Letters: ‘No’ vote future looks very sadly predictable

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Never mind Alex Salmond’s Plan B, we are still waiting to learn the ‘No’ vote’s Plan A, but I can provide an entirely credible preview:

We’ll have a Westminster Parliament with more than a sprinkling of UKIP MPs, probably forming a coalition with the Tories.

The Scottish budget will receive even more damaging cuts.

The power of industry and commerce in that sacred cow, London, will continue unabated.

A completely unnecessary High Speed rail link from London to Birmingham will be constructed.

Rural Scotland will suffer a dearth of Post Offices, contributing to further depopulation.

The House of Lords stuffed with political appointees of dubious merit will continue to expand.

The service from the BBC, will continue to disseminate Westminster propaganda.

Heathrow Airport will still be the UK’s biggest employer, with or without another runaway.

The national debt will rise steadily and uncontrollably towards £1.6 trillion.

The Navy will staff two large aircraft carriers without any planes.

There will be no Oil Fund or even the prospect of one.

Worst of all, Trident missiles will remain on the Clyde, risking not only the people of Scotland but humanity itself.

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Roache trial should not have come to court

The Libertarian Alliance notes the acquittal of the actor William Roache on all charges of sexual assault against minors during the 1960s. We also note the quality of the evidence given against him, mostly by women whose identities we cannot know.

We make no comment on the motivations of the prosecution witnesses in this case. Nor do we make any comment on any case currently in progress. However, we suggest the following reforms to the law:

1. That no accusations of sexual assault should be received by the authorities more than three years after the date of the alleged offence, or more than a year after the accuser has reached the age of eighteen, whichever is longer.

2. That the identities of all prosecution witnesses should be made public.

We further suggest that whoever in the Crown Prosecution Service authorised the charges against Mr Roache to go to trial should be named and sacked and deprived of his or her pension.

The Libertarian Alliance believes that sexual assaults, involving actual or reasonably prospective violence, should be punished. We also believe that sexual assaults against children should be punished. At the same time, we believe in fair trials. No one should be put on trial so long after the alleged offences as Mr Roache was. No one should be put on trial except when there is reasonable evidence of guilt.

We deplore that these arguments are put so rarely in the mainstream media.

Dr Sean Gabb, director, Libertarian Alliance, Lansdowne Row, London

Whyte’s wrong on Police Scotland deal

I am surprised that Cllr Iain Whyte’s letter (News February 17) could get his facts so wrong. After all, he has been chair of Lothian Borders Police for many years and is now a member of Police Scotland’s national board.

There has been no formal service level agreement for a number of years between this council and Lothian and Borders Police or the newly formed Police Scotland, nor is there any agreement with Police Scotland.

This coalition will establish the first formal service level agreement between Police Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council. This will include specific requirements for community policing and the continuation of vital road safety education and training.

There is no doubt that over many years the City of Edinburgh Council and the former Lothian and Borders Police have worked effectively in partnership. A service level agreement builds on this and formally commits both partners to a more accountable outcome-focused service, based on local needs and priorities

Perhaps Councillor Whyte can encourage Police Scotland to adopt this approach to other services!

Cammy Day, Labour Councillor - Forth Ward, Vice Convenor

Health, Social Care & Housing

Volcanic eruptions dwarfed by human CO2

With reference to Clark Cross’s letter of 15 February, regarding the notion that volcanic eruptions spew out more C02 than humans, I would wish to point out the following facts:

Volcanoes emit around 0.3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. This is about 1% of human CO2 emissions which is around 29 billion tonnes per year.

Specifically in relation to the Mount Pinatubo eruption to which Mr Cross refers, it emitted 42 million tonnes of CO2 (Gerlach et al 1996). Compare this to human emissions in 1991: 23 billion tonnes of CO2 (CDIAC). The strongest eruption over the last half-century amounted to 0.2% of human CO2 emissions in that year.

Keith McNeill, Claremont Bank, Edinburg

Circuses are no place for animal acts

AS views are being sought on a possible ban on wild animals in travelling circuses, I’d like to say in my opinion no animals should be used in any circus.

It’s grossly cruel and shameful that wild animals are used. Surely the Scottish government must ensure a ban comes to pass without delay.

Mrs June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh