Fiona Crook, of Hume, sent us this image of deer in the snow at Old Greenlaw.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
HEROIC SECURITY GUARD
I am a regular rail traveller on Friday and Saturday nights through Berwick station.
It is a common occurrence for me to endure bad language and other anti-social behaviour on the train and in the station itself.
I would like to praise a security man at the station who had to restrain a bearded man who was trying to fight. The man even tried to punch the security guard. This happened on Saturday, February 24.
In my experience these security personnel do not get well paid and risk their own safety to help keep people like myself safe. I wish there were more of them. So, thank- ou to the man in the hi-visibility jacket – you are my hero.
And to the man who was drunk and violent – you are a disgrace and I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
SWEET SUCCESS IN COLDSTREAM
The Macmillan Cancer Support Coldstream committee would like to thank all those who supported the soup and sweet event last Wednesday. We raised £608.
Many thanks also to Trotter’s Bakers for donating the bread and thanks to all the ladies who donated the wonderful sweets.
RAISING MORE THAN £450
On behalf of Macmillan Duns I would like to thank everyone who braved the freezing weather on Saturday to support this very worthy cause’s coffee morning.
Your contributions, donations and presence raised more than £450.
Our next event is our annual plant sale on Sunday, June 3, in Duns Volunteer Hall. Anyone wishing to join the committee should speak to any committee member.
All monies raised in the Borders is utilised for various activities in Borders General Hospital.
FAILING TO PUT BOTH SIDES
As a reader who prefers to be given a clear view of political events, I feel that the article by Rachael Hamilton MSP (‘‘SNP should stop punishing the Borders’’, March 8) to be somewhat one-sided.
Firstly, she criticises the Scottish Government for new income tax rates without mentioning that, in the low-wage economy of the Borders, more than 70 per cent of her constituents will pay less tax and that extra revenue will likely be spent within this region’s economy.
Secondly, she accuses the Green Party of being out to ruin our society but fails to mention the extra £171 million that it was able to negotiate from the Scottish Government to the benefit of our local authorities. Scottish Borders Council gained an extra £3.5 million which I’m sure it found useful.
Lastly, Rachael Hamilton praises Scottish Borders Council for its budget and commitment to the future. This is fine, although she does fail to mention the three per cent increase in council tax which will also help to fund the authority’s plans.
We are grown-up, intelligent people who deserve to be given the fullest information from our elected representatives. Every article does not have to be an election pamphlet.
HOUSING BENEFIT FOR UK CITIZENS
While Theresa May’s actions against Russia will have the commendable result of reducing our expenditure on profligate diplomatic missions in the light of the expected tit-for-tat response to her expulsion of Russian diplomats, I fear that she really has underplayed her hand.
Whereas immediate nationalisation without compensation of all Russian-owned property in the UK might lead to a temporary downwards blip in the London property market, selling these assets off by auction could largely finance the costs of Brexit. It would also allow UK citizens to pick them up at a substantial discount and prices would soon rise again, even without further government subsidy of the rental market by increased housing benefit.
John Eoin Douglas
PUTIN’S ‘USEFUL IDIOT’?
As diplomatic tensions grow between the UK and its Western allies and Russia, Alex Salmond insists no one tells him what to say on his Russia Today show. Arguably so.
Yet does he seriously think if he expressed the same highly-critical views of Russia regarding the chemical attacks in Salisbury as shared by Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon his Russia Today show would continue to be aired?
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP’s description of Mr Salmond as Vladimir Putin’s “useful idiot” springs to mind.
NATIONALISTS BY ANOTHER NAME
To quote, in part, one of your recent correspondents: “The London government appears to be set on dragging Scotland out of the EU against the wishes of the Scots”.
Without wishing to repeat the blindingly obvious (and I say that with total sincerity), the vote was a UK referendum, not a Scottish one. Scotland is only in the EU as part of the UK and the wishes of any part of the UK (Scotland or London, for example) are irrelevant to the overall result.
Scotland will need to become independent in order to apply for membership of the EU and the success of such an application is not a given. I hold the view that independence will be achieved eventually and that outcome will be as bad for the Scots as Brexit will be for the Brits.
Clearly, I voted “remain” in both referendums.
The nationalists will win the day because a referendum of this nature is a one-way gate – if you keep trying it, one day it will let you through but not back again.
Of course, the Brexiteers have much in common with seekers of Scottish independence. They both refer constantly to their own version of history, they are both keen to desert benign and beneficial unions and they both described their opponent’s referendum campaigns as “Project Fear”.
Brexiteers are just nationalists by another name. The similarity extends to both “leave” campaigns.
Remember £350 million per week for the NHS? Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan-Smith, et al – they just ran “Project Fantasy” as far as I’m concerned and the same will apply to Indyref 2 if Alex Salmond’s 2014 promises about oil revenue are anything to go by.
Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond and their Green friends (and I’m as green as the next man – no pun intended) will issue a referendum manifesto drenched in “greenwash” and full of more contradictions than one could shake several sticks at. They will promise to revive the CO2-emitting oil industry, while becoming the greenest nation on the planet. They will join the EU but remain wedded to sterling. They’ll allow free movement of EU nationals but keep an open border with England.
Last, but not least, they will promise to work within the EU fishing regulations while protecting Scottish fishermen and providing all pensioners with a free fish supper every Friday.
Inevitably, a majority of the Scottish electorate with eventually fall for Nicola’s sales pitch, just as a majority of UK voters fell for Nigel Farage’s. It just goes to show that you can fool most of the people some of the time.
THERE’S STILL MORE TO BE DONE
I am urging residents in Berwickshire to get involved in the National Autistic Scotland’s biggest fundraiser, World Autism Awareness Week (March 26-April 2).
In the seven days leading up to World Autism Awareness Day (April 2), we are encouraging schools, workplaces and individuals to take part in activities to raise money and autism awareness. Whether it’s taking part in a bake sale, sponsored walk or wearing an onesie, there are plenty of ways in which you can get involved.
Around 58,000 people in Scotland are autistic and although we’ve come a long way in raising awareness, there’s still more to be done until everyone understands autism.
Free fundraising guides can be downloaded from www.autism.org.uk/waaw.
The National Autistic Society Scotland