Letters to the editor

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Failing the people of Scotland

Madam, - Many of Scotland’s farming families are at breaking point due to the incompetence of Environment Minister Richard Lochhead and his failure to get vital CAP payments to the industry on time.

The SNP had promised that these payments would be made in early December. However, responding to a recent question from the Scottish conservatives, Lochhead admitted that only one in three farmers had received their initial payments, leaving the remainder not knowing when to expect theirs.

The SNP has totally mishandled this whole sorry episode. The crisis has been allowed to develop on Richard Lochhead’s watch and it is his responsibility to sort it out.

The combination of late payments, low prices across all sectors and severe weather are causing real hardship to farmers across Scotland.

Many are facing a cash flow crisis that could mean the end of their business.

The Scottish Government has always said it should be judged on its performance.

This is yet another example of the SNP failing the people of Scotland.

Peter Chapman

Conservative MSP candidate Banffshire and Buchan Coast


Nominate for Life After Stroke Award

Madam, - After the devastating moment when a stroke strikes, the healing process can be a labour that takes a life-time. It takes mettle, tenacity and patience, not only from the survivor but a legion of family, friends, medical professionals to reassemble the fragments of yourself.

The Life After Stroke Awards are an opportunity recognise the courage of stroke survivors and their supporters everywhere.

I would like to urge anyone who knows an undaunted stroke survivor or a remarkable carer to nominate that person for a Life After Stroke Award today. There are around 121,000 stroke survivors living in Scotland, which means there are a lot of unsung heroes who deserve recognition and celebration.

Nominations for the awards are open until April 30.

For more information, go to www.stroke.org.uk/lasa.

Andrew Marr

via emai


Seeking photos of servicemen

Madam, - I am acting on behalf of the authorities at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Busan South Korea, where more than 800 British Servicemen are buried.

The authorities there wish to obtain photographs of those servicemen interred there,and, also of those who died but have no known grave. The photographs will be attached to the man’s records, and will also be displayed on the walls of the Cemetery Hall of Remembrance, for all time.

The following names are just some of the young men from Scotland who gave their lives in Korea.

Cpl.Alexander Herrall. 2nd.Lt. James.G.M.McGuigan. Sgt.Albert.E.Wilson. Pte.James.W.Logan.Pte.William Armour. Acm1.George.B.Wells(RN) Pte.Daniel Smith. Pte.Ian.M.Stewart.F/O.Oliver.M.Cruickshank(RAF)Pte.Robert Maxwell2nd.Lt.Michael.D.W.Buchanan. Pte.Thomas.G.McKay.Mne.Joseph McCourt(RM) L/S.James.W.Addison(RN)

Any family who lost a loved one in the Korean War 1950-53 and wish to take part can send the photograph to me, Brian Hough, 116 Fields Farm Rd. Hyde SK14 3NP.

If more details required you can call 0161 368 5622 or mob. 07467037742, you can also email bhough116@gmail.com May I thank you for any help that you can give on this matter.

Brian Hough

via email


Still hoping to recruit new members!

Madam, - The British Element Trieste Force Association was formed in 2004 for those ex-servicemen who served in the Free Territory of Trieste from 1945 and 1954.

Although our average age is now 85 we are still hoping to recruit new members!

There are opportunities to contact old colleagues through the quarterly magazine and association website.

Regional meetings are held in various parts of the country. Annual reunions take place at

different locations, the next being near Lichfield in March 2016: a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum is planned to coincide with the eighth anniversary of re- forming association in its present form.

If you are interested in knowing more about the association please get in touch with me by phone on 01665 589289, by email dagriggs@btinternet.com or write to Suilven, Ellingham, Chathill, Northumberland NE67 5HA.

We also welcome associate members, for example people whose relatives served there or who, as children, attended the Military School.

David Griggs

(Membership Secretary)

council cuts

Clarify the LibDem position please

Madam, - The Liberal Democrat candidate for Aberdeenshire East in the upcoming Holyrood elections, Christine Jardine used Twitter to claim that Scottish Conservative msps voted with the SNP to push through £500million in budget cuts for local councils. This is untrue.

Presumably she was referring to a vote in the Scottish parliament on 3rd February when Scottish Conservative msps abstained on a stage one budget vote.

Abstaining is not the same as voting with the nationalists.

One of the budget asks from the Conservative group of msps was a review of local government finance, as the current formula acts against the North east.

The Lib Dems propose a 1p increase in income tax.

However, it has been made absolutely clear by Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie that money generated by this will be used to increase the education budget to try to narrow the attainment gap built up over the 9 years of SNP rule.

So, where is the money to come from to reverse the cuts in funding to local authorities that Christine implies will result?

The Lib Dems can either make bigger cuts elsewhere (NHS or policing), they can increase council tax (and incur the draconian punishments of the SNP government) or increase income tax further.

Maybe Christine Jardine could clarify the Lib dem position on these, and also withdraw the allegation that Conservative MSPs voted with the nationalists.

Colin Clark

Aberdeenshire East Scottish Conservative Candidate

Locum solution

Time to takeoff the gloves

Madam, - It is time for Junior Doctors to take their gloves off in their fight against the Health Secretary.

While a long term strike might be considered to contravene the Hippocratic Oath, surely nobody could find fault with medics who simply refused to accept the new contract and resigned from their posts?

Of course they would then be at liberty to register with temporary agencies to work at at whatever was the going rate.

This would doubtless be more expensive for the NHS than simply settling with the BMA, but I cannot see any government allowing hospitals to close when there was a ready supply of suitable doctors available in the free market.

John Eoin Douglas

Via email