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Readers’ letters: Kate Forbes’s religious beliefs, Bill Gibb and council spending

Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Sir, – I am not an SNP supporter but I do sympathise with Kate Forbes, one of the candidates to be the next leader of her party.

Every day letters in the press appear to condemn her Christian views and attempt to silence her.

She is pilloried for saying her faith doesn’t support same-sex marriage and sex outside wedlock.

It would appear that Christians are the only ones being reviled and intimidated into silence by secularists who are pushing an ideological agenda that demands total dominance where it seems, that everyone is allowed a voice – except Christians.

Danny Grant. Aultbea.

Forbes can bridge our divisions and deliver good government

Sir, – I suspect very many Scots who do not currently support the SNP hope sufficient members of the party wake up and smell the coffee in the next few weeks.

Since 1999, when the majority of Scots voted for devolution, the quality of all the devolved services have consistently reduced and costs increased, whilst huge efforts have been made to increase the support for independence.

The country is still split 50-50 – too much stick and not enough carrot, perhaps!

Why then are so many of us non-believers so excited with Kate Forbes, a young mother on maternity leave and a devout member of the Free Church. Whilst, few of us agree with all of her Christian beliefs, for a politician her honesty is from times past, she is a centrist much admired by other parties and reminds us of the likes of the late John Smith and Charles Kennedy.

Image: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Nicola Sturgeon, on her own admission, is a divisive politician, who had to rely on the Green Party to support her minority government.

Unfortunately, their policies were the final nail in the coffin for her leadership. Was there ever worse timing for the Greens to be involved in government than the worst fuel crisis since Suez?

I hope that many lovers of Scotland will accept we are where we are, we have to improve the quality of (life for) many who live in Scotland and struggle with the quality of healthcare, education, policing, social services and transport.

If the SNP can only accept their best chance of achieving their dream is to play the long game and vote for Forbes, an intelligent and gifted politician who will work with other politicians to improve the devolved services.

Unlike her predecessor, she is very able to gather consensus from other parties to run a minority government and I suspect the Greens will be quickly returned to the pasture from whence they came, taking their policies and, hopefully, Peter Murrell with them.

We will ensure our parties will support sensible policies with votes at the next election.

The only way to success for the SNP is to prove to Scottish tax payers that they have at last grown up and can successfully run a devolved government providing decent services without bleeding us all dry.

When they can do that, they will give many of us a dilemma, which, I for one will cherish.

When we see a young mother with babe in arms on the steps of Bute House, it will be like white smoke from the Sistine Chapel, voters from all parties will regain hope for the future.

Play the short game and vote for either of the two others and you will simply run out of puff just like your departing leaders and your dream will be lost.

Graham Russell. Whitecairns, Aberdeen.

Independence will trump its enemies

Sir, – I am sure the three candidates for leadership of the SNP are well aware of what they will be up against.

Not so much from the democratic will of the people but like Nicola Sturgeon, they will have death threats and be hounded by the press, the BBC, the unionist trolls and those in society who fear their privileged lifestyles may change as we move to becoming a more progressive and fair society.

The ship to independence sails on with a new captain at the helm, whoever that might be.

The negativity and attacks started as soon as they put their names forward, with the hope of sowing division. What the Scottish and UK mainstream media shows is that it is not an even playing field when the beliefs of half the population are rubbished daily.

The same dirty tricks are an indicator of fear and the joy felt by some at Nicola’s resignation will be short lived. They will now know independence is not about one person or even the SNP – it’s about the much bigger grassroots independence movement of people of all parties and none.

Nicola will still be there and as she said: “Whoever becomes first minister, I will support them.”

Those of us in the Yes movement who have a preferred candidate will likewise do the same whoever wins.

Herbert Petrie. Dyce.

Secular society blinkered to truth

Sir, – In his letter of February 28 (“Homophobia – not faith – is problem”), it clearly seems Neil Barber has a big problem with the faith of Kate Forbes. The real problem is that Mr Barber has a hatred for religion and faith.

While I am not an SNP supporter, he can be assured that Ms Forbes has not one single “homophobic” bone in her body. There is not one single genuine, born-again Bible-believing Christian in Scotland – of which Kate Forbes is one – who is homophobic.

Yes, all her detractors, including politicians, were attacking her Christianity – and shame on them – because she expressed her faith in God’s Word, as recorded in the Bible. She dares to openly tell the truth about sin and there is complete hysteria in the press and media.

Every genuine (not pretenders) Christian will never approve of, condone or tolerate sin of any kind.

No, they will reprove and rebuke it, just as God does. Sin, in any form, is an offence to God

To applaud the sinful practices of any person, gay or otherwise, is to applaud sin, and Christians don’t do that. They would only be religious gimmicks if they did.

The mouthpiece of the Edinburgh Secular Society is blinkered and doesn’t see Scotland must quickly recover its past if it is to become a great nation again: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

We must rediscover God, rediscover the Bible and rediscover the Ten Commandments.

Mr Barber clearly deludes himself if he somehow thinks Scotland can do without the unchanging truth of Scripture. Secularism has never made a nation great – it has only brought misery and heartache to places that once foolishly embraced it.

Truth is truth, it can never be edited – it would be far easier to stop the sun from shining on the streets of Edinburgh and across Scotland; a city and nation that desperately needs the Christianity of Kate Forbes.

Mr Donald J Morrison. Old Edinburgh Road, Inverness.

Scotland needs a deal like NI

Image: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Sir, – Rishi Sunak described Northern Ireland as “the world’s most exciting economic zone” since his recent deal with the EU, giving that part of the UK access to both UK and EU markets.

Such a shame a similar deal hasn’t been struck for Scotland. Like Northern Ireland, Scotland voted heavily to remain in the EU after all.

Ron Campbell. Richmond Walk, Aberdeen.

Sunak disarms all UK’s nationalists

Sir, – Can it get much worse for the SNP Greens?

Nicola Sturgeon resigns, no stick-out replacement has emerged, the rivets on the box marked “scandal” are rattling loose, formerly internal pub brawls are spilling out on to the street, we’re all having either a laugh or a commercial melt-down over what to do with the “empties” and now, after months of hard, detailed, legwork and negotiation, Rishi Sunak goes and delivers the Windsor Framework.

In one fell swoop he has disarmed the main nationalist weaponry of recent years, namely Brexit, Boris and Liz, whose deluded comeback plans are no more. He has laid the groundwork for more unity in his own party and established trusted, pragmatic relations with the EU which can lead to more softening of Brexit to the benefit of the whole UK.

This on top of burnishing his credentials as a practical supporter of the union by ensuring the Northern Irish people’s interests are looked after and the likely resumption of Stormont.

The Section 30 and Gender Recognition Reform missile strikes on Scottish nationalism could soon be followed by binning the bottle bank fiasco. The media were unimpressed by his first 100 days but the last 27 have been historic.

And to cap it all, the support provided by Sir Keir Starmer has not only helped Sunak’s premiership, it has raised his and Labour’s standing with voters.

We can now anticipate the only true way to end Scotland’s indy nightmare: a rout of the SNP at the forthcoming elections by upbeat UK parties.

Allan Sutherland. Willow Row, Stonehaven.

Bottle deposit scheme broken

The deposit return scheme will go live in August. Image: Shutterstock

Sir, – I agree with every comment which Alastair Armitstead made on the “deposit return” plan.

With so much litter around it makes me wonder if people who are unable to carry their litter home would go to a specific place to deposit bottles.

An expensive project with little chance of it taking off!

Sybil Wilkie. Banchory.

Bill Gibb Court sets fine example

Bill Gibb at a fashion show in Cults in 1972. Image: DCT Design/AJL.

Sir, – On behalf of the directors of Fraserburgh Heritage Society Ltd, I wish to express delight to learn from The Press and Journal (March 2) that the name under consideration for the new flats being built in the old Fraserburgh Academy is Bill Gibb Court. Nothing could be more appropriate given his illustrious career started in the art department of that building.

Fraserburgh Heritage Centre houses a significant collection of Bill’s works and an enhanced display is proposed for when the roof has been replaced and the centre is open again.

The Heritage Society is sometimes invited to submit ideas for possible names for new street developments and has extensive correspondence from 2014 (and further back) with suggestions from the Famous Brochers display and Bill Gibb was repeatedly requested to be considered.

With a further housing development proposed in Cross Street, perhaps names to be considered could be Benzie (a significant employer in the town, a Baillie and whose sister, Dr Jean Benzie was influential in missionary and medical work in India) and Dr Stewart Slessor, winner of a Polar Medal and after whom Mount Slessor is named in the Falklands.

Chris Reid (Mrs). Secretary, Fraserburgh Heritage Society Ltd.

Dissolve Holyrood

Sir, – What is our council doing with our money?

Aberdeen City Council has to make £46.6 million in savings and has decided on a 5% increase on our council tax – what will this do to our services?

The UK Government is telling us to tighten our belts, Holyrood is telling us the same and councils are just bumbling along – this has to stop.

The solution to this is to dissolve Holyrood and return all power to Westminster.

T Shirron, Davidson Drive, Aberdeen.

Better uses for council money

TUC Aberdeen members and community organisations gathered to protest against cuts which could see vital services cut as part of the local authority’s budget. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Sir, – Aberdeen City Council’s budget was designed to ensure every penny is being spent to residents’ benefit.

Why then has finance convener Alex McLellan, earmarked £15,000 for the coronation of King Charles? He’s also wasting another £15,000 on Freedom of the City for Aberdeen FC.

I sincerely hope that the Dons refuse this gesture at once.

I can’t speak for King Charles, but if he reads this I again hope he can convince the council that this money can be used for better purposes, like school meals, etc.

What disgusts me is £20 million has been set aside for the city centre and the beach masterplan next year, which I doubt will happen

The council is guilty of overspending in last year’s budget. I’m disgusted.

Joseph Durno, Cummings Park Circle, Aberdeen.