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Letters from the Readers: Sturgeon Shows Our Money on Vanity Projects

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and climate activist Vanessa Nakate at a COP26 event in Glasgow last year (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The cost of his visit was not disclosed. Apparently it’s a “security” issue. Whatever the cost, it is money that we badly need here. So does the £7million she promises to give to foreign countries for ‘loss and damage’ caused by climate change.

Meanwhile, here at home, our Councils are struggling. Our NHS – under the sole responsibility of its administration – is crying out for more funds. Just like the police, ambulance service, education, care services, etc. The list is almost endless.

It’s time for Sturgeon to stop flashing the cash on vanity projects and remember the ones she and her party were elected to take care of.

John Dorward, Arbroath, Angus

Nicola Sturgeon has promised financial packages to various countries affected by climate change. One such country is Pakistan, which has just allocated £8.74 billion to its space programme. The SNP government has just announced £1.2billion of service cuts, despite insisting on saving £20million for a meaningless independence referendum. It begs the question of where Sturgeon, in his headline-grabbing quest to personally save the planet, finds the money to fulfill his promise made at COP 27. Scotland deserves and needs better government with a prime minister who is not full-time. ego trip at taxpayer expense.

Ian Balloch, Grangemouth, Falkirk

Nicola Sturgeon claims credit for starting the ‘reparations debate’ and no one should be surprised, it’s the one thing she excels at… giving away money that doesn’t belong to her is all that which she and her party have been doing since they laid their hands on the public purse, Baby boxes; prescriptions; university; bus travel; personal care. Plus, of course, there’s our money she wasted. ferries; Lochaber; BiFab; Prestwick Airport; Scotrail; public energy company; and Scottish Investment Bank. Then there’s our money thrown into headline-grabbing failures. Abolish the housing tax; closing the achievement gap for children; reduce drug-related deaths; eliminate student debt; reduce alcohol-related deaths; 130,000 new green jobs; Ultra-fast broadband to all business premises; reduce class size; transforming mental health care; and Sturgeon’s super sponsorship program for Ukrainian refugees.

Sturgeon is throwing our money around like confetti and now she wants all the other first world countries to follow her lead. Sturgeon has been using Scottish public money to buy votes for almost a decade and now she is trying to use money from the western world to boost her image for her next public engagement which will hopefully be very soon and far from here.

Stan Hogarth, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

It seems that the Prime Minister is in favor of paying climate change reparations to developing countries.

My advice is to be careful; the works of James Watt and the steam engine, of William Murdoch and coal gas, and of James “Paraffin” Young and shale oil, could all mean that Scotland could well be charged a very high price because the efforts of these very famous Scottish pioneers mightily increased the production of CO2 from fossil fuels.

Hugh Pennington, Aberdeen

Like most of Scotland I really suffer from ‘clim-Nat’ fatigue but Nicola Sturgeon’s CO2 mitigation measures such as the nationalization of ScotRail, the dismantling of the ferry service to the islands and the withdrawal of ambulances on our roads will see to it. that thousands of tonnes of CO2 are not released into the atmosphere.

If the amount of hot air that MP Ian Blackford exhales in PMQs could be used to heat up Westminster, it would further bolster the SNP’s already stellar green credentials.

David Bone, Girvan, South Ayrshire

It may be me and my avowed antipathy to the only thing that matters to Scottish nationalists, but I find the Prime Minister’s presence in Egypt for COP 27 deeply embarrassing. She hasn’t been invited and she and her numerous and no doubt horribly expensive entourage will only participate on the fringes, trying to somehow appear relevant. A unit of his SPAD army will also no doubt be on full alert, desperately trying to arrange a selfie alongside the FM with anyone of even minor importance.

Let’s be honest. Everyone involved in this junket insults our sickest, poorest and most vulnerable people and instead could have done a lot to alleviate the worst of the horrific conditions some have to endure on the streets of our cities and in our overgrown NHS here in Scotland. Driving around the Egyptian capital, desperately trying to get attention, is the worst possible way to show how much they care.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Starmer was concerned about greater efficiency for the Home Office. For the asylum system, this means more detentions and deportations without safeguards. This approach ignores both the European Convention on Human Rights and the Geneva Convention, and UK obligations, for example those arriving fleeing persecution have the right to seek asylum here, with or without papers. The UK must also provide basic support, including lawful access. But Starmer says nothing about the cruel overcrowding, illness and detention of people and children, without legal support, at the Manston Migrant Center, or even the law.

In terms of general immigration, Brexit is causing huge economic losses for Scotland. Scotland welcomes workers from the NHS, academia, agriculture, transport, retail and hospitality. It has benefited enormously – by the billions – from EU workers and free movement. Instead, Starmer speaks detrimentally about failing to value workers and the billions they bring in. Brexit is also hitting Scottish exports very hard and adding to inflation, the cost of living and the falling pound. Starmer says he won’t return to the EU but will make Brexit work, oddly without saying how.

Scotland should be allowed to vote on independence as a democratic right because of electoral support. It’s not for Mr. Starmer or anyone else to say let’s ignore this and move on, eg the war in Ukraine (in fact not even our war at all).

We are now suffering under our third Conservative Prime Minister in almost as many months. It will be interesting to see how long Rishi Sunak stays in the job before his chaotic political party decides that after all he is not cut out for the job either and gets rid of him. There are two consistencies in the Conservative PM revolving door. The first is that they all come into office categorically saying that the policies of their predecessors were all wrong, but they know what needs to be fixed to get the country back on its feet. This is said without any acknowledgment that as members of the previous cabinet they participated in decision-making and are collectively responsible for the policies they now say are wrong.

The second consistency is that the policies they say are needed to fix broken Britain all involve austerity in one form or another. Austerity, they argue, is the only means available to fix this broken country. But of course this means austerity for the little people. Not for the high and mighty one percent who manage to avoid paying taxes by having enough wealth to be able to use fancy accountants and lawyers to help them save their money in offshore tax havens so that they, who have the most, pay the least in taxes.

And the height of irony is the fact that this Conservative party has been in power for 12 years. To hear Conservative politicians talk, you would think that a completely different political party presided over the mess we currently find ourselves in. What hypocrisy!

David Howdle, Kirkton, Scottish Borders

Colin Kirkwood’s assertion that no other country in the world denigrates dialects and accents like the UK reminded me of an episode from my school days in the early 1950s (Letters, November 7).

We had an excellent head language teacher from the Aberdeen area who had spent his training year abroad several years earlier in northern France. One year, a sophisticated young student-teacher from Paris arrives on the scene, his father a French general no less. When he asked several students in the class to read aloud passages in French, his expression quickly changed to extreme disgust. “Stop,” he shouted, hands over his head in typically Gallic horror. “You all speak French like peasants!

If he passed this information on to our teacher, we were never told. However, I wonder if educated Parisians today are more tolerant of their fellow provincials. Somehow, I doubt it.

William Greenock, Netherlee, East Renfrewshire

My two children were born at the now closed Elsie Inglis Maternity Hospital in Springfield Place Edinburgh. I see a statue is to be carved in memory of Elsie Inglis, no doubt at great expense. Why not rename the horribly named ERI breeding unit after her instead?

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