Letters: Stornoway Gazette 02.01.14

Joan Stafford, Breasclete, took our Photo of the Week at Cuddy Point - "I wanted to get across the tranquility of the harbour and Stornoway on a glorious day last September," she said.
Joan Stafford, Breasclete, took our Photo of the Week at Cuddy Point - "I wanted to get across the tranquility of the harbour and Stornoway on a glorious day last September," she said.


It is interesting to note the Tories tying themselves in knots as they try and stave off UKIP and eurosceptic backbenchers through calling for a cap of 75,000 on the number of EU immigrants entering the country.

The catalyst for this is concerns over Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants “flooding” the country when the UK opens its labour market to them on 1st January.

Trying to restrict the movement of EU citizens, as Prime Minister Cameron is proposing, is illegal as the free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed to EU citizens by the Treaties, something the UK Government was surely aware of when it signed up to these. In addition the numbers being bandied about of those entering from Romania and Bulgaria is simple scaremongering.

The UK today is less attractive to would-be immigrants than it was ten years ago when it opened its borders to the eight largely Eastern European countries that joined the EU. Immigrants who incidentally, according to a study conducted by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, made a positive contribution to the country’s public finances in each fiscal year since their EU accession.

In 2004 only the UK and two other countries did away with almost all restrictions for workers from these eight countries. This time all EU countries are opening their labour markets to Romanians and Bulgarians and the UK economy is not in great condition.

The potential influx of Romanians and Bulgarians into the UK may therefore be more an issue of perception than reality, pawns in an increasingly ugly game as the Tories fight for their political survival.

Alex Orr

Flat 2, 77 Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh EH10 4JT

call for quality checklist

Having been previously diagnosed with prostate cancer I was delighted to read in your paper that Alasdair Allan MSP is calling on NHS Western Isles to implement Prostate Cancer UK’s Quality Checklist.

The Quality Checklist is a clear and concise guide compiled by men and health care professionals for men and health care professionals.

It is a fantastic document that would have been invaluable to me had it been available when I was diagnosed with the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and, by 2030, is predicted to be the most common cancer overall.

The disease kills almost as many men every year as women who are killed by breast cancer, but it doesn’t get nearly as much attention.

I therefore trust that NHS Western Isles will waste no time in helping to re-dress this balance by responding positively to the call to implement Prostate Cancer UK’s Quality Checklist, and look forward to reading the response in your paper.

John Thomson

Patient Representative

Prostate Cancer UK

Cold comfort

The announcement that the economy is showing signs of recovery is undoubtedly good news. However, this will be cold comfort to the 13 million people still struggling in poverty , and seeing no sign of this recovery in the face of spiralling living costs and falling incomes.

An extension of free school meals and an increase in the income tax threshold is certainly a step in the right direction and will help those families who are faced with the dilemma of paying rising bills or feeding the family.

Factors such as job loss, family breakdown and illness are just a few of the unforeseen circumstances which can strike at any time and have a serious impact on household income.

This is why the safety net of welfare benefits can be a crucial lifeline. However, the introduction of a cap on welfare spending could place an even greater strain on households.

Anyone who is worried about their situation should use our free tools and information at www.turn2us.org.uk to see if they could be eligible for any financial help.

Alison Taylor

Director Turn2us

200 Shepherds Bush Road

London W6 7NL


Ian Macdonald (Gazette 26.12.13)describes the Calvinistic doctrine of election and predestination.

A certain number are predestinated unto everlasting life others to everlasting death. This is biblical fact, he claims. These gifts are designed to counter any claim administered before the universe began though no previous existence or individual recording of good or bad with a god inbetween, claiming to overflow with love and mercy to create a heaven or hell bound destiny on a fair and just basis. This is not the God of the Bible. This doctrine may I hasten to add is not related to the gift of life, forgivemess, redemption, eternal life or eternal death. In the Bible there is no electing or choosing of anyone to any of those things.

Predestination has nothing to do with the salvation of the sinner, this is the Good news.

The silly idea is that sometime in the unknown past before any man existed God determined whom among the human race should be saved is a grotesque idea that does not have a line of support in the Word of God.

In our election men are chosen to fill an office and perform a service, predestination is like that. No one is ever elected to citizenship, but only citizens are elected. Indeed tidings of great joy which shall be to all people a Saviour Christ The Lord.

Donald Murray

48 Suilven Way