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Readers’ letters: Why won’t the SNP Government listen to Scottish scientists?

Nicola Sturgeon. PA / Jane Barlow
Nicola Sturgeon. PA / Jane Barlow

Sir, – A new strain of potatoes, containing as much vitamin C as lemons, has been developed by Scottish scientists at the James Hutton Institute, formerly the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) in Dundee.

Crops of this potentially valuable and nutritious strain could be grown in the UK within five years.

However, because the techniques used involve “gene editing”, the SNP Government has said it will not allow such crops to be grown in Scotland.

This ruling is in spite of researchers at the University of Edinburgh saying that Scotland “will be left behind if it does not embrace it”.

Last week, on June 27 at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary said “the Scottish farmers want it, the National Farmers’ Union want it, Scottish food producers want it”.

Why should the results of this game-changing research work, carried out by Scottish scientists in Scotland, be rejected by a Scottish parliament elected by “the people of Scotland”?

Does our first minister, along with her cohort of SNP and Green ministers, realise that they are blocking better nourishment in a hungry world – or do they know something that our skilled Scottish scientists do not know?

Alison Innes (Dr). Lang Stracht, Alford.

Deathly hush over Patrick Grady row

Sir, – It would appear to a neutral individual that the incident regarding Mr Blackford exhorting SNP members to back Mr Grady merits little or no comment from your usual columnists and SNP letter writers.

Blackford should be removed as SNP leader in the Commons but hypocrisy knows no bounds where the SNP are concerned.

Bo Mackay. Silverburn Road, Aberdeen.

Non-Tory voters in impossible position

Sir, – I don’t know how many voters are like me who vote SNP in general elections in order to tactically attempt to try and defeat the Tories but don’t want independence?

Now that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says if all else fails she will make the next general election purely on the question of independence, in other words a referendum by the back door, this puts voters like me who could not in a million years even consider voting Tory in an impossible situation.

It therefore leaves me disenfranchised and I believe there are lots more like me.

While independence parties command a majority in the Scottish Government more people voted for unionist parties.

Also, the last thing this country needs right now is another divisive independence campaign.

Alan McPherson. Grant Street, Cullen.

Not all Scots favour going independent

Sir, – Once again Sturgeon has applied for the go ahead for another waste of tax payers’ cash to fund another independence vote – sadly, for her and her supporters, this will not happen.

The SNP seems to think that cash is plentiful in Scotland but going from what they are doing a lot is being wasted on many projects of which the SNP crowd in Holyrood have no experience. Sturgeon and co need to concentrate on the state of Scotland now and assist everyone in getting things, and people, fixed.

May I remind Sturgeon that the world is very unsteady just now and many people are losing their homes as well as their lives.

Sturgeon also needs to stop saying that the people of Scotland want independence.

Sorry, but they don’t. It’s the SNP supporters that want to bankrupt Scotland.

Gavin Elder. Prunier Drive, Peterhead.

Indyref2 wrangling may cause sedition

Sir, – It will take another section 30 agreement with Westminster before the SNP can have their second attempt at dragging us out of the UK.

That is the law, although no doubt we shall see droves of so-called experts assembled by the SNP alongside others shouting about “democracy deniers”.

There hasn’t been a day without slogan-shouting and banner-waving from the separatists and its time to spell it out to those for whom the penny will never drop.

The Catalan experience with Spain obviously didn’t get through and most of Scotland would like some relief from demanding incompetents, who have shown a crashing inability to do anything with transport, education, finance, etc.

If or when we reach the point where they can’t understand any part of NO we then arrive at sedition.

Why not dust off the law books, set out grounds for arrest and make sure passports are taken away in good time before offering an option of Rwanda instead of having scarpering similar to the Catalan dissidents.

Sam Coull. Lendrum Terrace, Boddam.

Save women from religious zealots

Sir, – After the horrendous ruling in America, we welcome the Scottish Government’s plan to impose buffer zones around medical clinics to protect already stressed women trying to access legal health care.

All views on abortion are legitimate but there is no ignoring the strong religious motivation of the majority of those who would deny women’s rights in this way.

If you don’t believe in abortion then don’t have one.

If you don’t believe in marriage equality then don’t marry a same-sex partner.

If you don’t believe in assisted dying you don’t need to choose it.

Once again the religious compulsion to impose views on others raises its ugly head.

Neil Barber. Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive.

No common ground to reform the union

Sir, – If the independence referendum goes ahead on October 19 2023 then my eldest daughter Bethany gets to vote, as she was eight years old in September 2014 and will be 16.

However, as she will only be 17 years old in May 2024 she does not get to vote in the General Election which would be a plebiscite election on independence, as the qualifying age for voting is 18.

Given that this was almost eight years ago and the pro-union side have chosen not to engage with those who are pro-independence they only have themselves to blame for not finding common ground on reform of the union, in my opinion.

Strangely, some Conservative MPs want to change the rules of the backbench 1922 Committee following the fact that the prime minister managed to outdo Edward 11, who was well and truly thumped at the Battle of Bannockburn on June 23 and 24 1314.

The prime minister managed it in two different places on June 23 and 24 2022.

Given they had a vote on June 6, never mind eight years ago, do you think we should let them do so?

Peter Ovenstone. Orchard Grove, Peterhead.

Westminster cash supports Scotland

Sir, – I note that many SNP supporters complain Scotland is restrained by the “shackles of Westminster”.

Surely the truth of the matter is that Scotland is maintained by the “shekels of Westminster”

Bruce McPherson. Middleton Drive, Bridge of Don.

Don’t ignore our people

Sir, – So Sandra MacDonald thinks it would be an “Act of Folly” to reject £20 million from Rishi Sunak when the council rejected £50m from Sir Ian Wood to improve UTG.

Who are they kidding? This is just blackmail and they know it. Let’s see when they manage to finish this “new market” what it turns out like. Hopefully not the shambles that is UTG.

Please listen to the people who live and work in Aberdeen and not just visitors like Rishi Sunak who pay a flying visit to our city and try to tell us what he wants us to do.

Sandra Yeats, Braeside.

Grace needed

Sir, – First of all I have nothing to do with No 10 but companies invested thousands on outdoor venues to help keep the business going, staff employed and somewhere for people to go in difficult times. So why should they not be given a few years grace? The way Covid is going here, it might help.

James Stanley, Hilton Drive, Aberdeen.

Masterplan or mastershambles?

Sir, – Having read the proposed changes to Market Street and Guild Street, then the rather vague promise that buses would stop as close to the pedestrianised part of Union Street as possible, I have come to the conclusion that someone in the Planning Dept is determined to prevent as many people as possible wanting to come into town.

Why do we need wider pavements – they were wide enough during the years when throngs of Aberdonians did actually go into town – and when did you ever see anybody using a cycle to get about town apart from food delivery kids??

It’s about time these anonymous planners came out from behind the doors they hide behind and explain to the citizens where they get the unpopular decisions they foist on us and to stop listening to “business owners” who are not interested in anything but their profits.


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