Letters: Cameron’s bombing by stealth is unacceptable

Prime Minister Cameron approved Syria attack. Picture: PA
Prime Minister Cameron approved Syria attack. Picture: PA
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The arrogance of Prime Minister Cameron in wanting to take the UK into further military action in Syria knows no bounds.

We now know that UK military personnel have already been involved in conducting air strikes in US-led bombing missions, without the approval of Parliament. Yet just two days after this he is determined to push for further action without first providing answers to our current involvement.

The House of Commons rejected bombing in Syria two years ago and the case for undertaking this has simply not been made.

The involvement of British service personnel in bombing without the approval of Parliament, therefore, clearly flouts the democratic decision taken by the House.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon led a Commons debate on Syria only this month, before which he briefed the media about the likelihood of the UK bombing in Syria in the future, yet he didn’t say a word about UK military personnel already sent into action.

The Government’s policy in this matter is entirely unacceptable - effectively overseeing a bombing campaign by stealth.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

BBC Scotland needs fairer share of finance

It is very cynical of the Tories to expect the BBC to pay for free TV licences for over 75s at a cost of £650 million. However, while the licence fee must remain, the fact is that BBC TV output is completely out of touch with modern Scotland.

The majority of viewers in Scotland feel that the BBC no longer reflects their life in news and current affairs content, which should ensure that the BBC’s Charter Review recommends that Broadcasting be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, where its output can be democratically scrutinised on behalf of licence fee payers, rather than the ludicrous position whereby BBC Scotland executives ignored requests to appear before an all-party Scottish Parliament Committee.

BBC Scotland needs a fairer share of the licence fee raised in Scotland to reflect Scottish arts, culture, music and live sport, which are all underfunded compared to south of the border.

However, the poorest BBC performance lies with its news and current affairs programming, as Scotland must be the only country that has a Parliament but where the vast bulk of its TV news and current affairs output concentrate on the issues of a another country.

Indigenous Scottish news and current affairs programming need not be parochial and should report on world and European affairs from a Scottish perspective.

The London-centric attitude is evidenced by the fact that the Scottish government had not been consulted at any point over the UK government’s green paper on the BBC, despite being recommended by the Smith Commission.

Post devolution there is no longer any case for the broadcasting status quo.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

Charity makes strange demand for job seeker

We were shocked to learn that a Dundee-based food bank charity run by the Trussell Trust has advertised a £24,000-a-year job, insisting the role MUST go to a ‘committed Christian’.

We fail to see why Christian belief or lack of it would in any way affect someone’s ability to take this job.

Imagine the religious outcry if a similar position were to demand only non-religious candidates!

Why do some Christians continue to believe that they uniquely are exempt from equality legislation?

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh

Mhairi Black is a credit to the SNP

Michelle Smyth is becoming a bit tiring with her constant sniping at the SNP for any little reason, and her remarks about Mhairi Black’s maiden speech in the House of Commons is an example (Letters, July 17).

That speech has been praised by many, including political opponents, as being one of the best ever given in the House; so much so, that it was even mentioned on political programmes.

Ms Smyth claims that because of the fall in oil prices there would have had to be cuts to welfare spending, schools and hospitals in an independent Scotland, but this is not so.

The world renowned Standard and Poor’s organisation says that Scotland is a very wealthy country, richer per capita that France, Germany and Japan, and even without oil would merit an AAA rating.

Oil is a bonus to Scotland but we could manage perfectly well without it, just as countries like Denmark, Sweden and Finland do.

B King, St Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh

Colinton whistleblower deserves our thanks

OF course the whistleblower who raised concerns over alleged physical abuse at an Edinburgh care home deserves praise.

The complaint has already sparked a police probe into the treatment of residents and three staff have been suspended. Anyone found guilty of any offence should hang their heads in shame and deserves strong sentences.

Mrs June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Edinburgh