LETTERS: More power to Scotland should include BBC TV

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Dr Scott Arthur’s Tory ‘Better Together’ friends must be delighted with his sterling campaigning against Scottish self-­determination (Letters, February 26).

He has helped to destroy the Labour Party in Scotland and left us ruled by a London austerity party that was ­supported by only 15 per cent of Scots voters but has cut the Scottish Government’s budget by nine per cent with more to come.

While the Smith Commission proposals may have been largely delivered, the ‘near federal’ Vow promise has not.

Income tax is a very blunt financial instrument and the five main taxation powers that could grow the Scottish economy and create a fairer society remain firmly under Westminster control with Labour support.

The claim that Holyrood is now one of the strongest devolved parliaments in the world is laughable, as a cursory internet search will reveal.

Labour have no ambition or aspiration for Scotland and couldn’t even bring themselves to trust our fellow Scots with responsibility for abortion or broadcasting and sabotaged earlier proposals for a ‘Scottish Six’ TV news programme.

We are now faced with a Tory government in London appointing the next BBC Scotland controller and BBC London appointing all members of the Board of Trustees without any democratic nomination from Scotland.

More important than a Scottish Six, a completely fresh approach is urgently required from BBC Scotland, plus many more programmes that reflect Scottish arts, business, music, drama, current affairs, history and sports.

The vacant BBC 3 TV channel should be used for this purpose but I fear the usual parochial cringe of we are ‘too wee, too poor and too stupid’ brigade will prevent this golden opportunity.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

SNP are out of touch on Trident issue

So Nicola Sturgeon speaks out in London against the Trident nuclear deterrent. As ever, the nationalist leader maintains she is indisputably Scotland’s mouthpiece – despite the latest Ipsos MORI poll suggesting a very different story.

Apparently just 51 per cent of us here support UK nuclear disarmament – a majority yes, but only just. And when asked if we support the UK removing nuclear weapons even if others keep theirs, only 44 per cent of us agree while 46 per cent oppose.

It would seem a great many in Scotland share Westminster’s views rather than those of Holyrood’s government.

With defence in any case reserved to the UK government, the reality is that Ms Sturgeon and Co are merely using Trident as yet another weapon in their relentless war of ‘them and us’ with Westminster.

Perhaps Ms Sturgeon would be better employed concentrating on deep-seated issues in areas she is entirely responsible for, such as Scotland’s struggling public services?

Martin Redfern, Royal Circus, Edinburgh

Nicola’s ‘stay away’ barb is outrageous

The SNP seem determined to push their control agenda at every possible opportunity.

Financial threats have removed discretion from Scottish councils, undermining local democracy in the process.

They are involving the state in the governance of our universities. Families are also targeted, as the Named Person scheme brings state interference into the care of children who are not at risk, as much as those who are.

Then the SNP blatantly seek to pressurise the BBC, looking to reshape it in Scotland to create a parochial nationalist vision of public broadcasting that will only be welcome by the SNP’s most ardent supporters.

The latest insult comes in the context of the EU debate, with Nicola Sturgeon saying the UK’s Prime Minister should ‘think twice’ before coming to Scotland to talk on the subject. This is an outrageous attempt to paint Scotland as some kind of political no-go area.

How dare our First Minister once again present herself as the spokesperson for all of Scotland in this regard, when in fact she seeks only to speak for Scottish nationalism, encouraging divisiveness in every way she can.

Keith Howell, West Linton, Peeblesshire

Air rifle licence won’t stop the irresponsible

As the owner of an air rifle I am against the law that I will require a licence or suffer a fine or up two years in prison.

Only the responsible owners will apply, as those who misuse air guns will not.

There are owners who are gun club members or many, like me, who enjoy occasional target shooting (plinking) in their large back gardens and never at wildlife.

I purchased my air rifle online, but instead of getting it delivered safely to my home I had to collect it from a gun shop in town. Producing my passport and a utility bill (a sensible precaution) and paying a £10 handling charge I carried the gun in its box and in a bag home by bus.

The prospect of full board for two years in Barlinnie among hardened criminals for not having an air gun licence is not a prospect that appeals to me, so I will apply for a licence (is there a charge?) and have my shooting range inspected and presumably vetted by the police.

In the future, will it be a crime to sell my rifle privately? But whatever the outcome I will continue to enjoy a recreational pursuit.

George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh