Letters: Handouts at Christmas a disgrace to this country

St Johns Road RBS. Pic: Julie Bull
St Johns Road RBS. Pic: Julie Bull
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TO read in the News (December 24) about a boy asking “can I have some more”, just like Oliver Twist, in a food bank, made me angry. It’s especially infuriating at this time of year when we are supposed to be feeling the warmth of the treats of Christmas.

No doubt while unfortunate families and children have to hold their hand out and beg for food, there are wealthy people squandering money on supposed must-have frivolities that will be forgotten about before the festive season has ended.

Food bank volunteers. 'Pic: Neil Hanna

Food bank volunteers. 'Pic: Neil Hanna

But rather than be angry at them, I blame the public school-educated Tory toffs who are supposed to be running this country.

These are the people in charge of giving financial aid to what are described as developing nations, countries who laugh at us donating our cash to them and then spend money on space exploration.

And all this happens while more and more Britons cannot afford to feed themselves and their families properly.

If the government had any decency, they would resign.

But they don’t. And they won’t.

William Marshall, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh

Bank bailed out by us should give out cash

I HAD to laugh when I read the story about a Royal Bank of Scotland cash machine in Corstorphine dishing out £20 notes instead of tenners (News, December 24).

No wonder many people trooped up to the bank after word had spread of this unexpected piece of seasonal goodwill.

It’s just a pity that this bounty was not available to more of us, whether RBS customers or not.

After all, did the country’s taxpayers not bail the troubled bank out when it was in danger of sinking?

And as bonuses for fat cats at the discredited company continue to be paid at exorbitant rates while most of us struggle on against higher prices in shops despite no wage rises, who could blame RBS customers for taking the chance to claim an unexpected windfall thanks to a bank blunder?

But no doubt the bankers will have on record who extracted what at the bank’s cash machine and will claim the funds back.

You never can win with banks.

Kate Colquhoun, Northfield, Edinburgh

Prove that migrants pay for themselves

Alex Orr, an SNP activist, writes again (Letters, December 24).

His master, Alex Salmond, wants more immigrants and a seat at the EU table so Alex Orr dutifully obeys. He accuses David Cameron of scaremongering over the tsunami of Romanians and Bulgarians who will come after January 1, 2014 and alleges it will only be a trickle.

I am tempted to challenge Alex Orr to a substantial wager.

Uncontrolled immigration has already resulted in extreme pressure on welfare, NHS, education and housing.

France and Germany said that migration from EU countries was causing considerable social problems and they were introducing new restrictions.

No mention from Alex Orr of the 201,000 at present unemployed in Scotland.

Alex Orr claims that immigrants pay their way.

MigrationwatchUK research proved that an immigrant with a wife and two children and social housing had to earn more than £30,000 a year to pay more in tax and national insurance than he received in benefits.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Time to reflect on a very good year

This year, 2013, has been a year of celebration but also a year in which we have achieved a great deal.

This year marked the 130th anniversary of the Boys’ Brigade, and while times have certainly changed since Sir William Alexander Smith founded the organisation, our aims and objectives remain the same – to provide opportunities for young people to learn, make friends, enjoy new experiences and learn about the Christian faith.

It’s our ability to adapt and evolve that has kept us relevant to Scotland’s young people and has resulted in a resurgence in membership, with more than 20,000 young people taking part in our 450 Companies each week.

Reflecting on this year, we have much to be proud of – more than 400 Queen’s Badges awarded, 200 camps and residential activities provided, 170 Duke of Edinburgh awards presented and seven new groups started.

We couldn’t have achieved this without the help of thousands of dedicated volunteers who work timelessly behind the scenes to support our work.

As we look to 2014, it promises to be an exciting year as we continue to build on the positive work of 2013.

We look to further increase membership while ensuring the organisation remains relevant to the needs of our young people through our progressive programme of events and activities.

Bill Stevenson, director, Scotland, The Boys’ Brigade, Carronvale House, Larbert