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Readers’ letters: Fuel for thought on political hypocrisy

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with candidates and party supporters at Dundee Law in Dundee at the launch for the SNP's campaign bus, which will tour Scotland in the 21 days before the local elections. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2022.  Jane Barlow/PA Wire
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with candidates and party supporters at Dundee Law in Dundee at the launch for the SNP's campaign bus, which will tour Scotland in the 21 days before the local elections. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2022. Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Sir, – I see this as another example of typical political hypocrisy regardless of your political leanings. What fuel is used in this bus?

Excellent photograph by the way highlighting us being told to do one thing and yet another politician touring the country spewing out diesel fumes I presume. Or maybe it is hydrogen-powered, like our buses in Aberdeen?

Come on! Or maybe she just forgot.

David Boddie. Leggart Terrace, Aberdeen.

Masking the new reality

Sir, – Now that the wearing of face coverings in public places is no longer mandatory, Nicola Sturgeon has stated that she is confident that people will in fact continue to do so.

She obviously needs to get out more, because for a considerable time now mask-wearing in public has waned dramatically in Scotland. Even Sturgeon herself has been caught out not wearing one on several occasions, the most recent example being last Saturday in East Kilbride.

Given that the rate of Covid infections has been higher in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK for over the last six months, perhaps the public have cottoned on to the idea that here in Scotland we have simply been subjected to different rules to make it look as though the SNP is actually managing the pandemic with competence.

Given Sturgeon’s own past indiscretions, her “confidence” is, I fear, sadly misplaced.

Mike Masson. Oak Tree Avenue, Banchory.

One rule for them… it’s cheaper

Sir, – In March 2021 a member of the public was fined £10,000 for holding a New Year’s Eve party in Watford during lockdown. In August 2021 a Sheffield man was fined £1,760 for failing to wear a mask in a BP services.

Yet Boris Johnson has so far only been fined £50 for his parties during lockdown. And Nicola Sturgeon has got off scot-free, pardon the pun, for her mask misdemeanour.

This tells you all you need to know about how society works.

Geoff Moore. Braeface Park, Alness.

Redressing the office balance

Sir, – I would like to respond to Mr Roxburgh’s letter “Figures show city office market is out of balance”.

There was indeed 200,000 sq ft of office take-up in the first quarter of 2022. In what is traditionally a slower quarter for activity, encouragingly it has been the strongest first quarter for 10 years.

This figure was boosted by the 100,000 sq ft letting of The Silver Fin building to Shell. This is the largest ever single office letting to have transacted in our city centre, a move that will provide a much-needed boost of trade for retailers, coffee shops and restaurants towards the West End of Union Street.

Yes, Mr Roxburgh is correct there is almost 2.8m sq ft of office space available (current availability is 2.6m sq ft). However, thanks to Aberdeen City Council’s affordable housing moratorium, we are finally seeing developers going under offer on “past sell by date” vacant city centre office buildings to convert them to residential units – Denburn House and Ruby House being the most recent publicised examples.

Continuing the shopkeepers analogy, if a small shop in Aberdeen has had more or less the same amount of sales as the combined sales of their much larger shops in Edinburgh (118,000 sq ft) and Glasgow (95,000 sq ft), is that not something to talk positively about?

Derren McRae. Head of Aberdeen office, CBRE.

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