Letters to the Editor

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Debate Propagating Myths - What is the evidence

Madam,-Dr Cameron does seem to propagate a number of myths about the welfare state. What is his evidence that the welfare state is

unaffordable? I know of none. It does not cost a third of expenditure but a third of Government expenditure.

What of the “fortunes” of future taxpayers? If the national debt increases some people will lose through higher taxes, but others, the

holders of the debt, will receive dividends and an asset, they can sell at will. Why are they excluded? Only that part of the national debt (about a fifth) held overseas is a net burden on UK society. We have to

part with goods to service it.

Are tax credits to be given no recognition for their role in keeping the post-tax income distribution more equal than it would

otherwise be? More equal societies seem to be happier societies.

The statement that the post 2008 conflict, if there was one, between welfare expenditure and financial reality was caused by expenditure on welfare is badly misconceived. UK government finances were in quite good shape in 2008. The reality was that the vast increase in government expenditure was caused not by welfare but by bailing out banks.

What does “boldest” means with reference to a Chancellor? Our present Chancellor is certainly one of the most foolish for a long time. One would have thought that even a historian, like Mr Osborne, would be conversant with the writings of Keynes. A policy of austerity is the last thing wanted in a recession. It lengthens it. Now we have growth, which is unbalanced and relies too heavily on private borrowing. Beware when it implodes.

Robert Shaw


Planning application - Maryculter

Madam - Another planning application has been submitted to install 76 accommodation modules in the car park of the Old Mill Inn, Maryculter. This will cause major negative impacts on the local community and environment. The logic of locating such a major development in the centre of a quiet rural area is baffling.

It is believed that the proposed development to house workers on the AWPR project. This project has however a 75m corridor on either side of the road where accommodation modules could easily be located.

The South Deeside Road is already very dangerous, as shown by the regular, serious traffic incidents which occur. This development, on a site which has very poor visability, can only make things worse.

I would ask anyone who lives in the Maryculter area, or who travels through Maryculter, to review the proposals at the Aberdeenshire Council website and to make their views known. The planning reference is APP/2015/3173.

Yours etc,

David Cutteridge


REfugees - Yet another Poem about Scottish Heather

Late summer every Year the purple flower

Colours the Aberdeenshire hills above the tree line.

West up the Dee valley past Glen Tanner’s gate tower,

Morven is seen to be no exception in the sunshine.

A Ben that stands on privately owned land

And fails to be a Munro by one hundred and thirty nine,

Of the required three thousand feet. With stone butts to hand

That give the game hunters protection and a free fire line.

Standing on Morven’s summit many years ago

Looking down into the cockpit of a jet fighter,

I could see the pilot oblivious to my ego,

Concentrating on instruments to make turns tighter.

All the pilot’s attention was on keeping his volatile craft stable,

Whilst practising his low level attacks under the radar’s reach.

To notice the beauty of the heather in passing he was unable,

Just another hunter training for Desert Storm, Shock and Awe, each.

To preserve our Northern European peace, we may

Advertise our democratic freedoms by internet boards,

As we use our jet fighters to keep at bay

The fast breeding Southern hoards.

Populations no longer held in check by disease at home,

And unable to throw off corrupt ruling mafias, they

Pray for the freedoms they can see on their mobile phone,

And begin civil wars that cannot be resolved for many a day.

Now the displaced and hungry Refugees head north

Seeking the freedom to work in Europe,

Knowing that worse disruptions had come forth

During the previous century when Europe learned to cope.

They arrive where prosperity and contraception

Has created the need for Guest Workers ready to labour.

Will the Refugees settle in Europe where belief in God is an exception?

Where the human rights of individual freedom; is to savour.

Or will they seek revenge on those whose bombs

Destroyed their ancient cultures, leaving survivors to cope

Without homes, food, and with the dead buried in rubble tombs.

Will integration happen or will terrorism be their only hope?

David York

Aboyne, Aberdeenshire

Symptoms - Spread word

Madam – Tragically, just five per cent of people with pancreatic cancer in Scotland live for five years or more after diagnosis, and almost 800 people in Scotland die of the disease every year.

Last Friday, November 13, was World Pancreatic Cancer Day so I would like to invite your readers to know the symptoms of pancreatic cancer and help us spread the word about this dreadful disease, because in Scotland as across the rest of the world, we simply don’t know enough about it.

Yet if more people were aware of the potential symptoms, which include tummy pain, itchy skin or eyes or yellow skin, unexplained weight loss and oily floating poo, more people could be diagnosed earlier. And we know that the earlier people are diagnosed, the longer they are likely to live. Your readers can find more vital information at www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org. – Yours etc.,

Dianne Dobson,

Pancreatic Cancer UK Nurse Specialist

United - Against terror

Madam, – After what has just happened in Paris, now is NOT the time to contemplate leaving Europe but instead we should all be giving it support.

As a ‘so called United Kingdom’ (along with our European friends), hopefully we have woken up to the fact that we are all being targeted and are still on Daeshes list.

Sticking together as Europeans, is the only way to defeat our adversaries, no matter what our differences are with others of different global nationalities.

Those, that are also opposed to this common enemy, are also those that wish to live in peace with his and her neighbour. – Yours etc.,

Bob Harper