Readers' letters: Ownership export takes the biscuit

"Westminster governments don’t seem to have taken any steps to discourage this process”

Friday, 21st May 2021, 7:00 am

Ownership export takes the biscuit

I see an “action group” has been formed to “explore options for the future“ of the McVities factory in Glasgow, which its owners consider surplus to requirements.

A bit like sending for the fire brigade after the house has burned down.

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It has been suggested the closure stemmed from concerns over support for the independence movement but I think it’s a bit more complex than that.

For decades now there has been a pattern of a Scottish owned and managed concern bought by one in England; the head office goes right away but the production facilities continue north of the border until the new owners rationalise their operations onto their English site.

Of recent years another dimension has been added. A foreign buyer appears offering attractive sums of cash for the British concern and in due course production is moved abroad to where labour is cheaper and employment regulations are more lenient or more laxly enforced.

McVities after being subsumed into United Biscuits is now owned by Paladis which is, I believe, Turkish owned.

Westminster governments don’t seem to have taken any steps to discourage this process which is understandable as the City, on which it seems we all depend, is overwhelmingly interested now not in financing the running of UK business but in deals producing an immediate return.

Could an independent Scottish government do anything to remedy this situation? In theory possibly, but it would be very difficult.

In the McVities case Scottish Enterprise apparently advanced funds for modernisation including new products - and unfortunately, a fat lot of good that has done.

S Beck, Craigleith Drive, Edinburgh.

Justice minister passes buck over football

Scotland’s justice minister seems to consider that football clubs should resolve social ills associated with Scotland.

Preventing drinking, keeping law and order, and the religious divide are to become the responsibility of football clubs? Our parliament introduced minimum alcohol pricing; law and order is for the police and the most obvious way to resolve the Catholic/Protestant divisions would be to abolish faith schools. Children growing up and being educated together will discover they have more in common than they realised.

It is easier to pass on the problem, destroying football in the process than complain when it doesn't work.

Alastair Murray, Elliot Road, Edinburgh.

Time to spread the word about curling

The world mixed doubles curling championship is being held in Aberdeen this week. Yet curling, a sport which Scotland invented and took to the world and one of very few sports in which we are still among the world leaders, gets zero coverage in its homeland.

Surely this would have been the perfect opportunity to give both the underused BBC Scotland channel and this undercovered sport a much needed whiff of publicity?

Kenny Halliday, Roslin, Midlothian.

Some miss message on gas boiler ban

We are being told that in the best interests of climate protection we must end the gas boiler soon as a means of home heating.

I am being phoned by British Gas every time I have a repair done on my gas boiler to quote me for a new gas boiler.

Has no-one told British Gas about saving the world?

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Bucksburn, Aberdeen.