Letters: Ditching excess politicians should start at Holyrood

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Have your say

I disagree with your correspondent Alex Orr “SNP wants rid of excess politicians” (Interactive, October 19).

I also want rid of excess politicians, but I would not use the method Mr Orr suggests.

I think we should axe all of the 129 MSPs at Holyrood. The current Scottish MPs at Westminster could then take on the role of dealing with Scottish issues but be based at Holyrood with computer links to London for any votes on UK matters, which would also drastically cut travel expenses.

The only restriction I would put on the Scottish MPs is that they would not be allowed to vote on matters solely relating to England.

I wish to ask Mr Orr how the SNP plans to reach its goal of independence when it is quite clear that the SNP under current policy would love to remain in the EU or sign up as a new state should it ever achieve separation from the rest of the UK. My understanding of the word independent means free from any other body or state.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

£1bn a powerful gamble to make

THE first experimental Carbon Capture and Storage scheme at Longannet coal-fired power station has been scrapped amid escalating costs (News, October 20). The companies involved believed that £1.5 billion was needed to make it viable but this was more than the £1bn that the UK government was making available.

Cue for Alex Salmond, Dr Richard Dixon of WWF, Friends of Earth and SNP politicians to condemn this decision.

The UK is in economic meltdown yet was going to spend £1bn on an experiment.

Small scale research showed that at best only 25 per cent of CO2 was removed.

Green Party leader Patrick Harvie said that the technology involved had always been “pretty speculative” and “ministerial minds should concentrate on proven renewable technologies”. For the first time ever I find myself agreeing with Patrick Harvie.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Explorer was lost without sextant

SANDRA Dick quoted David Livingstone’s most vital pieces of equipment as his bible and his medicine chest in her very welcome article on Scottish explorers (News, October 18).

Both these articles are on display in the quite excellent and engagingly presented exhibition in the David Livingstone centre in Blantyre.

What Sandra missed is that Livingstone’s successes as an explorer and cartographer were due to his mastery of navigation, a skill he picked up on his first long sea trip to South Africa via Rio de Janeiro.

Without a sextant he would have been lost. Without a sextant he would not have been able to draw the maps that were so accurate they were used for many decades as the base for further mapping of the unknown continent. The sextant is also on show at the David Livingstone Centre.

Dare I suggest that his sextant was quite the most important bit of kit he had with him? Without it, no David Livingstone – explorer, bible and medicine chest or not!

Robin Harper, Edinburgh

Fox victim? Don’t make me laugh

POOR Dr Liam Fox. According to the statements he has made in the last few days, he didn’t run a parallel right-wing foreign policy agenda from the MoD, didn’t help his lobbyist pal grease the wheels for the military industrial complex, but maybe just got a bit mixed up between his ministerial and “professional” roles – he is now just another victim of the press and that “should worry all of us”.

Actually, it doesn’t: without a (relatively) free press we wouldn’t have found out what he and his pals have been up to.

If he has been a victim of anyone, he has been a victim of David Cameron – who has sacrificed him to stop the contagion of press freedom spreading, to reveal just how many MPs (of all parties) are in the pockets of rapacious business interests intent in ripping the heart out of the UK before turning off the lights, and moving on. Liam Fox, victim? You’ve got to laugh, haven’t you?

David Fiddimore, Calton Road, Edinburgh