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Readers’ Letters: Dentistry students, recycling bins and Lossiemouth East Beach

Dentistry recycling Lossiemouth

Sir, – Nine in ten NHS dental practices in the UK have closed their books to new adult patients.

There has been an exodus to private practice where large fees are charged and salaries are better.

In Scotland this shortage of dentists could have been avoided with a bit of Scottish Government foresight.

For many years students who have lived in Scotland for three years are entitled to have their university fees paid by the Scottish taxpayer.

Students from England pay £9,250 per year.

Dentistry is a five-year course. Students getting this free education should have to work in Scotland for five years to repay taxpayers’ generosity.

There would then not be the present shortage of doctors, nurses and NHS dentists who are scarcer than hens’ teeth.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Where are the leaders to carry forward beacon of democracy?

Sir, – It is less than two years since the liberal world rejoiced as Donald Trump was dragged, still complaining of injustice, from the White House and Western democracy expected a period of calm under the leadership of Joe Biden, a seasoned politician who although in the twilight of his career was still preferable to his egotistical and unpredictable predecessor.

How erroneous that expectation has turned out to be. The hasty and disgraceful withdrawal of the Western alliance from Afghanistan leaving many of those to whom they had promised a new life to their fate at the hands of the Taliban, was quickly followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulting in the death of countless innocent inhabitants, destruction of infrastructure that will probably never be replaced, and the flight to safety of millions of Ukrainians many of whom will never return.

We in the supportive democracies now face a cost-of-living crisis, fuelled in a major part by our reliance on Russian energy causing global prices to soar.

Now just as the UN secretary-general warns we are “ one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation” the Democrats’ Speaker Pelosi has visited Taiwan in a two-fingered salute to China.

I never thought I’d utter these words but Trump, though a narcissist, was always willing to engage in dialogue and meet with despots so, during his time in office, the world was a more peaceful place.

We may ask did his unpredictability cause those with hostile intentions to think of the consequences of their actions? My life began in the late 1930s as the clouds of war gathered and as I enter my final years, due to paranoia and stupidity of powerful leaders, allied to weakness in government of Western powers, they are again visible on the horizon.

Where are the young Kennedys or Obamas to carry the world’s beacon of democracy and replace the cabal of geriatrics whose failings have been laid bare?

Ivan W. Reid, Kirkburn, Laurencekirk.

Warn children of Lossie east beach

Sir, – The new bridge in Lossiemouth is making the east beach very popular and despite the warnings families are still letting youngsters and toddlers bathe at the breakwater and the river mouth.

They need to be made aware that young lives have been lost there over the years. More warning signs are desperately needed, please, before anything tragic happens.

The existing warning signs are not in an eye- catching location.

As youngsters we were always banned from going to the east beach.

I know of one death – a young boy or girl not sure the age but a toddler anyway – and that was at the back of the breakwater on the east side, round about where the surfers go.

Another young Lossie man – not sure of his age – was lost maybe 50 or 60 years ago between where the bridge is now and the mouth of the river.

There have been many other near misses and escapes which is the main reason I, and many other Lossie people, were so against the present location.

Bill Liebnitz, Parklands, Lossiemouth.

We are exploited as customers

Sir, – Energy and communications are the bloodstream of the state, and they should be there for us without question. And yet we are being exploited as customers of what has become a privatised version of that very lifeblood.

We are unable to heat our homes because of the cost of fuel, and have to haggle over the price of our broadband service every year or so.

Meanwhile, the executives and shareholders of these lifeblood firms enjoy salaries and profits so large as to be incomprehensible to most of us.

The word “revolution” must surely come to mind.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood, Kinross.

Our independent future is assured

Sir, – Contrary to Westminster and the Tory PM hopefuls ignoring Scotland, we will be a successful independent nation again. Scotland does not wish to be part of this fantasy “Global Britain” – a lying, corrupt, self-seeking Brexit Britain.

Boris Johnson’s administration has utterly debased Britain’s once fair play democracy. With a hard Brexit, fuelled by English nationalism, an aggressive imperialist unionism has taken hold of Westminster.

Scotland must leave this faded empire state and forge a new social democratic future for all of its people.

With a population in good relations with its land, abundant natural resources, a diverse and educated workforce and an enviable worldwide reputation for quality, Scotland will prosper.

That is precisely why Westminster is desperate to keep us in this faltering union and to preserve its GB status.

Free from the disaster of Brexit and the dictates of London governments we did not vote for, success is assured.

A progressive and richly endowed Scotland, in control of all its assets, would have the strength to support a vibrant economy, currency and pension structure, taking its place among the small, successful and happy nations of the world.

Grant Frazer, Cruachan, Newtonmore.

It’s time to change Indyref2 strategy

Sir, – Having looked at the news regarding businesses such as takeaways going out of business or going bankrupt due to the ever- increasing cost of gas or electricity it’s now my view that Ms Sturgeon and her SNP helpers need to change their strategy regarding IndyRef2.

They should start to help businesses, as well as many Scots who are finding themselves in dire straits due to rising energy and food costs that are outwith their own control.

In my view Ms Sturgeon is going to have to stay with the union of Great Britain rather than destroying Scotland.

No point in any Scottish MPs going down to Westminster every week and making snide remarks to all the other politicians.

As the saying goes: sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never harm you.

Gavin Elder, Prunier Drive, Peterhead.

Handling the brakes

Sir, – Regarding the letter in Tuesday’s EE about the apparent inability of some drivers to use their vehicle handbrake correctly.

Many vehicles now come with electronic handbrake systems which automatically come on when a vehicle stops and then do the opposite as soon as it moves off, so their handbrakes are being applied.

However, a lot of vehicles now come equipped with a hill-hold system that automatically applies the brakes when the vehicle is stationary, to avoid it rolling back.

I think this may be the reason so many modern vehicles when stationary have their brake lights still on.

Ian Craig, Aberdeen.

Bin these daft waste changes

Sir, – I read with dismay a recent article on the introduction of a second recycling bin and three-weekly pick-up of general waste to be introduced in Aberdeenshire.

As an average four-person household we recycle everything currently allowed, including rinsing all plastic packaging which can be recycled, and our general waste bin and blue recycling bin are both full on the two-week pick-up.

Unless supermarkets adopt more recyclable packaging such as paper and cardboard then all that will happen is the general waste bin will be overflowing and the two recycling bins will each be half empty on collection.

Did the council consult anyone on these proposals? Does every household have a space for a third bin? How much will all these additional bins cost?

The current two-weekly collection seems to work, why change it? Providing another bin will not encourage us to recycle more. It could have the opposite effect as people will put general waste into the recycle bins and whole loads that should have been recycled will end up in landfill.

G Duncan, Stonehaven.