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Readers’ letters: Cowards who threw eggs at headmaster deserve to be named

Cults Academy, Aberdeen.
Picture by Darrell Benns
Cults Academy, Aberdeen. Picture by Darrell Benns

Sir, – If I had been a sixth year pupil at Cults Academy and knew the identities of those who threw eggs at the headmaster I would have told them they had 24 hours to hand themselves in before I reported them.

It’s time we put to bed this myth that being a “grass” makes you some kind of contemptible person.

The only contemptible people are those cowardly miscreants who continue to perpetuate that myth.

If we want to live in a civilised society it’s up to each one of us to report misdeeds when we see them.

When I taught, I vividly remember our head teacher saying to the fifth and sixth year pupils at an assembly: “Imagine if you went home and saw people that you knew, in your house, stealing your television, laptop and other items and when your parents came home you said: ‘I know who did it but I’m not a grass.’”

That sums up the ludicrousness of this “grass” myth.

As someone once said: “For evil to prosper it only needs good people to look the other way.”

W A Ross, Broomhill Avenue, Aberdeen.

Who takes fall for ferries fiasco?

Sir, – When local government had tenders returned for contractual allocation, and because Grampian Water Services Committee decided to make its chairman responsible for vetting returns up to £100,000 within its capital spending budget of £22 million, it meant quite frequent group meetings with senior officials.

A thorough sifting of tenders was needed to minimise disputed claims for additional contractor payments that usually went to arbitration on contract completion – disputes involving serious expenses in officials’ time.

A long-lost email relating to the Clyde ferries has now surfaced, saying: “The minister is content with the proposals and would like them moved on as quickly as possible.”

This despite civil servants asking that the process be delayed to “ensure there are no financial/procurement issues on which the transport minister might want further reassurance”.

Despite obvious disquiet from officials, the £250m ferries shambles got its birth, with both ministers John Swinney and Keith Brown being made aware of Derek Mackay’s thumbs up. It’s going to be interesting to see who takes the fall and to discover what our first minister also knew about this – and when.

Sam Coull, Lendrum Terrace, Boddam, Peterhead.

Solutions for island services

Sir, – Having worked on the Glen Sannox 60 years ago, I read your article with interest and offer an alternative proposal to improve reliability and increase volume of many ferry routes.

For 2022 the immediate hire of the Pentalina is necessary to provide essential maintenance cover as Caledonian Isles has been out of service and Lord of the Isles is next.

Hull 802 should be deployed on Ardrossan- Brodick-Campbeltown to provide freight route from Islay via Kennacraig which will save fuel and drivers’ time on Loch Fyne, Loch Lomond etc.

This would allow gas to be delivered by sea to Ardrossan or Brodick.

Trunking gas by road to Uig may not be permitted by the police hence shift 802 to where it can be better utilised and shift Islay and Mull of Kintyre lorries to central Scotland at less cost and damage to the environment – plus more safely.

New Uig and Small Isles ferries plus five Loch Shira class ferries are required.

Bill Allcock. Barnhill Road, Macduff.

Reason why SNP win so many votes

Sir, – In Friday’s edition of the P&J (May 13), we had the usual unionist diatribes from the usual detractors.

Allan Sutherland fails to accept that voting is not mandatory. Those that chose to, gave us the council we now have. They will have a very difficult job, given the morass of debt left by their predecessors.

George Emslie tells us of the gross incompetence (in his eyes) of the SNP, despite them gaining the highest number of votes – by a mile – of any party, at any election he cares to name. Independence is bad, in his eyes and the SNP have no economic plan.

Would he care to enlighten us to the success of the economic plan for Brexit, heavily voted against by Scots? Independence, in any case, is for the Scots electorate to decide upon, not he or I, and it is their inalienable right to do so in a democracy.

The electoral system, for both Holyrood and local authorities is designed to give balance – to reflect all views, unlike that for Westminster elections.

Our esteemed unionist contributors simply ignore the fact that the SNP have brought forward policies that have benefited the majority of Scots, which is why they continue to gain such a high level of support after 15 years in power – unheard of in any UK legislature.

Ron Campbell. Richmond Walk, Aberdeen.

City brought to its knees financially

Sir, – Allan Sutherland appeals in a letter published on this page (May 13) for the newly elected Aberdeen City Council Lib Dem councillors to reject any coalition deal with the SNP, and instead align with Labour and Tories, presumably to ensure his previous award-winning Labour/Tory administration retains control.

This is the award-winning administration which has practically brought Aberdeen to it’s knees financially, with countless projects which have proved to be cultural and economic disasters.

To list a few:

Marischal Square which is costing Aberdeen City Council around £5 million a year (and before anyone claims it’s on track for full occupancy – most of the “new” tenants are vacating existing Aberdeen City Council rateable premises) and completely envelops Aberdeen’s real remaining treasure; the “tin shed” sitting on top of the Art Gallery for which the council still owe about £30 million;

the Triple Kirks flats which have all but obliterated the only remaining original part, the Archibald Simpson brick spire (let’s not even mention the carbuncles which are the Silver Fin cube and the Capital cube);

and, of course, the best of all, Union Terrace Gardens, where the council knocked back the offer from Ian Wood to finance around half the cost on a design no worse than the one Aberdeen City Council decided to go with, whilst uprooting every tree, shrub, flower and piece of grass which made Union Terrace Gardens a garden.

The next project is to redesign the beach area, and to include and (most likely) pay for a new stadium for AFC, which previously the football club were quite happy to build and pay for themselves at Kingsford.

If all those achievements are considered “award-winning “ then I can only congratulate Mr Sutherland on his “award-winning” letter.

Douglas Black, Kingsford, Alford.

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