Gazette Letters: 28.8.14

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Why hold on ?

Will someone please tell me why David Cameron and his Conservative Government are so desperate to hold on to us? One comment that Cameron made was “I will strain every tissue in my body to ensure that Scotland stays part of the UK.”

As Scotland has elected only a single Conservative MP, Scotland on becoming Independent could ensure that there is a permanent Conservative Government at Westminster, so what is his problem?

I have a suspicion that the word “oil” will appear in the answer.

Robert Walker




Inverness IV63 6TL

Better deal

Further to the Tesco debate within your letters pages, I would like to add that having just returned from my weekly shop at Tesco, things are certainly no better.

Hundreds of gaps on the shelves, hardly any fruit and vegetables, most of the cooked meats not available (a nice lady did find me some ham from the storeroom), and the shelves generally in a very untidy condition, with lots of items almost sold out, which meant bending and reaching to the back of the shelf.

This was only Tuesday lunchtime, I dread to think what it’s like on a Friday or Saturday.

Before moving to the Western Isles I managed supermarkets and superstores for one of Tesco’s main rivals in England for 26 years, and speaking from experience, it is clear this store has problems.

As a manager I was accountable on a daily basis, which meant having a clean, tidy store, with good availability of products.

If something sold out, I did something about it.

Come on Tesco get this sorted out and give Stornoway shoppers a better deal.

Tim Waddington

Nurses cottage


Ness HS2 0TN

Where is the 

I am interested in the coming referendum on Scottish independence. However, I feel most discussion is bogged down in matters of oil finance and legal issues.

For many years Scotland, a nation in her own right, has been ruled by governments in Westminster who have not been voted for by the majority of Scottish electors - where is the democracy there?

To solve this we must vote for independence on 18th September! Definitely a “Yes”.

Joan M. Stewart

25A Ballifeary Lane

Inverness IV3 5PQ

Canny Scots

Claims that Scotland is being subsidised by England encourage me to vote “No” in the independence referendum.

Canny Scots should grab every penny we can. The debate can be re-visited in 20 years or so when the UK is bankrupt, or earlier if they wake up and kick us out of the Union first!

John Eoin Douglas

7 Spey Terrace

Edinburgh EH7 4PX

No garages

Over the decades I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve driven from the Butt to Barra and Vatersay as a tourist, but I’ve never had a puncture.

That all came to an end in July when on a Friday evening at Traigh Geiraha, Tolsta, I had a flat. No problems I thought, tomorrow I’m in Stornoway, the business centre of the Long Isle, where there are more garages than I can count.

However, on arrival, I discovered that Saturday is the garages’ ‘Sabbath’, and every one of them is shut!

Nice work if you can get it.

On visiting the Tourist Office, they located an open garage - in Leverburgh! So not wishing to take the risk of having another flat between now and Monday, that’s where I went - over 56 miles away.

Surely it is not beyond the wit of Stornoway garages to set up a rota, so on a Saturday at least one garage/tyre repairer is open? If you are a tourist, self-driven, carry a can of tyre repair injector fluid (£8), and if you have a car with no spare wheel, two cans.

P. White

46 West Park





I was in Stornoway recently for the Callanish Stones Marathon, and took the time to visit the Iolaire Memorial.

In this period of commemoration, the memorial could be better maintained. The path leading up to it is overgrown, and clearly ignored. Left alone, it will be taken over by nature.

Minor maintenance is needed, mainly pulling the weeds and filling in some of the gaps in the gravel path. Not much litter around, but in the car park the kids have left their mark. There is no litter bin.

The council cannot afford to do this, but as this is a community memorial, maybe the community should maintain it? How about school groups, historical society, churches? Build up some knowledge of this tragic event approaching its 100th anniversary.

You may be interested to know that you are not alone in this type of tragedy. In 1865 the steamer Sultana blew up on the Mississippi near Memphis and killed 1,865 Union soldiers returning from prisoner of war camps in the confederacy:

An equally tragic and untimely event.

John Deffenbaugh

16 King Edward Road


Glasgow G13 1QW

Power of sport

Over the last year I have visited schools in Isle of Barra and across Scotland to inspire young people to harness the power of sport to improve their lives.

In my role as Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport and the Youth Sport Trust I have seen some truly amazing pupils, heroic teachers and really inventive ways of tapping into the power of sport.

After the thrill of Glasgow 2014, I feel more excited than ever as the new school year approaches. I am proud to have been involved in these Games from the very beginning.

From my place on the bid team to present our bid in Sri Lanka, being on the Board for the Games this summer, and then watching our stellar team perform, it has been incredible to be part of this journey.

But the journey is not over – now is the time to build a lasting legacy of sporting engagement for our young people.

With the glory of Glasgow 2014 fresh in our hearts and minds, and with so many new role models created, this is such a crucial time for schools across Scotland to foster a culture of sporting engagement.

I’m looking forward to helping to ensure our young people feel inspired and supported to use sport to best the best they can be. Roll on September!

Steve Frew

Commonwealth gold medal winning gymnast

and Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport