Letters to the press, 30/08/21: SNP’s hypocrisy over referendum, SNP will bankrupt Scotland, Mutual damage.

Westminster must now confront the anti-democrats in the SNP/Green ‘alliance’ – CAPx

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Scotland’s new SNP-Green ‘alliance’ comes close to a coalition, which is a conventional way for a minority government to get its business through a parliament. However the SNP and the Greens have incompatible political goals on many fundamental issues, especially oil. The deal is not motivated by parliamentary considerations, but by the desire to force constitutional change on a country divided 50-50 on the issue. How might they be able to do this?

Essentially, by exploiting the peculiar voting system that Donald Dewar devised for the Scottish Parliament in 1998 in order, as he hoped, to keep Labour in power forever. But he was too clever by half. Now this system is being used to keep Nicola Sturgeon in power indefinitely by breaking up the United Kingdom. The system looks fair on the surface, but the devil is in the arithmetic.

About 220,000 people voted for the Greens in May’s Holyrood election, which represented 8% of the votes cast for ‘list’ seats, which are allotted on a proportional representation basis. In the constituencies, the Greens achieved a total vote of 35,000, in the whole country. That was 1.3% of the votes cast. Yet they are now to be in government so they can, as they hope, force the British government to bend to their and the SNP’s constitutional agenda.

Nicola Sturgeon has been complaining for years that Brexit was foisted on Scotland “against its will” because a majority of Scots voted for the UK to stay in the EU. But over a million votes were cast for “leave” in Scotland. Sturgeon says the Brexit result was an abuse of democracy as far as Scotland is concerned. Yet she is happy to use the derisory Green vote here to break up a nation of 65 million people.

Ambulance bosses blame Covid delays after leaving elderly woman to lie in Ayr town centre for four HOURS – Daily Record

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An elderly woman was left lying on a busy town centre street for more than four hours while she waited for an ambulance.

Horrified members of the public rushed to the lady’s aid on Wednesday after her fall in Ayr’s Newmarket Street.

But despite suffering a head wound, she was forced to wait the entire afternoon for a mercy crew.

Shocked eyewitnesses told how it was left to the public to treat the woman while she endured her marathon wait.

SNP-Green deal could be catastrophic for house prices – The Scotsman

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Maybe a Bruntsfield tenement flat, a Victorian semi in Trinity, a neat Borders or East Neuk bolthole, but with inefficient solid walls, draughty doors and windows. Some will have bright skylights above the stairwell through which your central heating can warm the world outside. And having followed the advice of successive TV chefs, it’s likely you’ll have a dual-fuel cooker with electric oven and gas hob.

As this column pointed out last week, the 2019 Scottish government house condition survey indicates Scotland has around 750,000 pre-1945 homes and, as the autumn draws near, their occupants will try not to dwell upon the winter fuel bills to come, while accepting that some warmth escaping through the walls is inevitable. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if it helps keep dampness at bay.

With housing responsible for a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, upgrading the stock is at the heart of the new SNP-Green partnership deal unveiled last week, which outlines plans for mandatory requirements for all domestic upgrades and refurbishments to qualify for an energy performance certificate (EPC) C rating, the third-highest, from 2025.

Why green signals danger ahead – Daily Business Magazine

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The confidence and supply agreement between the SNP and the Green Party prompted a response from business that in some media has been described as a “cautious welcome”. That’s not how it looks from here, with statements from a number of organisations indicating that there are serious grounds for concern.

CBI Scotland’s Tracy Black stated that the SNP and Scottish Greens should “not seek to shut business out of the discussion on economic recovery”, an unequivocal warning that the new quasi-coalition could fall far short of promoting what is best for business and could make it more difficult to engage with ministers in growing the economy.

Liz Cameron at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, declared: “Businesses have been clear that what they are looking for from the Scottish Government, whatever its composition, is a commitment to implement stronger pro-business policies”, an affirmation that current policies are not strong enough.

In a reminder of the precarious position many firms still find themselves in, Andrew McRae at the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, said: “We would therefore ask for a focus on building on the fragile optimism in the Scottish small business community, avoiding heaping new pressures on these operators.”


The Scots iron crew behind Big Ben’s £90m revamp – STV news

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One of Scotland’s last remaining iron foundries is playing a key role in the £90m transformation of Big Ben.

Using moulding methods dating back hundreds of years, workers at Ballantine Castings in Bo’ness are creating around 2000 new cast-iron tiles.

They will adorn the revamped Victorian tower that looms large over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

Many of the original tiles were damaged during the Second World War and, as each one is slightly different, they all have to be custom-made in Scotland.

East Ayrshire: Calls for more police officers to combat rising crime – Cummnock Chronicle

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EAST Ayrshire needs more cops on the streets to tackle rising assaults and incidents of breach of the peace and public urination, a local MSP has claimed.

Sharon Dowey, Tory MSP for South Scotland, is calling on the Sottish Government to boost funding for front-line officers after figures show miscellaneous offences have increased by over half, 56 per cent, since 2019.

Government figures show incidents of common assault alone have risen by three quarters, 78 per cent, in the past year, while drunkenness has increased 41 per cent, since 2019. In the category “Other miscellaneous offences” have increased by 95% in East Ayrshire since 2019.

Letters to the press, 27/08/21: Co-operation is not wanted, Where is all this money coming from?, RIP Greens

Boris Johnson should hold at least four meetings each year with Nicola Sturgeon and devolved government leaders, says think-tank – The Scotsman

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The Prime Minister should hold at least four meetings each year with the leaders of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, a think-tank has suggested.

Our Scottish Future made the plea as a report examining how the different governments had worked together during the coronavirus pandemic commented on the “seemingly dire personal relationship” between Boris Johnson and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The paper, based on interviews with senior figures in both the London and Edinburgh governments, argued the close-working relationships that have now been built up between health ministers across the UK need to be replicated and become a permanent feature of politics.

Scots doctors’ leaders blast ‘worrying gaps’ in SNP’s NHS Covid recovery plan as Sturgeon vows to inject £1billion – Scottish Sun

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DOCTORS’ leaders hit out last night over “worrying gaps” in the SNP’s long-awaited NHS Covid recovery plan.

Nicola Sturgeon vowed to spend £1billion on improving care while tackling massive waiting lists and treatment backlogs through a 22 per cent increase in activity by 2026.

The blueprint, unveiled yesterday by the First Minister and her Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, promised to dramatically boost post-pandemic treatment numbers – but rivals claimed she had already broken a pre-election promise on increasing patient capacity.

Ms Sturgeon said the plan would drive the NHS recovery “beyond its pre-pandemic level”, with reinstating face-to-face GP appointments and cutting A&E visits urgent priorities.

But experts warned the 28-page document lacked detail – while one cancer charity suggested it was a “missed opportunity”.

BMA Scotland chair Dr Lewis Morrison said it failed to address recruitment challenges and said: “We cannot hope to deliver what is currently demanded of our NHS, let alone an extra ten per cent.

“Striving to meet this commitment is unrealistic without the staff to do it, and it risks driving existing staff harder.