Here are the letters sent to us this week that can be seen on page 10. If you have a letter you can e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to 12 Ann Street, AB39 2ER.
Sir- I was one of the lucky winners of tickets for “the auld meal mill” on Saturday September 20.
My husband and I have enjoyed this show many times over the years and I would just like to thank you for the tickets to such an excellent evening’s entertainment.
Sir, After sustained pressure from the Scottish Liberal Democrats I am delighted that Police Scotland has made the right decision and will no longer deploy firearms officers on routine duties. This u-turn is a win for the many local communities across Scotland who were alarmed by this undemocratic and fundamental change in policing approach.
It used to be that firearms were largely kept in the boot of a police car and accessed only when needed. I was therefore shocked to learn that, under the national force, armed officers were suddenly undertaking foot patrols on our high streets and speaking to folk on their doorsteps while overtly carrying handguns.
We have always been clear that there is a correct time and place for armed response vehicle officers. But this new policy was neither reasonable nor proportionate.
It was a change that the chief constable ordered should take place without consultation. Parliament wasn’t told, local councillors were kept in the dark, and no effort was made to explain to the public how the way they are policed would alter or how the specific needs of their communities had been taken into account.
The SNP promised us that the new national force wouldn’t impose sweeping changes upon local communities from a distant HQ. However, it took months for anyone to investigate this and meaningfully consider the widespread concerns expressed by campaign groups, councils and the public.
Once again, the justice secretary’s inaction has shown how out of step the SNP is when it comes to protecting civil liberties. Local communities deserve a government which will treat their concerns with respect. Instead, it is championing a crude one-size-fits-all approach across Scotland.
In the space of a year, the SNP have been forced to delay their controversial plans to scrap corroboration and they have been exposed for presiding over an explosion in the police’s use of unregulated stop and search, including on very young children. Now the armed police policy they defended, without question, has been reversed.
It is resoundingly clear that when it comes to justice, the SNP are at odds with the needs and wishes of local communities.
Alison McInnes MSP
Scottish Liberal Democrat
North East Scotland Region
Response to Alex Johnstone
Sir- I do not often I feel the need to put pen to paper, however having just read Alex Johnstone’s hatred-filled bile published in the Mearns Leader ‘Moving Forward Together’ (September 26) I felt the need to put my views forward.
It is widely known that Mr Johnstone has a deep rooted hatred for Alex Salmond and the SNP, as almost every one of his articles rarely hides this view, and this latest article in particular is amongst the worst of the lot.
Mr Johnstone refers to ‘The historic Edinburgh Agreement’ and how the ‘losing side’ have resorted to accusations of vote rigging, trickery and ‘all manner of suggestions’ because they didn’t respect the outcome of the referendum vote.
This, coming from a member of the Conservative party who clearly broke Purdah rules which were quite clearly written and agreed in the very same agreement, and offered along with other increasingly desperate ‘leaders’ a ‘vow’ which they simply cannot deliver.
These ‘vows’ will certainly have tricked many undecided voters that they would be ‘better together’ and is the likely reason that a No vote prevailed on the day, so 1.6 million Scots are watching closely how this pans out within the promised timetable.
Mr Johnstone also speaks of elderly women being shouted at in the street by yes campaigners and suggests it’s all Alex Salmond’s fault, and that Yes ran an ‘acrimonious’ campaign, but he fails to mention that the No campaign were phoning and visiting elderly people telling them that they will lose their pensions if Scotland gains its independence! ‘Project Fear’ at its finest.
Mr Johnston speaks of a ‘loud campaign delivering more heat than light’ yet it was blatantly obvious that the large majority of the state-controlled media, TV and newspapers were vehemently against independence and gave very little time to the Yes side in the run-up to the referendum – the exception being the Sunday Herald, who incidentally have seen their sales double in the last few weeks.
In the last few days before the referendum, the mainstream media didn’t even hide their bias yet the Yes movement, based simply on truth and a vision of a fairer society in Scotland still took 45% of the vote despite the ‘growing uncertainty’ of currency, pensions, international relations etc being aired non-stop on the Westminster-controlled propaganda machine.
The engagement of ordinary Scots, some of whom have never voted in their lives has enlightened them to become interested in the politics of their country, to do their own research, to understand how the country is governed and run, and to realise that they can make change for the better, despite the onslaught of the whole of the media telling them otherwise. Westminster is sick, very sick and an increasing number of Scots realise this every day. All we have to do is wait a few months to see just how the Scottish people have indeed been ‘tricked’ because there will be no hiding from these promises made of Devo-Max or Home Rule when they fail to materialise. All Independence supporters want is to be a ‘normal’ country running it’s own affairs, raising money within to be spent on the betterment of the Scottish people and not have £180m of their taxes used to pay for this sick establishment .Yes Mr Johnston, the people are indeed politically engaged and they will be watching very closely every move from the Westminster government to make sure the ‘vows’ are delivered in full or 45% (and likely more in the next few months) of the electorate will be letting them know that their vote counts at the next election. Alex Johnston should be aware that the Conservatives in Scotland are unpopular enough already without this kind of public display of hatred for the Scottish Government who incidentally have done more good for Scotland in 7 years than the Conservatives have ever done.
Name & address supplied
Almost like a new town
Sir -I was one of many who campaigned against this development 4/5 years ago, and advocated the Chapel of Elsick in preference to it.
The proposed development is massive, and is almost like a new town. It will swamp Stonehaven, and put a massive pressure on our existing infrastructure. It is a developers development, not done with any thought of the impact on Stonehaven, but done purely for the benefit of Barratts.
This development was rejected in favour of the Elsick scheme and there is now no need for a development of this size. We have over 300 houses already in the pipeline for Stonehaven, and other smaller proposals, and this mammoth proposal should be rejected out of hand. It would have an appalling effect on Stonehaven.
15 Arduthie Road