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Readers’ letters: Our Ploughman Poet has the final word

The statue of Robert Burns at Falls of Moness.
The statue of Robert Burns at Falls of Moness.

Sir, – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been causing a stir for a whilie.

But Scotland’s bard, Robert Burns predicted a’ this. The rank is but the guinea’s stamp.

And the “émigrés” certainly seem to court the spondulicks derived from publicity.

But the Ploughman Poet went further. The pith o’ sense an’ pride o’ worth are higher rank than a’ that.

So what of honesty and ambition? Let the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE) have his say. A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions. In the 21st Century, that must include his spouse.

Robert Burns has the last word. The man’s the gowd for a’ that. Who would dare to disagree?

Bill Maxwell, Mar Place, Keith.

Sturgeon wrong to claim a mandate

Sir, – I have watched part of Nicola Sturgeon’s interview with Laura Kuenssberg in which she reaffirmed her commitment to stay on for the life of this parliament.

She did this on the basis that she had been elected “by the people of Scotland” to be first minister and that she had a clear mandate “from the people” following the election in May.

Could I remind the first minister that her name appeared on the voting paper for only one constituency and that everyone who voted did so for the constituency candidate of their choice.

The SNP became the largest party with the greatest number of MSPs.

Her name was not on our voting paper – I could not have voted for her and she therefore has no direct mandate from me.

This was not a presidential election – me thinks that Ms Sturgeon gets above herself.

MJ Salter, Banchory, Aberdeen.

Education failures on the SNP’s watch

Scotland’s education secretary has reported on the failure of her SNP government to close the poverty-related attainment gap.

The SNP has been in power for 14 years but refer to this as a “long-term ambition”.

Given that any 16-year-old leaving school now has not known anything other than education under the SNP, I wonder which generation of children this ambition should benefit.

The basics are numeracy and literacy. If you master those, you are halfway there.

Providing school meals to those that require them is essential but that’s not going to help them find a job when they leave schools.

Jane Lax, Aberlour, Moray.

Pedestrianisation is exclusion zone

Sir, – There has been much publicity with regard to the removal of all traffic from part, if not all, of Union Street, Aberdeen.

This is portrayed as a benefit when in fact, for many of us, it is anything but. The route to be walked to the bus station, railway station and Union Square is a bit of a hike unless you are fit and able.

Those busy Union Street bus stops also gave access on the north side of Union
Street to Belmont Street and Back Wynd. This meant that the Bon Accord Centre, the art gallery, His Majesty’s Theatre and the library were all accessible from Union Street.

The bus detour around Market Street, Guild Street and Broad Street makes the timetables uncertain so a connecting bus cannot be relied on.

Even more concerning is that I now have to take a taxi to regular appointments at ARI.

What is proposed is not a pedestrianisation area but the enforcement of an exclusion zone.

S Gordon, Old Aberdeen.

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