Gazette Letters 12-06-14

Colin Cameron took this stunning shot of Dalmore Beach
Colin Cameron took this stunning shot of Dalmore Beach


Never have I heard and read of so many undiscerning folk, right across Scotland, ranting and raving as to why Scotland should be an Independent country. Some of these folk, to my dismay, are even living on Lewis and Harris!

Very few of them, I notice, refer to the content of the SNP 670-page White Paper unveiled last November. I suppose that shouldn’t really surprise us. Many of the country’s leading, and respected, experts have been saying that the document has “glaring omissions, inconsistencies and obvious errors throughout”, so it was probably not worth citing in defence of any opinion.

We agree with the implications which these experts have left us. It contains only black ink on white pages.

One of these respected experts, Margaret McPherson, the Chair of Intelligent Office UK, sums up everything about the folly of independence when she said: “I have worked in business all across the world, and I know how important it is being part of a large and successful economy. Business people I talk to in places like New York can’t understand why we would want to cut ourselves off from the successful single UK market. I don’t understand it either.”

Neither do many other rational people in Scotland understand it. Even those at the top in Brussels don’t understand it.

One prominent leader at the EU warned against any nation embarking on ‘solo adventures in an uncertain future!” That’s exactly what Alex Salmond is recklessly doing: he dares to take the people of Scotland on an ‘independence’ financial joyride they can ill afford. And if that’s not irrational enough he also desperately wants to be part of the EU! What madness and sheer folly.

When other countries are frantically wanting out of the EU, Mr Salmond is craving to be part of an undemocratic Union that is costing Scotland a fortune every year.

There’s also the Euro, which every country within the zone regret now having. Why? Because of the staggering losses they have sustained over the past few years.

Mr Salmond doesn’t know what currency his ‘dream’ country will have, whereas the EU does – it will be the Euro. Every country that has joined the EU since the creation of the single currency has had to pledge to join the Euro.

Yes, the nationalists like to downplay this and say that it is not the case, but it is a matter of fact. Croatia – who joined the EU in 2013 will join the Euro in 2014. The UK currently has an opt-out and will not have to join unless it wants to. Scotland must, it has no option.

Sorry, Alex Salmond, but we don’t want you to relegate everything that Scotland already has. Scotland is already a distinct country apart and Scotland will continue to be a grand country apart, even within the UK.

No-one needs to scratch their heads over the independence question, as there are three clear answers: no, no, no. We are already independent
Mr Donald J Morrison

85 Old Edinburgh Road


Wrong again

The letter from Matt Bruce (Gazette May 22nd) of the Western Isles Labour Party shows spectacular bad timing on a week when Angus MacNeil MP was involved in not one but three public debates and YES meetings in locations as diverse as Lochboisdale in South Uist, Wick in Caithness and Stornoway in Lewis.

Mr Bruce wrongly asserts that Mr MacNeil is not attending public meetings and therefore his statements are misleading. I do hope he will apologise.

These ranting outbursts typified by Mr Bruce have become the hallmark of Labour in recent years. They race to the bottom and play the man and not the ball.

Small wonder, when we realise that Labour abstained on the votes to prevent a VAT rise.

Labour abstained on the legislation directly affecting the bedroom tax.

Labour abstained on the tax cut for millionaires and to compound all this Labour then walked through the lobbies holding the Tories hands on the Welfare Cap which will hit the poorest in our society according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

It is interesting to note that the Labour party have no proposals for a cap on nuclear weapons spending or indeed illegal foreign wars.

Mr Bruce will of course disregard all this as he seems quite content to be the mouthpiece of a silly and shallow approach to politics which is typified by his outbursts.

It says much that such characteristics now find themselves in the chair of the Western Isles Labour Party.

On the Range in Uist, the workforce have been told that independence will not affect them because they are the best facility in Europe and we know in Uist that they have a very busy diary for 2017 for example, regardless of whether or not Scotland is independent.

Mr Bruce must be trying to make fools of the professionals who work at Hebrides Range, because the only threat that has ever come to the Uist Range came from Mr Bruce’s very ownLabour Party when they were in power at Westminster.

It was only a political masterstroke by our MP Angus MacNeil who united the Defence Spokesmen of the then opposition Conservative and Liberal Parties, to isolate Labour as the only party threatening the Range, which made Labour back down from threatening island jobs, families and communities.

It is no wonder that at the last election the Labour vote fell 29% as islanders do not vote for London Labour bullies.

If Mr Bruce has anything to say, let him start with substantial policies as people in the islands have higher standards than to be swayed by the low common denominator approach he has taken up until now.

John J MacMillan

352 South Boisdale

South Uist HS8 5TE


Further to Donald Morrison’s letter last week the knowledge that the chief executive at Cal-Mac has been awarded the title of Public Sector Director of the year is surely an insult to the Islands given Cal-Mac’s atrocious performance over the last year, especially during the winter.

Having signed up for Cal-Mac’s service text alerts for Stornoway and Tarbert I was bombarded all winter with texts regarding cancellations and breakdowns.

The days when Caledonian MacBrayne were seen to be doing a good job have passed some years ago.

Currently they seem to run the MV Isle of Lewis so slowly that it almost never keeps to the published schedule thus causing chaos and significant costs for those trying to get onward connections from Inverness. It cannot even leave on time on a Sunday – the first ferry of the day at 2.30pm!

To learn that there is currently no Cal-Mac board director with the slightest Hebridean connection makes a travesty of them operating ferry services to the Inner and Outer Hebrides. And apparently the chairman of the parent company, CMAL, is a Dane – chief executive of the Danish ship-owners association.

When we now learn that in future the contract for the routes will be for 12 years – it would seem unlikely that much notice will be taken of our local needs when awarding that future contract.

In this instance I cannot say that I trust Edinburgh any more than Westminster; maybe we should go for independence for the Islands and control our own routes to suit our needs.

Jerry Luty

1, Quidinish,

Isle of Harris,