Letters to the Editor

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Politics - Shanarri Shenanigans

Madam- In his letter last week about the SNP’s “Named Person” scheme, Mr Park weakened the argument by scaremongering and exaggerating. I strongly believe that, in serious cases, there needs to be intervention in families. This is a deep rooted, extremely complex area spanning generations and needs to be well resourced, targeted and fair.

The overwhelming reaction by professional groups during the Scottish Government consultation was that the current proposals are confused and unworkable, so instead of being a groundbreaking, much needed initiative that could set Scotland on a true path to progress and even independence, it may well get quietly shelved just like the Corroboration fiasco and probably also the wind turbine con.

Generations of unemployment, welfare dependency, and family breakdown have created the shortage of eager students, skilled workers and tax payers so glaringly highlighted in recent reports of desperate attempts to fill senior medical and teaching posts across Scotland and particularly in Grampian.

We have all heard tales of children turning up for their first day at school not even toilet trained or so pumped up by sugary drinks they unable to concentrate and behave. When this happems it spoils the opportunity to learn for all.

A friend who works for Aberdeen Council as a health and fitness coach in primary schools recently told me the enthusiastic response of children is often undermined by parents unwilling or unable to support and carry out the advice. A horrible example of the long term consequences, a generation of feral kids growing up in Scotland, was the attack by yobs on a Dundee doctors’ surgery last week who, when refused permission to use the surgery toilets, returned with bottles of urine and used nappies and threw them at the building.

The SNP are doing Named Person on the cheap by adding yet another task, and huge responsibility, on teachers and other professionals. They are spreading resources too thinly by including all families and all issues from abuse to diet and how your room is decorated.

Nicola Sturgeon seems to be the only person these people might listen to. She should be coming out and saying that strong measures are required for Scotland to sort out its young people and their parents if we are ever to have an independent nation capable of standing up for itself, and not dragged down by a welfare-ruined underclass.

Instead it is clear that that the SNP are even bigger cowardy cats than the other parties who have avoided this issue for year. In order to avoid upsetting the the real target group they are lumping all decent families into the scheme and smothering it in a sugary GIRFEC and SHANARRI icing. I don’t agree with all the Data Protection arguments: if you have nothing to hide what should you be worried about?

The reason why the SNP are not coming out more strongly on this is a large percentage of the people who will be really affected also represent a core several hundred thousand “yes” voters. So the SNP aren’t going to alienate them by implementing some sensible reforms, are they?

P.s. I would like to thank my MP, Stuart Donaldson, for replying to my email to him and letter in the local papers about the Cyberat abuse. Two weeks ago Nicola Sturgeon, in the face of damning evidence that many of her MP’s, MSP’s and many party members, were in communication with the worst culprits, condemned the practice and promised to purge the party of the participants.

Mr Donaldson wrote the following email to me last week “I welcomed the First Minister’s statement regarding the action that the SNP has taken, and will take, on members who have been involved in abusing colleagues and friends across the political spectrum. It is unacceptable, and brings down the level of debate.” This is greatly appreciated.

Yours etc.,

Allan Sutherland

1 Willow Row



Gas works - An amicable meeting

Madam- Re the recent exchange of letters on the subject of the former gas works site, your readers may be interested to know that I contacted Ali Brown and he and I met on Sunday. The amicable meeting provided Ali with the opportunity to set out the reasons for his original query, and it enabled me to explain to him what had happened in July/August 2013 that led to the belief that the site would soon become a car park and the issuing of the statement he quoted. I was also able to explain the reasons why progress since then has been much slower than expected.

Both Ali and I acknowledge that meeting as we did was the most straightforward and effective way of clarifying matters to our mutual satisfaction. I would therefore urge anyone who has a question or query about any of STP’s projects to communicate directly with me or any of the other trustees in the first instance. The STP website is also a good source of information and includes contact details.

Yours etc

Douglas Samways

Chair, Stonehaven Town Partnership

address supplied

Breastfeeding - Could save NHS millions

Madam, – It’s heartening to see that we have so many charity volunteers and great organisations doing research into why so many women are being diagnosed with breast cancer.

However we don’t hear very much about the other side of the coin – preventative measures and how the UK government is complacent in maintaining the status quo and in some ways complicit in ensuring these figures don’t change.

The World Health Organisation has a code on the marketing of breast milk substitutes which the UK government pays lip service to. Letting large multinational companies advertise such substitutes undermines the health services message that babies are born to breastfeed.

The Nestlé boycott has been going on for over 40 years, but still the UK is not fully WHO code compliant.

Breastfeeding is a public health issue.

We are reaping the rewards of the policy of inaction with the obesity, diabetes and

cancer figures constantly rising.

Prof. Mary Renfrew, at Dundee University, published a paper for UNICEF showing the cost benefits that accrue to the NHS if breastfeeding is fully supported.

Doubling the current rates could save the NHS £40m for the first year, rising year on year as the number of

hospital admissions for babies with gastroenteritis, chest and ear infections reduces.

We have good support in Fife from NHS HV, midwives and support workers and around a dozen volunteers from the voluntary organisations BFN, ABM, LLL and NCT, but it’s an uphill struggle when funding for such an easy health

intervention is hard to access.

Support your cancer charities, yes, but more support is needed for those charities that help reduce the ill health in the first place. It cost £3600 to run a weekly support group for a year. One baby admitted to hospital for one night costs £660.

Yours, etc.,

Lesley Backhouse

Breastfeeding Network