Stornoway Gazette Letters 3.7.14


Our Picture of the Week was sent to us by Jean and Robert Harrison, the couple took this picture of Skigersta harbour whilst on holiday in Ness in April. They thought it was “surely one of the loveliest places on earth.”

If you would like to submit an image to our Beautiful Islands feature please email your image with your name, address, where you took the picture and what inspired you, any technical information about the picture would also be welcome.

Send your image to: marked ‘Beautiful Islands’ images should be at least 500KB resolution.

Powerful play

Spine-chilling ‘Sequamur’ portrays Nicolson Rector Gibson as a broken man who encouraged his pupils to sign up for the war effort in 1914, only to be racked with guilt as 148 are killed in action.

Powerful acting and skilful use of special effects held the audience. You could have dropped a pin.

The playwright deserved nothing less than the standing ovation he received. Donald S. Murray is in the ascendancy.

Catherine Aitken

Marybank Stornoway HS2 0BT

Poverty remedy

Angus McCormack (Letters 26th June) makes an excellent case for voting Yes at the forthcoming referendum. For the UK to be the largest oil producer within the EU, it is a disgrace that fuel poverty is so prevalent within our country.

He also makes an excellent point that Scotland is potentially a very wealthy country, only if independent.

Until we get independence, we will continue to suffer from the Tory dictate and unfair austerity programmes from Westminster.

The reason we have the dearest fuel, is down to the tax burden of duty and VAT. This is imposed solely by Westminster who reap all the financial benefits.

The only way to address this poverty, is to reduce the amount of fuel tax.

None of the main unionist parties, including Labour have any intention of addressing this unfair issue.

The only real option left to the people of these islands to change this, is to support independence.

When we look at all the austerity measures imposed by Westminster as an excuse to address the Labour Party’s banking fiasco, the Scottish government is doing an excellent job juggling the finances to reduce suffering and maintain services.

To qualify for the grant Mr McCormack refers to, it has to be used within the places identified and spent on what it was provided for. Another red herring Mr McCormack.

Locally, we have had fuel cost issues for decades. The local authority over this time has done very little to help ease things.

They may now be helping some of those who are experiencing real poverty issues, but the only real relief we have had has been due to Gordon Maclennan breaking ranks with other local retailers and the distributer.

Angus Macneil must also be given credit for his persistence in pursuing fuel derogation.

A good example of Westminster’s disregard for the people of these islands was when Alasdair Darling current leader of the No campaign refused us fuel derogation out of hand.

The majority of those who caused the banking fiasco are totally free from the pain that many of us are experiencing.

If the truth is told, none of us saw much of the benefits acquired when they were gambling with our money.

There has been very little done to prevent the banks repeating this in the future.

With further cuts between £4 and £7 billion from the Scottish block grant, we can expect more and more people to suffer severe poverty.

None of the three unionist parties have ever spoken of any improvements to this in the future, or reversing this unfair cost cutting programme.

The only way the people of Scotland will avoid these over-zealous cuts is through independence.

Archie Harper

Point, Isle of Lewis HS2 0PU

Hit nail on the head

It gave me much joy to read Rev. Iain D’s piece entitled ‘Where is the church in our churches’ (Viewpoint 19.6.14).

He asked what it will take for us to realise that making the gospel meaningful to our contemporary culture requires more than the keeping alive of meaningless traditions, and to do so requires co-operating across our man-made divisions.

I have long felt it shameful that we perpetuate meaningless traditions and man-made divisions.

So much needs to be dumped, so many sacred cows of belief and practice need to be slaughtered.

Water baptism would be one in all its man-made forms, and Eucharist, Communion, or Lord’s Supper would be another, but there are many more.

Rev. Iain hit the nail on the head by saying that church is the family of God worldwide, distinguished simply by having been washed in the same blood.

Fanny Crosby took a similar line with her hymn “Blessed Assurance”, but she added the crucial words, “born of His Spirit”

Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. If we have these two we are alive in Him, with not a thing more required for salvation.

So what will it take for that to be realised by so many divided denominations, and the gospel made meaningful to a contemporary culture. Christ’s pleading perhaps? Methinks there’s a sound on the wind like a victory song.

Keith Fernie

Inverness IV2-3RW

Scotland’s future

The ‘No’ Campaign keep saying that a ‘Yes’ vote is a vote for Alex Salmond. It isn’t.

A ‘Yes’ vote is a vote which will enable the people of Scotland to decide how they wish Scotland to be run in the future. After Independence there will be fresh elections, for each of us to decide which political party we want to run Scotland.

The big difference is that we will no longer be forced by Westminster to accept policies we don’t agree with, or would not have voted for, had they been within our control.

In an Independent Scotland, every decision will be taken by the people who care most about Scotland, that is, by those of us who live in Scotland. It really is that simple.

Carole Inglis

Dunvegan, Isle of Skye

Editorial - Applauding the St Kilda swim team effort

They may have been beaten by the split-second changes thrown up by the open sea this time but the St Kilda swimmers vow to return to the challenge.

The nine-strong team had to abandon their 60-mile swim from Harris to the remote St Kilda on Monday morning, as massive seven-foot swells scuppered the challenge 40 miles from their destination.

It had only taken them 16-hours to reach that point, so the group were making great time in the epic challenge, it is a shame the elements forced their hand to call it a day.

But undaunted they are looking to take on the mighty Atlantic again in 2016 and try the swim once more.

Well done to the team. Their effort was fantastic and next time we are sure they will complete their super-human swim.

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