letters: Westminster gravy train is no place for SNP MPs

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At the anniversary of the referendum, I look back to this time last year and recall the almost 
 physical presence of hope that existed. We had a dream of a better Scotland which was more caring, more open and more honest.

There were many drivers for change and one was disenchantment with the grubby, self-serving Westminster system, with its expenses and its honours, the fiddling and the flipping.

The Yes movement stood against all of that and the SNP took that ethos and ran with it, returning 56 MPs to 

I can’t be alone in being utterly disgusted that six of the 56 have let the side down and have adopted the utterly discredited practice of employing their family members in posts such as office managers and case-workers.

What hope for the future when we have people handing out jobs earning almost £40,000 a year to their close relatives? If I worked for a local authority and handed a job to my brother which brought in a salary of around one-and-a-half times the average UK wage I would soon be out of my post.

We expect better from our SNP MPs. We expect them to set the example we demand of them, not to hitch their wagons onto the gravy train we worked so hard to derail.

The 56 must be aware that somewhere down the line the unionist media will be going through their expenses claims with a fine tooth comb, to use against them.

As our representatives, those attacks damage the independence movement also, which is why we need the 56 to uphold a higher standard of behaviour than some of them are exhibiting at the moment.

Ms Joan McNiven, Springfield Road, Cumbernauld , Glasgow

BBC’s tactics wrong on Rugby World Cup

The greatest rugby players from around the world converge on Britain for a premier festival of sporting competition and what does the BBC focus on in their news reports of said World Cup? Star players? Tactical developments? The reigning champions? The underdogs? No. The disproportionate representation of independent school pupils in the England team.

I can’t recall any similar hostile questioning relating to sports lacking independent school pupil representation.

Well, at least it’s a break from the BBC’s tireless promotion of women’s football.

Richard Lucas, Broomyknowe, Colinton, Edinburgh

Holyrood should act on ridding bedroom tax

I was delighted to hear that our First Minister and the Prime Minister agree that the next referendum should be a generation away.

I would like to know, however, if the Scottish Government will take out a full page advert in a national newspaper and print exactly what our devolved powers at this moment in time are, as I believe we are not being told the extent of these powers.

I have a letter from 10 Downing Street dated September 25, 2014 which is a reply to a letter I wrote asking them to think about doing away with the bedroom tax in Scotland.

The reply was that this falls within the responsibility of the devolved powers given to Scotland. So why are people in Scotland still paying the bedroom tax if this is truly the case?

As for the Yes campaigners, why don’t they do the honourable thing and accept that the people of Scotland for now have spoken and respect the result.

If it had been a Yes vote we would not have been able to keep pushing for another referendum as the deed would have been done and irreversible.

Please listen to the majority and let Scotland get on with all the other things that have up until now been overshadowed by everyone focusing on another referendum.

Mrs S Smart, Penicuik

Bigger things to worry about than referendum

I am sick and tired of Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond banging on about another referendum.

The vote last year was decisive and I am positive that the vast majority of the people of Scotland, whether they voted Yes or No, would rather that the Scottish Government concentrated their efforts in tackling the problems in education, health, police and closing the gap between rich and poor in Scotland.

Currently they don’t use the powers they have to tackle these issues and yet more powers will be devolved to Holyrood. Will they ignore these powers and continue to blame anyone who disagrees with them for the problems they face?

For goodness’ sake get on with the job that you were elected to do and try to improve life for Scottish people.

Frank Russell, Broomhouse Crescent, Edinburgh

Scottish energy policy needs resolving

Scottish SNP politicians blame Westminster for everything to deflect attention from their own failings on education, the NHS, police, energy security and the soft-touch justice system despite Scotland having had complete control for eight years.

Their biggest failure is their energy policy which should ensure that Scotland has enough reliable energy to meet its needs and that it is affordable for families and businesses.

The Scottish Government’s energy policy relies on expensive, subsidised, intermittent wind turbines since they are phasing out coal, gas and nuclear power plants.

It is therefore delightfully ironic that Scotland will soon be forced to import electricity from England “contaminated” with coal, gas and nuclear to “keep the lights on”.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow