LETTERS: Shrinking Army leaves Scotland over-exposed

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It is disappointing to note the latest figures from the Scottish Government indicating that employment in the armed services north of the Border has fallen by 1000 in the last year.

The number of military personnel now stands at 9400, having dropped below 10,000 for the first time and down 9.5 per cent from 2014.

Since 2010, indeed, some 20,000 redundancies have been made in the army overall and a further 5000 in the Royal Navy and RAF. This is despite a UK Government pledge that the number of personnel would increase.

With George Osborne’s recent announcement that the replacement of Trident at Faslane will go ahead, in the face of widespread opposition in Scotland, we are to face an unjustified reduction in our conventional forces.

The UK Government’s messianic commitment to nuclear weapons and the £100 billion replacement of Trident have seen our conventional forces sidelined, leaving us over-exposed and under-protected as a nation.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Muslim growth is a cause for concern

The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, said that the razor wire fence and new laws criminalising those entering Hungary illegally were essential in order to “defend Hungary and Europe” and “protect our way of life”.

He added: “Hungary is a country with a thousand-year-old Christian culture. We Hungarians don’t want the worldwide movement of people to change Hungary”.

I am reminded of the words of Col Gaddafi Libya’s Islamic leader who stated on Al Jazeera TV on April 10, 2006, “There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest. The 50 million Muslims in Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within three decades.”

Research suggests that there will be 71 million Muslims in Europe by 2050. Politicians should listen to Viktor Orban.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

A poem to celebrate Scotland’s Union Day

WB Yeats’ poem The Second Coming comes to mind, when I think of the nationalist rallies marking a year since the referendum, and note the lack of any unionist equivalent.

The lines “The best lack all conviction” and “the centre cannot hold” catch the mood of the day.

However I comfort myself that on September 18 last year, Union Day, the silent majority spoke.

Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh

We should honour Captain Eric Brown

I WAS interested to read your piece about Leith-born Captain Eric Brown (96), the man dubbed Britain’s greatest pilot (‘How time flies as Eric recalls piloting Komet’, News, September 11).

I’d like to suggest that the city should have some plaque or other public remembrance of this gentleman.

G Wright, McGregor Pend, Prestonpans

Chasing a cure for diabetes in Lothians

As the new chair of the JDRF Development Group in Scotland and someone who carefully manages my own type one diabetes, I am acutely aware of the challenges faced by the 4492 people affected by the condition in the Lothians.

JDRF is the world’s leading charitable funder of type one diabetes research and exists to find a cure for this devastating condition and its complications.

Scotland is playing an important role on the front line of the fight against type one. In September, our JDRF ‘One Walk’ raised £20,000 and with other events in the pipeline we can make a difference to those with this condition. At the moment nearly £4 million of research in Scotland is being funded by JDRF for projects in Glasgow and Dundee.

With the third highest incidence of type one diabetes in the world, Scotland is a worry, but we also have a leading medical research community.

Scotland is perfectly placed to drive new research and play a major role in the development of a cure. We need to raise money but we also need to encourage our clinicians, academics and politicians to take up the challenge and help us make Scotland a world leader in type one research.

Peter Jones, JDRF Development Group (Scotland), Aberdeen

Let’s celebrate Union Square anniversary

Mindful of ex-First Minister Alex Salmond’s intention, before his defeat a year ago, to have Glasgow’s George Square renamed Freedom Square, how about City of Edinburgh Council rename one of our prominent local squares Union Square?

As Nicola Sturgeon states she’ll demand another referendum whenever she feels like it, surely this would serve as an appropriate reminder that 61.1% of us in the city voted Yes to remaining very much part of the UK.

Martin Redfern, Royal Circus, Edinburgh

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