Your picture of the Week

Andrew Morton of Berwick took this stunning view of the Chain Bridge at Horncliffe. Please email your photographic contributions, with a brief caption, to berwickshirenews@jpress.co.uk
Andrew Morton of Berwick took this stunning view of the Chain Bridge at Horncliffe. Please email your photographic contributions, with a brief caption, to berwickshirenews@jpress.co.uk

Andrew Morton of Berwick took this stunning view of the Chain Bridge at Horncliffe.

Please email your photographic contributions, with a brief caption, to berwickshirenews@jpress.co.uk

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

‘SUBSIDY JUNKIES’ WORTH KEEPING

“The Scots are subsidy junkies whinging like a trampled bagpipe as they wait for their next fix of English taxpayers’ money.”

This was recently said by Lord Monkton, past president of Ukip in Scotland.

We are all familiar with such ignorant insults, and also the oft-repeated mantra that Scotland is too wee, too small and too poor to be self-supporting.

Not one of these falsehoods is true, as was proven years ago, but many Scots still believe them. If we could repress our gullibility towards a media which relentlessly demeans all things Scottish, and instead used our inquiring minds, we can find all the evidence we need to show that an independent Scotland would be one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

For example, the National Library of Scotland houses these revealing statistics. The Treasury published figures which show that in 1900 revenue from Scotland was £16,859,000; but money spent in Scotland was only £4,973,000. The sums increased almost every year up to 1921 when Scotland sent £120,386,000 to London, but of that amount a paltry £33,096,000 was spent north of the border. After that the figures were no longer published – and there is no need to wonder why, as today they would show the same disparity and more Scots might get uppity.

The obvious response to Lord Monkton’s insolent remark is: “Get rid of us then.” But the reality is that Scotland’s wealth is the reason why the Establishment will never willingly let the country go.

Richard Walthew

Whitsome Crofts

Duns

FINISHING OFF FATHER’S WORK

I am writing to ask for the help of your readers in relation to my father, John (“Jock”) Richardson Wilson, who was born in Berwick in 1918 and died in 1982.

He was the second son of Thomas Wilson and Jane (“Janie”) Richardson. Thomas Wilson held a number of positions in the town and also ran the family furniture business at 27 Marygate.

Jock was well known as an organist and in the musical life of the town. Shortly before Jock’s death, he wrote his memoirs of life as a child and young person in Berwick between the wars. Unfortunately he did not complete this task and they end rather abruptly at age 17 when he left school.

I am hoping to edit and publish these memoirs, as it is an interesting account of life in Berwick.

Could any of your readers help me fill in the gap, particularly the years 1935-41? There will be few people of his generation alive, but there may be some who were a little younger or remember the family.

If you are willing to help, you can contact me on 07989 654018, or write to my home address – 10 Temple Mains Steading, Innerwick, Dunbar EH 42 1EF. I could also arrange to come and see you if it is convenient. All contributions will be acknowledged. If you are able to tell me more about Jock, then I can acknowledge this if you wish.

Elisabeth Wilson

A STATEMENT OF HOLYROOD INTENT

The Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement published recently should not be underestimated.

Despite not being legislative in form, it appears nonetheless to be a fundamental plank in the overall land reform process. It sets a direction of travel for future land reform decisions and provides a stated baseline against which the Scottish Government will address the balance between the public and private interest in future decisions affecting private property rights.

It is wide ranging, applying to all urban and rural land, buildings and other infrastructure in Scotland, and is stated to be equally relevant to all the people and communities of Scotland, whether land owner, land manager, tenant or land user.

The statement comprises a vision and six principles built around a “human rights-based approach”.

The vision sees all land contributing to a modern and successful country, with rights and responsibilities recognised and fulfilled. The principles address issues such as achieving a fairer society, a more diverse pattern of landownership, giving more opportunity to communities to own and lease land, sustainable management, transparency and greater community engagement. The human rights element seeks to embrace a wide collection of individual and community rights.

Is the statement a woolly collection of aspirational statements, or an enshrined backdrop for the policies of the future?

Undoubtedly, it represents a clear indication of the drivers and motivations behind the land reform movement and is a clear statement of the Scottish Government’s intent. It would be unwise to ignore it.

Robert Scott-Dempster

(partner)

for and on behalf of Gillespie Macandrew LLP

Atholl Crescent

Edinburgh

ENGLAND – A FAILED PARIAH STATE

Gratifying and amusing as it is to watch the disintegration of English Toryism, one must not forget the appalling costs that England’s racist electorate is imposing on us all in Scotland.

The cost of the Brexit act of self-destruction already runs into hundreds of billions – thousands of lost investments, a worthless currency, huge increases in the cost of imports, lost educational and vocational opportunities for young people... the list is endless.

All this translates into inflation which will surely be in double figures by the year end (although official statistics will no doubt be fiddled), the deportation of millions of eastern European workers leading to crops rotting unpicked in the fields, hotels and restaurants closing by the score, public transport and the health service decimated as key workers are sent packing. This is to say nothing of the Brexit bonfire of progressive social, environmental and cultural policies that Theresa May’s happy band of xenophobes cannot wait to put to the torch.

And factor in too the hundreds of millions being forked out to consultants and civil servants to orchestrate the final sinking of the “S.S. Racist”.

We are all set to pay a truly massive price for England’s racist polity over the coming months, years and decades. But it’s clearly worthwhile to get rid of a few pesky Poles or whoever who come here to work hard, have families, start up businesses and generally contribute positively to their local communities – sorry, I meant to say scrounge off our (increasingly threadbare) welfare state.

And May’s barmy army continues to fall apart as Europe looks on and laughs. You dinnae need to look as far as Asia to see a real failed pariah state. There’s one under our noses just the other side of Carter Bar.

Truly the well-deserved laughing stock of Europe.

We need to get out from under the English imperialist yoke as soon as we can.

Richard West

Inch Park

Kelso

FLATTERED AND HUMBLED

Eyemouth Herring Queen Committee would like to thank its supporters and community who raised a fantastic £616 at a surprise coffee morning in the Masons Hall.

Their intention was to raise funds to thank the committee for its efforts in putting on the festival this year, and that the money raised should be spent on committee members having some fun.

The committee has been extremely flattered by this gesture and felt that the recognition alone was enough, so it was unanimously decided that the cash should be used as a growth pot to allow us to promote and host various community fund-raising events. The money raised from these efforts would then be used by the community as a whole to celebrate our 75th festival which will take place in the summer of 2019.

I’m sure most people will remember the extra effort that was made for the 70th celebrations with the setting up of the lamppost banners, the commemorative DVD and, of course, the homecoming of our past queens. We hope that our fund-raising can be used for similar ambitious projects in our 75th year and this unexpected pot of money is our springboard to do this.

As for the intention of us having some fun, the ideas we already have for our fund-raising events – such as an Ascot-style race night, quiz and concert – are all things we will all enjoy coming along to and being part of.

It has been truly humbling to know that our community are behind us, and we hope that everyone will support the events we have planned, ensuring that the 75th celebrations will be the biggest and best yet.

Wendy Lough

(publicity officer,

Eyemouth Herring Queen

Committee)

BOOST FOR BREAST CANCER CHARITY

On Saturday, September 30, at the Eildon Centre, Coldstream, the marvellous sum of £700.70 was raised.

The support and help given so generously is second to none. Every penny raised goes to Breast Cancer Now to help research into this awful illness.

A further £959 was also raised from other small fund-raising events held in the past two months. The total forwarded to Breast Cancer Now is £1,659.70. Many thanks to all the supporters of this charity.

Eleanor Moffat

Tweed Terrace

Coldstream

POWERFUL ARGUMENTS

Before Nicola Sturgeon and her cronies become inspired by recent divisive events in Catalonia and decide to follow suit, we decided unilaterally to hold an independence referendum in our household.

I am delighted to report a 100% turnout with 100% supporting independence from the authoritarian, centralist SNP Scottish Government and the currently-higher levels of Scottish taxation, which will doubtless soon become punitive as further wasteful and vain projects are supported and mismanaged.

As the birthplace of the age of reason and scientific enlightenment, it is deeply embarrassing that Scotland (weakly led by the SNP) has unilaterally turned its back on all applications of sound scientific evidence in modern methods of crop production and protection, and on reliable, minimal-impact forms of essential energy production.

To rely on inefficient, unreliable, unpredictable and heavily-subsidised forms of power such as wind farms and solar (really, in Scotland!) at the expense of our iconic and beautiful landscapes is tantamount to vandalism of nature on an industrial scale.

A handful of new gas and nuclear power stations on existing sites, closer to the centres of population, would cost less to operate, be operational 24/7, and have a much smaller footprint on the landscape than our absurd number of wind turbines and mega-pylons which only distribute huge wealth from the majority of bill payers to a minority of landowners and overseas manufacturers.

Ironically, we still have to maintain or import base-load power when demand is high and the wind fails or blows too hard (paying turbine and landowners not to produce electricity) as when under high-pressure systems, summer and winter.

And how can it be environmentally sound for INEOS to be forced to import shale gas from the USA by ship it may be sitting on a plentiful supply under its feet? I can imagine INEOS must now be sorely tempted (once again) to close and move its Grangemouth operations (the largest industrial plant in Scotland) elsewhere when confronted by such Luddite attitudes and political decisions.

Environmental groups are extremely well-trained and smart at manipulating public opinion with endless repetitions of their propaganda messages, misinformation campaigns, alarming scare stories and clever lies. Few have dared to challenge them.

They know that those in the scientifically-untrained print and broadcast media love such sensational nonsense as the ensuing headlines grab readers’ or viewers’ attention, and avoids having to do difficult technical research.

Environmental lobbyists are then not constrained by scientific facts or evidence when using this cleverly-misinformed public opinion to lobby and bludgeon weak politicians and timid regulators into achieving their irrational aims, to the economic and technological detriment of the nation, while the rest of the world makes progress.

Michael Wilson

Clovenfords