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Readers’ letters: The dangers of vaping, Scottish Green Party and Gary Lineker

A photo of someone using a CBD vape pen

Sir, – Vaping is now openly advertised in shops as a safe product, which is far from the truth as apart from disposal problems there is the added risk of contracting “popcorn lung” due to the food enhancer additive used in the product.

The Scottish Government would be well advised in classifying all vaping products with the same restrictions as tobacco products.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Mugiemoss Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen.

Deposit Return Scheme has to be binned by new first minister

Sir, – The time for producers to register for the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) was earlier this week – 600 out of 4,000 have registered, which doesn’t augur too well for this badly thought out scheme being introduced in August.

Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Business leaders have told Nicola Sturgeon that the deposit return scheme planned for Scotland is “destined to fail’’ and that to continue with its introduction would be “reckless’’.

A number of leading business organisations including CBI Scotland, Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses have all joined together to send an open letter to Ms Sturgeon, the outgoing first minister, calling for the scheme to be delayed.

Strong support to have the scheme delayed has come from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, also the Scottish Wholesale Association. While there’s support for a scheme, to press ahead with DRS without change would be reckless.

I think it’s high time for Lorna Slater, the circular economy minister, to come out of her bunker and listen to the very valuable advice of the producers and suspend the scheme and sort it out before wasting more Scottish taxpayers’ money.

Ken Watmough, Aberdeen.

‘Green’ Party so misleading

Sir, – In the rush to elect a new leader of their party, the three candidates for the top job in the SNP have failed to address the real issue that affects all their members.

The arrangement with the Green Party has been one of the most divisive things Nicola Sturgeon persuaded her colleagues to go along with. The word “green” does not reflect the politics of this left-wing, republican, anti-business fringe party whose wild ideas have forced the Scottish Government – in the name of progressive politics – to introduce badly thought through, uncosted, unpopular and unworkable policies.

Image: Scottish Green Party

Does the Scottish Government really want to sacrifice the future of Scotland on the back of independence at any cost?

Associating themselves with the Greens diminishes their stature and will only lead to more bad decisions.

The voting public have said they want no more of this unholy alliance; let us hope the new first minister drops the Greens in favour of putting the country first.

Andrew Dingwall-Fordyce, Westhill.

Leading the SNP is dubious privilege

Sir, – I have, like a lot of people, been following the candidates vying for the dubious privilege of becoming the next leader of the SNP.

It became clear in the first week that the senior politicians in that party were not interested in taking up the mantle and many of your readers have expressed the opinion that the leadership is a poisoned chalice.

It is not hard to see why.

All essential services are in the usual SNP mess.

To extricate ourselves is going to take time and money and therein lies the dilemma faced by the senior members of that party; even if they magic up a bottomless pit of money, they don’t have the time.

So we are left with three young hopefuls, and although they are approaching this as if they were already the first minister they have said nothing that fills me with hope that they can lead a minority party and solve even a small part of the disasters left behind by the previous holder of that post.

Whoever wins will also have to look closely at the disastrous alliance with the Green Party. It was impossible to believe things could have become any worse for the SNP but the alliance with the Greens has proved me wrong.

The party faithful have seen their parliamentary colleagues backed into a corner at virtually every debate.

SNP leadership hopefuls Humza Yousaf, Ash Regan and Kate Forbes. Image: DC Thomson

So who out of the present candidates has the nerve to disband the coalition? The implications are, no Greens, no majority.

If they dump the Greens where they belong in the brown bin, is there a chance the other parties could get together and form a coalition of their own?

Fat chance I hear you say and I would have to agree. So we’re left with the SNP as a minority party trying to steer Scotland out of its present mess. Not an appetising proposition.

I would also like to remind the other political parties in Scotland that it is oft said the governing party is only as good as the opposition.

Finlay G Mackintosh, Forres.

Willpower is best way to beat obesity

Sir, – Another glimmer of hope in the fight against that bad kid on the block – obesity – has just been given the go ahead for use, in certain circumstances, by the NHS.

This latest “wonder” drug administered by injection leaves a feeling of fullness thus reducing the desire to eat. The prize – weight loss of around 10%.

Detriments such as nausea, sickness, vomiting and diarrhoea, the duration of its use limited to two years and cost are thought well worth the benefits.

An added reason for its use is the ringing endorsements from celebrities – invariably more important than the reality that on stopping injections, unless willpower is exercised, the weight lost is quickly regained.

Willpower is the golden ticket to success. The multi-billion-pound diet industry is flourishing through the inability of individuals to exercise self-control of their calorie intake.

Sometimes this virtue is imprinted in the developing mind.

As a child, I grew up in the years of post-war austerity when food was scarce and basic. Sometimes as a treat or a special occasion, a cake or dumpling would be baked.

Overindulgence was discouraged by stern words, now regarded as offensive: “Don’t be greedy, you don’t want to get fat.”

My friends and I were the embodiments of Lowry’s matchstick kids so there was little likelihood of that becoming a reality.

But the possible outcome of eating too much has remained a guide throughout my long life. As an added bonus, no therapy with unpleasant side effects required.

Ivan W Reid, Laurencekirk.

BBC has moved to the far right

Sir, – It is now confirmed, through the words of a sports commentator, that the BBC is in the pocket of the Conservative Party.

Gary Lineker is a highly respected TV football presenter. He is freelance and not a BBC employee and was expressing, off TV, a sincere and personal viewpoint on controversial Tory government policy, as is his democratic right.

Image: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Furthermore, the once free and impartial image of the BBC has been shattered, when it is controlled by a chairman who donated £400,000 to the Tory party and organised a loan for that reprobate Boris Johnson.

However, this corrupt UK Government is not concerned about adverse media coverage, since most of the media is Conservative-leaning.

It is even more troubling that new UK Government bills are being rushed through Parliament, including anti-strike, human rights and migration legislation, with a home secretary unable to say whether the Illegal Migration Bill is actually legal or not.

With more than three-quarters of Britain’s national newspapers controlled by four wealthy establishment figures and with more right-wing news sites opening up, the British broadcasting media, including the BBC, has certainly moved to the far right.

Grant Frazer, Newtonmore.

Wash your fruit and vegetables

Sir, – A recent report blamed traffic pollution for posing a risk to vegetables grown in gardens and allotments as they have higher levels of contaminants (EE, January 30).

These levels must be super extra high on the A90 Dundee to Perth road and the A92 Arbroath to Dundee road.

Image: Colin Rennie

At the sides of these roads all kinds of fruit and veg are grown and they are being polluted by passing cars, lorries, buses and farm vehicles.

Do these suppliers wash their products before being sold to shops and supermarkets all over Scotland?

People who don’t wash fruit and veg before eating can increase their daily intake of lead by 130%, or 2.3 times their recommended exposure limit!

So please wash all your fruit and veg in the future!

T Shirron, Davidson Drive, Aberdeen.