NICOLA Sturgeon calls for a referendum with her preferred timing, wording, candor, and other terms and conditions, ensuring that in every possible way the approach taken promotes the outcome she seeks.
If she really wants to open talks with the British government, perhaps indicating that she is ready to compromise and jointly craft a truly fair referendum could help kick-start such talks?
Keith Howell, West Linton.
WHERE ARE THE CRITICAL DETAILS?
To be October 2023 or not to be? Nicola Sturgeon stood out at Holyrood with her “shrewd plan”. A small but very valid point: where are the crucial details?
Throughout Mrs. Sturgeon’s long career, words have been the only good she has provided. This time we need to know the definitive answers but, as usual, the pro-independence campaign is springing into action anyway – but where can it go? Ms Sturgeon obviously doesn’t think the Supreme Court will back her (and virtually everyone else). To make a future general election on independence is ridiculous.
Do the Scots really want all this disruption of a political force that wants no one to notice its grave daily failings in favor of a utopia that doesn’t exist?
Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.
SNP WON A HOLLOW VICTORY
WHAT Ruth Marr (Letters, 26 June) fails to mention is that the 62 constituency seats won by the SNP last year were contested under the discredited system of first-past-the-post (FPTP). This means that the party won 85% of those constituency seats for only 44% of the vote. Similarly, in the 2019 general election, he won 81% of the seats with just 45% of the vote. Having failed to secure a majority of votes, any ‘mandate’ is indeed hanging on a very sticky wicket, despite the Prime Minister herself urging people to vote for her even if they do not support a referendum on independence.
In fact, the SNP benefits much more from EMS than the Tories.
This may be the reason why the SNP has remained rather silent on calls for electoral reform. God forbid he would only receive the percentage of seats indicated by his vote share.
Jane Ann Liston, St. Andrews.
JOHNSON DESTROYS HIS PARTY
DESPITE the deluge of barbs directed at the prime minister for the catastrophic loss of the two recent by-elections, he said there would be no psychological transformation of his character (“The lack of support from ministers for the prime minister is striking “, June 26). Thus, the leopard will not change its spots.
It’ll just be more or less the same – more bluster, more bragging, more of his flippant relationship to the truth, more sound bites with no delivery, more assaults on age-old conventions of Parliament, more limitation of human rights, more violations of international law, more refusal to take responsibility for one’s failure to uphold the standards of integrity expected of someone who is expected to uphold the ministerial code, and more grandstanding over the world stage as he dodges the bread-and-butter issues of the mainstream at home.
How many times have we heard him utter recently “humbly and sincerely”, words worthy of an act of homage practiced to Uriah Heep and deserving of the same credit?
It’s time for the Conservative Party to get shot. His credibility is totally shot, his reliability getting thinner and thinner day by day.
Could his pride have led him to believe that he is both indispensable and invulnerable?
This election superhero has turned into his own self-destructing Kryptonite, who will drag his party down with him, if he can’t find the courage to set it adrift soon.
Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.
OPEN BORDERS IS NOT THE ANSWER
THE death of 53 illegal immigrants in a truck in San Antonio, Texas, is unfortunately not a unique event. Very similar tragedies occurred in Mozambique in 2020 with 64 Ethiopian deaths, in Essex in 2019 with 39 Vietnamese deaths, in Austria in 2015 with 71 deaths and in Dover in 2000 with the death of 58 Chinese citizens.
A moment of reflection would tell us that opening borders is not the answer to these tragedies. The United States and Britain already have high and sustained rates of legal immigration. Ending restrictions would lead to movements of people on a much larger scale that would overwhelm our public services, undermine our economies and destroy social cohesion. More fundamentally, neither the British public nor the American public would consent to such a policy.
Increasing the already high level of legal migration is also not the solution, as demand would still far outstrip supply. Criminal networks can earn tens of thousands of dollars per illegal migrant who smuggles them into the UK. Prostitution and other forced labor are part of their economic model.
The only other possible solution is execution. If we systematically detained and quickly deported those who entered Britain illegally, the flows and the tragedies would soon cease, as would the associated modern slavery. Until that happens, the signals of virtue, the tragedies and the exploitation will continue.
Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.
BRITAIN BLAME FOR MIGRANT PROBLEMS
Although I sometimes agree with Clark Cross, I must take issue with his letter (June 26) on migrants.
He claims that “migrants from the Channel… are predominantly economic migrants”. Figures published by the government do not support this claim, as they show that more than 70% were granted asylum. Moreover, legal aid would be useless if the Home Office had anything remotely resembling a fair, efficient and expeditious system for dealing with their claims.
The suggestion that ‘genuine asylum seekers’ seek refuge in the first EU country they reach is also overly simplistic. Clearly, this would overwhelm the countries where refugees are likely to arrive first, while others, such as the UK, could outsource the responsibility that our international commitments require. Also, as the UK is an island to the northwest of these countries, it is almost impossible to reach it first, unless of course you go through the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic. A safer route?
In any case, these people want to come to the United Kingdom because the British Empire imposed the English language on them, while many already have family here. These two factors obviously make starting a new life here more attractive.
I also believe that the law must be changed, not in the right to legal aid, but in the regulations which prohibit these people from finding work, and thus oblige them to demand assistance from the public purse, whereas ‘they undergo long and torturous treatment, sometimes for years. At a time when Brexit has created such a shortage of workers in so many areas, such as NHS staff, lorry drivers, hospitality staff and more, we could surely find among these asylum seekers many people who are fully qualified and ready to fill such positions. and support themselves in the meantime.
P Davidson, Falkirk.
LET ASYLUM SEEKERS WORK
CLARK Cross seems to share the same obnoxious approach to asylum seekers as Priti Patel.
A “simple solution” would be to remove legal aid for them because they are “mainly economic migrants”, he defends, after obviously choosing a figure in the air and waving the flag of unprecedented prejudice.
Does he know that there are many in Scotland from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, who have fled because they are Christians and have been persecuted, abused and threatened with death at home?
Yes, they want to make a better life here – in fact, just a life. What’s wrong with that? Scots moved to different countries for this reason for many years. But like the English Abroad, they are not called economic migrants. Instead, we use the term expats and celebrate their accomplishments.
Asylum seekers who arrive here face months or even years of unattractive conditions, as the Home Office’s complaints system is extremely slow and inefficient. During this time they are not allowed to work and must survive on £5 a day. And yet we have industries, including hospitality, that are crying out for staff. The Scottish Tourism Alliance is calling for a change in immigration policy.
So instead of Mr. Clark’s “Stop legal aid”, the title should be “Let asylum seekers work”.
Andy Stenton, Glasgow.
TORIES IGNITED XENOPHOBIA
Does the Home Secretary speak on behalf of the British public (Letters, June 26)? She makes me ashamed to be British.
I’m glad the UK treated his parents decently when they had to leave Uganda.
I am not ashamed of having been a Conservative Party activist for 50 years of my life. I left to betray the European project of peace, stability and citizenship across a great democratic continent.
We must despise these public figures who have stoked xenophobia and fantasy among the most ignorant voters. The damage they caused was in the spirit of an age of lies and hostility. The damage will be repaired by the generations now rising to authority. It will then be time to join the European Union.
Tim Cox, Switzerland.