Your letters to The Buteman: March 27, 2015

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With just 40 days to go until the General Election, it’s no surprise to find the campaign dominating the letters page in the latest issue of The Buteman.

If you want to have your say, and see your views in our next print edition, get in touch by 5pm on Monday - please remember to keep your thoughts as brief and to-the-point as you can. Remember also that we require your name and address for publication, and to supply a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice - though your phone number will not be printed.

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Community’s support for Beatson work

I write to thank family, friends and Bute Shinty Club for donations to the Beatson Cancer Charity in the name of my sister, Caroline Pellegrotti. The sum of £200 was raised.

Many families on Bute are aware of how cancer diagnosis can traumatically change their lives, and any support to help others with treatment is always welcomed.

With this in mind, please watch this space for further fund-raising activities in Caroline’s name.

Patricia Renfrew (nee Pellegrotti), 54b Crichton Road, Rothesay

SNP’s record of attendance is ‘deplorable’

Sadly, Mr John Duncan demonstrated his ignorance of the role of a Member of Parliament in his letter to you of March 20.

An MP is elected to represent his/her constituents in the House of Commons. To be effective an MP has to apply the time, effort and commitment to understand the views, feelings and aspirations of people and to express these in Parliament.

This is what local MP Alan Reid and his fellow Scottish Liberal Democrats do.

It is regrettable, one might even say deplorable, that SNP MPs do not show the same diligence and dedication. They are part-time attenders of the Commons.

Mr Duncan implied that SNP MPs only turn up for matters that affect Scotland. So why has the SNP representation on the Scottish Affairs Committee of the House of Commons never turned up to any of the Committee’s meetings?

Dr Eilidh Whiteford, SNP MP for Banff and Buchan, has been the representative of her party on the committee since 2010 and has attended zero meetings out of 55.

How is this representing her constituents or Scotland’s interests?

Mr Duncan’s rant against Alan Reid’s voting record, is in the main, incorrect. Indeed, Mr Reid voted against the, ‘bedroom tax’, as has been explained in The Buteman many times.

Government ministers have numerous duties and responsibilities outside Parliament which account for their attendance in the House of Commons. I don’t believe any SNP MP is such a minister.

The people of Scotland know that the Nationalists are only interested in their party and independence and not in Scotland or the Scottish people. The only way to avoid separation by the back door is to re-elect Alan Reid, a hard working local Liberal Democrat MP.

Finlay Craig, Rossarden, Shore Road, Cove

UK government campaign on Smith report

Over the past few weeks, the UK Government has been engaged in a public information campaign designed to explain to your readers how the devolution settlement is evolving.

I wanted to expand on what we are doing – and why.

We – and the main Opposition parties - are committed to implementing the recommendations of the Smith Commission, which will make Holyrood one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world.

The work of Lord Smith and his Commission is already being turned into the building blocks of legislation. Whoever forms the next UK Government will make these law at the earliest possible opportunity.

But Lord Smith was also very clear about giving people a better understanding of what powers are devolved to Scotland – those which are already here and the new ones on the way.

These are major changes and it is important people understand what they will mean.

So that is why we have launched a campaign, ‘Scotland’s Changing’. Every household in this country has received or will receive will receive a leaflet setting out the simple facts about what the UK Government is doing to further strengthen the powerful Scottish Parliament.

It has been backed by newspaper and radio adverts and there is also a tumblr site ( where you can find out more and take part in a light-hearted quiz designed to test your knowledge of Scotland’s devolution settlement.

With two governments in Holyrood and Westminster working together, I believe Scotland has the best of both worlds. The Scottish Government can deliver solutions tailored to specific Scottish needs which is backed up by the safety, security and strength which comes from being part of the wider United Kingdom.

Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP (Secretary of State for Scotland), The Scotland Office, 1 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh

Tony Blair’s Argyll and Bute donation

It was with complete shock that I learned recently that the Labour Party candidate for Argyll and Bute has accepted a donation from disgraced former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

As a veteran of the illegal Iraq war, I feel this donation is akin to ‘blood money’. Mary Galbraith has stated that she will accept the money from Blair to ‘campaign against another five years of austerity’.

If that’s the case, who is left to campaign against five years of Labour-planned austerity? Certainly not the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, whose coalition has been tragic for our most vulnerable and poor.

Only the SNP can give Scotland its voice, on an issue by issue basis with Labour that ensures the removal of Trident from our shores and stops the onslaught of austerity measures that are reaping havoc on our society.

Hugh Moodie, 12 Bryce Avenue, Rothesay

Macmillan ‘novels’ quiz raises £560

Thank you to everyone who supported the recent ‘Well Known Novels’ quiz in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

The winners, picked at random from 160 all-correct entries, were Mrs N. Kerr of Dumfries, Mrs E. Stewart of Campbeltown and Mrs S. Marshall of Ardentinny. Well done to all.

A cheque for £560 has been forwarded to Mrs Beverley Scoullar, chair of Macmillan’s Bute fund-raising branch.

Many thanks to all who donated to this worthwhile cause.

Robert McKirdy, 14 Roslin Crescent, Rothesay