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Readers’ letters: First minister must answer for ferries fiasco

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: PA
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: PA

Sir, – I am not sure how many people have heard the saying a blame shared is a blame halved! It is usually used in jest and a source of laughter.

However there is nothing for Scottish taxpayers to laugh about when it comes to our home-grown “ferry fiasco”.

If the saying is true our first minister is working hard to take a minimum share of the blame for the CMal ferry fiasco. Derek Mackay has already been thrown under the bus with Keith Brown and John Swinney now in danger as well.

I am afraid statements from our FM like “the buck stops with me” sound as hollow as the empty hulls of the Glen Sannox and Hull 802.

Our islands’ populations and mainland Scots deserve an honest and “no blame” answer to why the ferry contracts are sunk below the waterline.

John Godsman, Kirktown of Fetteresso, Stonehaven.

Spectacular failure to do the business

Sir, – With Scotland’s 17th-Century Darien Disaster and £400,000 – or half the country’s entire capital – lost in a triumph of greed over fear, staged in disease-ridden jungles, you have to wonder if anyone of those desirous of an “independent Scotland” has contemplated the possibility of a Scottish currency rated at one 12th of a pound
sterling on world markets?

The Scottish Government’s business record would bring tears to a glass eye, with a jobs
bonanza promised at Bi Fab, Prestwick Airport’s return to money-making, the deal
with Liberty Steel and, oh yes, the long-awaited Clyde ferries.

This has been an SNP classic with no fewer than five of their minister appointees supposed to ensure that Scottish islanders wouldn’t be left stranded on their island homes.

The last infuriating news from the Clyde was that hundreds of cables were to be torn out of the Glen Sannox ferry because, er, they were all too short to reach connections!

What’s my point? Well, never send a baby for the beer and, if you don’t believe Darien can repeat itself, take a close look at the SNP performance to date. These two ferries have already cost us £240 million with the auditor general’s report saying they could top £400 million.

Sam Coull, Lendrum Terrace, Boddam, Peterhead.

Town bypasses will pass pollution test

Sir, – It is disappointing that there appears to be little prospect of seeing the A96 being dualled any time soon.

The prospect of a new evidence-based review which will include a climate compatible assessment probably means the death knell of this project for the foreseeable future.

There are however some improvements that would pass such an assessment on improved environmental and public health outcomes, which would come from  bypassing Elgin, Nairn and Keith. I appeal to all local politicians whatever their party to come together and campaign to remove the curse of this heavily polluting traffic from the heart of these communities.

Jim Conn, Ardieknowes, Maud.

Dictator is a dead man walking

Sir, – With a Russian court adding a further nine years to dissident Alexei Navalny’s
jail term the poor guy will be wondering if he’ll ever see the outside world again. At the behest of the Kremlin the courts could keep adding years to his sentence. He’s been moved to a maximum security jail so who knows what treatment they’re meting out to him there?

In Russia if you criticise Putin your feet don’t touch the ground. You end up behind bars or dead. They already tried to kill him with the nerve agent Novichok.  The entire civilised world condemns Putin for what he’s unleashed on Ukraine.  Millions fleeing  for their lives, human suffering on a cataclysmic scale, cities reduced to rubble.

Barbaric is how the Pope described it. Calling out Putin, he said, in the name of God, stop this massacre.  Putin won’t of course, but sooner or later there’ll be a reckoning. He sees himself as indestructible, but like dictators before him Putin is a dead man walking.

Keith Fernie, Drakies Avenue, Inverness.

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