This week’s crop of your Letters to the Editor, as published in the April 17 edition of The Buteman, sees no let-up in the local debate ahead of next month’s general election.
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A deluge of misinformation from Lib Dems
Like most readers, I have become just a little tired of the continual, spurious nonsense that is emanating from the normally quiet and reserved village of Cove.
I tend to ignore all the political gainsaying that goes on during elections: after all, it’s the vote on the day that counts, nothing else.
However, the Craig family of Cove seem to have acquired a, ‘season ticket’ for The Buteman’s letters page. There is scarcely a week goes by when we are not treated to some deluge of misinformation from them, dressed up as support for Alan Reid.
In fact, if I were Alan Reid I’d tell them to “shut it” - they are not helping his cause!
Let me, if I may, correct some, if not all, of their latest tirade, as published last week.
The SNP’s promise to turn the A9 into a dual carriageway has been approved and works are due to begin shortly.
The SNP did indeed put forward plans to scrap the council tax, but as a minority government they were opposed by the Tories, Labour and the LibDems, and the proposal fell despite it being one of the cornerstones of the LibDems’ policies.
The SNP did pledge to abolish student debt but once again, the LibDems and their dogmatic representatives opposed such a measure.
As to classroom numbers, class sizes have come down to a level considerably less than Mr Reid’s party’s coalition with Labour in the Scottish Parliament thought appropriate. There is still work to be done but unlike the previous cabal at Holyrood, action is being taking by the party of government - and at least we care that our children eat, unlike the LibTories, who see food banks as the way of achieving that.
The SNP is very much against the selling off playing fields, but instead of writing endless snide and childish letters to the press, the Craig family would do well to check the facts and they would find that it is Labour and LibDem councils which are doing the selling and not the SNP.
Words actually fail me regarding the frankly rather dopey comments made about the Longannet and Cockenzie power stations.
Both Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have been pleading for the UK government to stop the closure of these power stations but as usual, this vicious, twisted, ultra-right-wing government and their supine minions have chosen to allow the owners of Longannet to close it.
After all, in the deep and dark blue waters of Torydom, it’s to the devil with the people, it’s the shareholders that count.
The SNP would love to have stopped the closure, but couldn’t - for as with so many things, Westminster holds the strings and, ‘The Vow’ notwithstanding, looks likely to continue doing so.
Now, Alan Reid is a nice man. I have nothing against him personally, but he and his colleagues’ slavish snivelling at the cloven hooves of the Tories have sullied the once great name of the Liberal party.
The fact is, Alan did vote for the bedroom tax, twice, and has supported every repressive measure this vile government has enacted.
It is this venality that will soon cast a once great and respected party into oblivion, and as far as I am concerned, good riddance to them.
And please, would someone tell Alan Reid that he and his Westminster cronies have done nothing to obtain high-speed broadband here: when it comes it will be due entirely to the actions of the SNP government.
It might interest people to know that my late grandmother’s maiden name was Craig, and my brother, my nephew and two of my cousins are called Craig. With that in mind, might I or my colleagues in the SNP’s Bute branch have a similar arrangement to the Craigs, so we can have at least one of our letters published every week?
Oh, and it might just be refreshing to read some letters from people who actually live here, and not a family who live nearer to Gourock than Rothesay.
I also look forward to meeting my ‘new cousins’ this weekend at the hustings. I’ll be happy to show them the island, because clearly we are another country to them.
Jack McDonald, Ascog Boathouse, Ascog
Pat on the back for Academy’s young writers
My congratulations to the four young women from Rothesay Academy who read their work at the creative writing ‘open mic’ event at Rothesay Library on Wednesday, April 8.
I am still thinking about the stories they created, and want to know what happened to the characters next. My thanks to them, to performance poet Carly Brown and to the library for hosting such a good event. Well done everyone!
Jan Ashcroft, 26 Cockersand Drive, Lancaster
True tactical voters should back Tories
Lately voters in Argyll and Bute have been inundated with leaflets from Alan Reid and the Liberal Democrats stating that a vote for the LibDems is a tactical vote to stop the SNP.
This, to say the least, is misleading. Although the LibDems have held Argyll and Bute in the past, their poll rating is down to between three and six per cent in Scotland, which would make them firm losers in most of their seats, including Argyll and Bute. At the last two Westminster elections, myself in 2005 and Gary Mulvaney in 2010 came a respectable second, and polls show the Conservatives’ support is robust on around 16-18 per cent nationally.
This, combined with the fact we have an excellent, hard working young Conservative candidate in Alastair Redman shows that the true tactical vote in Argyll and Bute is Conservative.
In addition, our policies to increase employment, keep fuel duty down and secure the country’s economic recovery are popular.
We must not leave our debts to be paid by our children and grandchildren.
Jamie McGrigor MSP (Cons, Highlands & Islands), Ardchonnel, by Dalmally
Oil discovery - a boon or a millstone?
Every one of my fellow Scots must share my concerns for the people of the South of England during this sad period, given the news this week that substantial reserves of oil have been discovered near Gatwick Airport.
We Scots can only empathise and share the grief.
The discovery of vast quantities of oil is a terrible millstone around the neck of any nation, especially given the forecasts we’ve been hearing over the last 12 months, which warn that the price of Brent crude will fall to tuppence ha’penny per barrel by 2020 and that nations sitting of this cursed ‘resource’ will have to pay buyers to take it away by 2030.
We are sure that our unfortunate brothers and sisters of The Weald will endure this horror with their customary upper stiff lips while benevolent oil companies like Shell and BP remove this dangerous liquid from under them as quickly and cheaply as possible. Our thoughts are with you in these dark times!
We are the only nation on the planet that carries the burden of oil, whilst every other oil producing nation use it as a bonus.
It’s very strange that the Labour/Conservative coalition did not announce the same fear when it came to England’s oil find as they do with Scotland’s.
Project Fear, once again.
Hugh Moodie, 12 Bryce Avenue, Rothesay
Lib Dems will suffer for broken promises
May I comment on the letter from Alison Hay in last week’s issue, urging voters to support the Liberal Democrats’ Alan Reid in the general election on May 7?
Mr Reid was a member of the Lib Dem group that broke most of the promises they made in their pre-2010 election manifesto to become junior partners with the Conservatives.
Now, after doing what they were told for the last four years and ten months, they fiercely criticise the Tories at every opportunity in a desperate attempt to gain some credibility with the electorate.
This is clearly not working, as they have now sunk to 4-5 per cent in the national opinion polls, with political oblivion beckoning.
Alan Reid may be defending a large majority, but this is in danger, as Mrs Hay herself is acutely aware, having been the Lib Dems’ candidate in the last Holyrood election, when the party’s share of the vote fell to 12 per cent from a level of 31 per cent in 2007
If the truth be known, the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties cannot deal with the huge surge in support for the SNP.
They are now resorting to the pre-referendum tactic of ‘Project Fear’, which is a collection of smears and untruths. These will not work for a second time.
Robert Macintyre, Dunallan Farm, Rothesay