Letters: SNP backing wrong union on EU membership

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Getty
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Getty
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Until 1992 the SNP was the only political party that was anti-EU, so was the cradle of anti-EU votes, mine included.

It was then that Alex Salmond and his then deputy Jim Sillars declared to the world the slogan ‘independence in Europe (EU)’, which saw the SNP policy on EU completely reversed to today’s EU apologists.

I knew personally of staunch SNP activists and supporters who walked away from the SNP as they knew Scotland could not be truly independent within a super state cobbled together by politicians with no knowledgeable public support for its existence. Today’s political success owes more to EU support for the SNP than public support for the EU.

Nicola Sturgeon’s praises were sung after speaking for the first time in Brussels, setting out a case for Scotland to remain in the European Union. Nicola was hardly likely to be challenged or heckled on this in Brussels. The SNP record on adopting EU legislation is second to none, slavishly following EU dictates against Scottish public opinion, even when the SNP had asked the public for its opinion in consultations.

Holyrood’s legislation has been dictated by Brussels over single police and fire brigades and child guardian law, for example.

Why is Nicola’s SNP willing to jump out of one Union that does not oppress or subjugate us in any way and allows Scotland so much freedom to govern itself, to be replaced by a giant conglomerate?

Eric RS Davidson, Bruce Street, Macduff, Banffshire

Responsibility begins at home for road users

I read with interest Brenda Mitchell’s letter regarding the urgent action required to protect vulnerable road users and reduce the tragic toll of fatalities of pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists throughout Scotland (Letters, June 20).

It is interesting, however, that Ms Mitchell gives no figures as to how many of these accidents were caused by the aforementioned groups. While I agree that there does seem to be a safety gap developing for those travelling in cars, it seems to me that her efforts could be more directly focused on other areas of road safety, rather than shouting about introducing “presumed liability”.

Only this past week a cyclist was observed using a mobile phone while riding his bike at Cammo; a pedestrian almost struck by a cyclist going through red lights on a crossing at Haymarket, and a cyclist actually attempting to read a newspaper while riding his bike in the Barnton area.

Cycling on pavements and with no lights on bicycles at night are, of course, seen routinely throughout Edinburgh, and no doubt elsewhere.

Perhaps I could suggest to Brenda Mitchell that if these areas were addressed with as much urgency as she thinks presumed liability should be, then perhaps the toll of this ‘national disgrace’ would be reduced.

Graeme Murray, Glasgow Road,


Cyclists can do more to help themselves

Road death figures may be a disgrace, but I fail to see why motorists should be presumed liable just because an individual acting without due care and attention happens to be on foot or riding a bike.

Dangerous or reckless driving is unforgivable and should be dealt with severely under our existing legislation but Brenda Mitchell proposes to blame everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car no matter what the circumstances.

Shouldn’t all adults be held equally responsible for our own safety and that of others on and off the roads?

Also, can anyone explain why cyclists, who are forever demanding more cycle paths, refuse to use the one round Holyrood Park? Where a cycle path exists would it not be a good idea for cyclists to be obliged to use them?

Margaret Smart, Duran Drive, Edinburgh

Council tax payment system can cause debt

Ms CA Baker (‘Sheriff’s Court no way to solve tax problems’, letters, June 19) has my utmost sympathy.

Like her, I try to spread my council tax payments throughout the entire year. However, since my income is irregular, what I pay one month is not necessarily what I pay the next, and occasionally I even have to skip a month. Conversely sometimes I pay for more than one month at a time.

However, the council does not make it easy. They send out menacing letters demanding payment, even if it’s within the financial year.

This nasty technique distresses the more vulnerable members of our community and also drives them into unnecessary debt.

Ray Bell, Gogarloch Haugh, Edinburgh

Spend on vital services before tram extensions

I truly thought we had heard the last of the trams fiasco, but no. How on earth can Edinburgh City Council justify spending all our money on extending the trams to Newhaven when we have the best bus service in Scotland? The poor people and shopkeepers of Leith must be well and truly fed up.

I really think it is time the people of Edinburgh demanded the resignation of Councillor Lesley Hinds. She is playing fast and loose with our money when they are cutting back on much needed services such as the Silverlea Care Home and Stepdown service.

Please put the tram extension to bed once and for all, and if we have that much money, spend it on the things that the people of Edinburgh and surrounding areas really need.

Mrs Susan Smart, Penicuik