Lorraine Sharp, who supplied this image, taken near Duns on the River Blackadder, told us: “I took this photo of the quite rare phenomenon called ‘ice pancakes’. They are created in icy temperatures on a moving water surface. They are made of foam. The white stuff you often see floating on the top of the water.”
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
SNP INTOLERANT AND HOSTILE
I have long since given up responding to Richard Walthew’s epistles based on political dogma produced by the SNP.
However, his comments in last week’s Berwickshire News – where he suggests that Scotland in Union (SiU) is a secret English organisation – could not be further from the truth.
I and many others have always supported the Union and make no secret about it.
Unlike Mr Walthew and his political cronies, SiU is a non-political organisation and receives no funding from political parties. Compare this to the nationalist lobby which is, to a large extent, funded by the Scottish Government (in other words, funded by us, the taxpayers, both in England and Scotland).
No doubt Mr Walthew would like to forget that expensive book, ‘‘Scotland’s Future’’, produced for the independence referendum by the Scottish Government (us, the tax payers) which has now been so discredited.
We are fortunate that there are organisations like Scotland in Union to produce some balanced debate to the economics of the Union.
The real issue in this correspondence is that the SNP is one of the most intolerant and hostile parties to anyone who dares challenge its doctrine.
Thank goodness there are some people who are not bullied into silence. Given the hostile telephone calls from SNP lobbyists that I received since my name was published as an SiU supporter, I can understand why some would wish to remain anonymous.
SCUPPERED BY ‘SNOWFLAKE DAY’
Last Thursday my milkman delivered my milk during the early hours of the morning as usual, the butcher’s van arrived at the normal time, the postlady made the mail delivery on time, despite treacherous pavements in this street that the council cannot be bothered to salt and I attended an appointment at the local medical centre.
All of the staff there had seemingly fought their way through the blizzard of golf ball-sized hailstones, plagues of frogs, or whatever other absurd meteorological horror we had been required to believe in the previous day’s weather “forecast”.
The link between these seemingly routine and unconnected activities is that those delivering these services managed to work normally despite some snow.
Not so teachers, of course, who predictably awarded themselves the first “wrong kind of snowflake” day of 2018.
Ironic, is it not, that a medical centre dealing with frail and elderly people can continue to function while teachers seemingly fear getting their shoes wet. Doubly ironic that the weather forecast and daft “amber” alerts were, as is so often the case, complete rubbish and no more snow fell overnight. Indeed, the day turned out to be almost spring-like.
When will someone call this profession to account? British weather forecasts are, on average, mildly accurate about 40 per cent of the time.
But it suits the educational establishment to believe any prediction of snow, rain, wind or whatever so that they can claim to be protecting the wee ones. I remember walking to school through deep snow down south and to a more distant secondary school travelling on buses that carried on running along snowy roads.
I recently read a BBC report claiming that teachers worked on average between 55 and 60 hours a week. Really, I thought, somewhat incredulous until I noted at the end of the article that the figures came from a “survey” by teaching unions.
Here’s to the next “snowflake day”.
SURRENDERING TO BRITISH RULE?
Paul Singleton shows his true colours as a British nationalist/monarchist when he says “we” should “reclaim southern Ireland as it was part of our United Kingdom” (letters, January 18).
He is so obsessed with the monarchy and assumed supremacy of his United Kingdom that he ignores the truth – which is that many countries all over the globe are glad to be free from British (English?) subjugation and exploitation. They are content to make their own way in the world.
Does he also seriously believe that, for example, America, India and many other former colonies of a failed British empire (who fought and died for their freedom) should once again surrender to British rule?
PS: I was most interested to read about the highly-dubious Scotland in Union campaign and its co-ordinated, secret letter-writing campaign – most revealing but not really surprising.
WARNING FOR REPUBLICANS
“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind” – Einstein.
“Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception” – Orwell.
Take note, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other Scottish republican nationalists for the mirror is directed at you in this royal sovereign democratic United Kingdom.
Early Brexit will bring new opportunities and a much bigger picture to the UK. Nationalism will be forgotten and ameliorate all that has gone before. Bring it on.
SALMOND AND STURGEON ON LIST
Trump, Kim Jong-un, Putin, Erdogan, Le Pen, Farage: What do these names have in common?
Of course, they all relate to individuals whose following is built on simplistic, raw nationalism. They all aim to put their countries first.
I don’t mind admitting that none of them is to my political taste. Indeed, I fear the more powerful among them are putting all our futures at risk.
Personally, I would add the names Salmond and Sturgeon to the list. Can any readers explain, from a Scottish nationalist perspective, why I shouldn’t?
SOUP AND PUDDING LUNCH
Last Saturday, Duns Guild held a soup and pudding lunch in aid of Church of Scotland Guild projects.
A total of £271.20p was raised.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped in any way, either by donating, attending or helping on the day – your support was much appreciated.
SLEEPWALKING TO ECONOMIC SUICIDE
The assessment from the Scottish Government report that the country’s economy could be £12.7 billion a year worse off by 2030 under a so-called hard Brexit is deeply disturbing and demonstrates why the economic suicide that is Brexit must be reversed.
The report notes that even if the UK were to remain in the single market and customs union, and even if the UK Government’s preferred option of securing a free trade deal were to be realised, there would still be a cost to the Scottish economy compared with remaining in the EU.
As the costs of Brexit become clearer and the public mood begins to shift, more people are realising that Brexit is seeing us sleepwalk to economic suicide and must be stopped, to the benefit of both this and future generations. Brexit is no longer the “settled will of the people” in the UK and it should be noted that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. We require a fresh public debate as support for Brexit wanes.
Although another referendum isn’t legally necessary to stop Brexit, we recognise that political reality may require a further test of public opinion before a majority in parliament is prepared to stop Brexit altogether.
If another referendum is held, over-16s and EU citizens settled in the UK should be able to vote, just as they did in the Scottish independence referendum.
The European Movement in Scotland