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Readers’ letters: Fraser shows Conservative Party has no liking for Scotland

Murdo Fraser MSP. 
 Andrew Cowan / Scottish Parliament
Murdo Fraser MSP. Andrew Cowan / Scottish Parliament

Sir, – Tory MSP Murdo Fraser has inadvertently made a strong case for Scottish independence while listing everything the UK would lose if the country voted Yes.

The MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife was appearing on GB News when he was asked whether the rest of the UK shouldn’t vote to leave Scotland. Fraser’s response summed up some of the significant resources an independent Scotland would instantly have control over.

When Fraser says “we” he appears to be talking from the position of a Tory in London, not someone in Scotland.

He said: “If Scotland leaves the UK, we lose roughly a third of the land mass of Great Britain, probably about half of our territorial waters.

“We lose the magnificent resource that is Scottish fishing waters, we lose the opportunities from North Sea oil and gas.

“We lose the potential for renewable energy from Scotland’s coasts in the North Sea and the Atlantic, we lose access to barrier-free trade for Scotch whisky and Scotch salmon, all these fantastic exports.”

An independent Scotland might find its export market has barrier-free trade with significantly more countries as a result of independence in Europe, but Fraser seems oblivious to that.

The MSP rounded up with more confusion by saying “we” would lose “the opportunity to study at some of the world’s greatest universities”.

His comments prove the Tory party has no liking for Scotland. In fact it confirms they are desperate to hold on to Scottish resources to keep the UK economy afloat.

Meantime Chancellor Rishi Sunak is attempting to position himself as a champion of North Sea energy. Westminster governments have siphoned off profits from Scotland’s resources while failing to invest in our energy sector and net-zero future.

Sunak said: “The North Sea will be the foundation of the UK’s energy supply in the decades to come as we transition to cleaner ways to fuel our country.”

Remember that phrase – “decades to come”. We all know that instead of setting up a Norway-style oil fund, the revenues propped up the failing British economy and bankrolled the unemployment receipts that followed the Tory prime minister’s de-industrialisation programme of the 1980s.

Scotland cannot afford to let it happen again. The Tories got wealth to squander and we got closed businesses and foodbanks.

Ann Bowes, Wallacebrae Gardens, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.

Sixty years that ended slave trade

Sir, – Like Morris Kay, I think Great Britain and its disproportionately large representation of Scottish missionaries, soldiers, engineers, doctors, legislators and administrators did more good than bad at a time of global expansion by many countries.

For almost 60 years after 1807, one sixth of the Royal Navy’s operations were concerned with stopping the slave trade at an annual cost of 2% of national income (GDP), the equivalent of the current £42 billion defence budget.

This has been described as “the most expensive example” of international moral action “recorded in modern history” and it fuels an argument the UK has already paid its moral and financial dues.

As for Churchill “gifting the concentration camp to the world” he was a war correspondent during the Boer War, taken prisoner, escaped and joined the Army so was in no position to influence their creation.

Arguably, by his leading role in the Allied victory over Nazism, he played a huge part in the end of those concentration camps.

No doubt it is difficult to get a balanced view over such a massive enterprise spanning several centuries but some people seem unable to accept facts in their desire to talk down our country.

Allan Sutherland, Willow Row, Stonehaven.

Scotland won’t be conned by Tories

Sir, – We get regular letters from unionist supporters casting all sorts of aspersions on the SNP government, neglecting to tell us things are much worse in unionist party-controlled areas of the UK.

Apparently, in their view, Scotland will be bankrupt if independent, despite there being many similar-sized, prosperous small nations, many of which do not have the assets that Scotland does.

At least we won’t be burdened by the near- £3trillion “fiscal imbalance” of the UK.

They have short memories. After assiduously denying Scotland could succeed as an independent country, the majority of senior unionist politicians, along with the then governor of the Bank of England, admitted after the vote that Scotland was perfectly capable of being a successful, independent nation. Significant numbers of Scots still believe that to be the case.

We well remember “the vow”, most of the content of which failed to materialise.

I don’t think we’ll be so easily conned this time around.

Ron Campbell, Richmond Walk, Aberdeen.

Russia appears to be winning

Sir, – With its changed strategy, concentrating on the Donbas and south, Russia seems to be winning the war in Ukraine.

Mariupol, gateway to annexed Crimea, had already fallen and now Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk province. Its neighbour, Lysychansk, may also soon fall.

The large howitzer field guns donated by the US played a large part in pushing the Russians back in Kharkiv and other northern areas but the need now is for multiple rocket launchers and the US, UK and Germany have so far promised around 10 of those. However, according to a former Ukrainian defence minister, 10 times that number are needed to have any hope of expelling Russia from the Donbas.

Nato is correct in being cautious but is perhaps too cautious and – if it allows Russia to prevail in Ukraine for lack of support – it may next invade Moldova with its breakaway Russian-speaking province or perhaps annex Georgia, not a member of Nato.

If the Black Sea blockade of the Odesa area with its 25 million tons of grain waiting to be exported continues for much longer, it could lead to famine in Libya, Lebanon and the Horn of Africa.

Loss of its principal export will lead to a dramatic fall in Ukraine’s GDP and its ability to prosecute the war. An overland route needs to be found and quickly.

Dr Walter J MacCulloch, Causewayend Crescent, Aberchirder.

Johnson has no moral compass

Sir, – The sad reality is that Boris Johnson is quite incapable of judging right from wrong in a multitude of situations. He has no moral compass.

The more his behaviour is examined the more examples we find of very poor judgment.

Does he really need a tree house with bulletproof glass to be built in the grounds of Chequers for his young son to play?

He is treating the official residence of the prime minister as his own personal property.

It’s all very well boasting about the “good results and decisions” but who was responsible for the implementation? He has made a far greater number of very bad decisions and there are many clear examples where what he has said is at best only a half-truth.

Like many politicians it is the half-truths that are the most dishonest as he quite deliberately sets out to mislead.

His standard defence that he did not consider that to be the case suggests a systematic flexibility with the truth that a subsequent apology will be sufficient to clean the slate.

This has severely damaged his reputation to the point that senior members of the Conservative Party must now show him the exit door.

People dislike this lack of moral standards, with his false heartiness and bonhomie, but most of all they’re infuriated by the string of claims that are not true and promises that have not been honoured.

He is now a total political liability as the latest election results clearly show.

David Philip, Knockhall Way, Newburgh.

Let Dons pay for a stadium

Sir, – Closing the beach baths, because of a lack of cash is absolutely disgraceful. Proposing giving our money to help build a new stadium is worse.

Let Aberdeen FC pay their own money into refurbishing the one already at the beach, or finish the one at Kingsford, I am sick continually hearing about it.

Our council seem determined to give our cash to a private club that we would have to pay for the use of, and it would no doubt take many years to complete, at what cost?

Billions? Simply look at the Union Terrace Gardens, the Middlefield project, which was unnecessary, the Art Gallery and now the Market and the utter mess Union Street is in.

Our city needs help, not a new football stadium. We already have a beautiful beach needing some TLC and that’s it in a nutshell.

Granny Annie

Council off-key

Sir, – Regarding the £100,000 denied by our ruling SNP and Lib Dem meanies to keep the Beach Leisure Centre open, SNP council co-leader Alex McLellan said, “Aberdeen City Council is facing financial uncertainty”.

What about the £30,000 raised by the same meanies to host Eurovision in Aberdeen?

I was under the illusion that we were in a cost-of-living crisis and we all had to tighten our belts, but not, so it seems, in the council.

T Shirron, Davidson Drive, Aberdeen

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