Letters: Alistair Carmichael is making voter mischief

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Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael’s puerile claim that the SNP is trying to create division between Scotland and England through asserting that there are “different” Scottish and English values smacks more than a little of desperation (February 3).

No-one, as far as I am concerned, has ever claimed this is the case. It is not that Scots are better or worse than the English, we are of course the same, but it is our political cultures that are worlds apart.

Mr Carmichael and his Conservative colleagues at Westminster are set on dismantling the welfare state, imposing tuition fees on students and heading down a route of semi-privatisation of the NHS.

In Scotland the government is looking to soften the blow of the iniquitous bedroom tax, has removed tuition fees for Scottish students and has retained the NHS in public hands.

While south of the Border Ukip is set to win a large number of MEPs at the forthcoming European Parliamentary election, in Scotland the party of Nigel Farage is confined to just seven per cent of the vote, according to recent polling, and is set to secure no MEPs.

With Tory backbenchers and Ukip at his back, Prime Minister David Cameron intends to hold a referendum on continued UK membership of the EU in 2017 and the Labour party will undoubtedly follow suit as it continues to try to out-Tory the Tories.

While just under half of Scots, according to recent polling, want to remain in the EU with a third looking to leave, these figures are reversed south of the Border. The threat posed to Scotland is that we are left out of the EU, not through our own volition, but due to English votes.

It is disingenuous for Mr Carmichael to claim that Scots are somehow being set against their English neighbours when it is in fact their very different political cultures that are being set against each other.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Time to challenge false allegations

shouldn’t the women involved in the Bill Roache case be jailed for making false accusations?

The prospect of a jail sentence might stop other women from accusing anyone without positive and substantiated evidence.

It’s time these never-ending charages stopped. Who’s next?

Mrs Sylvia Da Luca, Juniper Green, Edinburgh

NHS Lothian heroes come to my rescue

i recently paid a visit to the new Gullane Medical Centre, followed by a quick trip by ambulance to the ERI into A&E.

I was back home a week later with a defibrillator. I can’t praise the NHS Lothian and their staff highly enough.

Mr A Nicholson, Hopetoun Terrace, Gullane

Some things are too important to privatise

THERE are many needs common to everyone in the UK, among them the NHS, gas, electricity, water, transport, education and employment.

In Scotland only the NHS and schools can be classed as universal services, and even these are faced with attempts to privatise them.

Gas and electricity supplies are absolutely basic for human life, yet these industries are in private hands, operating for private profit. There is no way individuals or groups should control such basic needs.

Most people have to use public transport to get to and from work; again they are a basic universal necessity that should not be run for private profit.

Loss of employment is devastating for individuals and families and long-term unemployment leads to depression and loss of dignity.

One creator of unemployment is the withdrawal of investment by groups of individuals and banks moving their money from one place to another, home and abroad, to maximise profit.

Again, this is not right and should be changed.

There are so many other areas of life common to all on which which unity of thought and action could make universal services.

Pitting one section of the population’s interests against another must be resisted.

Mr A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh

Public safety comes before policing cuts

THE Craigmillar police station is one of the new breed of police stations recently built, yet it has been earmarked to close its public counter services (News, February 8). But why?

This police station is sited in an area which is expanding into a large community, so the need for an undisrupted link with the local police force is of paramount importance for the relationship of trust between our community and our police force.

No doubt the suspicions over the reorganising of the police services will be about cost cutting, which has nothing to do with the efficiency of the policing of our communities and can only worsen the safety of the public at large.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh