Readers' letters: Scots will be harder to scare next time
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The need to replace the failing policies of the Tory Party with a political alternative is essential. Workers have had little support from any of our mainstream political parties but, so far, the British public has been supportive of trade union action.
In Scotland, the SNP-led government says it is struggling to help workers, our NHS and care sector because it is underfunded by Westminster and doesn’t have the borrowing power to address the problems. Unionists don’t accept this and blame all Scotland’s ills on the SNP. Yet when more Tory austerity and anti-trade union legislation could be in the offing, support for Scottish independence hasn't gone away. In fact, a recent poll found support had increased to 56 per cent.
In England, workers who who switched from Labour to the Tories feel betrayed. They now look towards Sir Keir Starmer for help. He has reacted by telling his MPs to stay away from workers if they are on picket lines. Enter into the fray Gordon Brown. His first priority was to insult workers and others who support Scottish independence by calling them “narrow nationalists”. Apart from being insulting and careless, this remark comes from a politician who hasn’t always acted in the best interest of workers.
As Labour leader and Prime Minister Mr Brown deregulated our banks and gave unelected bankers the right to set interest rates. After the economic crash in 2008, his actions left taxpayers with banks’ debt. Then of course came the Vow. Drafted by “project fear” a campaigning group set-up by the Unionists in the run-up to Indyref1 to scare people in Scotland, Gordon Brown played a big part in the resulting ‘No” victory. Scaring the people of Scotland this time around might be a little bit more difficult.
Jack Fraser, Musselburgh
Don’t tolerate mould
Scots do not have to “tolerate mould due to rising energy costs” (News, 13 December).
Opening windows is ineffective, so keep them closed to conserve heat. However, it's important to keep relative humidity below 70 per cent. With much water vapour generated in modern dwellings, mechanical ventilation is necessary to eject the vapour at source: in kitchens and bathrooms.
The latter fan should be linked to the light switch and have an overrun facility. Use kitchen extract fans when cooking. Also add what insulation you can to the dwelling structure to reduce cold surfaces. Keep warm and mould-free.
Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh
As animal abandonment cases are reportedly up 25 per cent from last year and shelters across the country are overflowing with cats and dogs, PETA is urging people who are thinking of welcoming an animal companion to the family to ensure they are prepared for the responsibility – and to wait until after the festive season to adopt.
Caring for an animal requires time, patience, and money, all of which are as tight as Santa’s suit during the holiday season. Once their novelty wears off, many animals acquired on a whim or given as gifts wind up forgotten, banished to a crate, or chained outdoors in the cold. Or they will join the countless others taken to shelters or abandoned on the side of the road to freeze or starve to death.
Please, never give animals as gifts or support a Scrooge by buying from greedy breeders or pet shops.
Jennifer White, PETA Foundation, London
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