Letters: Protection we have as part of UK cannot be equalled

Have your say

Margo MacDonald is usually an able politician. However, in her column she misses a fundamental point (News, February 20). No politician, including Theresa May or Michael Moore, owns Britain’s assets; for example, our security services, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

The people of Britain, whether they be Scottish, Brummie, Scouse, Geordie, Cornish or Welsh, are the shareholders in Britain PLC.

Individual political parties when in office can be thought of as company directors, but we, as the shareholders, have ultimate control through our elections.

We the people have invested billions of our taxes, for generations, in our country, in this case in credible collective security. We are the stakeholders in the massive GCHQ organisation in Cheltenham which is hugely important in fighting the cyberspace threats to our infrastructure.

Does Margo think we are stupid enough to throw away our stake in this protection, which could never be replicated by a small, isolated economy?

I Hudson Palmerston Road, Edinburgh

The SNP wants to stop separation

I AM one of the people who live in what John Taylor describes as “the separatist’s supporters world” (Letters, February 21). At least I assume that is what he means.

From my point of view as an active member of the “Yes” campaign, for a start, no-one I know agrees with Alex Salmond’s every whim. We may agree broadly with his very well thought-out plans and the agreed aspirations of our people. But every whim? No! We can think for ourselves, which is what people do in a democratic and outward-looking organisation.

No-one is suggesting a promised land flowing with milk and money. Rather we are looking at moving onwards and upward in a world where we can make a contribution, rather larger than our size suggests, and over a period of time, improve considerably on where we may be on day one of being an independent nation.

Regarding his use of the word “separatist”, separate is what we are now. What I see us as is “integrationists”. We want to be part of what is going on in Europe and the rest of the world, rather than looking on from the outside and only doing what we are allowed to do, to suit our lords and masters in the south-east of England. We have been “separate” for too long. Only by becoming independent can we take our proper place in the world.

Malcolm Brown, Houldsworth Street, Blairhall, Fife

Education, not indoctrination

The Evening News ran a story (February 20) publicising a live petition by parent Veronica Wikman and Edinburgh Secular Society asking Edinburgh City Council to discontinue religious observance in schools.

There are two ways in which religion is introduced to school children.

Religious education (RE) discusses the cultural and historical impact of all world religions and is rightly taught in a comparative, philosophical way. The other is Religious Observance (RO) which imposes religion, usually Christianity, as truth on intellectually developing young minds. That there is a minimum number of hours of RO statutorily required of schools often leaves the door open for evangelising outside groups.

I hope families will agree about the importance of RE but condemn RO as unwarranted indoctrination with little mandate from parents.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society

Investment is key to future success

It’s welcome news that the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who are unemployed has fallen over the past year.

The Scottish Government’s focus on supporting youth employment through its commitment to fund 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships per year is commendable. But there needs to be greater recognition of the high quality skills development potentially available through the construction industry’s apprenticeship framework.

Construction employers can only continue to offer employment opportunities for young people if they can be confident of a reliable pipeline of new work to keep apprentices gainfully employed. That is why continued public infrastructure investment is so important as a cornerstone of a successful youth employment strategy.

Michael Levack, Scottish Building Federation