Letters: Tory double standards over Barroso comments

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It is intriguing to note the response to the comments of Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who criticised the Prime Minister’s attempt to curtail freedom of movement of people within the European Union.

Tory sources have, of course, ridiculed the President, describing him as “being out of touch” and an “unelected bureaucrat”

Interestingly, this was not the attitude being taken by the Tories in the run up to the independence referendum, when they actively trumpeted Mr Barroso’s comments that Scotland would have to re-apply for EU membership. It is fascinating how a matter of weeks can so fundamentally change views.

Any attempt to restrict free movement within the EU would require a fundamental revision of its founding principles, dating back to the 1950s. This is something that would require an unpicking of the very treaties on which the EU is founded and has little, if any, support with the 27 other EU member states.

Mr Cameron has boxed himself into a corner trying to fend off UKIP through increased Euroscepticism, while at the same time further alienating EU member states.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Prestwick Airport is a white elephant

The SNP-dominated Scottish Government bought Prestwick Airport for £1 to save it from closure and pledged to invest £10 million into the airport, despite the previous owners losing £7 million a year.

It is telling that no other companies were interested in buying it.

In June, Nicola Sturgeon, then Deputy First Minister, announced a £7 million investment for repairs and improvements.

Now Prestwick Airport is to be ‘loaned’ another £10 million.

Wait a minute, ‘loaned’, but the taxpayers already own this airport, so when the plug is pulled then it is taxpayers’ money down the drain.

Passenger flights at Prestwick Airport are as few as one a day, so the airport has no future. By comparison the highly successful Glasgow Airport has 100 flights a day.

I trust no more money will be ploughed into this politically motivated white elephant.

The Prestwick Airport slogan ‘pure dead brilliant’ was one-third correct – the middle word.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

British troops should stay out of Iraq war

If we are sending our troops to Iraq to fight ISIS, then we should be paying them mercenary wages.

Ground troops in Iraq is not the solution, Britain should not get involved in this suicidal campaign. Cameron should think again.

James E Fraser, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh

Give vacant plots to folk without gardens

With tenants of allotments complaining about prices, why don’t the ones with gardens at their homes use them, and give the vacant plots to some of the people in the queue?

The council should also consider giving these plots to people in homes who do not have gardens and live in the local area.

Ian Stevenson, address supplied, Edinburgh

Stop sniping and concentrate on jobs

While the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ voters are sniping at each other and Nicola Sturgeon is swanning away on her party bus promoting the SNP and soon to be ex-First Minister Alex Salmond is still spouting independence, we have just seen the sell off to Spain of two Scottish airports and the closing down of India-based Tata Steel.

This will mean a loss of jobs and more poverty in the affected areas. So come on Scotland, it is time to stand together and stop the draining of our national assets - or what we have left that have not already been sold of to foreign countries.

No matter what party you support, it is time to make our politicians be more open and honest about what is happening behind closed doors.

Mary Coombs, address supplied, Edinburgh

Pay minimum wage for House of Lords

The recent comments by ‘Lord’ Freud make me think what a wealthy but sad country we live in when he suggests that if disabled people want to work, maybe we could fob them off with two quid an hour.

The sad thing about people like Lord Freud is that they can go to the Palace of Westminster, have breakfast, lunch and drinks in one of the many bars, at taxpayers subsidised prices, and on their way out to go home collect their £300 a day ‘expenses’.

Maybe l could help the noble Lord in his quest to save money. How about a time clock in Lords chambers and pay for their services by the hour? I’m a bit more generous than suggesting £2, let’s make it the minimum wage rate.

Simples - cost savings falling on the broadest shoulders.

Colin Cookson, Glenrothes

No Quality of shelters in Davidsons Mains

While I have a modicum of sympathy with the Princes Street shelterless passengers highlighted by Paris Gourtsoyannis in the Evening News (October 17), please spare a thought for us who use the stops in Quality Street, Davidsons Mains. We never have had shelter, despite three bus routes, 21, 32 and 41.

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh