Gazette Letters - 05-06-14



It would seem that my letter (Gazette 15 May) in which I compared Ed Milliband’s character with that of Private Pike of Dad’s Army must have ruffled the feathers of Mr Ian D. MacDonald, as in his reply (Gazette 22 May), he conjures up a picture of me as some kind of “SNP ROTTWEILER”, a creative which will remain as a figment of his imagination.

I am sorry to disappoint him, as for many years I was part of ‘The Establishment’. Based in London, I worked on National Budgets, from time to time even giving Chancellors directly my advice.

I was also the person entrusted to handle the most confidential investment papers of Her Majesty the Queen.

It was whilst doing this work that I accidentally discovered that Scotland, far from being the poor relation of the U.K., was a net provider, and that the U.K. would be much poorer if Scotland was excluded; this being the case before a drop of oil flowed.

This was kept hidden from the Scots, as in later years was the amount of oil in the North Sea.

However, I continued to monitor the position closely. On retiring, and returning to Scotland, I decided to write this all down, and you can now read it at

On May 12 this year, I gave three ten minute interviews which can be viewed on youtube (foursites).

Finally I would say to Mr MacDonald, that having publicly confessed of his intention to Vote Yes for Independence, I hope that he doesn’t fall foul of “Labour’s-high-heid-yins”, as after Scotland becomes Independent all forward thinking people will be required to join together in building the new Scotland.

John S. Jappy

Moy Bridge Cottage


Thankyou from the Kerhsaws

I really wouldn’t know where to begin to thank every single person who helped out, contributed, donated and helped to promote in the sale of Lexie’s Look and Cook Recipe Book. I would like to start by saying that on behalf of Brett, Shona, Eilidh and Lexie Kershaw we would like to say a huge, emotional, heartfelt THANK YOU to you all, we could never have succeeded without your help.

It gives us great pleasure to announce that we have raised a whopping $45,000 and we have managed to help with the purchase of the OCT machine (the specialist eye machine) which is now in situ at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth, Western Australia.

As a family we were lucky enough to be there when the machine was put in place.

The machine itself is non invasive and very easy for the child to sit in front of to get their eyes examined, a great help for those little patients to sit still as it’s fun for them.

The Princess Margaret Hospital and all their staff that we have encountered both within and out with the hospital, all the specialists in their own fields have been just simply amazing to us and we will always be grateful for their help, support and knowledge.

Lexie has been through a lot already in her short lifetime and thousands of other children daily frequent PMH, so we thought it would be good to give something back for all the help we were given.

PMH is a huge part of our lives now and the specialist staff that we meet with as Lexie has three monthly MRI scans to be vigilant for any recurrence of cancer within any part of her body but particularly examining her eyes and brain area.

The fear for us is always there and always will be I think and so we don’t take our MRI scans lightly as we are always grateful when we get the all clear.

We are very fortunate to have Lexie checked so closely and this will continue for years and years to come. Each time we have our appointments we meet up with the lovely team, Jenny and Paul Geelan that make up Lexie’s artificial eye and they are always available to fit us in for a build up or fitting for Lexie for whom we are most grateful.

Lexie’s Look and Cook Recipe Book was a huge success that snowballed. The books have been sold far and wide and with the help of everyone the books sold quickly. 500 books were kindly freighted over to Scotland by Ridgeways Transport in Perth,WA as an extremely kind donation where they sold like hot cakes.

A huge thank you to all involved in Brownies shop in Tarbert, Isle of Harris, to Brownie, my auntie Margaret and all the staff.

In Stornoway, a big thanks also to Karen Macdonald of Kenny ‘Frochans’ Chemist & Ian Maclean of Lighting for the large numbers they sold.

Lastly, thanks to those who handed the books out in Inverness and Glasgow and transported them.

We hope you all enjoy cooking from the book and please pass on the importance of checking a child’s eye if a white glow appears as it could save a life like Lexie.

Brett, Shona, Eilidh & Lexie Kershaw.

Ravensthorpe, Australia

& Seilebost, Isle of Harris.

Wooden spoon for CalMac

I read with interest that recently, Martin Dorchester, chief executive of David MacBrayne Limited has been named Public Sector Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors Scotland, a Prestigious award it seems. Obviously those that happened to vote for this, never attempted to travel to the Western Isles via Cal Mac this past year, and see at first hand the shambolic mess of breakdowns and cancellations, and still an ongoing problem with the Barra service.

I have a wooden spoon that would suffice as an award for that.

Donald Morrison

7 Macallum Place


Children’s Trust

The Children’s Trust is celebrating Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) and would like to thank and acknowledge the fantastic work of its volunteers throughout the UK.

They have helped in a variety of ways.

We are always keen to hear from anyone interested in volunteering and appreciate all skills from retail, marketing and finance to driving and gardening.

If you would like to find out how you can get involved, please visit or call 01737 365002.

Rachel Turner

The Children’s Trust