Readers' letters: Diplomatic channels with Russia must be kept open

I am a Labour supporter but believe Councillor Day is mistaken in his view that the Russian Consulate should be removed from Edinburgh (News, March 28).

Scottish Artists for Ukraine demo  at the Russian Consulate, Melville Street, Edinburgh
Scottish Artists for Ukraine demo at the Russian Consulate, Melville Street, Edinburgh

However critical we may be of Russian actions and policies in Ukraine, the UK is not at war with Russian and, wherever possible, channels of communication should be kept open.

After all, that is what consulates and embassies are for. We should always try to keep communicating with and listening to the other side, otherwise there is little hope of conflicts being resolved.

John Bowles, Edinburgh.

Ferry fiasco facts need to be revealed

Last week finance minister Kate Forbes couldn’t say who was responsible for signing off the ferry fiasco contract as it was “before her time”.

Today she is adamant that it was Derek MacKay, even though it seems he was on holiday at the time. However, this does imply that she has done some investigating, presumably of a record or two?

Surely taxpayers should be given access to this record to show who is telling the truth and who isn’t? All opinions and views cannot be correct, so someone is hiding something.

Ferguson Marine’s former owner Jim McColl’s forecast that this could cost a staggering £400m is probably going to be near the mark, though instantly dismissed by Ms Forbes who bases her estimate on “facts”.

Given the lack of knowledge of her facts last week, I suspect Jim McColl will be right. So, the big question is “who is going to take the blame?”

The SNP are good are blaming others. Will they do it to themselves, or is Derek MacKay an unfortunate but convenient scapegoat?

Ken Currie, Edinburgh.

Don’t blame us, it was Westminster

One of the most common tools used by independence supporters when faced with examples of SNP incompetence at Holyrood is to point at something the Conservatives at Westminster did wrong.

So, references to the inability to build a ferry will evoke mentions of HS2, while a long list of the money on various projects will lead to an equally long list of similar missuses of public funds by the Tories.

The interesting thing is this line of thinking seem to imply that it is OK for the SNP to make these kinds of mistakes because the Conservatives make them too.

Alternatively, these mistakes are only unacceptable when it is the Conservatives, Westminster or a Conservative government at Westminster making them.

This is especially ironic when one considers the other frequent argument of the SNP and their supporters: comparing Scotland to [insert country with a similar population or smaller here].

They never seem to want to compare the situation with Scottish ferries with the Denmark ferry service or compare the education systems of Scotland and Norway.

I may be missing something but I thought the point of independence was the Scottish Government was more competent than the UK one, not competing for second last place.

John Shanks, Rutherglen.

Census concern

Today I received a letter from the compilers of the Scotland's Census dated 21 March, stating they had not received my return.

We all know that the return concerned the night of 20 March, so I fail to see how a posted return could reach them by the 21st.

I wonder how many households received this communication and how much it cost us.

Martha Dickson, Edinburgh.

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