Letters: Has austerity reached Jenners? Their Xmas tree looks as if it's dying

What has happened to Jenners' Xmas tree? I couldn't believe they would put up such a tree.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 2:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 3:00 pm
Sheila Hewitt is not impressed with the Jenners Christmas tree this year.

It looks as if it’s dying and as though half the tree is missing. When you walk round it, the branches have all been chopped away. They’ve maybe got a new contractor?

Sheila Hewitt, Edinburgh.

Leonard’s right on Brexit, wrong on independence

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I share Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard’s analysis of just how weak, unstable and catastrophic Theresa May’s government has been over Brexit.

I think he is entirely incorrect, however, in suggesting that the chaos of Brexit suggests that Scottish independence would be just as, or even more, challenging.

Independence is a well-trodden path, often without incident. Since World War II the number of independent nations in the world has nearly tripled, with many of those countries becoming independent from the UK. The UN has welcomed over 30 new members in the last 30 years or so.

In the case of the ‘Velvet Divorce’ between the two countries that made up Czechoslovakia, the whole process from declaration to actual independence was smooth and took fewer than six months to complete. Scotland’s journey might not be quite so quick, but it need not resemble Brexit in the slightest.

The chaos that Brexit has unleashed has been caused by a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, the complete absence of a plan after the Leave vote, the complete absence of political leadership over the past two years, and the fact that the UK is breaking entirely new ground in terms of being the first member state to leave the EU. None of these factors would apply to Scotland.

Those, like Mr Leonard, who fundamentally oppose independence will continue to invent obstacles to it. But let’s not pretend that the process of becoming independent is necessarily difficult, or anything other than normal.

The majority of countries now in existence have navigated through it at some point. And - most importantly of all - not one seems to regret it.

Chris Hegarty, Glenorchy Road, North Berwick.

Parking is not just a city centre problem

It was interesting to read that our esteemed city council are to take action on those who are found to be parking badly on a regular basis (‘Persistent bad parkers to get towed instead of tickets’, News, December 8).

I assume from this that parking attendants will have a database with details of those committing this offence, but only in the city centre.

I agree that this needs to be addressed, but what about the rest of Edinburgh? In our narrow street we have people parking on corners, restricting access for emergency and other larger vehicles, and people who repeatedly park on the pavement, blocking it for those who use wheelchairs, walking aids, prams and buggies and those with sight issues.

Should CEC not be dealing with this problem on a city-wide basis? Or does Cllr Macinnes consider the ­centre of Edinburgh to be the only part of the city to be affected by this?

It is time that our elected members realised that there is more than one area of Edinburgh that they need to attend to.

William Greig Whyte, Piersfield Grove, Edinburgh.

Shortfall in Nicola’s budget calculations

Nicola Sturgeon tweets to tell us that ‘we can opt to stay in the real world with #independence’. Indeed.

Let us examine what that ‘real world’ would be like. Currently, Westminster pays Scotland extra – over and above what Scots themselves earn – an amount that pays for 15 per cent of Scotland’s annual public spending budget.

With Ms Sturgeon’s ‘independence’, that money would be removed immediately. That is before we factor in costs of setting up a new state, underwriting our new central bank, etc, etc.

I do wish a Scottish interviewer would have the courage to ask Ms Sturgeon about where she proposes to find that 15 per cent of public spending costs. I doubt even Derek Mackay’s fabled magic touch with tax rates would begin to make inroads into it. The ‘real world’ of Scottish ‘independence’ would be one of recession, cuts and austerity maximissimus. It is time for the SNP to be honest about this.

Jill Stephenson, Glenlockhart Valley, Edinburgh.

It’s time for Scotland to sue for divorce

The secret is now out. There is another choice: we can remain in the EU and no member state can object!

Scotland has been like a disenfranchised wife, forced to move from her home and friends of over 40 years, to the severe financial disadvantage of all her family, despite the furious protests of all those concerned.

The inequalities of the Union could not have been exposed in starker terms. Scotland’s wishes are totally subservient to those of our southern neighbours.

Westminster says jump! and through the hoop we leap. Iraq, Afghanistan and back to the 14-18 war being classic examples. Now is the time to head for“the divorce courts”and sever the chains.

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline.