Letters: Sturgeon doesn’t speak for Scots people

Nicola Sturgeon meets Prime Minister David Cameron. Picture: Getty
Nicola Sturgeon meets Prime Minister David Cameron. Picture: Getty
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I do wish Nicola Sturgeon would stop declaiming about what the ‘Scottish people’ want, demand, voted for etc.

She does not speak for 50% of the Scottish voters in the general election, nor does she speak for the Scottish people who voted ‘No’ by a large majority in the referendum to keep most fiscal and welfare issues out of the hands of the incompetent bunch of whingeing, grievance-mongering ideologists that is the SNP.

It could be claimed on the referendum results that she only speaks for the four out of the 32 areas that voted ‘Yes.’

As far as the general election result goes it would appear that roughly the same numbers voted SNP as voted ‘Yes’. With a turnout of around 70% this indicates that the SNP got votes from 35% of voters - hardly something which Ms Sturgeon can claim to be a ‘democratic mandate’ to justify her increasingly strident demands.

SNP control over National Insurance, welfare, taxation and pensions is the stuff of nightmares for anyone with half a brain.

The SNP has shown themselves to be unworthy of the powers they have had for years and have presided over catastrophic declines in standards within the education and health sectors. The thought of them being given more powers is horrifying.

Donald Lewis, Gifford, East Lothian

Texting while driving needs tougher penalty

The story of Claudia Winkleman’s daughter, suffering terrible burns caused when her Halloween dress caught fire, was told on both BBC News and consumer protection programme Watchdog.

Now Watchdog, supported by a leading burns plastic surgeon and several fire brigades, are calling for the fire safety standard of such dresses – presently classed as toys – to be made the same as for children’s nightdresses. Good sense.

After the first death caused by driving while using a mobile phone, it wasn’t long before the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) identified that the reaction time of a driver using a mobile phone was slowed by some 35 per cent. Compared with the slowed reaction time of just 15 per cent for a driver at the drink drive limit, it was clearly a serious road safety issue.

While TRL figures clearly point to a reaction time akin to that of a driver at twice the drink drive limit - which carries an automatic 12 month driving ban - the penalty for driving while using a hand-held mobile phone is only a £100 fine and three penalty points.

For years now, road safety campaigners have been calling on the government to make the penalty for the offence the same as for drink driving, but they steadfastly refuse.

With deaths from it now amounting to many hundreds and no sign of it going away this surely can’t be good sense. A fatality costs £1.7million.

Texting and driving is a potentially lethal cocktail. What have surgeons and the fire brigade got to say about that?

Allan Ramsay, Radcliffe, Manchester

There were younger MPs than Mhairi

Constant reference has been made to the fact that Mhairi Black, at the age of 20 and ‘Baby of the House’, is the youngest MP since 1667. This simply is not the case.

Certainly Christopher Monck, then known as the earl of Torrington, was elected to the House of Commons in January 1667, about seven months short of his 14th birthday.

But he is the youngest MP we know about, rather than the only one under 21. In fact, it’s already been pointed out that several rather high-profile MPs in the 18th century were elected well under the legal age of majority, at 21, including Charles James Fox, elected for Midhurst at a mere 19.

The youngest MP before Mhairi Black was almost certainly Robert Jocelyn, Viscount Jocelyn, who was only just 18 when returned for County Louth in the general election of 1806 when a suitable candidate had not been lined up.

He gave up the seat at the election the following year, only returning in 1810, after he had attained his majority - an indication of the fact that his election was indeed regarded as a bit improper.

So Mhairi Black is in fact the youngest MP since 1806.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Bottle return scheme is the wrong priority

Environmental Secretary Richard Lochhead told MSPs that a ‘deposit-and-return’ scheme to recycle empty bottles and cans is being looked at by the SNP Government.

Agency Zero Waste Scotland has published a report and is asking for comments. I would imagine that most will be unprintable.

Every household already has a recycling bin which includes cans and there are bottle banks in supermarkets and other areas accessible to the public.

There are far more important considerations such as the 165,000 unemployed in Scotland, the imminent closure of Longannet, that Fife papermaker Tullis Russell is in administration, that Prestwick is a subsidised dying white elephant and numerous economic and social problems.

Mr Lockhead said: “Is deposit and return the next big thing in Scotland?”

How much are we paying him and his entourage for this drivel?

The words Rome, burns and fiddling spring to mind.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow