmond is prone to characterising as ‘bullying’ any statement relating to the independence referendum that he does not like.

Your correspondent last week, Mr Chisholm, took this strategy a stage further when he likened an English threat to withdraw nuclear submarines from an independent Scotland to a child ‘throwing his toys and thrashing around on the supermarket floor’.

There is, of course, no such threat. It is the SNP that wants the submarines withdrawn.

Mr Chisholm is mis-informed on other matters as well. No English political party says that it is ‘good for Scotland to be fully integrated with England’.

Mr Chisholm appears not to have noticed that there is already a devolved Scottish Parliament, which no English (or Scottish) political party is proposing to do away with.

On the contrary, it is generally understood that all the main political parties are minded, in the event of a no vote, to devolve more power to Holyrood.

Mr Chisholm also apparently believes that currently an ‘English parliament’ makes laws for Scotland.

The Westminster Parliament is, of course, a UK Parliament with 59 MPs from Scotland sitting in it. Those MPs representing Scottish constituencies get to vote on laws about, for just one example, education in England. The Westminster MPs, whether representing Scottish or English constituencies, cannot legislate on education in Scotland.

The real constitutional problem here – the West Lothian question - is close to being the opposite of what Mr Chisholm thinks it is.

Mr Chisholm may feel that the British Empire was the English Empire, but that is not the fact legally or in any substantive sense.

The Scots did very well out of the Empire and played a large role in establishing and running it.

I can recommend an excellent history of their involvement - ‘The Scottish Empire’, by Michael Fry, which ‘tells how the British Empire came to be dominated by Scots and how it truly became “the Scottish Empire”’ (quote from the back cover).

You chose to put over Mr Chisholm’s letter the heading ‘Contradictions in pro-Union standpoint’. There may be such, but the letter does not identify them.

It does, however, reveal some serious problems with the case for independence believed in by at least one intending yes voter. One has to hope that such misunderstandings are not widespread.

Mick Common, Park Cottage, Upper Quay Street, Port Bannatyne

Bute can’t stop Bachan Burn turbines

In reply to Philip Norris’s letter of May 2, regarding the proposed Bachan Burn wind farm near Dunoon, we in Rothesay are opposed to this development.

The wind farm will be a gigantic eyesore - in fact, many eyesores - as well as being detrimental to the environment, the natural heritage of the area, the wildlife, the birds, the human population and tourism.

We on Bute will profit not one penny from its installation, but what can we do to stop it? We are powerless, as there is no local democracy.

Catherine McLean, 24 Castle Street, Rothesay