Letters: Time Scotland made the most of natural resources

North Sea oil rig. Pic: Danny Lawson/PA.
North Sea oil rig. Pic: Danny Lawson/PA.
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Contrary to what the muppet roadshows are spouting, the future for an independent Scotland is rosy – and well they know it! When will they tire of mind-bendingly bleating that the oil and gas is about to run out? At it again, and what utter tosh!

Look no further than the recent release of 330 new North Sea blocks for development, at the last count attracting 224 applicants with 167 licenses already granted. BP is currently building 74 new structures at its yard in Rosyth. Even the Norwegians, Aker Solutions, are investing in North Sea oil.

Staff at ERI. Pic: Greg Macvean

Staff at ERI. Pic: Greg Macvean

Before the independence threat John Hayes, recent Tory energy minister, described it as a modern-day bonanza and proclaimed it “mythical” that North Sea oil had seen its best days.

Regardless of oil, the latest recorded Scottish Inward Investment report has demonstrated an increase of 16 per cent – with our current export growth well outstripping the rest of the UK.

And there’s not enough space here to list the profound benefits of policy autonomy, such as fiscal.

The Scottish people really need to ask themselves – do we want to continue to hang on to the coat-tails of the likes of Cameron, Osborne and Miliband, or do we want to steer our own sovereign nation out of the quagmire and into clear waters?

To then join the ranks of other independent nations with similar-sized populations and natural resources – the likes of Norway and the United Arab Emirates who hold accumulated sovereign wealth funds of £380 billion and £460bn respectively – Scotland currently holds zilch.

We should have been there a whole generation ago – let’s not make the same mistake again!

Phil Cowan, Laverockbank Avenue, Edinburgh

What happened to Labour Party?

WHEN it was founded, the Labour Party aimed for much needed redistribution of wealth.

Thirteen long years of Labour rule did, in fact, see the redistribution of wealth . . . the rich got richer and the poor got poorer!

Under Blair and Brown, we saw the sale of the gold reserves; the raids on pension funds; countless stealth taxes and the abolition of the 10p rate of tax, whilst nothing was done to close the tax loopholes quite legally exploited by the 1 per cent, who enjoy 99 per cent of the country’s monetary assets.

Through their failure to regulate, we saw the collapse of the banks leading to the ongoing “grand theft” of billions from savers, via absurdly low interest rates and excessive inflation.

Is there anything of the original Labour Party left? Or, are they now merely dim, flickering shadows cast, and controlled, by the firm right hand of David Cameron?

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners St, Dunfermline

‘Terminator’ would only stress NHS staff

To attempt to speed up hospital or surgery waiting times is ridiculous (News, September 30). In surgeries, emergency appointments must take priority and there is a continual bed shortage in NHS hospitals across the Lothians.

Apart from the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, other hospitals are needing to save money for necessary repairs and maintenance (which can include fixing broken lifts). So I think the message is to wait and evaluate the proposal to introduce any type of “terminator” method as such a system might only stress staff further.

Jean Logan, Edinburgh

Fire chiefs must put out closure threat

I could not agree more with Andy Fulton from the Fire Brigades Union (Comment, October 1) on the closure threat to the fire control room at Tollcross. The value of the local knowledge held by the staff based there must not be traded in for so-called efficiency savings.

I visited the control room last 
Friday and met with highly-trained staff who face what they describe as “redundancy by relocation”.

Many have children at school and relatives here in Edinburgh and 
moving to Dundee will simply not be an option for them. Fire Scotland should urgently rethink their 
proposal.

Alison Johnstone MSP

Church leaders do not deserve privileges

The 2011 census figures reveal such plunging numbers declaring religious beliefs that it is predicted in a few years the total number of people with any religious belief will be a minority.

The most striking figure even now is that “no religion” was 37 per cent, higher than the Church of Scotland at 32 per cent.

I respect an adult’s religious choice so these figures neither gladden nor sadden me but for years the Church of Scotland has assumed to speak for us all. It continues to impose its minority beliefs in our non-denominational schools and together with other religions has unelected representatives on all Scottish education committees.

When will the government and church leaders have the grace to accept that they have no mandate for these privileges?

Neil Barber, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh

Area seemed to be missing from radar

Your item about shutting the main runway at Edinburgh Airport for repairs and the consequential aircraft noise that the residents of several areas may experience (News, September 28) failed to mention that the residents of Longstone/Kingsknowe will also be affected.

Steuart Campbell, vice-chair, Longstone Community Council